It’s plane to see why Nathan Morin is so fly!! Today we are happy to announce he is a CFI!! Talk about “stick-with-it-ness.” Nathan has persevered life and training obstacles and came out the end with huge success. Fall, learn, get up and do it again (and again and again). Nothing keeps this hard-working guy down. You all know Nathan as our line tech, but rumor has it, he might be sporting the coveted blue polo soon. He was bugging Richard for a CFI interview before the ink on his commercial certificate was dry. Nathan is a zero to CFI student at GBA and definitely eats, breathes, and sleeps aviation. When Nathan is not pushing planes around and cleaning bellies, you usually see him propped up against a tow bar taking pictures of airplanes, eating his 5th lunch, or getting yelled at by office staff. In all seriousness, we could not be prouder of Nathan and the work, time, and investment he has put into earning this huge accomplishment. Plus the humility he has maintained since he walked into his first ground school class. Continue to be that inspiration Nathan! Congratulations and great job as well to his CFI Richard Brong!
Jaw ready for this? Shane McAlister, who usually spends a lot of his time in the water swimming and playing water polo, had a splashing good time today in N328ME at KRNO, runway 35R. His CFI Austin White never wondered “water you doing” as Shane logged that PIC time. And it went swimmingly. Yeah, buoy!! Back on the ramp, Austin got some good poolaroids. Like so many, Shane has had delays due to weather, but today he was back into swim of things. Hard work pays off! Today reiterated what a waterful life it is to be flying airplanes. Awesome job Shane!! Huge congratulations to Shane and Austin!!
Wait a second…two posts back-to-back for the marvelous Ann Leeper?! That's right, April's pilot of the month, Ann Leeper, kicked her flight instructor, Matthew Helleckson, out of the airplane at KRTS this morning (we don’t blame her) and "leeped" her way into the sky, soloing on runway 26! With friends and family actively watching her from thousands of miles away in Alaska, Ann had all eyes on her. Buttering all three landings, Matt urged her do another lap, but the mountain biker responded by saying "something always goes wrong when you say one more." Cool Ann fact; she soloed in the same plane, at the same airport, and same runway as her husband. She just did it better ;) When she's not here being an incredible pilot, you can find Ann out mountain biking, drinking a cup of Joe early in the morning on her deck, tolerating her husband Chris (another GBA pilot), or working hard as a local arborist. What an amazing accomplishment and a memorable morning before the winds hit. Huge congratulations to Ann and her instructors on this incredible milestone!!
Wake up, fly, gym, fly, sleep, repeat. That pretty much sums up Christian McCabe’s days. High School fits in there somewhere too. Today he may or may have not played a little hooky but it was for a good reason, he earned his Private Pilot Certificate!! Came in at 6am and walked out a few hours later as a certificated pilot. Talk about full immersion into aviation...he is here all the time (seriously, ALL THE TIME), flew more solo hours than dual (we could not keep him out of the sky), always sporting aviation gear, every conversation is about aviation, has started his model aircraft collection, wearing out his simulator at home, plane spotting, and now, once he graduates in June, taking his certificate to Embry-Riddle to continue on his path to a career in aviation. Begin with the end in mind, right? Today he began with that first hard-earned success on his goal to a permanent window office in the sky. Huge congratulations to Christian and his CFI Austin White!!
New York is known for many things. The city that never sleeps, fast-paced living, pizza, New York slang, and accents, to name a few. But, most importantly, New York State’s greatest “known for” is Pablo Stein, GBA’s most recent soloed student! Today Pablo logged his first PIC time in N670CS on runway 26 at KRTS! Does he need an instructor? Fuhgettaboutit. Pablo was mad good up there. Pablo recently moved to Reno from Rochester, NY and is loving this high sierra flying. His goal is to fly as a career and is today he hit that first milestone to an incredible life in the cockpit. Huge congratulations to Pablo and his CFI Ryan Mill! Stop by the bodega, get some mimosa fixin’s and celebrate your success!
Home of the free and the soloed! 🇺🇸Cole Atkinson soloed this evening at KRTS, runway 08 in N328ME. His CFI, David Lynn, watched from the ramp as Cole experienced that first taste of aviation freedom. Cole is no stranger to hard work. This incredible guy put in the time and effort to earn his American Citizenship last fall and also decided to take on another hard-earned task, his Private Pilot Certificate. Today was a huge step toward his aviation goal. Current mood: Cue the sparklers. Keep up that American Dreamin’ Cole! Huge congratulations to Cole and David on this memorable milestone! Sip on some libertea and celebrate like a Patriot!
Chris Buell soloed!! Runway 08 at KRTS will forever hold a special spot in this former Marine’s heart. That is where he greased his first four PIC take-offs and landings in beloved N37JA. His CFI Matt Helleckson watched from the ramp as Chris showed off his skills. And, like a Marine, he left no one behind. Despite the better climb performance, he still went back and picked up Matt and gave him a ride back to KRNO. Chris is such a joy, always has the biggest smile, shows up early, and even after spending a couple hours with Matt, he is still smiling when he leaves. Chris is making awesome progress toward his private pilot while working full time, flying his RC plane, and probably keeping his tactical skills up to speed. Already finished his ground school and written test with a brag worthy score. Awesome job Chris!! Huge congratulations to him and his CFI Matt!
***You all might think we are being too nice to a Marine, but we are saving the crayon jokes for his next milestone***
What do the Dallas Cowboys and the Postal Service have in common? Both don't deliver on Sundays. Ouch…the last thing we want to do is offend native Texan and loyal Cowboys fan Chris Rentfrow. However, unlike the Cowboys, Chris is able to celebrate success as today he earned his Private Pilot Certificate! Chris was worth putting a bet on (unlike the Cowboys). Would totally risk it for a brisket. Chris was well prepared and wide a-Waco heading into his early morning checkride. After demonstrating all the required maneuvers and procedures, Chris received that hard earned temporary certificate. Based on his huge smile it was definitely Fort Worth it! Chris is a busy guy. Runs a business here in Northern Nevada, travels back and forth to Texas for more work, and in his spare time enjoys fly fishing and shredding the pow-pow up at Northstar. Huge congratulations to Chris and his CFI Troy Ware!! Enjoy this success one sweet tea at a time.
Great Basin Aviation camp believe what a beautiful morning this is shaping up to be! Colin Powell (no not that one, which only those of us over 40 will understand) became a private pilot today! Colin spends his free time mixing drinks (for work) and spending time outdoors. Colin and camping are a perfect match. But today, he was in the air. No tent-sion at all when it came down to nailing his maneuvers. Between pitching tents and pitching for airspeed, this guy is very well versed. Colin is going to keep getting smore instruction to work towards his aviation dreams. We hope these camping puns don’t yurt you, but Colin is a very happy camper today! Huge congratulations to Colin and his CFI Kevin Marshall!
Today the “Finest of Finland,” Aki Nyrhinen, soloed at KCXP runway 27. It was no surprise that he was smiling ear to ear being he soloed, but also, he is from one of the happiest countries in the world. Finland is known for some awesome things…Saunas, home of Santa Claus, and now our most recent soloed student!! Aki kept his good spirits despite the constant weather cancellations that have plagued the flight schedule. It all came together today and now he can continue to move forward toward checkride. When he isn’t flying, he does have to work, but also is very into super endurance bike riding. Hyvää työtä Aki! Great job as well to his CFI Ryan Mill. Although, in all the excitement, they forgot a picture so here is Aki when he earned the coveted Pilot of the Month award in February. He looks the same, just a bigger smile :)
All posts are either written by Great Basin Aviation's staff or shared articles from other aviation sites. Source will be referenced in post.