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Roseville teen takes flight

Oakmont High School senior participates in aviation academy
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Mikaela Davidian had a difficult time flying the aircraft.

"I crashed the plane a few times," she said, smiling.

Luckily, the airplane was only a simulated one, which she experimented with operating as part of a hands-on activity at an aviation academy.

The 16-year-old Roseville resident spent nine days in July learning the science and art of aviation as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association Advanced Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wis. She was one of only about a dozen girls out of 52 students in the program.

During the academy, she met other students from around the country, which she said was the best part of the experience. She also made a spark plug, learned how to weld, made a clipboard of fiberglass and spent two days enjoying an air show.

One of her favorite activities involved flying in a helicopter.

"It was my first time in (a helicopter) and it was awesome," she said.

Attending the aviation academy was a family affair for Mikaela, who participated with her cousin who lives in New Mexico. Their grandfather also lives in the "Land of Enchantment" state. He's a retired pilot with Delta Airlines.

Since her return, Mikaela has been urging her younger sisters to attend the program when they get old enough. She also plans to get her pilot's license next year.

"It was such a positive experience," she said. "It was life-changing for me."

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.