Patrick McElligot

Jun 25, 2013   //   by admin   //   Scholarship Recipients  //  No Comments

Junior in Professional Pilot

Junction City, KS

Patrick McElligot was always fascinated with aviation and his grandmother has always supported him.

“We would go to MHK and watch the planes come in all the time. And she’s the one who arranged my first flight. When I was a sophomore I was in a play at the community theatre and one of the other cast members’ husband was a retired TWA captain and Air Force pilot. One day, Grandma picked me up for lunch but instead she took me to the airport for a ride in his Cessna 414.”

So it’s no surprise the junior drives 96 miles a day to attend classes in Salina while living in Junction City to take care of his biggest supporter. On top of that, he holds three part-time jobs: one as a math tutor on campus, one at a bank, and one at Jim Clark Auto Center.

His job at the car dealership has led to the opportunity to share the excitement he felt during his first flight with others.

“The owner is a member of EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Chapter 1364. The EAA does the Young Eagles program, which gives kids the chance to fly in a general aviation airplane. I get to use Mr. Clark’s Bonanza for the discovery flights, which are free for the kids and their parents can ride along.”

“I love being a Young Eagles pilot! When the nose comes up and I say, ‘You’re not touching the ground anymore,’ they are always amazed.”

The job also gives him other opportunities to fly.

“One time I was flying from Junction City to Daytona Beach, Fla., for work. It was my first flight in instrument conditions. At first it was a little scary, but then I remembered I had a job to do and I knew how to do it.”

While Patrick credits his grandmother, Connie Lossman, with giving him the motivation to pursue his goal of becoming an airline pilot, he credits the Burton Aviation Foundation and it’s chief supporter, Jan Burton, with making it possible to know what to do in that situation.

“The Burton Aviation Foundation made it possible for me to get my private and instrument. I’m up to my commercial instrument rating and being a Burton Scholar will help me finish my multi-engine rating and start working on my CFI.”

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