Tag Archives: flight instruction

Working as a CFI

Gareth Bussa

Gareth Bussa,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 23 September 2017

This past summer I resided in Athens, while I have been completing my aviation courses and working as a Certified Flight Instructor. As a newly rated CFI, I was able to gain experience and better myself as a teacher while instructing current Ohio University Aviation students.

During the fall semester, I am currently working on an internship as a CFI at the Ohio University Airport. There are many opportunities for internships today, due to the pilot shortage. For me, I chose the CFI internship because it allows me to build hours and grow as an instructor for my future. As a commercial pilot and wanting to pursue an airline career, you have to have 1,000 hours of flight time before you can start a job as an airline pilot. This internship has given me the fastest path to my future as an airline pilot.

Not only was I able to become a CFI this summer, I was able to go to an aviator’s paradise during the end of July. Yes, it does sound very dorky, but Oshkosh is the world’s largest airshow. This was an eye opener for me to see the aviation field get together for a week and share the love and passion of aviation. Over 500,000 people and 10,000 aircraft stop by the air show during the last week of July. Going to Oshkosh helped me as a college student, prepare for an airline career.

In the United States, the airlines are in a pilot shortage. Over the next decade, airlines in the U.S. will need roughly 10,000 pilots to fill the shortage. With this in mind, airlines are hurting for pilots today. Small regional airlines are taking the largest hit, so they are doing anything they can to bring you into their airline. Airlines were present at the air show and it gave me an opportunity to talk and learn about the airline industry and what the best way for me as a pilot is to fill the gap in the airlines.

As the fall semester has begun in Athens, I am able to look back upon my summer and appreciate all that I was able to do working as an intern. I have gained a lot just in the summer and hope to continue to gain more during the continuance of my intern at the airport. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the school year.

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!