Phillips 66® Aviation is proud to share the news that Ben Van Handel passed his Private Pilot Check Ride on February 10 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at Fond du Lac Skyport. Van Handel was awarded the Phillips 66 Aviation EAA Flight Training Award in July 2017 and has since completed 49 hours of flight time to earn his certificate, while enrolled as a full-time student.
"The freedom and reality that came with this dream is setting in and I’m on cloud nine," says Van Handel. "I can’t thank Phillip 66 enough for sponsoring this scholarship and giving me this unforgettable opportunity and experience."
Up next for Van Handel is sharing his passion for aviation by taking family and friends on rides to share the freedom of flight. He plans to continue training for his instrument rating, then continue on in training to receive his commercial rating.
As part of his pilot’s journey, Van Handel also intends to be a volunteer pilot in the EAA Young Eagles, program dedicated to giving youth ages 8–17 their first free ride in an airplane. Ben has already flown his first Young Eagle, his younger brother Lucas Van Handel. "Lucas was almost as excited as I was when he found out I had earned my wings," says Van Handel, "of course my brother had to share my first ride as a pilot!"
The Phillips 66 Aviation EAA Flight Training Award provided $13,200 to help make an individual’s dreams of flight a reality. To follow Van Handel as he continues his journey as a pilot, like the Phillips 66 Aviation Facebook and Twitter pages.
We wish pleasant skies and fair tailwinds to you, Ben!