Monday, June 10, 2013

Romance takes flight for students: St. Thomas of Villanova - Ontario, Canada

Villanova student Adam Ventimiglia, 17, took his prom date, Adrianne White, 18, for a short flight in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk Saturday over the city decked out in their formal wear. "It's pretty cool," White said of the experience. The actual prom is this Friday. 
Photograph by: Dax Melmer, The Windsor Star 

Rob Benneian, The Windsor Star | Jun 10, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun 10, 2013 - 7:08 UTC 

Listen up local high school students: The bar has been raised.

In advance of the St. Thomas of Villanova high school prom this Friday, Grade 12 student Adam Ventimiglia took his date Adrianne White, 18, for the ride of her life on Saturday.

While many scrape their dollars together to rent a limousine for the night, this Villanova couple took to the pre-prom skies in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk with Ventimiglia at the controls.

"I couldn't drive a car," said the 17-year-old Ventimiglia, who has no driving license but does have a pilot's license. "So I thought 'I've got to do something.'"

Though the pair have known each other since Grade 9, it wasn't until recently that they began speaking on a regular basis.

"He asked for help in physics class," White said, though she added science isn't one of her strengths.

"I did need some help in physics," Ventimiglia said, but it was "kind of like, kill two birds with one stone."

The couple, who started dating during a recent school trip to Costa Rica, took a short flight over the city decked out in their formal wear. With White at his side, Ventimiglia painstakingly went through a checklist of procedures to ensure the aircraft was safe to operate.

"It's pretty cool," White said of the flight, adding that while some of her friends were jealous of her first-class prom experience, some were too afraid of heights to be green with envy.

Ventimiglia has been flying for nearly two years, starting with gliders, and said he has had an interest in flying since he was born.

He flies about once a month at the Windsor Flying Club at Windsor Airport, where he rents a plane at a rate of $150 per hour. Ventimiglia earned his single-engine light aircraft license last August and hopes to eventually get his commercial license.

"It's kind of like driver's ed," Ventimiglia said of the process of earning his flying license. "I'd be in a classroom studying things like air law and meteorology and then when I would go into the airplane, you apply everything that you learn and there's an instructor there in case you do anything out of protocol."

Ventimiglia will attend RCC Institute of Technology in Toronto in October to pursue a degree in mechatronics, a combination of mechanical, electrical, control and computer engineering. He hopes to study mechanical engineering with a goal of designing airplane parts.

Francesca Ventimiglia said her son's romantic side comes from his father Joe, but Ventimiglia isn't convinced.

"I've never seen my dad as romantic," he said with a laugh.

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