Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Young pilot soars thanks to lessonsSubmitted: 07/30/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas


RHINELANDER - If Tom Mckenzie had to pick his favorite place in the world, it just might be the sky.

"When I was younger, my grandpa took me up in a Cessna just like this and from then on, even though I was a young age, I just felt that I could do it for the rest of my life," said Mckenzie.

The "rest of his life" begins this fall.

He'll be an aviation student at the University of North Dakota.

But first, he wanted to get his pilot's license.

"He called up out of the blue; he's had an interest in this," said flight instructor Jeff Melau.

Mckenzie had his second lesson at Rhinelander Flying Service.

But before he hit the clouds, there's groundwork to do.

"Usually we start out with a little paperwork, we check the weather, make sure it looks fine to fly and then we go over to the pre-flight extension," said Mckenzie.

Mckenzie soared through the pre-flight check list, and finally, he was in the place he's always wanted to be.

"It's amazing. I'm just so happy when I'm up there and it's just such a great feeling. It's so hard to describe because it's just something that I've always wanted, I love," said Mckenzie.

This flight includes a little help from instructor Jeff.

"This guy is really into flying. I mean obviously he's going to go to school for it but he's just enthused. I think if he had his choice, we'd go right back up in the air right now," said Melau.

Over 14 years, Jeff has taught more than 100 students to fly.

"And I know when I sit in the airplane for a couple of hours and I don't do anything other than TALK, I know that they're at a proficient level and I know that I can solo them, in the airplane and feel confident that they're gonna be okay," said Melau.

Mckenzie still has a ways to go before he's flying solo.

But until then- he's content with just being in his favorite place.

"It's endless. And you can basically go wherever you want and do whatever you want. Just the possibilities," said Mckenzie.

And if you take a glance at the sky—you just might see him.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Matt Schulz from Wausau started snowmobiling soon after he could walk. He's been going to the Eagle River World Snowmobile Championships for years.

"I remember on Sundays always coming over and watching the big race on the hill as a little kid, dreaming one day to race in the world championship," said Schulz.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Dozens of Rhinelander students called in sick, forcing the district to shut down early last month. But
teachers weren't immune either. It got so bad that there weren't enough substitute teachers on hand to
fill in for the sick staff. The district is now recruiting more subs to be better prepared for another
outbreak.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - You often think of burgers and brats as football stadium food but there's apparently been a lot popcorn popping this Packers season.

On National Popcorn Day, Lambeau Field tweeted out that it made more than 16,000 pounds. of popcorn this season. 

But how does that compare to what a movie a theater makes in a year?

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A lot of people turn to antibiotics to get better when they get sick, but a Veterans Affairs clinic nurse wants elderly patients to avoid getting sick completely.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department welcomed three new officers to the force Friday. 

City Hall was full of city workers, police officers, firefighters, friends and family for the swearing-in ceremony. The officers are all excited to start serving the community and, in some cases, fulfill a lifelong dream.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Many students spend years after graduation paying off loan debt. It doesn't help that many students borrow more than they need to. 

The U.S. Department of Education tapped Rhinelander's own Nicolet College to participate in a nationwide experiment aimed at lowering student loan debt. 

+ Read More

MADISON - A suspect is charged with killing a western Wisconsin sheriff's deputy in October and endangering the safety of several other officers as they were arresting him.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday, Doug Nitek fatally shot Rusk County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Glaze on Oct. 29 after Glaze approached Nitek's vehicle. Glaze died of a gunshot wound to the head.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here