In the whirlwind of end-of-school activities, recent Redmond High School (RHS) graduate Jake Harris hasn’t yet had time to invite his friends, “Come fly with me.” But it’s on his list of things to do this summer.
Harris, who turned 18 in April, got his private pilot license for single engine aircraft the weekend before the June 15 RHS commencement ceremony.
He learned to fly a four-seat Cessna 172 at Harvey Field in Snohomish, mainly on weekends over the last two years. He stepped up his efforts during the last few months, often practicing after school when he wasn’t playing alto saxophone with the RHS pep band at Mustang sports events.
Harris is a fourth-generation pilot.
“My great-grandfather built his own plane in the ’20s, when aviation was just getting started. My grandfather and dad also built gliders and have gone to a lot of soaring meets and won some awards,” he said.
“I really wanted to be done by the end of a high school. There wasn’t a deadline but it was more of a personal goal that kept being pushed back over the winter, because of the weather,” Harris explained.
A recipient of the Gonzaga University Dussault Scholarship, this fall he’ll be studying mechanical engineering with emphasis on aerospace and aeronautics. His goal is to later earn a master’s degree at University of Washington.
For now, “My dad and I want to go to Euphrata, to a meet for gliders, sort of a day trip. We might also go to the San Juans and land on a few,” he commented.
Also, Harris added, chuckling, “And I might come to pick my parents up for the Gonzaga Parents’ Weekend.”
That’s a new twist on, “Mom and Dad, can I borrow the station wagon?”