By Sophie Guerrero
Panther Press Contributor
Suddenly the serene air was filled with the buzz of a small aircraft that was about to take off and scrape the cloudless sky.
At the age of 16, Alexander Guerrero’s ambition to fly a plane was sparked when he frequently flew to different parts of the world with his family.
“I had gotten so used to being in a plane, that I wanted to know more about its fascinating structure,” said Guerrero.
His parents, Irma and Edward, noticed his interests and gave him a book, aptly titled, “Airplanes,” filled with the different aircraft which Guerrero spent his leisure time reading and studying. “After reading it countless times, I knew every single plane that was currently flying by the sound of its engine,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero’s mother, Irma, supported her son’s interests.
“I was amazed at how a small child new so much about airplanes, usually at a young age most boys are interested in cars, but I knew he was unique and special in his own ways”, she said.
During the summer of 2011, the young teen decided to further investigate airplanes. Fortunately his parents found an airfield near their Ohio home that would educate Guerrero in flying a plane.
Guerrero could not contain his excitement on his first day, but he soon realized the process of flying a plane would require lots of patience.
“When I first entered the facility, I had expected to enjoy myself, but it turned out to be another math class,” Guerrero joked. “The instructor was explaining how we had to learn the parts of the airplane and how to know the control board before we could fly. It was something that I was not looking forward to doing for the rest of the summer,” he said.
Guerrero’s hard work finally paid off when he learned he would finally be flying a plane the next summer. The first day back on the airfield, Guerrero and his instructor reviewed concepts, and practiced how take care of the aircraft.
“The first plane that I flew was a small plane in size. It was a Cecna 172, and I called it my bug, because when I flew it for the first time the engine sounded like a bee.”
The magical moment finally came for Guerrero’s first solo flight, the ultimate test of his knowledge. This was a big day for the young pilot and he needed an audience to support his first flight.
His parents were sent up to the control tower to watch their son fly his first plane. “I was scared to see him take off in a plane, I was hoping he knew what he was doing,” said his father, Edward Guerrero.
As Guerrero aligned his airplane on the runway, he first tested his wings and then slowly the ground began to rumble.
As the young pilot soared through the sky, his audience began to clap and cheer. Some, unsurprisingly, were crying tears of joy.
“Once I was in the air I felt all the stress rise from my shoulders, it was an amazing opportunity for me.” As Guerrero landed, he greeted everybody with a smile on his face and a new sense of courage and dignity.
“When I was younger I always wanted to be a bird, to fly free and see the world beneath me and feel the air, touch the clouds. Now I know how that feels.”
Disclaimer: Alex Guerrero is the older brother of PVI student Sophie Guerrero, the author of this article.