Revving up for the month of May, Indianapolis-based LIFT Academy hosted NNT INDYCAR Series drivers Kyle Kaiser, Spencer Pigot and Dalton Kellett from AJ Foyt Racing to get a taste of speed from 5,000 feet during a discovery flight in state-of-the-art single-engine Diamond DA40 aircraft taking off from Indianapolis International Airport.
The trio took off with a LIFT Certified Flight Instructor, flying around the greater Indianapolis area and catching a glimpse of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500, will take place at the end of this month. The three drivers are engaged in promoting STEM education and visited LIFT to have a unique perspective within aviation.
Following their flights, Kaiser, Kellett and Pigot hosted an open forum in LIFT’s hangar for LIFT students and guests, discussing transferable skills between their racing career and flight training.
“I was not really knowing what to expect when I said I was going to go fly a plane. I didn’t realize I was actually going to be flying the plane as much as I was,” Kaiser shared. “I’ve never actually been behind the controls of a plane before… it was pretty eye-opening, but I think I got the bug. I think I want to learn how to do this.”
LIFT Academy is owned by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and is the first U.S. airline-owned and operated ab initio flight training program in the new generation of flight training. LIFT has been invested in bringing aviation mainstream, connecting with partners such as Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts and now IndyCar to raise awareness of the career opportunities within the airline industry.
Since its launch in 2018, LIFT has made it its mission to make flight and maintenance training attainable and is engaged in creating unique opportunities for individuals to gain exposure in aviation career fields. Less than three years later, it has quickly become one of the largest flight schools in the nation with nearly 300 students from across the United States coming to train in Indianapolis.