Friday, September 01, 2017

Katie Lake: ‘Something about having the world below you’

Katie Lake prepares to take flight. Lake is working toward her pilot’s license and flew her first solo flight over her parents Brookville home at age 18.

BROOKVILLE —   “Time to spread your wings and leave the nest,” is a time honored cliche that Brookville High School and Miami Valley Career Technology Center graduate Katie Lake took a little more literally than most.

At age 18 Lake made her first solo flight over her parents’ home.

Lake said that she was hooked on flying the first time she flew in a small-engine plane. “There is just something about looking out your window and seeing the clouds that makes time freeze. I’ve always liked the idea of a job that’s not behind a desk or inside somewhere. I like the idea of something different and a job where I can improve,” said Lake.

She said she was nervous on her solo flight but that it was great to finally see all of her hard work pay off. “I was really excited to say I flew a plane by myself. When the wheels left the ground it felt like all the weight on my shoulders left. I felt completely free like I could conquer the world and go anywhere. There is just something about having the world below you and a blue sky that I love. I remember not being able to stop smiling.”

Even outside of work and school Lake said she prefers more adventurous pursuits. She said that she has always enjoyed anything that goes fast and prefers to spend her time outdoors whether fishing, boating, snowboarding or around fast cars. Lake said her favorite car is a Corvette.

Although she is barely out of high school Lake has training in aviation maintenance, certifications in Airframe and Powerplant and has logged enough hours allow her to fly solo as far as the Piqua airport. Her dreams however, go a bit further than that.

Lake said she is currently making use of her, certifications doing maintenance at the Phillipsburg airport. She says her ultimate goal is to be a pilot with the airlines but she still has a way to go.

Darry Largent her flight instructor at Philipsburg Airport said that Lake still has about 20 hours of instruction and solo flight, including cross country training before she can be tested for her private pilot certificate but seems fairly confident in her abilities.

“She’s very smart, a quick learner, excellent hand eye coordination, and never forgets anything,” said Largent.

Although she would prefer to fly, Lake said that if she someday couldn’t she would still want to work with airplanes in some way. She say she plans to continue her education to earn more certificates including instrument, multi-engine, complex aircraft, commercial, CFI (certified flight instructor), ATP (airline transport pilot) and possibly her seaplane rating.

Eric Bickel, one of Lake’s Aviation Maintenance Instructors at Miami Valley Career Technology Center, has worked with her for over a year and speaks highly of her abilities and work ethic. “In that time (as Lake’s instructor), I have seen many desirable qualities in this young woman. She is both eager to learn and is hard working at what she learns. Katie is very mature and well thought for her age.”

In addition to working at the Phillipsburg Airport, Lake is attending Sinclair Community College. After two years she says she plans to transfer to a university, possibly Bowling Green State University or some other university with aviation curriculum and continue toward a four-year degree. In the meantime she says she plans to continue flying as much as possible. “I plan to get in as much as I can while working and going to school,” said Lake.

Original article ➤

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