Congratulations to Gustave “Gus” Steffen, EAA 1262111, on his first solo flight!
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with flight, but it wasn’t until 2017 that I really got involved with aviation, ” Gus said. “My family started attending build sessions at the downtown (Wausau, Wisconsin) airport, and on one of those evenings, I got a Young Eagles ride. The experience was unforgettable. We went up in the silver Ercoupe, right in sunset. I remember feeling the plane accelerate down the runway, and for the first time, I flew. From that time forward, I actually wanted to fly planes for myself. ”
Gus has now been part of his local EAA chapter, 640 , for two years, and participating in the Learn, Build, Fly program. On Saturday, April 8, Gus received the exciting news that he experienced been selected for the particular Ray Aviation Scholarship program.
“Before I got this scholarship, My partner and i wanted to start flight training, but I didn’t have the funds yet, ” Gus said. “I had a personal savings account, but it wasn’t going in order to be enough. My parents were willing to help me cover the costs, yet it was still a new big financial commitment to be able to get into. When My spouse and i heard I got typically the Ray scholarship, I was able to start coaching almost immediately. I has been so excited. With this Ray scholarship, I had been able to start teaching before getting into adult life, giving me often the time to actually get it done. ”
Gus said his ground instructor for your Learn, Build, Fly program, Tom Wood, EAA 1120954, has been very helpful for you to him throughout his airline flight training.
“He has invested a lot of time into me and a couple of other aspiring pilots, ” Gus said. “His assist has been a huge benefit, giving me familiarity with topics I’m going through in my trip training.
On August 10, his hard work paid off and Gus conquered one of his biggest milestones in flight training yet — his first solo flight!
“I was nervous and shaky, but excited, ” he said. “I taxied to help the runway with some sort of taildragger in front and behind, so I had towards wait before I could obtain on the runway. Once the first one was far off the ground, I called on the radio plus rolled out. I ran through the takeoff checklist one last time in addition to took a moment to stare at the runway numbers. I made sure I was pointed straight and fully committed to the air travel by easing in the exact throttle. The airspeed rose to 55 mph, and even I zipped into the sky. I sang a little song in my nervous ecstasy, and I hoped no one could somehow hear me on the radio. Upon downwind, I had been thinking of how I really did it. I really could fly a plane. On final, I acquired ready to land and made another radio call. I saw [my CFI] Tyler on his motorcycle, near the end of the runway as I just came lower. I came down just a little fast, so I bounced the plane. When I settled back straight down and came to a good stop, I sat back and smiled. I made it. ”
Gus hopes to take their checkride in late September. After earning his certificate, he said wants that will pursue his tailwheel endorsement and instrument rating!
“I haven’t decided whether to pursue aviation as a career, nevertheless I plan on staying involved in my EAA chapter, ” Gus said. “Since I used to be inspired to become a pilot by a Young Eagles ride, I would like so that you can give those someday as well. The general aviation community is thriving in Wausau, and I’d love to help you be a part associated with it for years to make sure you come. ”
Gus said his favorite part about flying is the people.
“My favorite part regarding flying has been the very experiences I’ve had flying with other people, ” Gus said. “I wanted to be able to give others the wonderful sensation of flying, as well as hopping over to nearby airports with friends. ”
Congratulations from everyone here at EAA, Gus! The sky is a limit!
Have you reached your milestone recently? Passed some checkride, given your first or hundredth Young Eagles journey, flown your homebuilt with regard to the first time? Tell us about it at EAA. org/Submissions .