Kelan Reilly, a 2015 graduate of Woodlynde School, just completed his first year at Kent State University where he is a member of the Kent State Flight Team and competes in aviation-related events. We recently caught up with Kelan as he reflected on his first year at Kent State.
How did you get in to flying planes? It all started when I was in 4th grade. I was unsure of what book to pick out during library class, so the librarian suggested that I try something different, and it was a book about airplanes. I read the book and have been hooked on aviation ever since.
How long have you been flying planes? For my 14th birthday, my parents gave me flying lessons as my gift. My first lesson was on November 6, 2010, and I got my private pilot’s license on August 25, 2015. I’ve been flying for just under six years now, and I plan to fly for many more.
How does attending Kent State provide a path for you to become a pilot? Kent State provides an excellent path toward becoming a professional pilot. The university has partnerships with various regional airlines that operate flights for airlines such as American Eagle, United Express, and Delta Connection. A lot of these regional airlines have programs that bring you in as a student pilot, develop you into a pilot at the regional airline, and ultimately help you become a pilot for one of the major airlines.
How was your first year at Kent State? My first year was inevitably challenging, however, I enjoyed almost every part of it. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy having their classroom in the sky?
You are a member of the Kent State Flight Team. What does the Flight Team do? The Kent State Flight Team is part of an organization called the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA), which is comprised of numerous schools across the country that compete in a number of different aviation-related events. Some of the events include precision landings, aircraft recognition, and simulators.
You recently took part in a competition with the Flight Team. What was it like? The competition was against every other NIFA-affiliated school in the country. It was held at Ohio State University and lasted a week. Unfortunately, there were some days that the weather didn’t cooperate, but all in all, it went very well.
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in Grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language-or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.