Life was a lot different in high schools across New York in the late 80s and early 90s because schools offered a variety of unique continuing education programs for both students and their parents that went beyond the scope of traditional subjects.
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I was in middle school and my uncle was in high school when he decided that he wanted to learn how to fly because he had dreams of becoming a pilot. Thanks to a continuing education course at his Upstate New York high school, he and his parents were able to attend flight school.
My grandparents, excited at my uncle's passion for flying decided to, upon my uncle completion of flight school, buy a small aircraft, and the family continued their lessons at our local county airport.
Thanks to the continuing education course at flight school offered by his high school, my uncle with the big dreams of becoming a pilot went on to fly fighter jets and would become a high-ranking official in the United States Air Force.
A story out of Niskayuna, a suburb of Albany, caught my eye because not only is Niskayuna my family's hometown, but another young man with a passion for flying has made the news and for an extraordinary reason.
Kevin Tully celebrated his 16th birthday last Sunday by flying from the Albany International Airport to the Saratoga County Airport, and back all by himself. This means Tully legally flew an airplane solo before he could legally drive a vehicle and was the youngest person in control of an aircraft in the sky on Sunday. 
Tully obtained an FAA student pilot's license at the age of 14 but his flight on Sunday was the first time he was able to take full and solo control of the airplane.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires a person to be at least 14 years old before they can obtain their student pilot license to fly gliders and balloons. At the age of 16, a person can get their student pilot license. At the age of 17, a teenager can get their sport, recreational, and private licenses, and at the age of 18, a person is legally allowed to get their commercial pilot license.

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