Please join the Aviation Department in congratulating Billy Price ‘22 for earning his Private Pilot Certificate on Sunday, May 23, 2021, in a Cessna 172, tail number N99265, on runway 7 at Albert Whitted Airport.
It took Billy only six months from earning his solo flight endorsement to earning his private pilot’s certificate.
“It takes a lot of dedication, but it can be done,” Billy said. “Anyone who’s determined can do it.”
“It takes making it your top priority,” he continued. “I put in a lot of flying hours; even outside of school I was down at the airport often.”
Earning your private pilot certificate is an intensive process. There is a written exam, an oral exam with a designated pilot examiner, and the flight. “The hardest part was definitely the oral exam,” Billy said. “It took two weeks of coming home and studying this 500-page book every day.”
It was all worth it, though. “I was so excited when they said I passed,” Billy said. “I was worried and afraid of failing it, and I’d tried so hard. Once he said ‘you are now a private pilot,’ I was ecstatic.”
Although Billy doesn’t plan to pursue aviation as a career, his next step is working toward his instrument rating. An Instrument Rating (IR) is a pilot rating earned through intensive training focused on flying solely by reference to instruments. A well-trained and proficient instrument pilot can fly an airplane from point A to point B without ever having to look out the window except for takeoff and landing.
Upon graduation in 2022, Billy hopes to attend the University of Florida for their business management program, or attend his second choice school Florida State University. He hopes to someday become an entrepreneur and own a business.
He credits much of his flight success to Farragut’s aviation teachers, Rob Ewing and Jose Hercher.
“Mr. Ewing and Mr. Hercher are the best teachers I could’ve ever asked for,” Billy says.
“In the classroom, Mr. Hercher has the best way of teaching. Mr. Ewing practically has two brains in one. He just knows absolutely everything about aviation. I can ask him a question and he’ll just answer it and put it in my brain. They’re both my favorite teachers at the school, and maybe the best teachers I’ve ever had.”
“It has been a pleasure to fly with such a dedicated and hard-working student as Billy,” said Mr. Ewing. “I remember giving him his first flight lesson years ago as he began his journey to becoming a pilot. As always, I am proud to have been part of the process. I know he will have continued success in all he does in the future.”