Unlike most Miramonte students, senior Griffin Schwarz has both a driver’s license and a pilot’s license. Schwarz was inspired to get into aviation by his aunt and uncle who took him on his first flight ten years ago. “This hooked me to the sport of aviation, and I have enjoyed my experience of becoming a pilot ever since,” Schwarz said.
The main requirements for a pilot’s license include being 17 or older, having at least 40 hours of flight time, passing a practical exam with a designated pilot examiner, and passing a written and oral exam. Schwarz became licensed on Oct 10, 2015.
“Some of the most difficult parts of becoming a pilot are managing time well and studying to pass the tests. Once training started, I would spend 10 hours a week studying from books, online preparatory courses and meeting with my flight instructor,” Schwarz said.
A life as a pilot-in-training is not always a smooth sailing experience. One of Schwarz’s scariest experiences was when he got stuck in a rainstorm while flying solo to Fresno during flight training. “It was raining really hard and there was a lot of turbulence that was throwing me around in the cockpit. I was a little scared myself, but I got through it and continued my flight,” Schwarz said.
Senior Peter Undlin had the opportunity to fly with Schwarz to Lodi, a city in San Joaquin County. “It was scary at first because we were in such a small aircraft that the wind would push us around quite a lot, but once we got up to a good altitude it was amazing seeing everything around us,” Undlin said. “Seeing all the controls and how Griffin used them was pretty cool as well.”
Schwarz’s favorite parts about flying include the great views from the sky and how quickly he can get from place to place. In the future, Schwarz hopes to be a commercial airline pilot.