Students’ love of planes soars to new heights

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Submitted by: Lauren Datta

Sophomore Lauren Datta pilots a Cirrus SR20 aircraft. “I have mostly flown really small planes like Cessnas and Cirrus’,” Datta said.

Peter Blanchfield, Staff Writer

A rumble is heard in the distance; it sounds distinctly like a plane. Then, from behind, a voice says “That one is an Airbus 330”. The voice belongs to junior Jack Indritz, and he can do this for any plane he sees, commercial or private.

As Indritz described it, “You just need to understand common types, big versus small, etcetera, [and] you just break it down until there is only one possible choice.”

Love of airplanes is a unique interest that can manifest in different ways, including learning about planes, piloting them, and engineering and designing aircrafts.

“I like all kinds of planes, but if I had to pick, I would say that my favorite are commercial planes. And definitely modern over older ones,” Indritz said.

Sophomore Jak Kinsella is also a commercial airplane lover. “I love commercial planes. Right now I am really interested in Boeing over Airbus, but that fluctuates a lot,” Kinsella said. Boeing and Airbus are rival airplane designers and builders.

I went out with an instructor one day and did hammerheads, spins, and loops, which was really fun.”

— sophomore Lauren Datta

Sophomore Lauren Datta has taken her love of planes to the next level. After expressing an interest in flying, Datta and her father began taking lessons at St. Paul Holman Airport together. “I have mostly flown really small planes like Cessnas and Cirrus’,” Datta said. ”What’s really funny is that you don’t need a separate license to do aerobatics. So I went out with an instructor one day and did hammerheads, spins, and loops, which was really fun,” she added.

Sophomore Freddy Keillor, on the other hand, is partial to military planes.

“When I was five, I got a military plane book for Christmas; it was the most read book in my household, [and] that was the spark for my love of airplanes,” Keillor said. Although he is passionate about all military planes, he said his favorites are ”definitely fighters from the World War II era, otherwise, I prefer fighter-bombers from more modern times.”

He thinks that military aircraft are more interesting “They are tied into history, they helped form the modern nations and helped draw the lines we see today on the map,” Keillor said.

Datta also likes planes from World War 2, and has flown in them.  I’ve gotten to ride in the backseat of a P-51 Mustang, which was really cool but so loud I thought I would go deaf,” Datta said. But that’s not the only cool plane Datta has ridden in. “I’ve also been in a Waco, which is an open cockpit plane. I got to touch a cloud, which was awesome,” she said.

What really sparked my interest was when I was able to go into the cockpit after a flight to London when I was seven.”

— Jak Kinsella

The plane lovers got their start at an early age. For Kinsella, “What really sparked my interest was when I was able to go into the cockpit after a flight to London when I was seven.”

Indritz began his obsession at a later age. “I have always loved airplanes, but it was in middle school when my interest really took off,” he said. In addition to all of having started loving airplanes at an early age, the students plan on continuing their love of airplanes professionally or recreationally after high school.

“An officer in the Air Force is still a considered career choice for me; I just really love flying,” Keillor said. He added that even if he doesn’t go into the Air Force he will still “continue to broaden my horizons, and continue my interest in airplanes.”

Kinsella hopes to take a less traditional route of employment in airplanes, “I would like to be an aviation investigator as a career. Their job is to investigate plane crashes and find out what went wrong and who is at fault,” he said.

Unlike Keillor and Kinsella, Indritz wishes to fly, but not as a profession ”I want to fly, not as a commercial or military pilot, but instead just for recreational purposes,” he said

Kinsella and Keillor recommended that potential plane lovers buy an airplane encyclopedia to start, go to airports to watch planes, and find a niche that they love and let it take off.