PLAS senior Bryant Swindall pilots flyover before Homecoming

Published 12:25 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

At Pike Liberal Arts School’s Homecoming Game, senior Bryant Swindall piloted a flyover above the game.

Swindall is currently taking lessons with Sky Warrior Flight Training at Troy Municipal Airport. The PLAS senior class put together the flyover with Swindall piloting. Swindall said that he is preparing to take his FAA written exam and after that he will take his check-ride test, which leads to a pilot license.

“I’ve been around planes for as long as I can remember,” Swindall said. “My dad used to take the pictures for the Wiley Sanders calendar that had different planes for every month. So, I would go out with him when I was little and watch all the planes take off and fly low to the runway and all that.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

While Swindall said the experience of doing his first flyover of a football game was fun, it was also challenging.

“It was hard to time up because we had to wait for the National Anthem and the coin toss and all of that,” he said. “It was hard to time well and apparently we didn’t go straight over the field because it was hard to see straight under the plane. I tried my best and it was fun, though.”

Swindall piloted a flyover above Pike Lib’s Homecoming Game last Friday. Pictured, from left, is Jackson Cleveland, Slade Renfore and Swindall. (Submitted photo)

Swindall said flying gives him a different perspective of the world.

“Just seeing everything from above, especially at night,” he said of his favorite things about flying. “It gives you a different perspective on everything.”

Swindall’s instructor also gave him the opportunity to invite a pair of his friends up into the air with him for the flyover. So, he brought with him fellow seniors Jackson Cleveland and Slade Renfore.

“I’ve flown in a big plane before but never a small plane like that,” Cleveland said. “It was a tight squeeze back there but (Swindall) did a good job and he got us in the air safely and down safely, which is all I care about.”

It was Renfroe’s first time ever flying, but he said he’s looking forward to doing it.

“It was fun, especially at night. I couldn’t really see the ground, just the lights,” Renfroe recalled. “That was my first time ever flying. It was pretty fun and I’d definitely do it again.”