Senior’s dream takes flight


Jalen Hartsfield, Staff Reporter

Have you ever dreamed of piloting a plane? Senior Andrew Robidoux has. He pilots planes in his free time and is planning on becoming a pilot as a career.

Although Robidoux has desired to be a pilot for a long time, it only recently came to fruition.

“It used to be my dream job as a kid. I’m sure it is for most. It wasn’t until about middle school and the beginning of high school when I figured it was just too dangerous and hard to achieve,” Robidoux said. “Around junior year of high school, I talked to a pilot friend of mine who convinced me to go fly at a local airport for the day, so ever since then, really.”

Robidoux is currently working on weekends to get his private pilot’s license.

He enjoys aspects of flying beyond simply flying the plane.

“I really love the community of pilots. Flying itself is a really good way to enjoy yourself while learning some amazing stuff and meeting great people. Plus, you get to go new places all the time,” Robidoux said.

Robidoux considers himself fortunate to have many well versed pilots guiding him.

“The guys I fly with on the weekends are all retired military aviators with an insane amount of talent and passion for what they do,” Robidoux said. “The airport owner is who I look up to the most, as he is pushing 80, been flying since my age and can fly a plane better than he can walk. I’m lucky enough to learn from the best.”

After he finishes college, Robidoux hopes to make a living off of his dream of being a pilot.
“I hope to make it a financially stable career and fly for a major carrier. Once you make it to the smaller airlines, all it takes is time to move up the ranks,” Robidoux said. “To be able to fly for the ‘majors’ or the airlines, you need a four-year degree, so my plan is to continue on to college.”

He will enroll in ECU this upcoming fall semester.

Flying also positively influences other facets of Robidoux’s life.

“I feel like flying helps me stay grounded, ironically, but honestly it helps in other areas of life as it’s a very focus-heavy task that requires you to be in charge of an aircraft, meaning it helps me to be more in control of other aspects of life, too,” Robidoux said.

One of Robidoux’s dream destinations is Alaska.

Robidoux said, “I think Alaska would be pretty cool. You know, go to Alaska for a little bit, and do some bush flying. I just want to experience it. It’s a whole new and different thing. I’d like to try that out for a year. Maybe even buy a plane and go on my own for a while, and eventually sell the plane.”