Able Flight Scholarship Winner Earns Private Certificate


Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly is not one to let anything get in the way of his goals. After losing his right leg below the knee in Iraq five years ago, Kelly has since earned his helicopter and helicopter CFI certificates as well as a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Now, Kelly is the first wounded warrior to earn his fixed-wing private pilot certificate using his Able Flight scholarship. But his dreams don’t stop there. Kelly’s next goal is to become an airplane flight instructor and teach others with disabilities how to fly. “For me, aviation is the great equalizer,” said Kelly. “When I’m flying I can do everything and anything a person with two legs can do!”

During his flight training Kelly trained at Philly Sport Pilot at Wings Field in Philadelphia. This flight school was started by Sean O’Donnell, another Able Flight scholarship winner. “It’s great to see how a scholarship winner can complete the circle,” said Kelly. “It’s a real motivation for me to get my fixed-wing CFI so I can give back also.”