Ian Calhoun, a student in EMU at Lancaster’s aviation program, poses for a photo after his 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 Lancaster’s student-pilots: Meet Ian Calhoun

To read more profiles of student-pilots, visit https://emu.edu/now/news/category/academics/emu-at-lancaster/

Ian Calhoun, a student in EMU Lancaster’s leadership and organizational management (LOM) bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in aviation, was the first among his cohort to solo at the Lancaster County Airport.

Calhoun hopes to travel the world some day as a commercial pilot. He recently flew solo for the first time on Oct. 9, which he described as “riveting.”

His flight instructor is Chris Dorsey, with Aero-tech Services. The company partners with EMU at Lancaster to provide flight training for the students.

Calhoun, who is from Bethlehem and now lives in Pequea, Pa., shares more about his experience in the aviation program below.

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

I am interested in aviation because it is so engaging, and each day I fly is different. I decided that this was my future when I took my discovery flight on June 12th at Aero-Tech Services, Inc. A discovery flight allows you sit in the pilot’s seat, just like you would if you were taking lessons. You get to fly the plane (with the help of your instructor). A discovery flight is available for a minimal cost. 

What was your first solo experience like?

My first solo experience was riveting, I was scared at first but I soon felt very comfortable in the plane. I was so thrilled because it marked a huge milestone in my journey to fulfilling my dream. I had to do a double take when Chris and I were in the aircraft and he told me I was going to solo. 

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

To celebrate, I took a trip back home to Bethlehem. I spent quality time with all of my family, and we all celebrated with a night out.   

Why did you choose EMU for your professional preparation?

I chose EMU because I could tell the program, and the teachers, really care about our success. With the small class size, the professors and staff are really focused on the student – I am not just a number in a lecture hall. 

What have you most enjoyed about the program so far?

I have enjoyed the new friends I have made, and truly being able to connect with my professors and classmates. The program is different each week as well. I get to fly three days a week which is amazing. The professors are also extremely engaging. We get to view various aviation exhibits on field trips, and we get to talk to many who were in the field of aviation. 

What are your professional goals?

I really want to fly commercially one day. Professionally, I would love to fly international routes from the United States and see the world. I would love to fly the larger, long haul aircraft. 

Discussion on “First solo flights with EMU Lancaster’s student-pilots: Meet Ian Calhoun

  1. This is so awesome Ian and beyond so proud of you. Keep up the good work as I know you will. Love Mamaw Calhoun

  2. Congratulations Ian!

    Welcome to Aviation. I know that you have what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Your contribution to your Cohort in Leadership Development shows that your leadership skills have a solid foundation.

    I was lucky to have students like you in my first Leadership Development class.

    Blue skies and tailwinds…

  3. Ian,this is brilliant. Good luck with the course and your career. I enjoyed being your writing class classmate.

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