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