Alan Ortega Lopez Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Photography by Lindsay Nalley Photography Indiana Issue 18
The Nomination: Alan Ortega Lopez's senior sessions was one of my favorites. He has accomplished so much for only being a senior. He currently holds his Private Pilot Certificate (PPL). He is taking online ground school and will be going to the Lift Academy in June. In approx. 7 months he will become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
How did your career in becoming a pilot begin? When I was a little boy, I would always watch Jay-Jay the airplane and I always dreamed of flying. When I went on a trip to California with my grandma, I was looking out the window at the airplanes landing and taking off. I thought it would be awesome to just travel all over the place and look at the world in a whole different perspective. As I was sitting in the airplane waiting for us to taxi to the runway, I kept brainstorming all these questions about how airplanes can lift all the weight and what keeps them in the air? Once we got to our destination, I googled what it took to become a pilot. I watched videos and documentaries about aviation in general the whole time. When we finally got home, I called my local airport in Daviees County and met Eric Seber who took me up in a Discovery flight. I was able to fly the airplane for about 10 minutes. It was then that I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I later got my PPL at Midwest Aerosports.
What is your favorite part about being involved in the pilot business? The thing I love most about being in the aviation business is that I constantly make new friends and mentors through networking at airports. I have met various mentors throughout this journey. However, I love flying to different airports for lunch with my friends or other pilots to talk about our training and about aviation in general and how new regulations may affect general aviation. I also love to travel to new places and eat what we call the $100-dollar burger.
Tell me about the Lift Academy you will be attending in June. The Lift Academy is in Indianapolis, Indiana and is in association with Republic Airlines. This academy teaches the students how to be ready for the airlines and uses state of the arch technology to create a well and knowledgeable learning environment for the students. The academy gives students a direct pathway to Republic Airlines where student can see themselves sitting on the right seat of an E-170, E-175 as a first officer and work up to a captain position in about 3 years. Republic started this academy in order to cope with the pilotage shortage. However, before becoming a first officer with Republic, while at LIFT students will become certified flight instructors (CFI) to reach the 1500+ hours to meet FAA regulations.
If someone wanted to be a Pilot, like yourself, what advice would you give them? If someone wanted to become a pilot like me I would recommend them to research around for the different flight schools that they could attend near their area and that they shouldn't settle for the first flight school they come across. There are many flight schools to choose from. Once they pick the right flight school for them, they need to find A CFI that fits their learning style because it will make their training way better and allow them to be knowledge of the learning material. Also, to work hard for their dream of becoming a pilot. It takes a lot of work, time, money and dedication to become a pilot but at the end of the day you will be doing what you love the most and will be investing in your own future.
What are some of the planes you wish to fly in the future and why? Some of the airplanes I want to fly in the future would be a TBM,A380, and a Beachcraft King air. The reason I would love to fly these airplanes is because each different type and category of aircraft creates a new base of learning that airplane the airplanes listed above have various avionics systems that would require a lot of training to fully become familiar with the airplane and its components. Also, each one generates a different challenge for the pilots in some way shape or form and by adding various aircraft types increases the pilots experience which is the best thing a pilot can do. As a good CFI says, "A good pilot is always learning" (Jason Shapert).
Alan will be featured in Issue 18 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.