Sky High


Junior Ateev Gupta flies as a student pilot at Montgomery Aviation

By Chris liPhoto / Conner Gordon
<[email protected]>

When did you first begin flying?
Somewhere between eighth grade and ninth grade, I took a demo flight. And then, probably a few months later, I started going more regularly.

What prompted you to start flying?
I’ve always had an interest in flying. I guess in middle school, Mr. Davis had a tech-ed class. We did an assignment over planes, and that really got me interested and gave me my overall interest in planes, pushing me further in my interests.

How often do you fly? Where do you go?
I fly at Montgomery Aviation, otherwise known as Indiana Executive Airport. I used to fly every two weeks, but recently, since money’s been a bit short, I haven’t been flying for the past couple months.

Does your family support you in this?
Oh yeah. My mom would come with me on almost all the flights. My dad is kindly paying for my flights. My brother sometimes goes, but he doesn’t have the time. I mean, they’re all for the idea of flying. It’s something they want me to do.

How many hours do you need?
There are no official hours to solo flight, but the minimum, to pass the FAA test, there’s 40 hours.

Besides hours, are there any other requirements?
You also have to pass a test. When you do all those hours, you go through all the training, allowing you to go through cross country, navigation (and) safety (training).

Do you ever find flying overlaps with your regular schedule?

Not really. I’ve tried to keep it on weekends only, and since it’s only two hours of my day, it’s not that big of a deal. I do say that some of the research and learning that you have to do does take up some time.

Do you have any role models?
I guess my instructor would be a major role model. He has done everything I’ve pretty much wanted to
do in flying. He owns his personal acrobatic plane. He’s flown some fighter jets in the army, and now
he’s flying wherever he wants. Instead of paying for planes and security, he is able to fly wherever he

How has flying affected your life?
It hasn’t really affected my life yet other than being something cool to introduce with. I do expect that in
the future it will be very useful.

Do you plan on continuing flying?
I plan on flying for the rest of my life.