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Vista High Students Prepare For Pilot's License

Junior ROTC cadet, Jared Treadwell, at Fallbrook AirPark, March 28, 2015.
Deanne Goodman
Junior ROTC cadet, Jared Treadwell, at Fallbrook AirPark, March 28, 2015.

Four Vista High School students with a passion for aviation are on cloud nine after experiencing what it is like to fly a Cessna aircraft.

The students completed a year of intensive ground training at Vista High School’s Aviation Honors Ground School, a program offered through the Air Force Junior ROTC.

Vista High School is the only school in San Diego County to offer this program, which prepares students to get a private pilot’s license.


On Saturday, the cadets took an hour-long flight alongside Major Roy Knight, who is a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol in Fallbrook.

The flight took off from Fallbrook Airpark, and included flying over Vista High School, and over the ocean up the coast to Dana Point. The cadets were able to take over the controls at 1,000 feet.

“It’s just an amazing experience. I recommend lots of people to go out and pursue aviation, or at least try and get the view, its unbelievable, and it’s something you will always remember,” said junior cadet Jared Treadwell.

Treadwell and junior Raquel Coniglio are looking forward to being able to fly with an instructor and log a minimum of 40 flight hours to receive their pilot’s license.

“I knew going into this class it was what I wanted to do, " Coniglio said. "It has really broadened my knowledge and passion for it.”


Vista High student Mayte Hernandez came to the Fallbrook Airpark to experience the thrill of flying in a Cessna as a passenger. It’s was her first time in an airplane.

“I’m the first in my family to go in an airplane," she said. “For most, being in a plane is not a big deal, but for me this is really exciting.”

Hernandez has not taken the course yet, but, inspired by her classmates, she is thinking of enrolling next year.

Corrected: May 22, 2024 at 2:00 PM PDT
Deanne Goodman is a freelance reporter. You can contact her via email, Twitter @deannegoodman13
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