Avfuel’s AVTRIP Scholarship recipient from 2013, Kelly Hicks, is soaring to new heights after completing training to obtain her multi-engine rating.
“It’s been the best experience,” said Hicks. “Receiving my multi-engine rating means I’ve accomplished my dream— I can now fly the King Air, my favorite aircraft since childhood. This just solidifies that I have achieved my goals.”
Kelly Hicks with her beloved King Air.
With her qualifications, Hicks serves as a contract pilot for an oil field company, flying its King Air and TBM aircraft. Wearing many hats, she switches between her flight attendant and pilot roles, making each day unique.
Though it wasn’t an easy journey, Hicks said she kept her nose in her books and obtained multiple ratings over the past three years.
The process started by obtaining her private pilot license in 2014 in her hometown of Stephenville, Texas. From there, she used the AVTRIP Scholarship toward her instrument rating in the spring of 2015 through American Flyers in Addison, Texas, where she also obtained her commercial rating in the summer of 2015.
“Though everyone said the commercial rating would be the easiest part, I actually found it the most challenging,” said Hicks. “Practicing chandelles and lazy eights in the midst of a hot July in Texas makes for an uncomfortably bumpy experience, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world!”
Kelly with her uncle’s J3 Cub.
Following her commercial training, in the fall of 2015 Hicks received a tailwheel endorsement flying her uncle’s J3 Cub, as well as her multi-engine rating from Tom Brady at Traverse Air in Traverse City, Michigan, allowing her to finally fly her beloved King Air.
“The AVTRIP Scholarship from Avfuel really did help me achieve my goals by helping finance my instrument rating,” said Hicks.
Hicks is now looking forward to her next adventure. One of the companies for which she serves as a flight attendant has approached her about becoming its first officer in a Beechjet once she obtains enough flying hours.
“They’re dangling a carrot in front of me,” said Hicks. “I’m excited for what’s to come and enjoying living my dream.”