News & Events

Explore CBU

Student pilot Ryan Rosales gives a thumbs up as he prepares to fly his first solo. Photo by Michael Elderman
Student pilot Ryan Rosales gives a thumbs up as he prepares to fly his first solo. Photo by Michael Elderman

CBU freshman flies first student solo for new aviation science program

RIVERSIDE (Oct. 25, 2013)—CBU freshman Ryan Rosales just accomplished another first for the university’s new aviation science program: he became the first student to fly solo.

“It was exciting,” he said about the Oct. 23 experience. “Once my instructor left the plane, I was on my own. The takeoff was pretty easy; the landing was the hardest part.”

Now he’s planning a career outside family tradition: Rosales wants to be an airline pilot. He comes from a family of firefighters—both his father and grandfather were fire captains for the City of Riverside—and he previously saw himself in that role, too.

“I used to go to airshows when I was small,” he said. “I watched big planes doing cool things, and I always thought I’d like to do that, too.”

Of course, he considered flying more of an interest than a career possibility. Then, as an ROTC student at Martin Luther King High School, a scholarship gave him 20 hours of free flight time.

“I thought I could just fly from time to time once I got my pilot’s license,” he said. “I still planned to be a firefighter.”

After graduation, he enrolled at Riverside Community College in the fire tech program.

“When I heard about the flight program starting up here, I went to see if I could take a flight lesson every two weeks or so,” he said. “Once I checked it out, I was hooked. I knew I had to come to CBU.”

Rosales, a professional pilot major, said he has enjoyed watching the aviation science program develop in its first year.

“It’s gone from an idea to a program, and it’s been exciting as things get ‘tweaked.’ As students, we all know each other by name. I’m hoping it will become like a family.”

The next four years could determine quite a bit for Rosales’ future, but he only knows he wants to fly.

“I love the sense of freedom,” he said. “There are a lot of regulations, but when you’re up in the sky, you feel like you can do anything. You look down and see the world like very few people get to see it.”

-30-