Our Second Ray Scholar Becomes a Pilot

by Hannah Treehan

Dear EAA Chapter 1541 members,

Headed to KMCC for checkride

I am very happy to announce that I passed my PPL checkride on August 22nd! I’m so grateful for all of your support through this process, and I can’t wait to see where being a private pilot takes me!
My checkride was a really exciting experience. That week, I had been a bit worried about the smoke, but it was really nice and clear that morning – a perfect day to fly. I took off from Lincoln and practiced some maneuvers on my own to warm up, and then met my Designated Pilot Examiner (Richard Conte) at McClellan.

Checkride track from Flightaware

After passing my oral, we took off, and along the way he diverted me to Davis University Airport, where I did some of my landings. After doing my maneuvers, we flew back to McClellan, where I learned that I passed!

Hannah and CFI Mary Wick

Being told that I’ve officially become a private pilot was one of the best moments of my life. I can’t believe how far I’ve come with all of your support and encouragement! It’s been just about a year since I started my aviation journey, and I’ve loved every second of it.
I can still remember my first flight, becoming hooked the moment our wheels left the runway… Or my first solo, feeling such a sense of exhilaration, peacefulness, and responsibility at finally being able to fly on my own… Or my first solo cross country, when I flew to Redding, learning to appreciate even more the freedom and possibilities of flying…

Newly certificated pilot Hannah returns to KLH in loose formation with CFI Mary Wick

Or, most recently, flying back to Lincoln from McClellan, completing my first flight as a private pilot!
I want to thank each one of you for always being there to encourage me throughout this whole journey. Special thank you’s to Dan Masys, for giving me my first Young Eagles flight, introducing me to the world of aviation, and helping me earn the Ray Scholarship (which has been such a blessing!); to my amazing instructor Mary Wick, for always believing in me, having the heart of a teacher, and helping me get to where I am today; to Scott and Shirl Whelan, for being so supportive and helpful as scholarship coordinators; to their daughter Amy, the previous Ray Scholar, for really inspiring me through her own journey; and to Lorin Ponton, for being a wonderful inspiration to me, flying with me, and motivating me through her progress, determination and success! Thank you so much also to the anonymous EAA donor who covered the cost of my checkride; your generosity has truly helped my family and I a lot. Lots of love for everyone!

Ray Scholar Amy Whelan presents Ray Scholar Hannah Treehan with her official Scholar shirt.

Finally, I want to give a big thank you to the organizations that have supported me and made all of this possible. Thank you so very much to EAA Chapter 1541, the Ray Aviation Foundation, the Sutter Buttes Ninety-Nines, and Lightspeed Aviation!

Pilot Hannah takes her Dad and Brother Kevin
on their first family flight

Looking ahead, I’m really excited for what the future holds. Earlier this week, I flew my family for the first time, and they loved it. We’re planning to do a family trip sometime in the future! Later on, I plan to pursue my instrument rating soon, and after getting my first taste of formation flying with Mary on the way back to Lincoln, I know that’s something I want to do down the road for sure. I just want to keep learning!
Thank you so much once again, and I hope you all have a wonderful week!