Herrick Teen Has High Hopes for His Future

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Jan. 05--SHELBYVILLE, Ill. -- Paul Adams has high aspirations.

While most his age are excited to get their driver's license, Adams set his sights on the sky.

Adams, 17, of Herrick, recently completed his work to get his pilot's license. He was this year's recipient of the Decatur Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 274's Train-A-Pilot scholarship.

Adams has been a member of the chapter located at the Decatur airport for the past three years.

To complete the requirement, Adams had to fly with an instructor, know different maneuvers to safely fly a plane, take written tests, oral tests, and flying tests.

"There are 40 hours of flight total required and 10 of the hours were solo," Adams said. Those solo flights included two cross country flights -- one from Casey to Decatur and one from Vandalia to Decatur- and one cross country flight -- Casey to Vandalia to Decatur.

The work for the license to fly single engine light planes took five to six months to complete. The time was shared with his studies as a high school senior at Cowden-Herrick High School.

Adams became interested in flying at a young age. He took his first plane ride as part of his aviation merit badge work for Boy Scouts.

"I started to like it," Adams said.

"He used to fly radio controlled planes and his interest just got bigger," said his mother Janet.

By age 14, Adams knew what he wanted to do and he became involved in the EAA. The local chapter sponsored his attendance to the Air Academy in Oshkosh,WI, when he was 15.

Adams wants to attend Southern Illinois University to major in aviation flight and eventually be able fly commercially.

"I'd like to fly cargo like for UPS or FedEx or do aerial chemical application," Adams said.

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