Parker Overstreet Flying Solo

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Cooper Bourdon '11

“So Parker, do you want to solo?” asked Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) flight instructor Ryan Koch.  Parker hesitated, but nodded his head and in his usual respectful manner replied, “Yes sir.”  

On Monday July 25, 2016, at Front Royal-Warren County Airport, R-MA student Parker Overstreet ’17 flew an aircraft with nobody else inside the cockpit next to him for the first time.  He has been flying for a year now and enjoys every second spent in the wild blue yonder.  

It is no small task to man an aircraft by yourself, especially as a 17-year-old high schooler.  “As soon as Mr. Koch got out of the plane I started to shake a bit,” admitted Overstreet.  However, the young man would prove to be bigger than the excitement of the situation.  He performed four take-offs and four landings without missing a beat and spent one hour in the air executing different maneuvers and stalls in the practice area.

Overstreet loves to fly.  He is determined to obtain his private pilot’s license by the time he graduates from R-MA in the spring of 2017.  “I still have to do a night flight, a cross country flight, take the knowledge exam, and get some more hours under my belt,” said Overstreet, “but I’ll get there.”

The flight training program at R-MA is the only one of its kind at the private secondary school level in the United States. Flying lessons are available to all Upper School students, with priority given to seniors and juniors.  Per FAA regulations, students must be 16 to solo and 17 to test for their private pilot certification.

Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA's , and have the opportunity to learn to fly through a unique flight program. The Academy also offers several summer programs. R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, VA.