By Kate Lee,
When most high school students think about getting their license, they picture themselves driving a car. But ever since Wiley Wilson saw his first air show back in sixth grade, flying airplanes has been on his mind. Wilson, a born-and-raised Davis senior, is now nearing the end of the year-long licensing process and needs just a couple more hours in the air to get his pilot’s license.
“I’ve always thought that planes were really cool,” Wilson said. “And here I am now flying at the local airport!”
Throughout the duration of his licensing process, Wilson has flown mostly Cessna 172N and S models, but he has recently started flying the Cessna 152 as well.
“I feel like I’m in a state of peaceful chaos [when I’m flying planes],” Wilson said. “I can look around on a clear day and see everything in the valley. Yet at the same time, I have to make sure everything is functioning, know where I’m going and talk on the radio.”
The licensing process includes in-air time with an instructor who guides beginning pilots through basic flight maneuvers and simulated emergency landings. Wilson said that the hardest part so far has been the spin recovery, in which he has to recover from a spiraling stall going straight toward the ground.
Wilson’s proudest moment in his flying experience so far has been when he made his first landing.
“[My first landing] was just so smooth that I hardly knew I had touched the ground,” he said.
Wilson plans on continuing to fly in the future. He wants to go into aeronautical engineering in college, and then fly for the U.S. Navy.
When Wilson is not up in the air, he can often be found zooming around in a sailboat or running through town. He is a member of the high school Sailing Club, as well as the Davis High track and cross-country teams. He also spends time in German Club.
“I’ve just recently started sailing because it’s fun to feel like a pirate and chase your friends on the lake,” Wilson said. “And running is just something I’ve done my entire life and it helps me have a moment of zen on busy days.”