Monday, October 18, 2010

16 Year Old Shryock: Solos before Drivers License

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett
Pastor Holy Rosary Mission

Congratulations to Pat Shryock from Naknek, Alaska. The 16 year old flew solo in his parent's Cessna 172, Thursday, October 14, 2010, at South Naknek. Pat actually flew solo in the airplane before receiving his driver’s license


South Naknek is a gravel runway just across the river from Naknek. While relaxing at Saint Theresa two weeks ago I was monitoring the frequency 122.9 and heard the professional sounding young man practicing his landings in the pattern. His father Pat senior was instructing him.


Pat’s dad is a pilot for Penair in King Salmon and is a “Double I” flight instructor. Last week I asked him if Pat Junior had soloed yet. He said something like, “I think he is ready, but I don’t know if I am!”

During practice the first week of October, before he soloed, Pat junior wanted to take a couple of young ladies from high school flying with him. His flight instructor dad reminded Pat that he does not have his license yet and “I am coming with you.” Pat senior said that his son was a little distracted after the flight with the girls because he left the cargo door unlatched and had to go back and lock it up.

After Mass Sunday I asked the young aviator about his first solo flight on Thursday, October 14. He said, “I was REALLY excited.” He told me after that first landing he took-off again and did several more touch-and-goes.


Not too many people get to solo an airplane before getting a drivers license. After Mass at Saint Theresa in Naknek on Sunday, October 17, 2010, while Mary, Pat’s mom, was counting the collection, Pat and his 14 year old sister Jennifer were waiting in the car. They actually raced to the car and by the looks of it, Jennifer won. Both wanted to get a little driving practice in because both have their driving permits.


Pat and his sister Jennifer vying for that driver's seat.


Fly safe out there!

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