15-year-old Allen Co. Pilot earns aviation accolades, flying toward Air Force dream

Billy Mitchell Award & Solo Wings - latest steps towards 'Top Gun' dream

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – One 10th grade student is raking in aviation accolades one after another on the way to his ambitious future.

15-year-old Parker Lewis fell in love with the skies at 10-years-old. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to the skies.

“I like flying, because when you’re out there and you’re up in the air, there’s not really another feeling like it,” said Lewis.

In 2021, Lewis earned Civil Air Patrol’s Ground Team 1 certification, the highest rank ground team one can earn at his age. This summer, the CAP Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron honored the ambitious 10th grade pilot with the Billy Mitchell Award.

With this award, Lewis earned the title of Cadet Second Lieutenant. This is an honor, Lewis explained, that less than 16 percent of the cadets in the nation earn.

Lewis wasted no time resting on his laurels. Within 24 hours of winning the Billy Mitchell Award, Lewis went to Civil Air Patrol’s Glider Academy in Tullahoma, TN where he earned his Solo Wings at the end of that week’s training.

“I got my endorsement from an instructor, and then after that, I did the rope break procedure. I did a couple check flights with with my instructor and a different instructor, and then I was able to solo once I passed all that,” Lewis explained.

So what’s the motive behind all Lewis’ hard work?

Well, Lewis’ head may be in the clouds, but his sights are set firmly on his future helping others. He dreams of joining the Air Force like his hero from the big screen, Top Gun’s ‘Maverick’ Mitchell,

“My senior members in the squadron kind of sparked the interest in the training, and then I got the training done and it’s just something about it just makes me want to go out there.”

It’s a dream his dad, Wade Lewis, has encouraged from day one.

“I want him to accomplish his dreams,” said Wade Lewis. “And he wants to be an Air Force pilot and so we’ve kind of tailored all of his education and all of his experiences around that and doing our very best to get him in the Air Force.”

Young Lewis turned to his father and said, “Thank you for all the help and support throughout the years.”

His father continued, “It’s been great to see him blossom, see him bloom and see him grow up.”

Lewis currently aims to finish high school, join the University of Kentucky’s Air Force R.O.T.C. Program and be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force.