Solo Milestone — Ray Scholar Cheyenne Fuoco

On June 12, 2021, Ray Scholarship recipient Cheyenne Fuoco, EAA 1298741, soloed at the Hartford-Brainard Airport in Hartford, Connecticut, in a Cessna 172R.

Cheyenne has dreamed of flying since she was nine years old, after spending time at Camp Sikorsky through Girl Scouts. After flying in a helicopter there, Cheyenne went on to fly at a Young Eagles event.

“I just kind of fell in love with it,” Cheyenne said. “The day I took my Young Eagles flight I started looking into flight training, but it was a little too expensive.”

After pursuing a number of aviation scholarships, she was finally able to find one that was the right fit for her: the Ray Aviation Scholarship.

Even before the Ray Aviation Scholarship, Cheyenne had started to become active in nearby EAA Chapter 166. There, she got the chance to help in the building of an RV-12, as well as take a couple more flights with the help of chapter members.

After months of training, Cheyenne was ready to solo. Nothing would get in the way, not even her high school graduation.

“That morning, I got ready and went to graduation,” Cheyenne explained. “It went a little longer than I thought it would… and my friends were all ‘I don’t know if she’s going to make it in time [to solo].’”

After sprinting around in her cap and gown, Cheyenne was able to make it in time to the airport to do her first solo flight.

“I don’t even know if words can describe the feeling,” Cheyenne said. “Every time I’d flown with my flight instructor, I was like, ‘Well, he’s helping me a little bit, I can be doing this all by myself.’”

Despite these doubts, Cheyenne finished her solo with flying colors.

Now that this important milestone is completed, Cheyenne has more to do. Besides her written exam and checkride, Cheyenne plans on going to Oklahoma State University this fall for aerospace mechanical engineering.

Congratulations Cheyenne, and best of luck this fall!

Have you reached a milestone recently? Passed a checkride, given your first or hundredth Young Eagles flight, flown your homebuilt for the first time? Tell us about it at

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