Ace Kehoe, EAA 1537419, is known as the “aviation kid” at his Florida high school, and it’s a title he’s fully embracing! At just 16 years old, Ace is forming an aero club to bring aviation education to local youths just like him.
Ace grew up flying with his dad when he was younger, but never thought much about the possibilities of aviation. Though when his dad picked flying back up a couple years ago and asked him to join him on a flight, Ace thought a little more about it. “I was just so awed; I didn’t know how any of the stuff in the airplane works. … It was all new to me and I had no idea about anything. It’s so different from the way I am now because I kept my hands on me; I didn’t want to touch anything for fear I would break something. … Whereas now when I get in an airplane, I’m checking everything out. … I got interested by that.”
He was hooked, but as we all know, flight training is expensive. To make sure Ace was serious about flying, his parents offered to pay for flight training on the condition he could pass his written exam with a 90 or better. Ace enrolled in an online ground school and passed his written exam just a few months later with a score of 96.
In the beginning of his junior year, Ace started flight training at the Florida Flight Training Center (FFTC) located at the Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC), but he was hungry for more. He asked FFTC about any job opportunities, and he was hired as a dispatcher for a few nights after school. “That on top of flight training probably grew my knowledge of aviation exponentially. … I’m also learning more about flight management, operations, maintenance, what’s required to keep things in check, scheduling, and the rules required.”
After a year of working as a dispatcher, he asked FFTC about apprenticeship opportunities at their sister company, Florida Flight Maintenance, and has already logged more than 400 apprentice hours towards his A&P…