Friday photo: Wilkes Ellsworth first solo


The moment: First solo

The pilot: Wilkes Ellsworth (right) with instructor Dustin Yockey

The place: Clermont County Airport (I69), Batavia, OH

The aircraft: C172S

The memory: I have wanted to fly an airplane my entire life and can honestly say it was one of the happiest and most fulfilling days I have ever experienced. I can’t wait to continue my training and see where it and the aircraft will take me next.

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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.