Solo Times Two at Sporty’s Academy

The Gilliland brothers with their instructors Erin Cappel (left) and Tim Miller (right).

Back-to-back sibling solos make for a memorable day

Two brothers, each enrolled in the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot program, soloed within one hour of each other at Sporty’s Academy last week.

Brothers Will and Andrew Gilliland each soloed in Cessna 172 Skyhawks. The brothers are both first year students in the University of Cincinnati’s Aviation Technology: Professional Pilot Training Program. The flight portion of the Professional Pilot Program is taught at Clermont County Airport.

“While Will may have bragging rights in terms of being first around the pattern, Andy executed three excellent landings and brother Will was first to offer his congratulations,” says Eric Radtke, president of Sporty’s Academy.

The unusually mild February weather brought out dozens of other pilots and instructors to observe the rare event of two family members soloing on the same day.

Adds Radtke, “In another interesting twist, Andy’s endorsing instructor was Tim Miller. Andy happened to be Tim’s first solo endorsement – congratulations Tim. And congratulations to Erin Cappel who got the festivities started with her solo endorsement of Will.”

Will and Andy are the sons of Paul and Pat Gilliland of Union, Kentucky. When the brothers complete the Aviation program through the University of Cincinnati, they will have earned an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Commercial pilot certificate.

For more information about professional pilot training at the University of Cincinnati visit or call 513.732.5200.

Download hi res EPS of the Gilliland brothers with their instructors