Student Pilot Involved in SUV Collision Earns Certificate

Three months after his harrowing collision with an SUV during an approach to Northwest Regional Airport (52F) near Roanoke, Texas, Will Davis has earned his Private Pilot Certificate.

The pilot’s wife witnessed the collision and shot a video, which went viral and created a lot of media attention. In interviews shortly after the accident, Davis said he would stop flying. But with a little encouragement he returned to the skies about a month later and fulfilled his dream of becoming a pilot.

In a recent article on the subject, AOPA's Benet Wilson detailed Wilson's unusual path to achieving his certificate. In her story, Wilson reports that Davis received several letters from pilots telling him not to give up. His instructor, Heinrich Steffen, also encouraged him to continue his training. "I can see in people when there's an absolute passion for flying, and I saw the joy and freedom in Will," said Steffen.

Understandably, Davis was nervous about landings when he first returned to the cockpit, but it only took a few hours of flight training for his confidence to return.

After passing his checkride on February 2, Davis said, “It felt like New Year’s Eve and Christmas all in one. It felt great. It was the fruition of a childhood dream. I’ve always wanted to learn to fly.”

Here is the video that captured the Cessna 172 and SUV collision.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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