Eagle’s Nest Projects – Westosha Central High School (WI)
Introducing Josh Engberg – Central High School’s most recent “1st solo” pilot.
Please welcome Josh to the VAF community, and if you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for Josh, please share that too. We’re all proud of you Josh… keep up the great work!
Remarks from Josh:
“I felt nervous as I began my first solo flight, but it quickly turned into one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. Being the only passenger in the plane made it handle very differently; it felt very light and maneuverable. I feel blessed that God put Mr. Senft, Mr. Putra and the Eagle's Nest Project in my life because I want to pursue an aviation career. All the mentors and donors are so dedicated to the students. I know only a handful of students get this opportunity; it's amazing that I'm one of them!”
Remarks from Josh’s instructor, Mr. John Putra, CFI:
“We have had a real good stretch of weather the last week, and February 21 was no exception. It was 60 degrees in South East Wisconsin. All the snow had melted, and I was even able to enjoy some "Dairy Air" from the farm fields surrounding the Burlington Airport. The winds were 250 at 4 knots.
Josh Engberg has been a quick learner, and he has always grasped the concepts quickly. His solo flight was delayed a few months due to FAA paperwork issues as well as an unforgiving 2 months of bad flying weather - In stark contrast to today. Josh and I met just after 3pm, and after a thorough preflight inspection and reviewing his pre-solo-written, we fired up RV-12 N904EN and headed out for a short dual lesson. Josh flew the traffic pattern well, and performed the requisite tasks (Simulated engine failure, go-around, and 3 normal landings). I told him to drop me off, gave him instructions to do 3 more traffic patterns, and reminded him how well the plane might perform without my dead weight sitting next to him.
I watched as he taxied back to runway 29, did a short run up, then was airborne! Josh's first solo flight went off without a hitch, in fact for such a nice day, I was surprised there was no one else taking advantage of the weather. Josh and N904EN had the entire airport to themselves. Josh came around the pattern and after slipping the plane on final to lose some altitude, he made what looked to be a great landing.
After completing 2 more circuits he met me back at the club hangar, we took pictures and, of course, cut his blue "Student Builder" shirt tail.
Josh Engberg is the fourth student from the CHS Aviation Club that has completed their First Solo Flight in the RV-12 they helped build. He is also the fourth student from the program to complete his First Solo Flight in the last year. I'm thankful to have worked with each of them, and am looking forward to continuing to Josh and others attain their private pilot license!”
Remarks from Jim Senft, Project Director-Eagle’s Nest Wisconsin:
“The Eagle’s Nest program is truly I life changing experience and valuable resource for the Westosha Central High School. The Eagle’s Nest program provides us the resources to develop STEM program based around the fundamentals of aviation. As a result, we have been able to raise the level of knowledge and skills in the area of science, technology, engineering and math. Our program not only builds these necessary skills, it also exposes students, teachers, students, and community members to the aerospace field. Our first completed build project, “Falcon One”, has been flying for just over one year and the aircraft has been available to students for flight instruction and other educational proposes. Students have put nearly 300 hours on this aircraft in that first year. Our program also stresses critical 21st-century skills, such as communication and teamwork. Our curriculum involves both student-directed and teacher-led curricula to create a powerful and effective STEM experience. The support we get from the Eagle’s Nest is helping to ensure that we can become self-sustainable and to continue to provide this is a life-changing program to our students.
Josh is just the latest student to solo in Falcon One. Josh has an amazing natural ability to fly an aircraft. I can recall a fight with Josh on a not so nice day in Wisconsin. We had a cross wind of 8 knots for runway 29 at KBUU with ceiling at 2500 AGL. We planned to stay in the pattern to practice Takeoff and Landings. Josh had only booked 8 hours of flight time in Falcon One. After a thorough preflight, Josh taxied to plane to 29 for takeoff. Takeoff was smooth and precise. First trip around the pattern: Was perfect, Nice crosswind correction and flew a nice rectangle pattern, spot on with altitude and airspeed. He turned that into a nice landing. Second trip around the pattern was much the same; however, this time I made him do a spot landing on the third strip. He landing it nose gear on the centerline and mains touchdown on the third strip. All I said, Taxi back and do it again. Great words of encouragement. Third time around was again much the same. He landed the aircraft on the third strip. More encouragement from me, taxi back and do it again. Fourth time was the same, with more wonderful encouragement from me. After the fifth time of flying a perfect traffic pattern and landing on the third strip landing, feeling defeated and not giving him any meaningful instruction, I said taxi me back to the hanger. Did you forget that he only had 8 hours of instruction at this point and the crosswind was 8 knots. Josh will become an amazing pilot.”
APRS tracks of N904EN “Falcon One” >> HERE
300 hours of instruction in 12-months!