Matt Hajek ‘17 earns solo flight endorsement


Please join the Aviation department in congratulating Matt Hajek on earning his solo endorsement. Matt flew solo for the first time on October 18th at Albert Whitted Airport in a Cessna 172SP, N6013J, on runway 7. Matt received his solo endorsement from St. Pete Air Chief Flight instructor Peter Flynn, who is pictured in the photos with Matt. Coincidentally, Mr. Flynn also endorsed Matt’s brother Michael for his first solo flight.

After Matt did three take-offs and landings with the instructor, he did a similar routine by himself. Although he has only been flying since earlier this year, he said he was very comfortable and confident with the entire process due to the information he has acquired being in the Aviation Academy.

“Mr. Ewing and Mr. Hercher are incredible at getting you ready to handle this type of stuff,” said Matt, who has been taking aviation classes since the ninth grade. “The instruction you receive in the program isn’t just about the technical aspect of things. It also gets you ready to handle the entirety of it all in terms of being confident.”

When he took control of the plane for his first solo run, he initially was nervous heading into his first turn.

“It was kind of nerve-wracking because usually the instructor is there to tell you if you’re doing things correctly or not but then I said to myself, ‘You’ve done this plenty of times before so you’ll be alright,’” Matt said.