Nella Filipkova ’19 earns solo flight endorsement

Many people work for years finding their dream. Others, like Admiral Farragut Academy junior Nella Filipkova, discover their dreams suddenly.


Nella, whose family moved from the Czech Republic so she could be a day student at Farragut, has only been attending the school for one year. She started Aviation classes in August of 2017, started Aviation Academy in January of 2018, and she flew solo for the first time on April 20th, 2018, in a Cessna 172, tail number N5258Z, on runway 7 at Albert Whitted Airport.

“The class just sounded like it’d be fun,” Nella said. “I thought, ‘let’s see where this goes’. I ended up loving it.”

“Flying is really relaxing, it’s almost like meditating. But it’s also exciting. There’s always something new. It’s not like being in a car, where if something goes wrong you can just pull over. When you’re in the air you have to think fast and act quickly.”

“Nella has done a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time,” said Rob Ewing, director of the Aviation program at Farragut. “She has an exceptional memory and is a very capable, safe pilot. Each flight she strives to improve and, with a 98 on her written exam last month, she is well on her way to earning the Private Pilot certificate.”

Nella now has a new dream for her future. “I think I’d like to go to Embry-Riddle and get all of my endorsements to become a commercial pilot,” she said. When asked if she has advice for other students wanting to take aviation, her response was simple.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “Just do it.”

Please join the Aviation department in congratulating Nella on earning her solo endorsement.