Vedu Ruia prepares to get his flying license

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While some students look forward to getting a driver’s license, junior Vedu Ruia is preparing to get a flying license.

Since he was young, Ruia has always been fascinated by planes. “The first time [that] I flew on an airplane, I knew it was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Ruia said. He thought that the concept of being thousands of feet above the ground in control of a plane was intriguing.

His training began after he took an introductory flight at the Peter O. Knight Airport, at a local flight school. In order to get his permit, Ruia had to train with an instructor. “It wasn’t too difficult for me [to train] but I’ve heard it can be for some people,” Ruia said.

Now that he’s able to fly alone, he feels more independent but has to think deeply about everything he does. Many people do not know about the intricacies of flying and how difficult it can be for some. “You have to be really good at communicating with other people through the radio, you have to have a lot of hand-eye coordination and actually you use your feet for the rudder,” Ruia said. He rents a plane, typically a Cessna 172, from the local airport and flies once or twice a week. “I usually fly to nearby airports like Lakeland, Punta Gorda or I just stay within the Tampa area and practice maneuvers,” Ruia said.

Ruia’s family supports him flying but does not completely approve of his hobby. “I don’t know if they like it, to be honest,” Ruia said, “They think it’s a little dangerous but that’s fine with me.”

Once he turns 17, Ruia will be able to get a flying license, allowing him to carry passengers other than certified flight instructors. “I don’t know whether its gonna be for fun or as a career, but … all I know right now is that I want to do it for the rest of my life.”

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