Friday, May 24 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:20:27 GMT
For a family in Lake Charles, one phone call changed everything. The aftermath of the Moore, Okla. tornado revealed the loss of a loved one. One of the children who died at a school destroyed by the tornadoMore >>
A family in Lake Charles mourns the loss of a young relative in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Friday, May 24 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:43:00 GMT
The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office is looking for a bank robbery suspect. The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon. Investigators say a black male subjectMore >>
The Vernon Bank branch on Colony Boulevard in New Llano was robbed Thursday afternoon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:33 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:33:22 GMT
A kindergartner at T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School in Lake Charles read 875 books in one school year. Sophia Moss is 5-years-old and she loves to read. "A lot of the days I read books. It's justMore >>
Sophia loves to read. She even wrote her own book and did her book report on it! And even though she's just beginning her academic career, it's only the beginning of her story.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:24:38 GMT
Southwest Louisiana is doing its part in the Oklahoma tornado recovery effort. In Westlake, people from all over Southwest Louisiana donated items for the tornado victims. It all started with one manMore >>
Southwest Louisiana is doing its part in the Oklahoma tornado recovery effort.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 5:51 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:51:00 GMT
The following are closures and changes in garbage collection schedules in Southwest Louisiana related to the Memorial Day holiday: Lake Charles: The City of Lake Charles will observe the Memorial DayMore >>
The following are closures and changes in garbage collection schedules in Southwest Louisiana related to the Memorial Day holiday:More >>
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
At the ripe young age of 14, when most teenage boys are worried about hair in weird places and the mystery of talking to girls, Andrew 'Drew' Glapion, Jr. had his mind in the clouds, literally.
"This all started from a flight simulator game that he brought when he was 14" said Drew's stepmother, Angela Glapion. "He came home that particular summer and said he wanted the second edition of it".
It was wheels up from there, but there was something different about the simulator for Drew. He wasn't doing it for enjoyment, he was doing it because he was falling in love.
"You know any other 8th grader they'll be on a flight simulator and they'll try to crash a plane or see how many flips they can do" said Drew. "But for me I was simulating that I actually had passengers on board and I wanted to land safely".
That seedling of a simulation turned into flight lessons, that his parents put him in without question.
"That was when he was 14. By 15, he was flying. 16 he was soloed and for his 17th birthday he got his pilot's license" said Drew's father, Andrew Glapion, Sr.
"To start at 14 and say this is what I want to do and actually do the necessary steps to make it happen and at 17 be a certified pilot... I mean it's awesome" said Angela.
From a flight simulator to the actual cockpit, Drew was determined to have his dreams become a reality and this time he took 7News along for the ride.
So up we went! Three take offs, three landings, all in the hands of a 17 year old high school senior. Flying over the Lake Charles Regional Airport and The Burton Coliseum, he sat cool, calm and collected describing the skies as his paradise.
"It's amazing" said Drew. "There's no other feeling. You can't compare it to anything. Once you're up there and you can see what's under you, you realize you have a lot of control in your hands".
As the solo pilot on this flight, the control he has in the skies is exactly the control he has over his life.
"It makes sure I keep my head straight" said Drew. "I try to be successful, I know I have to be successful so I know my priorities. School, flying, that's it".
Serving as the perfect role model to two younger brothers and other teenage males out there too.
"His two younger brothers are amazed... they're proud and it shows them when you put your mind to it, you can do it" said Angela. "Nothing is out of your grasp when you put your mind to it and work towards it".
Drew plans to study aviation at Louisiana Tech after his graduation in 2013.