A family tradition: Logan Pietsch solos on his 16th birthday

It’s a family tradition.

Logan Pietsch is the second generation in his family to solo on his 16th birthday in a powered airplane. He made his solo flight on July 2.

Two years before on his 14th birthday he soloed in a glider.

Federal Aviation Administration regulations require that a person be 14 to fly solo in a glider and 16 to fly solo in a powered airplane.

Logan’s dad, Warren, and Warren’s two older brothers, Kent and Gary, all soloed on their 16th birthdays. Warren, the youngest, soloed in 1974.

Logan also is a third generation pilot. His grandfather, the late Al Pietsch, started flying after returning from World War II and was the first pilot of the family. Logan’s grandmother, Eleanor Pietsch, of Minot, also obtained her private pilot license and flew a number of years. Logan’s mother, Jolene, and sister, Markita, do not fly, Logan said.

Logan soloed at their home air strip southeast of Minot. He said he was 10 years old when he first flew a plane with his dad.

His very first plane ride was in a PA-11 Cub when he was 2 weeks old the same plane he made his first solo flight in, his mother said.

He’s also flown a Meyers 145 but most of his time has been in a PA-11, he said.

That day when he made his solo flight in the PA-11, he said his dad said to him, “OK, you ready to go, let’s go.” And off they went for his solo.

Although making a solo flight on a 16th birthday is a family tradition, he said he’s trying to keep up the momentum for himself because he soloed in a glider on his 14th birthday.

“And then on my 17th birthday I’m going to get my private pilot license,” he said. He needs 40 hours of duo and 10 hours of solo time to get that license. He will also need to take a written test and do a check ride.

Logan will be a junior at Minot High School this fall. He also works at Pietsch Aircraft Restoration & Repair in Minot.

He said he has plans for the future.

“Right now I’m aiming for going into the Air Force and becoming an officer,” he said.

He will be going into his third year of ROTC at Minot High School this year.

On July 4, Logan, wearing his ROTC uniform, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the dedication and ribbon cutting for the new Flying Legends Wing at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot.

Explaining why he wants to go into the Air Force, he said, “It really looked like a better option. We have the Air Force base here and really I’ve wanted to fly all my life,” he said.