The sky’s the limit

Senior flies to the skies to head towards her dreams of becoming a pilot


Photo by and used with the permission of Luciya Kojenova

In July, Luciya Kojenova, senior, took an exploration flight, where she got to experience flying in the pilot seat, giving her her first taste of what it is like to fly.

The sky is her office and the whole world is right outside her window. For one student, her dream job is on a completely different level than most.

Though Luciya Kojenova, senior, says she has been on a plane fewer times than she can count on her fingers, she has had her heart set on being a pilot since she was fifteen.

“Nothing has piqued my interest more than flying a plane. It just stood out to me as one of the most interesting [career paths] compared to others. I also like to travel. I would like to go see the world: Japan, Russia, Germany, cool places,” Kojenova said. “[Another thing is that aviation is] a field that not only has demand for [pilots], but also one that not a lot of people think about going into.” 

In fact, Kojenova was one of those people who didn’t consider piloting as a career. She says an instance with her dad changed that, switching her perspective from thinking that “pilots were cool” to wanting to become a pilot herself.

“I was on the way back from Tennessee to Illinois [with my dad] and usually, you have to drive past an airport by Louisville,” Kojenova said. “My dad [and I] were talking and he looked at the planes, and he’s like, ‘You know, you could be a pilot.’ And I said, ‘Ok, I’m going to be a pilot.’”

Kojenova says that though her dad never expected her to follow through with her career path, she has received support from him and the rest of her family, nonetheless, as well as her friends. Sanya Ahuja, senior and Kojenova’s friend, says she found out her junior year and though she was surprised, Ahuja “knew she could do it.”

“She’s very driven and [is] a hard worker. She sets her mind to something and tries to accomplish it. [Luciya’s] going beyond and getting a bunch of different certifications to be able to do the things she loves,” Ahuja said.

To continue pursuing her dream, Kojenova says she wants to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Florida, to major in commercial aviation, where she will be able to take courses to get her pilot license. 

However, while Kojenova is confident about her career choice, she says she is worried about the challenges she might face as a pilot in the future.

“I feel like it’ll be difficult to start a family because as a pilot, you stay overnight in different places. Having kids and figuring out when you’re going to be home and raising them is going to be a little bit difficult,” Kojenova said. “Another is getting acquainted with pilot life. Going from place to place, I don’t know how well I can adjust my sleeping schedule or fit my life around my job. It’s possible, but it’s a bit daunting to think about.”

But despite the challenges of being a pilot, Kojenova says piloting is “the future [she’s] going to have forever.”

“I don’t think I’d ever give up on trying to be a pilot,” Kojenova said. “I know I’m gonna have my pilot license and hopefully, one day, own a plane [of my own].”