"You're up in the air and it's total freedom"

By Lakecia Shockley - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Colorado high schooler James Tillontson loves flying airplanes.

"I've loved aviation since I was a little kid," said Tillontson. "It's all I've ever wanted to do. Airplanes have been my dream to fly. That moment when the wheels leave the ground, there's nothing like it. It's amazing."

Tillontson is just one of the students here who wants to eventually take to the sky. For him, his mission is to travel to third world countries and offer aid. But before they lend a helping wing, they first must learn to fly.

"Today, the highlight is definitely going to be when I get up in the plane and I get to handle the controls and I get to fly it," said Ciara lawson of North Carolina. "That is going to be awesome!"

"They're going to learn how to stir the aircraft from the ground which you use your feet which is not what you would normally think of if you drive a car," said Fred Ritchey, Aeronautical Science Dean. "They use their hands to pitch the airplane."

"You're up in the air and it's total freedom. It's really cool," said Ciara Lawson, a North Carolina student.

From the air, students got a first hand look and feel of what it's like to fly, but for James he has already gotten a head start at the age of 18.

"I've been working on getting my private pilot's license and I'm about 10 hours from that," said Tillontson. "I have a few more steps and then I'm there."

He is a well rounded young pilot who is on his way.

Throughout Aviation Mission Week, students will not just get flight time. They will also hang around the campus to get a feel for college life.