SEATTLE, April 24, 2020—The Museum of Flight’s Aeronautical Science Pathway (ASP) program for high school students wanting to pursue careers in aviation has led to pathways crossing in the sky as an ASP alumnus helps a new ASP student earn his wings. Stephen Green, an 18-year-old high schooler enrolled in the ASP program recently started to learn how to fly from Christian Canlas, 21, now a professional flight instructor who graduated from the Museum’s inaugural ASP program in 2017.
For as long as he can remember, Canlas knew that he would someday be a pilot. As a senior at Renton High School, he still didn’t know how to make it a reality. Then he enrolled in the Museum’s first ASP class. “It was a blessing,” he said, “and jump-started my career in aviation. I didn’t know any pilots, or any professionals in aviation until I started ASP, where the teachers are pilots.”
The Museum’s mentorship helped Canlas meet aviation pros, and it opened doors into Boeing’s internship program during his first summer out of high school. Through ASP he earned 30 college credits, which helped speed his way through a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Green River College while also enrolled in flying lessons at Rainier Flight Service in Renton. On top of this Canlas worked part time to help pay for flight instruction, including stints at a dental clinic and as a ramp agent at Sea-Tac International Airport, “which meant doing everything from handling baggage to de-icing airliners.” He earned a Private Pilot license and Instrument rating at age 19, then the Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor licenses early the next year, which soon led to his current job teaching others how to fly, including fellow ASP student Stephen Green. Reflecting upon teaching Green, Canlas says, “I feel like I’m giving back.”
Canlas has been accepted into Horizon Air’s pilot development program with plans to begin flying with the airline as soon as he earns his Airline Transport Pilot certificate later this year. Green has the same goal of becoming an airline pilot and is glad to be soaring on the pathway he shares with Canlas.
In addition to the Aeronautical Science Pathway program, the Museum offers many scholarship opportunities for post-secondary STEM education and flight training. Stephen Green began his Private Pilot flight training with Canlas thanks to the Museum’s Benjamin L. Ellison Pilot Scholarship, which supports high school students interested in earning their Private Pilot license.
Image: Rainier Flight Service Flight Instructor and Museum of Flight Aeronautical Science Pathway graduate Christian Canlas (left) with currently-enrolled ASP student Stephen Green on one of Green's first instructional flights. The photo was taken just before wearing face masks became the norm. Photo Stephen Green.
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