12-year-old boy flies Piper plane
February 26 2013 09:10 PM
Jervin Barcenas guides his Piper over Los Angeles.
Jervin Barcenas guides his Piper over Los Angeles.

Agencies/Los Angeles

For 12-year-old Jervin Barcenas, getting on an airplane is one thing.

However, being able to fly one is an entirely different story.

A student of Saint Anne Catholic School in Santa Monica, California, Jervin has been interested in aircraft since his very first plane ride to Manila aboard Philippine Airlines. Jervin became more interested in planes when his grandpa introduced him to the world of aviation.

“My first time flying on PAL was when I realised my dream was to become a pilot,” Jervin said. “I want to be a United Airlines pilot, maybe flying the Boeing 777-300!”

After years of waiting, Jervin was finally able to start pursuing his dream when he turned 12. For his birthday, he asked his parents if he could take lessons at Skyward Aviation Flight School in Santa Monica. From then on, it was love at first flight.

He learned the plane terminologies, took his first lessons with a private instructor and was able to get off the ground fairly quickly. Soon, he was flying a Piper plane from 1979 without help.

“The Piper plane is very easy to fly because it’s a slow aircraft,” Jervin said. “But it’s also kind of hard to land in strong winds.”

He went through a brief summary of his flight process, already speaking the language of aviation. “My instructor and I would check the aircraft’s exterior, and I got familiar with the cockpit area. After taxiing, I would go and check the instruments with the controls. After being cleared, we take off! I get to manoeuvre the aircraft over West LA (Los Angeles).”

Jervin’s parents, Melvin and Jerty, are proud of their son’s achievements. They were uneasy for Jervin to be flying an aircraft at his young age, but after seeing what he can do, they were astonished. They have always emphasised the values of patience and self-discipline to their son.

“We will always be here for our child supporting all the way in fulfilling your dreams,” his parents told the Asian Journal via email. “We love you Captain Jervin Barcenas.” For Melvin and Jerty, parental support also includes funding Jervin’s flight lessons at Skyward Aviation for the next five years, until he is able to get his official pilot licence at the age of 16. Melvin also hopes to enroll his son into the Cisco Network Engineering certificate, so that he can pursue other potential career paths.

Jervin, however, is very determined to make his piloting dreams a reality.

So far he has flown for three hours since his first flight in mid-January.

“For other kids who want to fly, it is hard, but not impossible,” he advised. “Don’t give up on your dream just because of the economy or anything else. Also, thank your parents, because they are the ones supporting you every day of your life.”


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