Saturday, September 30, 2017

Clemens Kuhlig: After 40 years, Central Georgia man finally lands dream job as air show pilot

Middle Georgia State University's 3rd annual Heart of Georgia Airshow took off in Eastman on Saturday.

Eight airshow acts took to the skies to show how their tricks are reaching new heights.

Nicole Butler went to talk with one of the pilots about his journey and how he finally landed his dream job.

Clemens Kuhlig remembers back to his first air show.

At 8-years-old, he watched as the planes did loops and nosedives, and says that was the day his dreams really took off.

"And then I was lucky enough to get a ride with one of the airshow performers in his pits by-plane and that was really the defining moment," Kuhlig said.

But as time flew by, Kuhlig realized his dream job was slipping farther away.

"Life takes you in different places, but in the back of my mind it was always a goal to be an airshow pilot," he said.

Working as a chef, he saved up money for almost 40 years and little by little he pieced together this plane, taking his dream to new heights.

"It makes it that much sweeter doesn't it? That you have to work so hard for it for so long," Kuhlig said.

Four years ago, he finally landed his dream job and says being up in the sky is a feeling like no other.

"When you're diving in there's nothing else that's going on in your life. And that's the most fun because you're going backwards and the smoke is all around you," Kuhlig said.

With everything looking up, he has some words of wisdom for all of the young, aspiring pilots.

"Any goal that you have…if you just keep working at, it can be done. You can find a way and I'm proof of that for sure," Kuhlig said.

Middle Georgia State University senior pilot Brittany Adams says watching the air show is inspiring.

"So just doing some rolls and flips really, really excited me," she exclaimed.

Adams works hard every day to perfect her flight and is looking forward to what the future holds.

"It's like muscle memory at this point, so it's really neat to do something every day that I love and be able to keep learning with it and know that I will be able to do it for the rest of my life," Adams said.

Middle Georgia State University has about 448 students in their school of aviation and it's continuing to grow.

Many students said it was inspiring to watch all 8 acts take to the skies and think one day they'll be up there too.

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