To read more profiles of student-pilots, visit https://emu.edu/now/news/category/academics/emu-at-lancaster/
Skylar Hashbarger is a student in EMU Lancaster’s leadership and organizational management (LOM) bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in aviation. Hashbarger, who hails from York, Pennsylvania, recently flew solo for the first time on Nov. 18 with Andy Fowkes.
Hashbarger was inspired to take up flying by her grandfather – she hopes to follow in his footsteps and become a commercial airline pilot after graduating.
Hashbarger writes more about her solo flight and her grandfather’s mentorship below.
What interests you about aviation? What led to you pursuing this career path?
I’ve always found it so fascinating! My grandfather has been the biggest impact! He gifted me my first lesson at Aerotech for my 15th birthday and I’ve been hooked ever since!
Why did you choose EMU for this leg of your education?
I believe I met with Denver [Groff, flight instructor] the summer before and he had so many good things to say about the program! I love how organized everything is which allows me to stress less about my schedule!
What was your first solo experience like? Anything like you expected?
It was great! I felt so free and so alive. I wasn’t that nervous which was very surprising to me. It felt like I was born to do it.
Did you do anything special to celebrate the flight?
My family and some friends went out to eat afterwards. After I landed I was gifted flowers, a necklace, and a t-shirt from my mother and a HUGE propeller from my grandfather! The production for this type of propeller was around the ‘20s in WWI. My propeller is not used, but I consider it to be very special still. It is six feet long and made of wood. I plan on mounting it to my wall.
What have you most enjoyed about the program so far?
I’ve really enjoyed flying with Andy. He makes it fun while keeping it educational. I’m also really grateful for the friends I have made so far!