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Way to Go! Bellport student's passion takes flight during pandemic

Kerri Campbell.

Kerri Campbell. Credit: South Country Central School District

A Bellport High School student with a passion for aviation is flying high after her latest achievement.

Kerri Campbell, a senior who has been attending classes remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, recently passed her "check ride," a Federal Aviation Administration examination one must undergo to receive an aircraft pilot's license or a rating for additional flight privileges.

Campbell, who aspires to be an airline pilot, can also now fly a single-engine plane with passengers as pilot in command.

"I have basically spent my whole life flying; it has been my whole focus," Campbell said. "Being able to acquire my certification has been a positive outcome of remote instruction."

Campbell's journey to becoming a pilot has been in the works since she joined the Civil Air Patrol at the age of 13, her school said. Her interest in aviation then continued to flourish after she attended a National Glider Flight Academy, where she flew solo in a glider for the first time when she was 16.

After graduation, she plans on attending ATP Flight School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she plans to begin her professional training to become an airline pilot. In addition, she said she plans to obtain both her glider and lighter-than-air ratings in the near future.

Campbell is also a member of various school organizations including the National Honor Society.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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