Tag Archives: flight instruction

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

With the end of the year approaching, and graduation only about two weeks away, I can’t help but think about how all of this is coming to an end. About five years ago, I was studying day in and day out for college admission tests, thinking about which college I wanted to go to, and writing down pros and cons for a number of different universities.

It would be fair to say I may have shed a few years off my life from the levels of stress I had thinking about all this. It’s not easy to make these large financial decisions that impact the rest of your life, especially at the age of 18.

There was always a little part of me that wanted to come to Ohio University, maybe because I had an older sibling that went here too. The idea of college was intimidating at first, but coming down for Sibs Weekend as a high school senior, spending time with my sister and her “college friends” was a huge encouragement.

OU Sibs Weekend 2011
Sibs Weekend 2011

Despite that, I didn’t want to make a decision that was purely based on one good weekend. But when I added that weekend to the great Aviation program, to the comfort I felt on campus, to the Athens student community, my decision was simple.

From start to finish, I never stopped meeting people. I wasn’t aware until I was on my own how many different types of people there were, the way they thought, and how they perceived life. The people that had the biggest impact on me were the ones who thought differently, and I loved that.

Despite not thinking alike, I find myself to this day with the same group of friends that I made day one in Ewing Hall. We all came from different backgrounds but we shared similar core values: a belief that we’re good people, a want to strive for greatness, and a need to help each other along the way.

It’s almost like having another family. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to describe, possibly because it’s a not tangible, but it’s definitely one of those unique traits that a university like OU holds.

Now that the year is coming to an end, it’s time to grow up and think about the future. Just this past week, I’ve successfully completed my commercial pilot certificate—I’m officially employable! Therefore, starting immediately, I’m starting my Flight Instructor training. This fall, I’ve committed to staying in Athens for a year to be a Flight Instructor for the university.

After the Checkride
After my commercial checkride

Overall, coming to Ohio University was a remarkable experience. I was able to get the degree that I dreamed about as a young boy but I also took away a lot more than what I initially paid for. I was able to become the person I wanted to be: confident, assertive, and an advocate for others in need.

Surviving My Busy Semester

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This is officially the busiest I’ve been in my life. Having classes and working a few jobs all at the same time. It’s a different feel than I am used to. I’m used to having a morning class, a five hour break of relaxation, then a class in the afternoon after a leisurely lunch. What I had before sounds like the best schedule ever but overall I always felt like I should have been doing something. So I thought I would try something new this year and have a few more obligations. I am now an RA, Engineering Ambassador, and Certified Flight Instructor. This is actually the first time in my life I have a working calendar and every day I have something new to do. I just need to work a little more at this managing time thing, but so far I like it.

One of my favorite things about this year so far is flight instructing. Not only am I doing something that I love, but it also helps me with experience toward my career. Building this time and experience now is going to help me with a better job out of college. I currently have a few students now and flying with them a few days a week is an awesome time. I love seeing how they are developing the skills they need to fly an airplane and seeing their excitement towards flying makes me want to do all I can for them to have the best training. This is going to be a great year!

Start of My Senior Year in Aviation

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 8 September 2014

As I start my senior year, everyone keeps reminding me that I need to start applying for jobs. While this is exciting to begin a new journey of my life, I don’t want to leave the life I’ve built here in Athens. I transferred to Ohio University my sophomore year and that was one of the best decisions of my life. Since I was a transfer student I knew I needed to get involved in some organizations in order to make some friends.

I joined an international business flight fraternity called Alpha Eta Rho (AHP) and I’m now the head of the fundraising committee. I’ve also joined Women in Aviation (WAI). I’ve met some of my closest friends through AHP and WAI and through these organizations I’ve been able to travel to Washington D.C. and Kalamazoo, Michigan for our national conferences. This year I’ll be going to San Diego where I’ll get to have dinner on an aircraft carrier! These trips have been possible largely by the help of Dean Irwin and some financial support of Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

While I’m looking forward to the future and those trips, I’m going to mention something in the not-so-long-ago past. This summer I stayed in Athens and worked very hard towards getting my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate. Three days before opening weekend I was able to successfully pass my checkride and I’m now a CFI and I’m teaching students this semester. It has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life and I’m looking forward to where it is going to take me after college!

After CFI Checkride

Planning for My Last Year

Kelly McCoy

Kelly McCoy,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 15 April 2013 – It’s almost May, and that means one thing: graduation! As a senior I have watched as my friends fuss over getting resumes in order, finding a job, and moving their things out. However, I have none of these worries; after much deliberation, I decided to stay a fifth year.

I was skeptical at first, thinking that I needed to stay on track and graduate in four years, but there were so many reasons to stay! The biggest factors in my decision were my desire to complete 2 minors–Spanish and Meteorology–along with taking advantage of work opportunities that the Aviation program offers.

I minored in Spanish because I like the language and the culture, and it gives me another career option should I ever not be able to fly. A minor in Meteorology is very helpful when paired with my flight training; as pilots we are constantly affected by the weather and always need to know current conditions and be able to analyze data to predict future conditions.

I also plan on flight instructing for the university next year. As a Certified Flight Instructor I will be giving students the necessary training they need to get their Private Pilot Certificate and Commercial License. While instructing, I plan on applying for the position as co-pilot of OU’s King Air 350. This plane is used by Ohio University’s Air Transportation Service and provides transportation for employees.

And I am also excited to continue as an Engineering Ambassador for another year!

Training to be a Certified Flight Instructor

Kelly McCoy

Kelly McCoy,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 17 November 2012 – Fall is here! Though it may not feel like it some days, I’m definitely taking advantage of the warmer-than-normal weather. I am working on becoming a Certified Flight Instructor, and it allows me to get more hours in the air. Right now I’m working on a project with my instructor where he acts as a student and I act as the instructor, and I have to teach him everything he needs to know to safely operate an aircraft. I create lesson plans and find unique ways to explain everything from the different parts of an airplane to the different theories of lift to emergency procedures. It’s definitely challenging but it’s interesting being on the side of the instructor, as opposed to the side of the student, and good preparation for next semester when I will have real students.

The nice weather also allowed us to have a chili cook-off/fly-in at our airport this fall. It was the first time we have ever done something like this, and it was a great fundraising opportunity for the OU chapter of Women in Aviation, International. A few people brought their planes in, and many people drove down from campus. It will most likely turn into an annual event.