Young pilot takes flight at Lake Charles airport - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Young pilot takes flight at Lake Charles airport

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.  

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Grillin and Chillin in DeQuincy this Friday

    Grillin and Chillin in DeQuincy this Friday

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:51 AM EDT2017-07-21 15:51:36 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Folks from KPLC will be back out in the community of DeQuincy for the continuing Grillin & Chillin series. Be sure to join us this Friday, July 20, at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. Chief Meteorologist Wade Hampton, Candy Rodriguez, and other members of the KPLC team will be broadcasting live – and we’ll be grilling hot dogs for our viewers. Join us Friday afternoon during the First at Four, Live at Five, and 7 News at Six newscasts. KPLC wants t...

    More >>

    Folks from KPLC will be back out in the community of DeQuincy for the continuing Grillin & Chillin series. Be sure to join us this Friday, July 20, at the DeQuincy Railroad Museum. Chief Meteorologist Wade Hampton, Candy Rodriguez, and other members of the KPLC team will be broadcasting live – and we’ll be grilling hot dogs for our viewers. Join us Friday afternoon during the First at Four, Live at Five, and 7 News at Six newscasts. KPLC wants t...

    More >>
  • Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Road closures in Southwest Louisiana

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:58 AM EDT2017-07-21 13:58:41 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    The following is a list of road closures for Southwest Louisiana.

    More >>

    The following is a list of road closures for Southwest Louisiana.

    More >>
  • Telesitter system keeping patients safe

    Telesitter system keeping patients safe

    Friday, July 21 2017 7:43 AM EDT2017-07-21 11:43:42 GMT
    Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is now using the Telesitter system on its critical care unit to keep the most at-risk patients safe with constant remote viewing by skilled staff. (Source: KPLC)Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is now using the Telesitter system on its critical care unit to keep the most at-risk patients safe with constant remote viewing by skilled staff. (Source: KPLC)

    Patient safety is paramount in hospital settings and traditionally, it has taken one-to-one care 24/7 for some of the most at-risk patients. KPLC's Britney Glaser shows how a new video monitoring system is keeping patients safe and freeing up nursing staff for other duties.

    More >>

    Patient safety is paramount in hospital settings and traditionally, it has taken one-to-one care 24/7 for some of the most at-risk patients. KPLC's Britney Glaser shows how a new video monitoring system is keeping patients safe and freeing up nursing staff for other duties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly