Bengal in the Sky
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Everybody knows the expression “the sky is the limit,” but one Brashier student has decided to reach even further. Sophomore Hunt McLeod is looking to earn his private pilot license and ultimately pursue a career in aviation, and he has already started to pursue this dream.
“[T]here are 3 levels of licensing. You have private, instrument and commercial. I plan on having fully completed my private by the time I finish high school,” says McLeod.
Hunt started flying approximately a year ago at age 15. Since then he has flown a number of different aircraft, but he is most familiar with his family-owned plane.
“The plane I have the most experience in is a Cessna 172, which is a single engine propeller plane that seats 4 and can travel 700 nautical miles on one tank [of fuel], and has a max speed of 188 miles per hour,” says McLeod.
Flying is a unique experience, and only pilots are capable of talking about that experience and the emotions that accompany it.
“ I first knew I wanted to fly when a family friend offered to take me on a flight, I instantly fell in love with it and have been flying ever since. Being 13,000 feet in the air is really something, and it’s an amazing feeling every time; I get a sense of freedom and adventure,” says McLeod.
Flying is something that Hunt loves to do, and while he currently only flies recreationally, he plans on one day flying professionally.
“I plan on being a bush pilot, and no, that is not someone who flies George Bush wherever he wants to go. I am going to be a pilot that flies to the farthest reaches of the world to deliver supplies and anything else that is needed. Everywhere from [a] shaman’s hut in Alaska to the remote desert [regions of] Australia,” says Hunt.
Even though Hunt has only been flying for a little more than a year, he still has had memorable flights that make for some memorable stories.
“The most memorable experience I have is when my flight instructor reached over, and without saying anything, took the keys out and turned the engine off. He then told me to do an engineless landing. At the time, the airport was out if sight, so I took a minute to watch the propeller slowly come to a stop in mid-air, hear the engine clunk to a stop, then hear the emergency alarm come on. I pulled the control all the way back, raising the nose of the plane. With this, more air would flow under the wings causing me to keep a steady, controlled descent. Then I began to come closer to contact with the runway, and at that point and it was pretty surreal hearing nothing but the wind at 1,300 feet up. I then glided to a stop on the tarmac, which I thought it was pretty metal,” says McLeod.