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Cascades Academy senior lands helicopter at school, inspiring kids to aim high, just as he was

(Update: Adding information and video)

Jackson Junkin was inspired to become a pilot when he witnessed just such a landing at the school seven years ago

TUMALO, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Friday, high school senior Jackson Junkin of Cascades Academy in Tumalo landed a helicopter on the school's athletic field on Friday -- and it wasn't the first such event there.

In fact, Junkin was inspired to become a pilot after watching another senior land a helicopter on the school's field back in 2014, when he was a fifth-grader.

Junkin spent 80 hours working toward his pilot certification before becoming a certified pilot last August at the age of 17.

"It's not a magical thing only a select few can do," Junkin told NewsChannel 21 on Friday. "It's definitely achievable for almost anybody. Flying a helicopter, it's not super-difficult. If you can drive a car, you can fly a helicopter."

On Friday, Junkin took off from Leading Edge Aviation at the Bend Airport and traveled about eight miles to the Cascades Academy athletic field, landing in front of a cheering student body.

"It was really cool," sixth-grader Charlie Baker said.  

Once Junkin landed, he answered some questions from the crowd before showing the students the Raven R44 helicopter.

"It's also kind of fun to maybe be able to inspire the next generation of helicopter pilots," Junkin said.

One of those students is sixth-grader Wesley Harvey, who told NewsChannel 21 he's always loved helicopters and was inspired by Junkin's flight.

"I hope to get a pilot's degree, as soon as I'm old enough," Harvey said.  

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



  1. This is awesome. Very cool that he’s making effort to inspire others to follow a path they might not have otherwise. Good work, bro.

  2. I am sure he worked really hard to make that happen. I sincerely think he should be very proud of his accomplishments. I have to state the obvious here…Privilege gets the door wide open for some folks.

  3. “inspiring kids to aim high, just as he was” ??? Such an appropriate headline for our Marijuana induced youth of today… I woulda thought one wold want to inspire kids to aim high- just as he has… but maybe “was” is more appropriate today ! Time to “Name That Tune:

    You see she was gonna be an actress
    And I was gonna learn to fly
    She took off to find the footlights
    And I took off for the sky
    And here, she’s acting happy
    Inside her handsome home
    And me, I’m flying in my taxi
    Taking tips and getting stoned
    I go flying so high, when I’m stoned……

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