Friday photo: Joseph Ermel private pilot checkride


The moment: Private pilot checkride

The pilot: Joseph Ermel

The place: Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport (1C5), Bolingbrook, IL

The aircraft: C152

The memory: It was a thorough and fun exam. After months of diligent studying, practicing, and preparation, I felt confident enough and was proud of my deliverance. My mind was set on earning my PPL for years, and I worked hard to get to this point to succeed. I am grateful for all of the support I’ve received over the years from my mentors – and especially my Grandfather, Arnold Zimmerman (EAA 205374.) Now on to the Instrument ! See you on the Flightline!


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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.


  1. Congratulations!! My Private Pilot check was in 1972 in a PA-28 140 thanks to my Dad a WWII P-39 pilot South Pacific. I had 39.5 hrs. Fly an hour to the FAA Examiner.

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