Demetrius Ingram, whose ambition is to become a flight instructor and commercial airline pilot, gave himself a nice 16th birthday present when he soloed for the first time on Nov. 10. He is a graduate of the Aviation Careers Education Academy and the Flight Simulator Training program at the Flight Path Learning Center at L.A. International Airport. The Manual Arts High student piloted a Piper Cherokee 140 through three morning takeoffs and landings at Hawthorne Municipal Airport, cheered by his grandmother and guardian, Helen Ingram, and other well-wishers.

“Demetrius is our first simulator student to solo,” said Flight Path President Rowena Ake. “We are so proud of him and grateful for the inspiration he gives his classmates in our program to reach their goals.” Later, at his birthday party, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl presented Demetrius and his grandmother with letters of commendation. Other commendations arrived from Rep. Maxine Waters and councilpersons Tony Cardenas, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry.