Sammy Wang ‘17 earns Private Pilot’s Certificate

In May, Sammy Wang became the third and final member of the class of 2017 to earn his Private Pilot’s Certificate. It was an accomplishment that was four years in the making.

“I started flying my freshman year,” Sammy said. “I’d always loved planes, and I really wanted to get my license. Unfortunately, this was when I was only 14, meaning I had two years until I could even solo. After that, I had another year to wait until I was old enough to get my license. The hardest part was that I wasn’t 17 until senior year, and it was hard to juggle ACT prep, school work, college applications, and flying at the same time. I went probably four months without flying, so it took a while to get back to the point where I was ready for the test.”

It was a difficult endeavor at times for Sammy, but worth it in the end.

“I think aviation makes you all around more aware of your setting, surroundings, and responsibilities,” Sammy said, “as pretty much everything we do and around us is a factor in flight. It teaches you invaluable critical thinking and decision making that can, and should, be used both in and out of the plane.”

Sammy’s most valuable tools in learning to fly were his Aviation instructors, Mr. Ewing and Jose Hercher. “Mr. Ewing helped keep me on track, focused, and understand what areas in my flying/thinking needed improving. Mr. Hercher’s vast knowledge and experience helped me understand all the ground lessons and be much more prepared as far as the knowledge portions of the written and oral exams,” Sammy said. “All around they make a great pair and were a vital key to getting my license.”

“He has always impressed me with his understanding of technologically advanced aircraft,” Mr. Ewing said. “He is a true pro with the Cessna 172 G1000 avionics package.”

It’s tough for Sammy to pick just one part of flying that he loves the most. “There’s a lot of fun as far as creating the flight plan itself and seeing it materialize and come together in flight, as well as going somewhere or trying something new. But I’ve always been into motors and machines, and aviation is probably the most hands-on operating experience you can get.”

Sammy is attending Indiana University/Kelley School of Business in the fall, and he plans to double major in Entrepreneurship and Business Management with a minor in Chinese.