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WG grad is flying high

WG grad is flying high

By Kimberly A. Michalak

Have you ever wondered what pilots do to keep occupied during long flights? According to Jon Squadrito, a pilot and 1999 graduate of West Genesee High School they write e-mails on their Blackberries - to Eagle Newspapers, in this particular case.

Sometimes one experience can open the doors of curiosity. For Squadrito that door was attached to an airplane.

"My interest in becoming a pilot started the first time I stepped onto an airplane. I was in my early teens," Squadrito said. "After driving my great aunt to Florida, I returned to Syracuse on an airliner. Upon landing in Syracuse, and being in awe from the flight, I asked the pilots if I could see the cockpit. To my excitement they said yes! I was amazed at what I saw and from then on, my interest only grew."

In order to learn more about flying Squadrito decided to job shadowed a pilot. As part of a program at WGHS he was able to shadow a local Certified Flight Instructor at the Syracuse airport.

The experience only increased Squadrito's desire had to become a pilot interest. Then one event made him 100 percent sure that flying was for him.

"My dad worked with a gentleman who had his private pilot license. This gentleman found out about my enthusiasm for aviation and offered to take me flying in a small four person airplane," Squadrito said. "He took me up and then let me fly a little! I was sold. I knew then I would be a pilot someday."

By that Squadrito knew he wanted to spend as much time around aviation as he could and save up as much money as possible for flight school. Squadrito figured the best way to do that was to get a job at the airport. He worked as a baggage handler for Delta Airlines at the Syracuse airport.

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