Chaminade students diversify campus life with their varying passions and experiences particular junior, Breeana Kovelman, not only places emphasis on her vigorous studies but also on her passions: aviation and filmmaking. Studying to become licensed as a helicopter pilot at the mere age of seventeen, Breeana demonstrates tenacity as well as a high-level of meticulousness in her passions. Back in December, I had the privilege to take a firsthand look at aviation by observing her helicopter lesson at Elite Helicopter Training on the west end of Los Angeles. Located at the Van Nuys airport, the academy serves as one of the largest facilities for helicopter pilots in Los Angeles and celebrates its perfect pass rate and record of no crashes. After listening to the whurrs of the planes and helicopters just overhead, I was excited to share a bit more about this close friend:
Sarah: What founded your passion for aviation?
Breeana: I took a helicopter tour in Hawaii about two or three years ago, and I got to sit up by the pilot. I was just mesmerized by what he was doing, manipulating the controls. I thought it was really cool to see everything from a bird’s eye view. I also took a helicopter ride up to a glacier in Alaska and got to sit up by the pilot again. It was in an R-44, which is a less complex version of a helicopter (and related to the R-22 I fly now) with simpler controls, and it was just amazing to see how he was able to control it so well. And because the controls were simpler I thought, “hey I could do this, too.”
S: Can you describe your passion for this sport?
Breeana: Like, how I’m addicted to it? Well, that’s what it is, I am addicted to flying helicopters. I just can’t get enough of it. I’m always reading my books about flying and bring them to school everyday. I have one or two lessons over the course of a week. Before each lesson, I try to clear my mind and tone down my reactions, which is something I learned from my instructor and everyone else that works at Elite. Every time I come back onto the ground, I’m so refreshed and there is all this exhilaration of flying. Right after my lesson, I have to go home and listen to my control tower conversations on this website that has all of our communications to relive my lesson. It’s just, I can’t talking about it, I can’t stop thinking about it, and that’s partly because I’m just starting, but I’ve heard that it’s only gets stronger, your passion for flying.
S: You’ve been long involved in the New York Film Academy from my understanding. Is there a reason you dedicate so much time to the same program every year?
B: I really like the New York Film Academy. They have amazing equipment and the instructors are so experienced and work fantastic with younger people. You have an amazing opportunity to film on the backlot at Universal Studios and I think that’s an invaluable experience because they treat you like you’re a grip or an actual director as if you’re actually working in the industry.
S: While the prospect of collecting is looming for us juniors, have you yet decided if you plan to go into filmmaking or aviation or perhaps both?
B: I’m not sure if I’m going into filmmaking or aviation. It’s difficult because I love filmmaking, but it’s very hard to get into the business, and with aviation, I sort of have a bigger chance because number one, I’m a female, and there’s not that many females, and number two, there’s lots of different directions you could go with helicopter – you could become a news reporter, you could do search and rescue, you could work for the LAPD – there’s just different options out there. Also, the industry needs pilots right now. But I love them both.