Fifteen minutes north of campus in the town of Bedford there is an airfield hiding in plain sight. As you drive through the residential neighborhood one would never think that beyond those quiet homes lies the chance for Brandeis’ students to fly. Well, the Aviation Club is making that possible as everyone is invited to take off with them and learn how to properly control and fly a plane.
Led by club president Lachlan Elam ’22, the Brandeis Aviation Club is returning to the skies and in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Elam discussed the opportunity and how he became involved. His beginning with the club started his first year at Brandeis as he noted, “I have always wanted to [fly], but my parents would not pay for it, both because it was expensive and also because they wanted to spare me being on an episode of ‘Mayday.’” From his first flying lesson through the club Elam became dedicated to receiving his pilot license, noting that it “has been a blast ever since!”
The Brandeis Aviation Club has been present on campus for 10 years and not only offers students the ability to fly but also provides simulator training in the MakerLab, drone flying opportunities and ground school lessons all on campus. The club prepares students for real life flight which is practiced at the East Coast Aero Club (ECAC) in Bedford. ECAC, as Elam described it to The Hoot, is “one of the most seasoned and professional flight schools in New England,” with their instructors working closely with the club to “understand the standards and expectations of student pilots learning at the school.”
Instructors at ECAC are all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified instructors whose teaching “guarantees a long and safe flight career,” as Elam noted. The club continues to bring in interested and new pilots who have never gone in the air before attending Aviation Club lessons, as Elam said, “We have many people flying for the first time every semester. Most people come to the next meeting after their flight with a big smile and I love hearing about their experience. The club has also given a few people with aviation aspirations the chance to begin their careers!”
The Brandeis Aviation Club offers anyone interested in flight a chance to step into that experience and partake in the beauty of the location, as Elam explained, “there is something really special about coming in for a right traffic landing with Boston off your left wing.”
When asked about the experience thus far with the club and why those interested should join, Elam said, “there is no feeling of freedom quite like flying. Brandeis Flight Club gives members the opportunity to experience the miracle of human flight! Take lessons for free and work towards your pilot license! We also hold weekly meetings to fly on a simulator, and discuss aviation news and other flying related topics. The meetings are quite fun, we are a pretty comedic group, as are most pilots.”
The Brandeis Aviation Club meets on Tuesdays in the MakerLab from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. because as Elam made sure to tell us, “I want more people to know that they have the opportunity to fly!”
You can watch a video of Elam flying below.