Rusty Weckworth

Dec 20, 2012   //   by admin   //   Scholarship Recipients  //  No Comments

Favorite part of flying: Right after takeoff. I watch as the ground gets farther and farther away like a roller coaster as you defy gravity.

Rusty Weckwerth had never considered being a pilot. In fact, he was afraid to fly. But a childhood spent watching planes take off and land at the nearby airport had left an impression.

“I remember thinking about what I wanted to do after high school. I didn’t really know what kind of job I wanted, all I knew was I had to enjoy it since I’d be doing it for the rest of my life. The idea just popped into my head to be a pilot. It seemed like it’d be fun so I went for it and I’m glad I did.”

Now a junior in Kansas State University Salina’s professional pilot program and a certified flight instructor, Rusty has conquered his fear of flying.

“Now it’s just like a roller coaster ride and there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

He remembers that first roller coaster ride well.

“My first flight was in September. September 14, 2010 to be exact. The classroom had a wonderful view from 6,500 feet.”

The Connor Burton Aviation Foundation played in important role in taking Rusty from his first flight to making his dream of becoming a CFI a reality.

“I really wanted to be a CFI and that check ride is so stressful, even though you really learn a lot along the way. I dedicated my whole summer towards passing that check ride and when the day came and I passed, it was like a 1,000 bricks were thrown off my shoulders. It was the best feeling ever but I couldn’t have done it with the Burton Foundation. I honestly wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without this scholarship.”

“College is stressful enough without having to worry about how to pay for it. The Burton Scholarship lets me not worry about how I’m going to pay for my ratings and instead concentrate on doing the best I can in the classroom and the cockpit.”

That success will help him achieve his dream job of being a corporate pilot.

“I’d love to fly a jet such as a Lear or Citation in Hawaii. That would be awesome.”

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