Students

Det. 017 cadets flying high toward private pilot licenses with Air Force scholarship

December 23, 2019

Air Force ROTC cadet Kayle Bell is getting a hand in achieving her goal to become an Air Force pilot, thanks to the AFROTC scholarship program “You Can Fly.”

Bell, a freshman from Pike Road, is working toward a private pilot’s license with a local flight school and is joined by junior Cadet Diego Martinez, of Montevallo, sophomore Cadet Georgia Ganster, of Montgomery, and freshman Cadet Catherine Ross, of Daphne.

“Being selected for this program is an amazing experience that opens many doors for me in the future,” Bell said. “My goal is to be a pilot in the Air Force. If those plans are changed, for whatever reason, this opportunity to learn is still something for which I’m extremely grateful.”

Ganster echoed Bell’s enthusiasm for flight and the program.

“The ‘You Can Fly’ program is an amazing opportunity for cadets to get introduced to the world of aviation. I have been flying since mid-June and have now accumulated around 30 hours of flying,” she said. “After being selected for the program, I have been able to go fly more often without worrying about the cost.”

While the program is intended to help cadets reach their “solo” flight, because Ganster has a head start, it will help get her closer to her private pilot’s license test.

Created in response to a shortage of pilots nationwide, the program is just one of many the Air Force is implementing to generate interest in aviation careers.

“These cadets were chosen based on their strong performance within the detachment and their desire to become Air Force pilots,” said detachment commander Lt. Col. Stephen Cox.

For cadets selected for the program across the country, it becomes more than just about aviation and future careers, however.

“Few people get this experience, so I feel extremely lucky and motivated for the future. The work I’ve put in over this small amount of time with AFROTC has already started to pay off, and that encourages me to push even harder,” Bell said.