What is so special about today, you may ask? Dr. Dre’s 58th birthday? Yoko Ono’s 90th birthday? The 93rd anniversary of Pluto’s discovery by some random dude with a telescope? While all of these events have their own special place in history, we have something of our own to add to the books! That’s right! Our very own Samuel Bacino kicked his instructor, Cody Lucero out of the airplane, strapped on a set of wings and blasted off into the sky! Sure, Pluto might be the 10th most massive known object to orbit the sun, but Sam was the 1st most massive object orbiting the Reno airport on this day, Feb 18th, 2023 at approximately 11 am (he was the only one in the pattern). Mark your calendars so you too will be able to retrieve this mind-blowing fact and share this day in history as a smooth ice breaker at your next cocktail party! And in case you would like to add a little extra detail to the story, Sam is earning his Private Pilot certificate all while attending classes full time at the University of Nevada, Reno as a mathematics major! Congratulations to Sam on achieving this huge first milestone! FIRST SOLO!
I swear they let anyone learn how to fly airplanes…here is another one of those helicopter ATPs thinking he can stroll in here and solo the super complicated C172. We had our doubts but today David Sidorski showed us and soloed N495SP on runway 17L at home base, KRNO!! We could say a lot of complementary things about David like how hard he works, how he loves animals and has befriended his neighborhood racoons, likes to spend more time outdoors than in, spoils his cat, is ripping it up in the hills on his dirtbike, or the fact that he is a safe and proficient pilot. We could say that during his two weeks on/two weeks off rotation from his helicopter job he chooses to come in and progress in his aviation skills rather than relax. But no, we would rather judge him for thinking the grass was greener on the rotorcraft side. Regardless of his past questionable decision making, huge congratulations to David and his team of CFIs including Austin White and Kurtis Hornung!! In all seriousness, David Sidorski is super impressive and is killing it in an airplane :)
Did Juneau that you’re my hero? That is what student pilots might be saying to Chris Leeper today being this Alaskan graduated the ranks to Private Pilot!! What a Totem-ly awesome day for Chris! His hard work and work/life balance has paid off! Chris still travels to Alaska for work two weeks at a time and comes back here for two weeks. In those two weeks he schedules as much flight training as possible. Although he never parks the plane where we ask him too, whale let it go this time. The coolest thing is that Chris’ wife, Ann, is also learning to fly! You will be reading about her soon. It is never a moose-take to share aviation with the ones you love. Awesome job Chris!! Great work as well to his CFI Troy Ware! Shake your Caribou-se and celebrate!!
Life is like a helicopter…we have no idea how to operate a helicopter. But, Damien McKeown, rotorcraft ATP, does! And, he also knows how to operate the equally complicated C172. Damien has one more FAA accomplishment to celebrate because he is officially an airplane private pilot!! Despite his success in helicopters, Damien has been super humble knowing he had to start at the beginning in his fixed wing training. He has put in the time and effort, drank most of our coffee (but he does replace it), and can now breathe a bit before he starts on his instrument add-on. Somehow, between traveling back and forth for his oil rig flying job, making snow angels at his Minden home, and allegedly being an amazing dessert chef (we have not seen proof yet), he succeeds. Finally, he is flying something the ground does not reject ;) Awesome job Damien!! Great job as well to his CFI Danny Britson.
He’s back…Every once in a while, we run across a student who does not want an email about their achievements. Does that stop us? No, but we will keep him anonymous again. Either he is running from the law, witness protection, or just does not like the attention. You decide. He who shall not be named was successful today in earning his instrument rating!! No big deal for Reno’s most interesting man and his legendary status. Bigfoot tries to get pictures of him. When in Rome, they do as HE does. He is allowed to talk about the fight club. Batman watches Saturday morning cartoons about him. But he still had to complete all requirements of the rigorous part 141 program to earn his newest privileges. Next step, his commercial certificate. Awesome job to John Doe and his instructor Kurtis Hornung!! Maybe we can change his mind about recognition by the time he earns his commercial certificate.
Cory Kleidosty is an instrument rated pilot!! This amazing pilot and line supervisor for Southwest Airlines was feeling the LUV as he demonstrated his proficiency of being able to fly without looking out the window. No more reporting “Bread” but he hit the marks, landed back into KRNO, and heard the congratulatory words. Cory has been a staple around GBA for a few years and he has been flying/studying as much as he can in between finishing up school (which he is now a UNR alumni!!), flying, and advancing in his career at Southwest. C172 maintenance flights to Minden are his specialty as he is often called up to help us move planes around. He has been a joy around the office and ramp and we look forward to a quick transition into his commercial. Awesome job to Cory and his persistence on earning the next step in his path to a career in aviation. Congratulations as well to his CFII Cody Lucero!
What does an engineer say when you tell him he can’t name two structures that hold water? “Well, dam”. But that’s certainly not what this engineer said after his checkride because guess what? He passed!!! That’s right, Trevor Shamblin is a newly minted Private Pilot! He might be notorious for forgetting to close the baggage door before starting up (sorry Trev, we aren’t letting that one go) but he didn’t forget how to nail each maneuver his examiner asked him to perform on this big day! Trevor didn’t allow the recent winter storms to hold up his progress as he filled those no-fly days with countless hours studying ground school topics that propelled him towards success! What a great accomplishment as him and his wife get ready to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday! Congratulations Trevor!
How does a bartender get to know his customers? He establishes a good re-pour (haha). How does a bartender solo an aircraft? By working hard and consistently meeting the requirements for solo! That is what mixologist Colin Powell did today at KRTS runway 08!! He was pretty fly for a Mai Tai as he logged PIC time in his favorite plane, N328ME. Call him neat and a little old fashioned, but he is killing it on the traditional 6-pack aircraft. In all seriousness, Colin has been great to work with. Extremely focused on his flying and his ground studies. Like most, weather has delayed his motivated progress, but the hard work paid off. No pour decisions made. Best day yet for Colin in achieving this most memorable milestone! We are so hoppy for you! Congratulations as well to his instructors Kevin Marshall and Troy Ware! Sip back and relax and celebrate!
Tara Tate is a soloed pilot!! Runway 26 at KRTS will be a runway she’ll never forget. Today she flew N752DW for her first several laps of true freedom. Her CFI, Troy Ware, watched her from the ramp as Tara flew this most memorable flight. If the word persistence took on a human form, it would be Tara. She has had obstacle after obstacle on her path and never gave up. Persist until you succeed, which she did. Huge congratulations to soloed pilot Tara Tate!! That PIC column is now in use! You are an inspiration. Awesome job as well to her instructor Troy!
All posts are either written by Great Basin Aviation's staff or shared articles from other aviation sites. Source will be referenced in post.