Teen Helicopter Pilot Buzzes High School Before He Graduates
By Erik Rosales
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) — What were you doing at 17-years-old? Most of us were just starting to feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car, but not for pilot Michael Gillispie. He says, "I've been flying since I was 13, this is what I want to do and I just thought it would be really cool to take my future career right over where I graduated." Gillispie loves being in the air and with just days before receives his high school diploma, he had one more thing to accomplish. He wanted to buzz his high school, Central West High just west of Fresno. So with his friends looking on, plus getting the okay from Central Unified and with his dad filming it Gillispie fulfilled a dream that's come true. He says, "I was just thinking these are my final days in high school and this is the beginning of my career." So just how exactly does Gillispie plan to use his pilot experience in the future? Gillispie says, "I'm thinking about joining the Department of Forestry. Like putting out fires I think that would be really cool and maybe search and rescue as well." He adds his once in a lifetime dream would not have happened, without his flight trainer, and help from American Helicopters in Fresno.
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.