For Nic's father, Mark, a long-time pilot, travel has always been a significant part of his life. From the time he was young, Nic had the opportunity to travel often with his dad. He was drawn to the speed and capabilities of aircrafts. When Nic thinks back to what first intrigued him about flying, he recalls that he was he loved most was experiencing "how fast I got to go and what you can do in an airplane." It was enough to get him hooked!
Nic first began pursuing his pilot's certificate in 2012, although his first flight was at the age of two. "My first flight was out of the Powell airport on September 5, 2005, which now is a Kroger. I was two years old and I sat in my dad’s lap and he let me control the airplane. He said I thought was funny to make the airplane go up and fast.
My first training flight was November 27, 2012 from The Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. We thought this would a good place since this also were my Mom works as an accountant."
The process of attaining a pilot's certificate has been a lengthy one that required hours of training. Nic shared some of the remarkable process as he recalls his early experiences. "I could land the airplane on my own on July 16, 2013 at 9 years old and soloed on my 16th birthday before I got my driver’s license. By regulation you cannot solo an airplane until 16 years old and cannot receive a private pilot certificate until 17 years old.
The road to get your pilot certificate is hard enough but I still had other responsibilities and interests like school, golf, fishing, and dirt bike riding. I had a lot of studying for a FAA written exam. I had to receive a 3rd class medical from a doctor, receive a total of 40 hours of flight instruction and solo flight time which included various flight maneuvers and solo cross countries to different airports. Then on the day of my check I had to be tested by a FAA Examiner that included an 2 hour oral test and 2 hour flight with FAA examiner, which was nerve-wracking.
It helped a lot having a dad as my instructor. I have several more ratings to work towards."
After attending college, Nic hopes to fly professionally as an Air Force Fighter Pilot. Other possibilities for Nic include flying as a commercial pilot and aerobatic pilot as a hobby.
Congratulations, Nic, on this amazing accomplishment. We're so excited to see how God uses your talents and passion in the future!
Nic's first flight at the age of two.
Nic's first landing.
One of Nic's flights to the Bahamas.