Category Archives: Aviation


Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 17 March 2019

Last summer I was able to go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the annual EAA Airventure Fly-In Convention. It is the world’s largest fly-in and for that week the Wittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world.

There is something there for people interested in all branches of aviation, including military aircraft, seaplanes, amphibious planes, vintage aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and more. The event featured hundreds of exhibitions with everything from repurposed airplane parts to building your own engine. There were air shows several times a day and hundreds of airplanes to look at on the ground.

While I was there I volunteered with the Seaplane Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization that protects, promotes, and advocates for seaplane aviation. I have always been very interested in seaplanes. When I turned fifteen I got a seaplane ride for my birthday, and it is actually what inspired me to pursue a career in aviation.

Volunteering with the SPA was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the history of seaplane flying and to meet people in that community. I was also fortunate enough to win a scholarship to get my seaplane rating at Kenmore Air in Seattle, Washington! Becoming a seaplane pilot has been a dream of mine for years now so I’m very excited to do that at the end of spring semester.

Aviation Weather

Kimi Segarra-Ibañez

Kimi Segarra-Ibañez,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 11 February 2019

After a nice winter break involving a family vacation to New York and Philadelphia, the upcoming Spring semester is looking to be busy but full of great opportunities. This semester I am taking all Aviation classes and my favorite has to be Aviation Weather. We are constantly learning about all the different types of weather phenomenon and how they affect aviation.

Another aspect of Aviation Weather is seeing all the case studies of other pilots in different types of aircraft. The case studies go in depth on how specific weather affects flight.

Also new to this Spring Semester is my involvement in an new organization with the Russ College Engineering Ambassadors. I was nervous at first to join, but they have welcomed me with open arms. What the ambassadors actually do is give tours and spread the good name of the Russ College to potential future freshman here at Ohio University interested in engineering. I have yet to give a tour but I am still excited to get involved and talk about my experiences to possible students and their parents.

Women in Aviation

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 16 January 2019

One Russ College organization that I am involved with is Women in Aviation International (WAI). Fall semester was a wonderful time for our organization.

There are not many female pilots in our aviation program at OU, nor in the industry as a whole, so I think that it is incredibly important to have this organization as a way to support each other. While currently only five percent of airline pilots are female, the industry is quickly changing.

Last academic year, I was the only female student in a class of forty and this year we had six young women join our department. We had over fifteen new members become a part of our organization last fall, and I am really excited to see how enthusiastic the first year students are about being a part of WAI and beginning their careers in aviation.

One of the biggest events our organization hosted last semester was a Chili
Cook Off, an annual event that is hosted by WAI as an opportunity for us to increase awareness about the organization as well as fund raise for our chapter to attend the international conference in the spring.

The fundraiser went very well, we had about fifty people attend and raised almost four hundred dollars to help us get to conference! Many of the aviation students attended with their parents so it was a great opportunity for everyone to meet and allowed the students to show their parents the airport and our fleet, giving them a taste of what we are lucky enough to call school.

We had several games of cornhole in the hangar and the whole event had a wonderful atmosphere. It was a great day to enjoy some homemade chili and the beautiful fall weather.

This is one of my favorite organizations that I am a part of because it gives me the opportunity to form friendships with other students in the major and to help incoming students feel welcomed and supported.

Reflections After Graduation

Gareth Bussa

Gareth Bussa,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 16 December 2018

Ever since I started at Ohio University, I couldn’t wait to graduate college and begin my career as a pilot. When I started, I was welcomed by everyone at OU, and I can still say that today.

Being a Bobcat is something that I didn’t understand when I first arrived. Today, I know what that means. You’re more than just a student at Ohio University; you are a family of current and past students.

As a pilot, making radio calls on frequencies, you must say your callsign. If you are flying an Ohio University airplane, the aircraft tail number ends with “0U”, and it references to OU. As I was flying to New York last week, I said the callsign, and after I transmitted, I heard someone come on and say, “Go Bobcats!”

No matter where you go, people know who a Bobcat is and will respect you because they know you came from a great university. As I graduate this weekend, I know that I went to the right place.

I can’t thank enough to my friends and professors who have helped me become the person I am today. I am excited to start my journey as an airline pilot, but I will miss the time I had at Ohio University.

Ping Recreation Center

Gareth Bussa

Gareth Bussa,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 29 October 2018

One of the best perks about Ohio University is the Ping Center. The Charles J. Ping center is OU’s athletic center which houses a 2-story gym, an indoor track, 5 basketball courts and an indoor climbing wall.

The university helps provide a great atmosphere for the students to be able to maintain a healthy life while in college. Every day I try my best to either lift weights or work on cardio. This is one of the great ways to de-stress from your busy schedule and get your mind off of schooling.

Students in the Aviation Department get together about once a week to play a game of pickup basketball. If you are in a group that is affiliated with the university, you are able to reserve a portion of the gym to interact with fellow members in your group. Each semester we take advantage of this to have fun and get more people involved in the aviation organizations.

Safecon 2018

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 28 October 2018

Earlier this month, I went to the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safecon 2018 regional competition in Columbus, Ohio, a regional flying competition that hosts schools from all over Ohio and Michigan.

Competitors face off in many different ground and flying events, including computer accuracy, aircraft recognition, ground trainer, simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation (SCAN), short field landings and power off landings.

I myself competed in a few events. There was the ground trainer event, where you are given a pattern with constantly changing altitudes, air speeds, and headings. You then fly the pattern in a simulator and are scored based on how precisely you are able to perform the pattern.

I also competed in SCAN and landings. The goal of landings is to land the plane as close as you can to a specific point on the runway, called the “Zero Line.” We do this two different ways, one being power off landings in which you pull the aircraft’s power to idle to simulate an engine failure, and the other being a normal short field landing, which is a standard power-on landing aiming for the zero line.

The Flying Bobcats, Ohio University’s flight team, had a great week and placed
fourth overall! Regional competition is a really great way to get to know aviators from schools all over Ohio. This is my second year attending competition and it has been a great way to get involved in aviation and get to know other students who share my passion for flying.

Flying the OU King Air

Gareth Bussa

Gareth Bussa,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 25 September 2018

Ever since I was a young kid, I have always wanted to fly large airplanes and I was finally able to during the spring and summer semester. Not many know that the university has their own private airplane nestled in at the Gordon K. Bush Airport just 15 minutes from the campus.

Each semester, three students are selected to fly the university’s Beechcraft King Air 350. This is a great opportunity for each individual to get enough multi-engine hours to either go to the airlines or to a corporate job. For myself, I am looking at going to the airlines, so I have to have a minimum of 50 hours of multi-engine flight time and this was a great way of getting those hours.

Each trip that you are assigned, you are given tasks to complete before each flight, such as checking the fuel, loading baggage and getting the cockpit and cabin ready for the day ahead.

When we fly, we may fly one day with the president, and then other days with departments of the university. Being able to meet people and making them feel comfortable about flying is a great feeling. As the pilot, you want to make each passenger feel comfortable just like your own family.

Did I mention the cools places you can go? I have been given a great opportunity to travel to D.C, Sarasota, Atlanta, Tupelo, Mississippi and other great places.

For myself, going into D.C. is a great time because you’re able to explore the history of our country and also being able to fly into a very busy airport. I’m very fortunate to be able to fly for the university and building flight time while having fun.