Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Hometown Airport: CID

Occupation: Flight Instructor, Business Owner, Acquisition Manager

Website: www.IowaFlightTraining.com

Education: MBA, BSCS, ASEE

Pilot Certificates: CFII ASEL-I & Glider, ASMEL-I & Glider

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Everything

Education Specialty: Flight training: New pilots

Q & A

What drew you to aviation? Watching the space program in the 1960s.  Growing up on a farm next door to an Air Force radar station.

How long have you been involved in aviation education? Since 1990

What’s your favorite part of what you do in aviation education? The opportunity to promote and grow aviation by teaching new pilots and educating the public (civic groups, schools, etc.) about the opportunities & possibilities in aviation.

What’s your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education? Meeting TSA requirements & having to defend aviation against media misstatements and biases.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you’d like to share? Where to begin?  Every single flight I’m like a kid in a candy store, grinning from ear-to-ear.  My first flight, first solo, passing my private test, passing my instrument test, commercial test, flight instructor, soaring, multi-engine rating, CFI & II, taking my kids for rides, sharing aviation with over 350 kids via Young Eagles, sending each of my students on their first solos, then off to their checkrides.  The fun never ends!

Why did you join SAFE? To help change the way the aviation industry deals with new students and with flight instructors, and to help drive the new organization toward a customer-centric, growth oriented group.

What would you like to see change in aviation? Planning a model for growth, mainstreaming aviation for everyone.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished? Aviation educators should be the tip of the spear in leading growth in aviation.  There should be a task force (I volunteer to lead it) to organize and manage it.  Setting up a speakers bureau to speak at civic groups, organizing advertising efforts, setting up social networks for aviation growth, etc.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you’d like to mention? I have spent the last 20 years speaking across the state of Iowa to schools and civic groups about the benefits of aviation and how to become a pilot.  I am the current president of the Iowa Aviation Promotion Group and hold a standing position on the Iowa Aviation Advisory Council, an IDOT appointment.  I launched Iowa Flight Training in 2003.  It has grown into seven airports, 11 airplanes, and 20+ instructors.

Who are your role models in aviation? The Wright brothers, Henry Ford (mass production), Wolfgang Langewische (pure flying), Burt Rutan (innovation), the Klapmeier brothers (starting an aviation company)