Category Archives: Aviation

Fall and Halloween

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 7 November 2015

Just past that halfway point of the semester, it’s starting to get a little cooler and I’m going to be wearing a jacket not too long from now. The temperature got up to 78 degrees last week which I feel never happens after Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, this past one was awesome. It stayed around 50 degrees throughout the night and it felt great. My last 2 Halloweens were in the low 40’s so I was pumped about the temperature this year.

My tip is always plan your costume for the weather. Let’s just say I was very prepared this year for low temps. I turned out being a banana along with my 3 roommates and people got a kick out of it. I saw some very creative costumes–seeing some people’s creativity makes me feel like I should have been more creative than just getting a banana costume. My favorite one I saw was Shia LaBeouf and he yelled at me saying, “Just Do It!”

My “Transition to Industry” class is still the most exciting class this semester. Yesterday, we went to Port Columbus International Airport to visit Lane Aviation and L-Brands. They were pretty awesome and both companies told us some cool inside things about how the company is run and how to get into similar businesses. We even had a chance to go in some of the private jets such as the Global 6000 which cost $60 million. The cabins of those planes are amazing and it was very cool to get that opportunity.

Another cool thing was the people that worked there. They told the story of how they got there and mentioned how they wish they had opportunities in college like we have here at OU to visit different corporate flight departments. Sometimes in the business world it comes down to who you know and we have a lot of alumni that are out there in the industry.

Transition to Aviation Industry

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 20 October 2015

Senior year is here. I can’t believe it is, but if I look back at my time here…it’s believable. These past three years I met a lot of people and have had a lot of memorable experiences. I will miss this place, but I am going to focus more on the two semesters I still have and I am going to enjoy it while it’s here.

So far my class schedule is extremely easy. I’m only taking 3 classes–tough right? That’s called “planning ahead” and getting the tough classes out of the way before the inevitable senioritis kicks in. Spring semester is going to be similar: 3 classes and an online class. I’m loving senior year already.

One thing I really like about my classes is that they are focused more on transitioning from college out to the workforce. The classroom setting feels more like a discussion amongst everyone rather than a lecture which I really like.

My favorite class by far this semester is called Transition to Aviation Industry. The title pretty much says it all. We are learning how to build a resume, practicing interviews, learning how to network, and actually doing a little networking as part of the class. How do you think we go about networking? Field trips!! I haven’t been on a field trip since high school and it was about time for one!

This year we have been visiting airlines and different companies. We even visited control towers. My favorite so far was visiting PSA airlines. I really would like to work for an airline and that was a great way to get my foot in the door and I really liked their facilities. We have four field trips and 15 different guest speakers coming in to talk to us. I’m liking this whole senior year thing.

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 12 October 2015

Seeing the faces of young and old alumni during Homecoming here at Ohio University struck me with one of the more eye-opening revelations than I’ve had before: how little time I have left to enjoy being a student! The weekend in its entirety flooded me with many good memories of my past here in Athens; in fact, the more I reminisced, the more it felt like I was still only getting started and four years ago sometimes still feels like yesterday, still finding my way around campus. It’s a strange reality to finally grasp the fact that this time next year – OU will be a thing of the past.

Recollecting some of that past, however, I can safely say that one of my best and most gratifying experiences I’ve had here would have to be participating as a member of the Ohio University Precision Flight Team. Consisting of not just flight majors, but any student interested in aviation, the flight team is an inspired group that utilize the knowledge they’ve gained in the course of their college career to compete against schools around the nation in a variety of events.

Flight team

In and through this team, I have met some truly amazing and unique individuals, who are not just a “team member,” but they’re part of the student body. It’s exciting to hear other folks’ stories on how they have gracefully fallen into aviation to the schools they’ve studied at and ultimately – all the places they plan on going!

It’s a little cliché, I know, but a quote that has always stuck with me in the aviation program is: “A mile of road will take you one mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere.” So despite how similar one student may compare to the other in where they are now, I’ve realized that everyone really does have their own twist and flair to their book of life–past and future.

As of right now, everything is looking good here at OU. Classes are in full swing and oddly enough it’s already at the halfway mark of the semester. Summer packed her bags and left for vacation while Fall arrived right on time.

Flying and Art

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 September 2015

So it’s the start of week four of Fall Semester and everyone is still trying to get settled in here at OU. The streets and classrooms, bustling with students, radiate enthusiasm and excitement.

However, while everyone is just settling in, I’m going “full throttle” academically.

I decided to stay here in Athens over the summer to get ahead in my flight training. The start of the summer moved slowly by because of the rain, but once the sun came out, so did I. In the past 90 days, I’ve been able to log over 50 hours of flight time, 25 of which were solo flights. I spent most of my summer flying all over Ohio and her neighboring states.


My best flight had to be a solo flight to Smyrna, Tennessee, located approximately 10 miles southeast of Nashville. The whole flight took over 6 hours, but it challenged my aviation skills to the fullest extent.

Besides spending my time in the air, I spent a great amount of time on the ground working on small personal projects. I’ve always loved doodling, so I tried to branch out into the art scene. I studied some current artists and different styles. As a result, I did something that I wasn’t very familiar with: spray paint art.

The LeBron painting was the very first painting that I’ve ever done. I hand painted that about four years ago.


The Yoda painting was the first full spray paint painting that I’ve done. That was this past summer.

Yoda Beats

I think that I mastered spraying on canvases, and I’m now considering painting the graffiti wall located on the top of the Richland Bridge.

This fall, I’m going to get an opportunity to fly a complex aircraft and complete my commercial license. Shortly after that, I’ll start my training to become a flight instructor here at OU and teach incoming aviators new skills that my past instructors once taught me.

Summer Aviation Plans

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 2 May 2015

Summer is here! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I got all of my hard classes out of the way and next year is going to be a breeze.

Overall this semester wasn’t too difficult. I only had three finals and I have to admit they were challenging, but manageable. All I can think about now, though, is no finals, no midterms, no homework, and no more classes for 4 months. What am I going to do with all of this free time! Travel to every continent, see the world. Endless possibilities.

Actually, this summer I will be staying here in Athens flight instructing. I have to build those flight hours somehow! I am pretty excited, though, because I have 10 students. That’s like a full workload and I am going to enjoy every moment of it. I’m going to be out at the airport Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. It’s a lot of work, but this is what I signed up for and I’m really looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m really looking forward to this summer is I signed up to volunteer for OBAP’s (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals) ACE Academy. The ACE Academy is a way for students from 14-18 to get a taste of aviation. During the time there, they learn leadership skills, the history of aviation, and even have a chance to fly an airplane for the first time. I love being part of people’s first experiences with airplanes. I love seeing how excited they get and it reminds me of my first time in a plane.

Spring Break Activities

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 12 March 2015

My Spring Break this year was split into two different trips. The first four days of my break was spent snowboarding in Breckenridge, Colorado and the last half of my Spring Break was spent in Dallas for a Women in Aviation Conference. Yes, I know, I’m not a woman but it is a great organization for anyone in the Aviation industry to be involved in!

Since Spring Break was so early this year, my buddies and I decided since it’s going to be cold everywhere, we might as well enjoy it. The mountains in Colorado are majestic and there are no words or pictures that will do them justice. Since the runs were so long and exhausting it was nice to sit down and look out and enjoy the scenery. I don’t always make the best decisions when on the mountain and I try to push my limits by traveling through the woods and going off a few jumps. After a few nasty wipe-outs and bumps and bruises, I was ready to head to Texas for my conference.

The conference had every major airline and company attending including Boeing, Airbus, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, and many more. There were a little over 4,000 people who attended and about 1,000 were collegiate students and the rest were professional pilots or in some way involved in the industry. I was able to listen to many keynote speakers including Colleen Barrett who is the president of Southwest Airlines. It was a great networking experience and I was able to hand out my resume to a variety of companies. It was very rewarding, as I have already received emails to interview for the first officer position on a regional airline as soon as I meet the minimum flight hour requirements.

Planning for Spring Break

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 28 February 2015

It’s about time for a break. I’m starting to daydream and procrastinate. This spring break came right on time! With all of this snow though it’s more like a second winter break than a spring break. I would love to go to some place warm…Cancun? I wish.

Last year around this time I went skiing for the first time. It was a fun time and I think I will go again and make it a tradition for spring break. My first time wasn’t too bad, I only fell a few times and didn’t lose my poles on the ski lift. I count that as a success. I’m planning on perfect north slopes where my friend works in the winter. He racks up points for working, then we all go as a group and get free lift tickets and ski all through the day. What’s better than free skiing?

One thing that got me pumped this past week was RJet day at the Aviation Department. Republic Airways came down for one of their college recruitment fairs. This is an opportunity to talk with the airline and get the inside scoop on things. It’s great networking and an opportunity to give them our resume.

Republic Airways gave out information and free bags and had a presentation over the history of the company and where they stand now. They backed up the talk about how the industry is hurting on pilots and how now is the perfect time to flight train. Republic Airways, just like a lot of other airlines, are now on a hiring spree and looking for pilots to fly their planes. The road to flying for the airlines is looking more near by the flight hour!