Anthony Fizer takes flight at 16
Turning 16 is a rite of passage and gives someone in Utah the freedom to get behind the wheel of a car. It also marks the day a person can legally fly solo.
On Wednesday Anthony Fizer celebrated his 16th birthday by doing just that. For the first time, he flew solo in a helicopter, a glider and an airplane. He got up around 4 a.m. to begin a busy day that included the solo flights, his drivers test and getting his Eagle Scout Award.
"Everything was pretty perfect," he said.
While Fizer had to wait to turn 16 before taking to the air alone, he said he was ready more than a year ago, but appreciates getting to fly with so many different instructors because he learns something from each one.
His desire to fly is not just a hobby, but a life’s ambition.
"I want to be a pilot because my dad has been a pilot all his life and I want to be like him," Fizer said of his father who is chief pilot of SkyWest Airlines.
When he graduates from Park City High School in two years, Fizer hopes to attend school at the United States Naval Academy and later fly F-18’s for the Marines. Doing this will help him continue a longstanding family tradition.
"Every generation in my family, for as long as we can remember, has been in the military," Fizer said.
But his desire to serve also stems from wanting to give back.
"To serve my country, it’s kind of paying back all the people that have given me something," he said.
After completing his solo flights Fizer accepted his Eagle Scout award from former Sen. Jake Garn, a hero of his. For his Eagle Scout project Fizer collected 800 pounds of food and took it to the local food bank while taking 10 boxes to the homes of senior citizens.
Other pilots he admires are the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhardt, Chuck Yeager and Igor Sikorsky, a helicopter pioneer.
Fizer hopes to leave his mark on the profession, too.
"My goals are, when I’m flying, is that when someone is on the ground and looking up on me they think, ‘Wow that’s a really good pilot,’" Fizer said.
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