Ivy Yanek, a student in EMU at Lancaster’s aviation program, poses for a photo after her first solo flight earlier this month. Students in the four-year aviation program begin flight school in their first semester and will eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in leadership and organizational management and several flight certifications. (Photo courtesy of Aero-Tech Services, Inc.)

First solo flights with EMU at Lancaster student-pilots: Meet Ivy Yanek

Ivy Yanek – a first-year student in Eastern Mennonite University’s new leadership and organizational management bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in aviation – has completed her first solo flight.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, resident was the very first inquiry into the EMU program, during her senior year of high school. After graduating in 2017, she took classes at a community college in anticipation of enrolling.

Yanek soloed on Oct. 19. Her flight instruct is Michael Hornberger with Aero-Tech Services, Inc.

She answered a few questions about her passion for flying:

Why are you interested in aviation, and when did you make the decision that this was in your future?

I am constantly amazed at the ingenuity, the creativity and the passion that is within the aviation industry. A few hundred years ago if you told someone that humans would be able to fly through the sky, you would have been called delusional. Yet today it is our reality. I want to spend the rest of my life appreciating the glory of being able to fly through the skies. I officially decided to join the aviation field when I was in 10th grade.

What was your first solo experience like?

My first solo experience was filled with anticipation, fear and the underlying desire to prove my abilities. I remember taking off and realizing that I was hundreds of feet in the air. I fully understood that I was solely responsible for managing the aircraft, and it was up to me to bring myself safely to the ground. As my wheels gently touched down on the runway during my landing, the feelings of success and accomplishment after many hours of hard work were overwhelming. It was an experience that I will forever have etched in my mind.

Did you do anything special to celebrate this big step in your career?

I didn’t have any special celebration, but I made sure to tell everyone I know about the event.

Why did you choose Lancaster at EMU for your professional preparation?

I chose EMU at Lancaster because it is a small, tight-knit campus that I believe can offer me a lot of options and insight into the aviation field. The campus is also located very close to home for me, and the airport is only 15 minutes away.

What have you most enjoyed about the program?

The small classes, the comfortable environment and Aero-Tech Services, Inc., itself. The small classes allow for easy and effective group discussion, which was something I’ve always desired in a classroom. The environment at the Lancaster campus is very comfortable, as the staff is always friendly. Aero Tech Services is an excellent training facility, and I am glad that I can fully trust the instructors, mechanics and staff to offer me the best aviation experience I can receive.

What are your professional goals?

My professional goals primarily are to become an airline pilot. I want to work for a major airline, where I can begin doing international flights.

Discussion on “First solo flights with EMU at Lancaster student-pilots: Meet Ivy Yanek

  1. Ivy, I am so proud of you! Just keep following your passions and you will have an amazing and rewarding career.

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