Hello! My name is Austin Sorrells and I was born in Asheville, North Carolina. From a young age, I always had my head turned to the skies amazed at how an airplane could fly. When I was around 9 years old, I got started in flying R/C airplanes. Shortly after that, I took my first flight lesson at 11 years old. At the time, I was doing a flight lesson about once a month just to build up hours and experience for when I could get my private pilot’s certificate. 5 long years after my first flight lesson, I was able to do my first solo on my 16th birthday.
While I was ready to take to the skies with a pilot’s certificate, I had to wait another year before I was allowed to do my check-ride. Unfortunately, I was not prepared to take it on my 17th birthday, but I passed my private pilot check-ride a month after my birthday. After I graduated high school, I left for Florida to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I am currently a senior. Once I reached Embry-Riddle, I completed my instrument rating, commercial, and multi commercial add on. Throughout the 3 years it has taken me to complete these, I have faced many challenges.
Some of my greatest challenges were adapting to a new learning environment geared towards professionalism. Embry-Riddle is not a normal flight school, from day 1 you are expected to be professional and follow their policies strictly. While this was a culture shock to me, it took some time to adjust and get used to the new way of doing things. Since I started with my instrument rating, there were many days I did not want to fly at all or do activities.
I also faced a challenge I had never encountered before, and that was an instructor whose teaching styles did not click with me. Through the rough months of instrument training, I was eventually able to pass my check-ride in May of 2018. Having been at Embry-Riddle for a year since I began my training, I felt much more confident for the upcoming flight courses of commercial and multi commercial. The training environment was difficult and frustrating at times, however you always have to remember your end goal. For me, my end goal is to land a job at a regional airline and then hopefully land a job at Delta in the future.
When the training got frustrating, I always reminded myself of how much I have accomplished and how close I am to reaching those goals. Sometimes too, it was nice to take a relaxing flight just to reinforce how much I love flying and aviation. To all the future aviators out there, keep pushing, it’s never easy but the feeling when you accomplish something you have dreamed about your whole life is the best thing ever.