Christian Colon, who was originally born in Puerto Rico, first fell in love with airplanes watching them take off into the sky with his parents. His interest grew even more when he became a student at Houston ISD’s Sterling Aviation High School, where he initially trained to be a pilot. Through mentorship from United Airlines, the 21-year-old is now one of the youngest pilots licensed to fly for Mesa Airlines.
Q: What’s one of your favorite memories from high school and training to be a pilot?
“We had this thing called a solo flight. The solo flight is when your instructor hands you the airplane and you fly the plane on your own. I remember, you had a block [of time] to go to the flight school and fly the airplanes. By the time I got done with my flights, I would be coming back to school because I played sports in high school. Coming back to [school], in my head I’m like Oh my God, I just did this. I couldn’t stop smiling. Who can say I’m going to high school today, but at 12:00, I’m getting my lunch, and then I’m going to fly?”
Q: When you’re piloting a plane, what do you enjoy the most about the experience?
"I’m trying to soak it all in still. I’m just focused on do this right. Don’t mess this up. I’m still trying to bring my school knowledge into the flight deck. Recently, I had the opportunity to fly my parents. I took them from Jacksonville, Florida and back. That was a wild moment. I also enjoy the view. It looks like what people might think heaven is. It’s beautiful. I have what 45 years in my career left? I don’t think I will ever get used to the view. ”
Q: What’s a dream destination that you want to fly to?
“Flying back home to Puerto Rico. Hopefully I get blessed enough to go to United. They fly from Houston to Puerto Rico. Just have my family be out there and see the airplane land. Being able to land back where I was born, seeing the beach and all that, coming in for the landing, I feel like would be pretty cool.”