Eight-Year-Old To "Pilot" AZ-NY Flight
Chandler Negrete, an 8-year-old boy, is preparing to fly from Arizona to New York in a Cessna 172 with an instructor to raise money for children with parents serving overseas in the military. The instructor will wield pilot-in-command responsibility for the flight, but clearly the intent is to get Negrete some stick time. The third-grader is currently preparing for the flight and has accumulated all of 12 hours in a simulator and 12 hours in an actual airplane. His instructor, Matt Forsey, works for Sawyer Aviation in Arizona. The team is seeking donations and hopes to raise between $80,000 and $100,000 for their charity's cause. But, according to a local news report, Negrete "needs to collect $15,000 in donations to cover the cost of the flight," and no date has yet been set for the trip. Of course, for some pilots, simply the proposition of the flight itself may conjure memories of another one altogether.
For pilots old enough to remember (Negrete is not a pilot, nor is he old enough to remember), the plan involving Negrete may conjure memories of Jessica Dubroff. Dubroff was seven years old when she was killed along with both her father and her flight instructor in a Cessna 177B in 1996 during what was publicly billed as a trans-continental "record" flight attempt. (Investigators found no organization that keeps official records for "the youngest pilots.") That trip was scheduled as an eight-day flight from California to Massachusetts. Negrete is not presently involved in any sort of "record" attempt, real or imagined, for his proposed Arizona to New York flight. The Negrete flight intends to raise money for the charity OurMilitaryKids.org, after meeting the substantial investment it has stated is necessary to get off the ground.