Ryan Kaffenberger ’20 solos first aircraft


image provided by Ryan Kaffenberger

Ryan Kaffenberger stands outside his Cesna with his instructor moments before his solo flight.

The average age of a pilot today is between 45 and 50 years old according to the last five years of data. Elder grad Ryan Kaffenberger is poised to do everything he can to drop the average age.

Kaffenberger is enrolled with the University of Cincinnati Professional Pilot Program. Recently Ryan completed his first solo flight in a single-engine Cesna after studying most of the first semester. Ryan hopes to continue his training this winter and then supplement his income by working as an instructor at Sporty’s Flight Academy.

“As a kid, my family and I would fly to Florida for vacation. That is where my love for flying started. I would enjoy the flights to and from our destination just as much as I enjoyed the vacation itself,” said Ryan.

Kaffenberger, a former bowler at Elder has been passionate about aviation for his whole life. I interviewed Ryan via ZOOM and got his thoughts about flying and his future in aviation.

Ryan shared in cockpit video from his solo flight that originated out of the Clermont County Airport on the east side of Cincinnati.