Ryan Malcomb – Solo Milestone

Ryan Malcomb – Solo Milestone

Congratulations to Ryan Malcomb, EAA 1110366, who on August 30 became the fourth person in his family to fly a 16th birthday solo — and he did it in an RV-12 he helped build!

Ryan, the seventh person in his family to become a pilot, said he’s been fortunate to have the opportunity to be mentored by his father and brother while taking flight lessons and that he was excited to finally have his turn to solo.

Ryan (far right), attending AirVenture 2017 with his brother Matthew and cousins Madison and Austin. All are pilots, EAA members, and soloed on their 16th birthdays.

“I’ve been waiting for the day forever, and couldn’t believe it finally arrived,” he said. “I was well prepared and comfortable and ready to get it done.”

The RV-12 Ryan flew was part of his school’s chapter of the Eagle’s Nest build program, an experience Ryan said was special to have, since he knew exactly what went into building the airplane.

Growing up in an atmosphere where aviation is truly a family affair, it’s no surprise that Ryan plans to turn his love of flying into a career as a commercial airline pilot. He also has his sights set on obtaining a seaplane rating as a side hobby.

Although Ryan said he felt incredibly accomplished after his solo, he said he realizes he did not make it this far on his own.

“I would like to thank Ernie Butcher of Eagle’s Nest Projects for making this whole opportunity of building and flying the plane possible,” he said. “My dad and brother for flying with me. I would also like to thank my CFI, Mike Zielke, for taking time to work with me on the ground and in the air and signing me off to solo.”

Congratulations, again, Ryan, and welcome to the pilot community!

Have you reached a milestone recently? Passed a checkride, given your first or hundredth Young Eagle flight, flown your homebuilt for the first time? Tell us about it at editorial@eaa.org.

CFI Mike Zielke signs Ryan’s shirttail.
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Megan, EAA 1171719, is EAA’s assistant editor and regularly contributes to both print and digital publications. She’s an aspiring pilot, a passionate aviation enthusiast, and an avid learner of just about everything. E-mail Megan at mesau@eaa.org.