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Roxbury High School Junior Tyler Benedetto is first to take flight

ROXBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Roxbury High School Junior Tyler Benedetto completed his check ride on Wednesday, Feb. 1, earning him his Private Pilot’s license. He is the first student to earn his pilot’s license from Roxbury’s aviation program, which currently has over 50 students.

“This is certainly a big deal, as it’s a rigorous process to become a pilot,” explained Dr. Mike Gottfried, Roxbury Aviation teacher. “Tyler is one of four students currently doing their flight training, and I’m working on my pilot’s license as well.”

Benedetto was one of the first students to join the program as a freshman, taking Aviation 1 and 2. He planned to continue Aviation 3 this year, but because he’s doing the Engineering program through Vo-Tech at County College of Morris, it didn’t fit into his schedule.

This high school junior put in the remaining time outside of class to finish the ground portion of his training. Last May, Benedetto began training for his Private Pilot’s License after being one of 80 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) high school recipients to receive a $10,000 Flight Training Scholarship.

He did his training with American Flyers out of Morristown Municipal Airport and completed the program in just about eight months, logging 62.3 hours of flight training and 38.7 hours of formal ground instruction.  Of those, Tyler flew 5.1 hours solo and 3.7 hours at night.

“Since I’m going through the flight training process myself, I can appreciate how challenging it is. The knowledge needed to become a pilot is extensive, and the hours you need to commit both in the plane, on the ground, and studying to make it all happen is incredible,” Gottfried said.

Benedetto also currently serves as the President and Co-Founder of the Aviation Club at RHS as well as the Vice President of Rox-THON, a club and overnight fundraising event at Roxbury High School to fight pediatric cancer.

“In addition, he received his Eagle Scout Award in November 2022. I’m extremely proud of Tyler, and all his accomplishments. Not only is this an impressive feat for Tyler, but it’s a major milestone for our growing aviation program. Tyler sets an amazing example for his peers, showing how accessible it is to earn a pilot’s license. We’re very fortunate that the district has supported this program so extensively, and I’m excited to see where it takes us. I’m confident this is only the beginning!,” Gottfried said

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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