Brooke Liu, who was enrolled in the Aviation Program at Admiral Farragut Academy, earned her private pilot certificate when she completed the one hour check ride on May 11.
“It’s incredible to think I’ve been able to do this,” said Brooke, who graduated with the Class of 2016 after spending four years as a boarding student. “I never would have been able to do all the things I’ve done, including getting my pilot certificate, if I hadn’t come to Farragut.”
Brooke was appreciative of the guidance by Rob Ewing, the director of Farragut’s Aviation Program. Ewing was instrumental in setting up the flight check, which was done by CAPT Tom Davis. Coincidentally, the Crystal River Airport modified its official moniker in 2013 to incorporate the retired Naval aviator’s name, renaming the airport as Crystal River Airport – CAPT Tom Davis Field.
Brooke’s test flight included everything from emergency landings to stalls to a recovery 200 feet away from the ground.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking but I was calm because Mr. Ewing had basically taught me everything I needed to know and be prepared for,” said Brooke, who began taking courses in the aviation program two years ago.
Brooke also had to take an oral exam about different scenarios in flight and how to adapt to them.
“CAPT Davis actually mentioned some of the same questions Mr. Ewing had prepped me for,” said Brooke.
Brooke, who is from Chengdu, Sichuan in China, said her time at Farragut is life-changing and believes Farragut is just as much her home as Chengdu.
“I never thought all this would be possible four years ago,” said Brooke, who served as the Regimental Commander this past school year. “It’s amazing that four years ago, I had to focus on translating English to Chinese and back again in my mind and now I can just speak it naturally. And then to think I know how to fly a plane solo is just incredible.”
Brooke will attend Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland beginning in September.