Senior Spotlight: Conor Tradewell


Jackson Sawatzky

Last Friday, I met with Conor Tradewell in the Capital High School Library to discuss his involvement at Capital over the last four years. Conor over the years has been involved in many activities outside of school to keep him busy but the majority of have to do with his interest in being a pilot. 

Conor is a graduating senior at CHS and is planning to attend Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA. He is an IB student involved in a variety of activities here on Capitals campus and beyond. Conor was on the Capital golf team for awhile, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for him. Conor and I have been friends since meeting at Jefferson Middle School just down the road from Capital. Like me, Conor has been involved in music for several years, playing the Trumpet from 6th Grade to his Sophomore year of high school. After that,  he started playing the Euphonium in Capital’s Wind Ensemble. This meant he was also a part of the CHS Marching/Pep Band during the fall semester, dawning a mustard yellow jacket like the rest of the low brass section. Conor while using his talent in school activities, has also pursued his other passions in an activity more career-related.

Many people may not know this, but Conor is in fact in training to earn his private pilot’s license at Glacier Flight School in Tumwater, WA at the Olympia Regional Airport. As Conner says he started the process when “I did my introductory flight in the summer of my sophomore year. They actually start by letting you take off. It isn’t very difficult.” He began his lessons a few weeks after that initial flight. “There are four different licenses” Conor says, “your Private license, instrument license, commercial license, and instructor license.” Conor needs each of those four as it is a requirement to fly for an airline. He says the process of obtaining these licenses is not much different from than process to get any other kind of license. To get the licenses you need a certain number of hours flying, you have to learn necessary the material and get tested. “At Big Bend, I’m pretty sure they have a deal with Horizon Alaska, where once you get your 500 instruction hours you’ll fly for Horizon for a few years and then move on to Alaska [Airlines].” There are a lot of perks to flying for an airline Conor says, including a lot of time off, high pay and big discounts on flights.

This process is lengthy and will take a while for Conor to finish, at least through his college years.  However after the process is complete he will have many more opportunities than just piloting an aircraft for a living. Conor has a clear plan for what he wants to do in his life and given the investment and support from his parents and family, Conor is set for success in his career as a pilot.