Auburn Riverside High School student Lukas Holloman is well on his way to being a young aviator with more than 75 hours of flight time under his belt.
Thanks to a scholarship from the Cascade Warbirds aviation enthusiast group, Holloman was able to pursue his dream of being an aviator as a high school student.
He began ground school — the 50-hour training program that flight students have to take before they ever leave the ground — in the summer of 2019.
“It’s pretty much like driver’s ed, but it’s definitely harder,” Holloman said.
The end goal for ground school is to be able to pass an extensive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) written test. After you pass that, you are one step closer to getting your wings.
Passing the written test is followed by a practical “check ride” test in a plane with a pilot sitting next to you. During the check ride, Holloman was asked to go over basic maneuvers, flight plan navigation, landing procedures and other complicated basics of flying.
After proving himself over a number of sessions and hours, Holloman’s instructor told him he was ready to fly solo — a feat that was initially daunting to him, as it would be to many.
Eventually, flying became comfortable for him. He remembered his first cross-country flight to Kelso, Wash., and a moment in which he realized, “Oh wow, I’m up here by myself.”
Many people are scared to just get onboard a plane, let alone fly one, but Holloman feels focused and dialed in when he is flying — captured by the process, the procedures, and the feeling.
He is close to earning his associate’s degree in aviation technology with plans to continue to a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science at Green River College. He hopes to make a career for himself in aviation, and from thousands of feet in the air, it is hard to see a ceiling.