|By Carmelo Turdo|
Elite Aviation is helping one of their own fulfill a life-long dream: earning a Private Pilot Certificate. Joshua Rouse, an A&P/IA at Elite Aviation, can regularly be seen flying patterns over Spirit of St. Louis Airport in one of the Cessna 172s in the fleet that he and his colleagues maintain. Elite Aviation is proud of his progress, and his March 11 solo flight was a major step forward. He is now more determined than ever to continue flight training around his regular work schedule as warmer weather moves into the area.
|Joshua Rouse (R) with CFI Corey |
Redington, after March 11 solo
(Elite Aviation photo)
"My dad was in the Air Force as a Combat Search and Rescueman flying helicopters - UH-60 Pave Hawks," Rouse told The Aero Experience. "So growing up I got to go sit on the flight line and watch the helicopters take off...That's where my love [for flying] came from, the Air Force and seeing those planes going to airshows." He fondly remembers the time when his dad flew over his neighborhood at Nellis AFB, NV waving from the open side door of his helicopter.
Rouse planned to join the U.S. Army after high school and train to fly helicopters. In his senior year, a close friend was killed fighting in Iraq, and that spurred him to join the service early and take the quickest route to combat - the infantry. He took well to his new career, and served eight years as an infantry soldier.
Another decision point along the path to aviation came following his Army infantry service. Rouse decided to pick up where he left off, this time enrolling in an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic course while serving another two years in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic. He then worked as an A&P Mechanic in Colorado before coming to St. Louis to work in airline maintenance. From there he came to Elite Aviation where he could get a more well-rounded experience in aviation maintenance working on all aspects of the Cessna 172S fleet. Working for Elite Aviation also provided the inspiration to revive the dream of flight with a real plan of action.