CCA high school learner training to become Air Force pilot

At a time when many of his peers struggle to plan a path in life, Commonwealth Charter Academy sophomore Kyle Hordyszynski has set his eyes on the sky.

“Ever since I could talk, I’ve been interested in aviation,” said Kyle, a CCA learner from Dingman Township, Pike County.

Kyle has taken big steps toward his goal of a career as an Air Force or commercial pilot. He holds the Civil Air Patrol’s highest noncommissioned rank, and he’s studying for CAP’s rigorous officer exam. Plus, he was accepted through a nationally competitive process to participate in a unique summertime opportunity -- a week of training in airplane mechanics at a Cessna factory in Kansas.

That training will count as a CCA internship, earning Kyle high school credit. He enrolled in CCA early in his freshman year, after relentless teasing drove him away from a traditional high school. At CCA he has found welcoming teachers and classmates, and his coursework suits his demand for academic challenges.

CCA’s flexibility allows Kyle to be more active with CAP. Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, with missions of aerospace education, emergency services and cadet programs. Cadets attend weekly meetings, undergo intensive aviation education and training, and volunteer for CAP and community events.

As a chief cadet master sergeant, Kyle is building leadership, teamwork and discipline skills by working with his squadron’s flight sergeant to train other cadets and engage them in activities. Kyle and his family participate when CAP helps with such duties as parking lot patrol for air shows and distributing flowers to the loved ones of fallen soldiers at veterans’ remembrances.

Kyle’s parents, Michelle and Rick Hordyszynski, “couldn’t be any prouder,” said his dad. Pursuing his passion for aviation helps Kyle concentrate on his schoolwork, and teachers always promptly return phone calls and email when Kyle has questions, Rick Hordyszynski said.

“That individual relationship with teachers is really good, because they do take the time to help, not just Kyle but other students, to make sure they do their work properly,” Rick Hordyszynski said.

With CCA’s on-the-go learning, the Hordyszynskis can take advantage of family-time opportunities without waiting for the rigidly scheduled breaks of traditional schools. Kyle and his dad race dirt bikes, and often “he sits down at the racetrack doing his homework,” Rick Hordyszynski said.

Kyle still is considering his postsecondary options, but training as an Air Force pilot is his ultimate dream.

“I want to fly and I also want to serve my country, and the Air Force provides both things,” Kyle said. “It’s important for me to serve my country to keep my family and friends safe and to make sure that everything this nation has built is not lost, that our freedoms are not taken away.”


High School Learner