Connor Gust of Oakdale flew his first solo on October, 15 2011, flying a Cessna 172. Connor graduated Oakdale High School in 2010 and is now attending College at Columbia. Connor started the Private Pilot ground school this past summer at Modesto Aviation and recently passed the Private Pilot written examination. He has been flying with Flight Instructor Pat Titus who is also teaches the ground school course.
Connor first flew on May 26, 2001 in the family?s 1952 Cessna 170B flown by his uncle at the Oakdale airport receiving his Young Eagle certificate. The Experimental Aviation Association, (EAA) sponsors the Young Eagles program which introduces kids from age 5 to 17 to aviation. The Oakdale EAA Chapter 90 has participated in the program since its inception and puts on several rallies each year.
For the past 10 years Connors? interest in aviation has grown, flying with his uncle to fly-ins and airshows, and most recently working as a Volunteer at the ?Thunder Over the Valley? show in Santa Maria California. ?I am extremely proud of his accomplishment, flying an airplane by yourself for the first time is a big deal, you will remember that moment for the rest of your life? Said his uncle Doug Echelberger. Connor now has about 15 flying hours out of the minimum 40 hours required for his Private Pilot?s license. He and his uncle purchased a Cessna 152 and have been fixing it up and hope to have it flying in the near future.