Envoy Cadet’s dream of flight comes full circle at the CR Smith Museum

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As a child, Envoy Cadet Graham Santilli would often visit the CR Smith Museum and dream of becoming an American Airlines pilot. Today, as an aviation student and Certified Flight Instructor at the University of Oklahoma, Graham is well on his way to realizing that dream. Recently, Graham and his family had the opportunity to return to the C.R. Smith Museum where his love of aviation took flight.

Back to where it all began

Graham caught the aviation bug at a young age and, once his parents started taking him to the CR Smith Museum, he was hooked. His mom, Beth Santilli shared, “While other kids were deep into video games, my son talked my husband and I into visiting the museum at least once a month for years!”

Both Graham and his mom credit the museum with inspiring his dream of becoming a pilot and keeping him excited and engaged with aviation. “It’s a very surreal feeling, finally being back here at the CR Smith Museum,” shared Graham. “It’s the place where it all started for me.”

The future is bright

Graham is looking forward to graduating from the University of Oklahoma in May of this year and plans to continue to build his flight hours as a Certified Flight Instructor in the Envoy Cadet Program. Once he reaches his minimum flight hours, he will be ready to become a First Officer at Envoy, in turn securing his seat at American.

As a successful Cadet, Graham was asked to share his top three tips for young aspiring aviators. You can hear his advice, as well as more of his story on the CR Smith’s YouTube channel:

Interested in the Cadet Program? Click here to learn more.