- Forney ISD
Forney Senior Soars at Flight Academy
At the end of last school year, Forney High School senior Blane Duplissey found his summer plans up in the air…literally. For eight weeks this summer, Duplissey participated in the United States Air Force’s Flight Academy program where he earned his private pilot’s license and college credit.
Duplissey joined AFJROTC at Forney High School as a sophomore with dreams of becoming a pilot. After talking with advisors, he studied and applied to the Flight Academy program at the beginning of his junior year. Over 1,300 cadets applied for one of the 200 scholarships out of almost 120,000 high school students enrolled in Air Force JROTC. Duplissey was accepted in December, but the work didn’t end there. He continued to study and prepare throughout the spring.
As a part of the program, cadets are sent to colleges and universities across the country where they take college coursework and log flight hours. Duplissey was sent to Texas Southern University in Houston along with 10 other JROTC cadets. The scholarship is valued at $22,500 and covers transportation, room and board, academics, and flight hours. According to the Air Force, “The Flight Academy is intended to inspire and encourage high school youth toward aviation careers. The scholarship program is a collaborative effort between the aerospace industry and the Air Force to address a national pilot shortage.”
Duplissey said that his first time in the air was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. “It’s definitely a passion. The moment we left the ground that first time, we just all fell in love with it,” said Duplissey. “I’m either going to be a military pilot, a commercial pilot, or homeless. There’s nothing else I would rather do with my life.”
At the end of the training, Duplissey earned his private pilot’s license as well as college credit. “It’s so amazing. There are so many pluses and there are really no cons… Getting your pilot’s license, the credit hours, the bond that you share with other cadets, the scholarship that the Air Force provides… I would recommend it to anyone,” said Duplissey.
Over the last three years, the Forney ISD JROTC program has had 5 of 6 cadets accepted, with at least 1 each year. Today, Duplissey leads the same classes that he took last year to prepare for the program. He hopes that future cadets will share the same passion that he has for aviation.
After graduation, Duplissey plans to join the Air Force Academy and, later, the United States Air Force as a pilot. Until then, he can’t wait to get back up in the air.
“Being up there just makes you joyful. You think, 'Wow, I’m actually doing this.’ It’s just one of those moments that someone would take a picture of, but you’re living it. It’s those moments that you get to hold onto,” said Duplissey.
For more information about the Forney Independent School District, contact the Forney ISD Marketing and Communications Department at email@example.com or by phone at 469-762-4100.