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(23,432 posts)
Thu Oct 26, 2023, 07:27 PM Oct 2023

My 18 year old son is now a certified pilot!

I know the news is as bad as it has ever been and I’m feeling the weight of it as I’m sure you all are. But, I wanted to share with you that my kiddo, Owen, passed his flight test with the examiner and I’m just thrilled for him. He took a gap year from college to sort through lots of things but he’s been working on this goal since last January, the middle of his senior year in high school. He had hit a rough patch and was feeling pretty down when a friend of ours asked if Owen would want to take a plane ride. It was a school day but the child needed a break and we encouraged him to go. From that day, Owen decided he would learn to fly a plane. He found his own instructor and asked if we would pay to get him going.

For the past 4 months, every time I wandered into his room to visit for a minute, fully expecting to be gaming with his pals online he wasn’t…he was looking at charts and figures and flight plans and doing this work on his own. In July, he came to me and said he wanted to pay for his instructor on his own and asked if I would be willing to keep paying for the plane rental, which, of course, I was.

Owen passed the written exam in August and we were finally able to get a Designated Pilot Examiner up here to Missoula to flight test him. It took about 4 hours. Owen didn’t want us to come to the airport so we respected that. But I’m not gonna lie, I had his location pinged on my phone and watched as he drove from the airport to our shop where we were anxiously waiting in the parking lot and he told us that he had passed!

It was just the best day. It is a complete joy to watch your kiddo doing what they love. Owen will begin working in his instrument rating next.

Thanks for reading.

18 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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My 18 year old son is now a certified pilot! (Original Post) MontanaMama Oct 2023 OP
❤️ enough Oct 2023 #1
Congrats to owen and his mama questionseverything Oct 2023 #2
Thanks...but it's all Owen's accomplishment. MontanaMama Oct 2023 #3
Totally awesome! OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2023 #4
Right? MontanaMama Oct 2023 #5
Think of it as 3 dimensional driving. OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2023 #6
Hot damn! What a wonderful accomplishment for your young man! MLAA Oct 2023 #7
Great! debm55 Oct 2023 #8
That is so awesome. Laffy Kat Oct 2023 #9
Indeed! MontanaMama Oct 2023 #10
Cool! Congrats! highplainsdem Oct 2023 #11
Congrats Mama! maspaha Oct 2023 #12
That's wonderful! MontanaMama Oct 2023 #17
Wow! That's incredibly impressive! Rhiannon12866 Oct 2023 #13
Congratulations to the newest airman! I have a true story you can tell him. DFW Oct 2023 #14
Oh my gosh! That's the best story! MontanaMama Oct 2023 #18
Congratulations, (Proud) MontanaMama! Niagara Oct 2023 #15
Congratulations to Owen! area51 Oct 2023 #16

OAITW r.2.0

(25,298 posts)
4. Totally awesome!
Thu Oct 26, 2023, 07:32 PM
Oct 2023

There is so much to learn....weather, maps, specific flight rules, physics.....not just yoke and pedal control. I did 15 hours, but never solo'd.


(23,432 posts)
5. Right?
Thu Oct 26, 2023, 07:37 PM
Oct 2023

Owen solo’d last May but couldn’t take the exam until he had more flight hours. I could never do it. It’s magic to me.

OAITW r.2.0

(25,298 posts)
6. Think of it as 3 dimensional driving.
Thu Oct 26, 2023, 07:55 PM
Oct 2023

Honestly, the time I spent flying/studying made me a better land based driver.

Laffy Kat

(16,421 posts)
9. That is so awesome.
Thu Oct 26, 2023, 10:13 PM
Oct 2023

Flying is such a wholesome hobby. Of course, it's expensive. If he wants to keep going on his ratings, there are scholarships available, although he may need to some research to find them. The sky is the limit!


(288 posts)
12. Congrats Mama!
Fri Oct 27, 2023, 12:07 AM
Oct 2023

You are an awesome Mom for supporting him in what will hopefully be the first of MANY ratings Owen will earn! I haven’t flown as a private pilot in a long time. Just yesterday I booked time with an instructor & will hopefully be able to rent a plane by next weekend.


(209,809 posts)
13. Wow! That's incredibly impressive!
Fri Oct 27, 2023, 06:07 AM
Oct 2023

He had a worthy goal and it sounds like he was dedicated to accomplishing it - and at 18, no less! He must be one smart kid! Kudos to him and you deserve to be very proud of him!


(54,930 posts)
14. Congratulations to the newest airman! I have a true story you can tell him.
Fri Oct 27, 2023, 08:27 AM
Oct 2023

In the Netherlands, there is a 120 KPH speed limit on their fastest highways. Here, next door in Germany, on many stretches, there is no speed limit. A Dutch friend of ours knew a guy who was totally obsessed with speed. He spent most of his free time driving over to Germany so he could drive as fast as he wanted. Over time, this was not enough for him, and he took courses and got his pilot's license, which to some degree satisfied his craving for speed.

However, he couldn't drive a Cessna down the Dutch highway system, and one fine day, on the way over to Germany, a Dutch policeman stopped him going something like 190 KPH down a stretch of the Dutch Autostraat, their version of the Autobahn. This is almost unheard-of in Holland since going that far over the speed limit will usually get your car confiscated and your license canceled, maybe even permanently. The furious cop came up to him after he had stopped, and said, "alright, I want to see your pilot's license!" The guy said, "sure, here you are," and promptly produced his pilot's license. The cop studied it, and couldn't help himself. He burst out laughing, and said that in twenty years of using that line, it was the first time anyone ever really DID produce a pilot's license. He said in honor of the occasion, he would let the guy off with a warning--THIS time--but if he ever caught the guy going that fast again on the Dutch side of the border, he'd lose his car and never drive again.

Moral of the story is--no idea! I never heard of there was any follow-up


(23,432 posts)
18. Oh my gosh! That's the best story!
Fri Oct 27, 2023, 11:07 AM
Oct 2023

I have this bookmarked to show him when he wakes up. He will enjoy this, I promise you.

Sounds like there is zero tolerance for speeding in The Netherlands. For the record, there’s zero tolerance for speeding in this household too. Owen got a speeding ticket this past spring and he wanted to just go online and pay the ticket. I told him we were going down to the courthouse to meet the judge and he would plead guilty there. We did exactly that. The judge was wonderful. He asked Owen a few questions, explained his options and asked him to plead. Owen pleaded guilty and the judge cut his fine in half. If he doesn’t get pulled over for 6 months, the violation is expunged from his record. Good experience, for sure.

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