While most of her classmates spent their summers lounging by the pool, Air Academy High School Senior Bonnie Yinger took part in a once in a lifetime opportunity. She spent two months learning how to fly as part of the Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy. The Flight Academy is an accelerated aviation program only for nominated and accepted JROTC cadets. After studying and spending about 50 hours in the air, she earned her private pilot’s license at the University of North Dakota.
“It taught me that yes, this is something that is definitely for me. I love flying, I love just the freedom with it,” said Bonnie Yinger, Air Academy Senior. “It’s a little bit like drinking out of a fire hose, we would wake up and it would be like ground school pretty much Monday through Thursday type of thing, and then we’d go and pretty much fly every day. It is definitely something that kids have to keep in mind you have to work really hard for. “
This summer was the first year of the flight academy, and less than 100 cadets nationwide earned their pilot’s license during the program. Bonnie still flies a couple of times each month here in Colorado Springs. After high school, she hopes to go to the Air Force Academy or the University of North Dakota where she will continue her new dream of flying.
“The fact that the Air Force decided to do this was really awesome. Being a part of kind of this small number, it fills me with pride. It makes me really happy,” said Yinger.