Name a favorite after school activity? Video games, sports, get lost on tik tok…or go fly! Christian McCabe is cut from a different mold and flying it always is. Today, after school, he came into GBA and took a flight with Troy Ware in N670CS. And he was glad he did because he soloed at KRNO, runway 17L! This amazing young man left Troy on the sidelines and took to the sky to log his most memorable PIC time. Christian is such a smart guy and super focused on his future. He will earn his private pilot while still attending high school. Then the plan is to head to Auburn or Embry Riddle to complete his degree and advanced flight training. Not to mention he is always dressed to impress and constantly smiling. This is such a huge accomplishment for a young student. His dedication will carry him far in this industry. It has been incredible watching Christian succeed. It would be even more incredible if he would get his knowledge test done (hint, hint Christian). Be so proud of this amazing milestone!! Congratulations as well to his instructors Austin White and Troy Ware!
James Butler is a soloed pilot!! Today at KRTS James soloed in N670CS on runway 08. James took advantage of this break in the weather and kicked Austin out of the cockpit and took to the sky. James has had an interesting path…served in the United State Marine Corps and is now an accountant but looking for a little more thrill (we cannot blame you and no offense to accountants). Started his flight training at John Wayne Airport, soloed here at Reno, then will get finished up after he soon moves to Alaska. You might have seen James out on the road too. He is that one insane guy on his motorcycle coming from Washoe Valley in the freezing temps. After his legs get their feeling back, he hops in the plane and enjoys yet another thrill. At least the plane has a heater. Awesome job to James and the team of instructors who have coached him to this amazing milestone!! Your huge smile and big guns (his arms) that can’t fit into a solo shirt will be missed around GBA. Best of luck in Alaska! Maybe leave the motorcycle here :)
Chris Leeper soloed today!! Runway 26 at KRTS will always hold a special spot in Chris’ heart as that is where he logged his first solo time. Nothing like a surprise 10 knot crosswind sneaking up on a first solo too, but he handled it like a pro. Chris is used to working under pressure being a site manager for an oil and gas development company in Alaska. The cold morning temps are a heat wave for the usual subzero temps he is in. He works two weeks on/two weeks off and we are so lucky that Chris spends his two weeks home, here at GBA (sarcasm font). Between flights at GBA, he is working on ground school, spending time with his wife, dogs, home improvements, bugging office staff at the flight school, and careening down steep switchbacks on his mountain bike. He is looking to get his private pilot for the love and fun of flying and is now one step closer. Awesome job Chris!! Congratulations as well to his instructors Troy Ware and Matt Helleckson!
Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with love, joy, blessings, and endless moments of holiday cheer! Plus football, good wine, and tasty desserts :)
Derek Davis is a commercial pilot!! Normally he spends his weekdays working with and selling concrete masonry products, but today he played hooky so he could fly. And it was so worth it! Some lazy eights, chandelles, eights on pylons, steep spirals, then wrap it up with a power-off 180 to earn this awesome certificate. Derek not only works full time plus for his day job, he coaches youth football, works the GBA line on the weekend, hits the gym, and, most importantly, is preparing for his biggest, most rewarding job yet, becoming a Dad! Derek and his beautiful wife Staci are expecting a baby boy after the New Year. Now the CFI training starts too. Knowing Derek, he is working on his lesson plans tonight :) Great job Derek and congratulations to both Derek and his CFI Cody Lucero!!
Justin Cooper is electrifying!! Today even more so, as this local electrician passed his checkride and is now a private pilot. Justin was ex-static walking out of the room after passing the oral exam portion. Into the plane this superconductor left the ramp in N752DW without resistant. Justin has been studying non-stop until it hertz. Now he can relax and enjoy the current reality, he is a certificated pilot! Justin is a former Marine Corps Infantryman and served as a SAW gunner. He is definitely no stranger to hard work and perseverance. He can relax a little now and celebrate with his wife and kids while picking out which Cub he wants to buy so he can go explore more than 9,000 feet of paved runway. Awesome job Justin!! Huge congratulations to him and his CFI Kurtis Hornung. Remember, with this great power comes great current squared times resistance.
Talk about a Power On 180! Today one of our local-area glider pilot instructors, Preston Parrish, decided to solo an airplane with one of those spinny things out front. This Glider CFI took the plunge to powered aircraft and flew like a pro. He soloed N670CS, runway 08 at Stead while his instructor, Kurtis Hornung, shivered on the sidelines in this cold fall air. Preston shared the pattern with some aircraft just a bit faster than a C172 (pictured), but no biggie, there was room for everyone. Congratulations, Preston! On to finish up your rating and then bigger and fancier airframes (which are nothing more than gliders with spinny things). Great job to Preston and Kurtis!
Andrew Spanier, weekend line tech extraordinaire and enemy of extended flaps (he has the scar to prove it), is now an instrumented rated pilot!! The man who reorganizes our hangar every time he has an OCD fit , flew N40RF with precision even with using 35R rather than our usual 17L. Nothing like the surprise of switched runways the morning of a checkride. Obviously, he has the skill set to make the adjustment because he hopped out of the cockpit with a huge smile on his face knowing he passed. Andrew is an accountant by day, pilot by night. Master of the spreadsheet which unfortunately does not carry over to his logbook organization (ask Jack about that one). Now that this checkride is complete, he can have the night off, then start on commercial tomorrow. When you see him on the ramp on Saturdays make sure to tell him congratulations! Awesome job Andrew and great job to his CFII Jack Darlington too!
Northern Nevada has a new CFI! Dominic Puntoriero dominated the sky in N421RW today teaching the examiner a thing or two. And what a beautiful day to fly this tough checkride! Dominic is no stranger to success. His aviation journey started when he was young when he soloed a helicopter at 16. He went on to earn his rotorcraft commercial certificate and all his fixed wing ratings up to CFI. Calling Dominic a go-getter is an understatement. He sets his mind to something and gets it done. Earning his CFI today is just another example. Huge congratulations to Dominic on this awesome achievement! Great job as well to his CFI Danny Britson!
James Morgan can now exercise the privileges under 61.133!! If that makes no sense, it means he is now a Commercial Pilot! This pilot extraordinaire took the examiner through some chandelles, lazy 8s, power off 180, even some spiraling steep turns and then greased it back into KRNO and heard the words we all want to hear, “congratulations!” James is an incredible aviator, hard worker, and always has a smile on his face. He has been part of GBA for a couple years and it has been awesome watching him progress. James is heading to the hill tomorrow to celebrate by shredding some pow-pow. If no broken bones, next step is CFI. Awesome job to James and his CFI Danny Britson!
All posts are either written by Great Basin Aviation's staff or shared articles from other aviation sites. Source will be referenced in post.