Tea Area senior Ethan Soma is ready to soar.
Soma, who got bit by the flying bug about three years ago, decided to pursue getting his pilot’s license last summer. After passing his written and oral exams, he now has his private pilot’s license.
“In the future I want to be an airlines or corporate (pilot),” Soma said.
Soma flies out of Legacy Aviation at the Tea Airport. He rents a Piper Warrior, which is the same plane that he learned in.
Soma got interested in flying when he went on a flight with a friend who lives near Lake Vermillion. His friend flies a 737 for Southwest.
Soma’s parents have been very supportive.
“They encouraged it the whole way. They were always telling me to get it done and keep doing it,” he said.
Since he already has his private pilot’s license, Soma said that should take at least a semester off of his post-secondary education. Once he graduates from Tea Area in May, Soma plans to attend Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown. He plans to get his commercial pilot’s license so he can fly for a company.
When he goes up, he likes to take some friends to show them what it is like. His friends think it is pretty cool. When he goes flying, he usually takes two friends with him.
Soma said the hardest part of getting his license was studying for the two tests. While people can come back and take the oral exam if they do not pass the first time, Soma made it through on the first time.
“You never know what they’re going to ask you, so you have to study everything,” Soma said.