Unique. That’s how Jas Kakar describes the future Aviation Club at Drake. It is also a word that could be used to describe Kakar himself.
Kakar, a sophomore studying data analytics and artificial intelligence, recently attained his private pilot certification and is working on establishing an aviation club for like-minded students.
Although the club has yet to become an official student organization, Kakar is taking several steps toward making this a reality for himself and other students who have a passion for aviation. The club is open to any Drake student wanting to join.
Kakar is in the process of drafting a club constitution, meeting with the registered student organization coordinator and attaining faculty advisors. “The reason I wanted to start [the aviation club] is because it’s something not a lot of universities provide,” said Kakar. “It provides more diversity to Drake’s clubs.”
John Brookerson, a first-year majoring in entrepreneurship, said he’s interested in joining the club.
“I would hope to gain a basic knowledge of flight,” Brookerson said.
Kakar envisions a club that offers a plethora of activities for anyone and everyone who has any sort of aspiration to become a certified pilot. He said he hopes to invite professional aviators as guest speakers and hopes to gain access to a flight simulator.
“By using a flight simulator, students can see what it feels like to fly a plane,” said Kakar.
With enough interest, Kakar hopes the University would expand its curriculum to include aviation-related courses.
For Kakar, his initiative to establish the club goes beyond his passion for aviation. “I’m hoping to be there as guidance and support to inspire and motivate others,” said Kakar. He hopes other students will want to join the club and attain the private pilot certification.
“Flying isn’t really that hard. It’s about getting exposure,” said Kakar. When asked what advice he has for someone who wants to get their certification, he said it’s a commitment. “First off, you have to know if you are able to commit yourself. It takes a lot of confidence. There are several parts of [the training] that test you if you want to keep going.”
According to Kakar, the first flight a student takes makes an everlasting impression with a unique feeling. “When you first get up in the air, you need to know how it feels like. From there, you can reflect on yourself and how you can improve,” said Kakar.
“The first solo (flight) is when people quit,” Kakar said.
Attaining the certification is a process — a process that Kakar said can be completed in as little as four months. Kakar took his time; he decided to pursue this venture four years ago, and has been working on it since.
Aspiring pilots must complete 45 hours of flight time, several written/oral exams and multiple certifications, to list just a few required items from the curriculum checklist Kakar mentioned. He said the length of the curriculum depends on weather-related factors and instructor availability.
Kakar said that there are many factors to consider while flying a plane. Awareness and communication are the two he emphasized. “It’s not just flying the airplane, it’s being aware of the weather and the environment,” Kakar said. “You want to make sure you’re communicating well. Lack of communication is how crashes happen.”
Prior to his certification, Kakar said his father was his biggest inspiration. “My dad got me into it at first.” Although his father is not certified, he has taken training in the past.
“I think it is a really fun way to get myself to spend my time,” Kakar said. “I’m keeping it as a hobby.” Kakar said he is considering pursuing aviation as a career if his current career plans don’t work out.
The Aviation Club is open to any type of student who has any sort of interest in aviation. For more information, contact Jas Kakar at firstname.lastname@example.org.