Elizabethton school board honors EHS student for solo flight

Published 8:47 am Friday, October 17, 2014


Piloting an airplane solo is a task that would make most people feel weak in the knees, but for Elizabethton High School student William Schuettler, it was just “routine” business.
Schuettler is the second EHS student to complete a solo flight while still enrolled in EHS. Schuettler was recognized for his accomplishment during the scheduled Elizabethton Board of Education meeting Thursday night.
The school board did not have a quorum for the meeting and could not conduct business, but members did conducted the scheduled recognitions
Schuettler completed all four aviation classes at EHS and completed dual flights and training before going out on his solo flight on Sept. 20.
Aviation Instructor Dan Mills helped Schuettler prepare for his solo flight.
“William is one of the best,” Mills said. “He has a passion for aviation.”
Schuettler’s success in aviation wouldn’t have happened if his class schedule had worked out the way he had originally wanted it to.
“I didn’t want to do aviation at first,” Schuettler said. “I wanted to do culinary arts but it was full. I ended up loving aviation and now it is what I want to do.”
During his solo flight, Schuettler flew three flight patterns out of the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. All of his preparation left Schuettler ready for the task.
“It was really just procedure,” he said. “I was ready for it. I wasn’t scared or nervous at all. It was a routine flight.”
Schuettler said he would like to become a commercial pilot after completing high school and college. He has been accepted to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University but said he is looking for ways to pay for the cost of admission to the school.
Mills said EHS was able to continue the aviation program because of financial assistance from retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Powley.
Powley said the aviation program started 22 years ago with one high school. Now, he said the program includes 7,500 students across Northeast Tennessee. He said EHS had three students to solo was a remarkable achievement. The third student soloed after graduating from the aviation classes.
“That is something to be proud of,” Powley said.
The board also recognized EHS girls basketball coach Len Dugger for being named the TSSAA 2014 Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.
“This is a great honor and I am very humbled,” Dugger said. “This is not an individual award. The real people that made this happen was not me. It was a group of young ladies that worked very hard and had a dream to become the state champions.”
The school board meeting was rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday.

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