Proud mentors and family members watched the runway as Ryan Rosales, freshman aviation flight major, taxied to his point of departure on Oct. 30.
The first student that flight instructors deemed ready for a solo flight, Roales is the first in California Baptist University’s history to fly a plane by himself.
“Tower, Cessna nine, nine, seven, sierra, echo holding short, runway two, seven ready for departure,” Rosales said to the air-traffic control tower over the headset before take-off.
His mother, Lisa Rosales, was seen bracing herself as her son directed the plane toward the runway and into the open air. His father, Joe Rosales, beamed with pride at the sight.
The flight consisted of a rectangle around the airport and three landings and takeoffs, all of which Rosales completed successfully, according to the flight instructor, Asher Sherburne.
“The solo (flight) is really a milestone in a pilot’s life, and I think it’s one of the biggest milestones in their career,” Sherburne said.
“The cool thing about being an instructor is that every time I have a student that solos, I get to in some ways relive that initial milestone for me.”
The first solo flight is akin to a bird being kicked out of the nest. Maria LeBlanc, chief flight instructor, made this comparison as she spoke with Rosales’ family.
Rosales completed the final landing and taxied back to his waiting family and friends. The door opened and Rosales stepped out with a smile that reached from ear to ear.