LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Most 16-year-old kids dream of driving alone in the car for the first time, but Frankie Fremont has higher aspirations.
"My whole life, I’ve had this love for flying and aviation in the back of my head," said Fremont, a student at Faith Lutheran High School.
But, baseball was always Frankie's first love until an elbow injury put pitching on pause. That's when Frankie focused almost entirely on his true passion, becoming a pilot.
"At the time, I really was thinking, 'Oh, this will be a fun hobby, but when my arm is healed, I'm going back to baseball.' And I fell in love with flying and I haven’t gone back to baseball," said Fremont.
Since then, he's spent countless hours practicing and preparing for his big birthday. And on the day he turned 16, Frankie put his training to the test, taking and passing his private pilot glider test, and successfully completing his first solo flights in a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, all within a span of 24 hours. Frankie's parents believe their son is one of the youngest pilots ever to achieve all three of those feats.
"It was nerve racking, but again, I was able to resort to what I’ve learned in my sports psychology class and I was able to get through it, not get too nervous. But, definitely nerves were high and my heart was beating really fast," said Fremont.
For Frankie and his family, it's a day they've dreamt about for years.
"There are not a lot of things, as a parent, that leave you feeling like it doesn't get any better than this. But seeing that handshake with the pilot examiner and him get the private license, that's a father moment," said an emotional James Fremont, Frankie's father.
When Frankie's not flying, he's balancing his bible studies and schoolwork and maintaining his 3.3 G.P.A.
"Obviously, school comes first and so, when you get done with school, you get right into the studying for aviation and you’re pretty much working on that until you go to bed," said Fremont.
But what pushes this young pilot will forever be that flying feeling.
"It’s really one of those things that you have to be there because it’s indescribable. It’s just amazing to be following in the footsteps of those who pioneered aviation," said Fremont.
Faith Lutheran High School has announced it's starting an aviation program next year that Frankie plans to attend. He's already taking college classes online so he can continue his pilot training. Frankie says he's working towards one day becoming a commercial pilot, but he also says he's not ruling out flying for the military either.