Kellen Reid, 16, on Target to Receive Pilot’s License


Kellen Ried

Kellen Ried (11) stands in front of the plane he is learning how to fly.

Lizzy Anderson, Reporter

When most teenagers were learning how to drive a car, Kellen Reid (11) was busy learning how to fly a plane. Two weekends ago, Reid flew solo from Colorado Springs to Raton New Mexico, then to Pueblo and back to Colorado Springs. The trip, over 200 miles, is double the required 100 miles. The trip cost roughly $420.

“At one point my adrenaline started pumping a little bit, the first part of the trip the weather was pretty nice, on the way home the wind was up to 30 miles an hour on the runway which made it pretty fun.”

In order to get your pilot license, you must be 17 years of age, have 10 night landings, a solo and cross-country flight, and 40 hours total flight time. The cost of trying to obtain your pilot license is about  $7,200.

Reid has a total of 75 hours and three night landings, and is planning on doing a fourth within the next week, and has flown a few solo trips.

Kellen Ried looks over his should mid-flight to take a picture.
Kellen Ried looks over his should mid-flight to take a picture. He began flying when he was only 14 years old.

Once Reid turns 17, this June, he will be eligible to get his private pilot license. The latest solo flight was part of the requirements to pre-qualify.

After receiving his license, he will begin working toward a commercial license, which will allow him to fly for hire. Then, Reid will began to work on multi-engine training and an airline transport license.

Reid has been learning on a small plane. The one he flew to New Mexico was a Cessna 172, a plane that only fits 4 people. Even though the flight was a little bumpy, Reid says he was prepared.

“It was a bit scary. However, if you don’t get a little adrenaline while flying, you will not handle emergency situations nearly as well. I felt it was a good experience, and would like to do it again,” he said. 

In the future, Reid hopes to attend UNC in Greeley, Colorado to obtain a four-year degree in aviation. He has also just received information about a possible internship with United Airlines that would occur while he is in college.

“I want to be a Airline Transport Pilot, and fly for an airline like United or Delta. My dream to fly the airlines, and that is where my passion is,” Reid said.