From High School to Flying High

Meet Lucas Harbison, a 2015 Fishers High School alum who is pursuing his dream to fly through LIFT Academy. From favorite high school traditions to his first flight, Lucas shares how he made his way from high school diploma to flying high as a pilot.

Hometown: Fishers, IN

High school graduation year: 2015

Favorite school subject: Economics

Were you in any extra-curricular activities in high school? Football and rugby

Favorite tradition at Fishers High School: That’s easily the annual Mudsock football game. Not many people get to experience playing high school football in front of 10,000+ fans. Since it’s against the other high school in our district, we’re playing against the same kids we played with growing up. It was really special.

What made you want to become a pilot?  I never wanted a typical 9-5 desk job and always liked going fast. Originally, I wanted to be a pilot in the military, and then some life circumstances shifted that desire over to becoming a commercial pilot.

How old were you when you first remember wanting to become a pilot? I thought about it when I was younger since I had a family friend who was an airline pilot, but the first time I was really serious about it was in high school when I decided I wanted to fly jets in the military.

What did you do after high school? After high school I went to college to play Division 1 rugby until I got injured.

How did you decide to join LIFT? I had been planning on going to flight school shortly before LIFT Academy was announced, so everything just kind of fell into place at the right time. 

Why did you decide on LIFT for your flight training? I was talking to some family friends about going to flight school, and I got some inside information that a school would be opening close to home. When more details came out about the school and the opportunities with it, it was a pretty easy decision to start training at LIFT.

What is one thing you learned in high school that is helping most in flight training right now? One thing I learned in school that really helps with training is when a certain lesson or topic doesn’t seem to click, if you keep looking at it from different angles it starts to make sense.

What about becoming an airline pilot are you looking forward to the most? What I’m looking forward to the most is being able to move up to bigger and faster planes along with getting to fly in new and different areas of the country.

Would you recommend high schoolers now to consider aviation as a career? Absolutely. The way the industry is going, there’s a massive demand for pilots that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. These days it’s hard for some people to find jobs after college or high school, so going into an industry with such a need is a good idea.

What advice would you share about the training or the process of becoming a pilot? Obviously, the training is rigorous and fast-paced, but it’s not monotonous like the learning experience most people are used to. It’s mostly hands-on and a lot of fun, so it makes you want to keep progressing and developing your skills.