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James Christoph Flies Solo in Airplane

James Christoph, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Richard A. Christoph of Front Royal, celebrated the 

James Christoph soloed in an airplane for the first time as a 16-year-old sophomore in high school.end of the school year in a unique way when he flew solo for the first time.

At the time of his solo, May 30, 2013, Christoph was just finishing up his sophomore year at Randolph-Macon Academy, which is the only high school in the contiguous United States with a flight program in which the planes are school-owned and the flight instructors are school faculty members.  For his first solo, Christoph successfully completed three take-offs and three landings alone in a Cessna 172 airplane at Front Royal-Warren County Airport in Front Royal, VA.

“After a paperwork delay, scheduling delays, and weather delays, James was able to take one big step towards that office in the sky,” commented Randolph-Macon flight instructor Ryan Koch. “I have enjoyed teaching James this year and look forward to flying with him more this summer working on cross-country flying.” 

In accomplishing this solo, Christoph has made soloing through Randolph-Macon a family tradition; his older brother, John, also flew his first solo in Randolph-Macon Academy’s flight program, and obtained his private pilot certification the day after he graduated from the high school. John is now a rising sophomore at the College of William and Mary.

Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12.  Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA’s 91st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), and have the opportunity to fly in a unique flight program.  R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, Virginia.