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From the command room to the classroom

Two men doing a preflight inspection of an Ohio State Cessna 172
Air Force veteran Jacob Romanyak (left) completes a preflight inspection with student Aaron Johnson.

Flight training at The Ohio State University was originally established by the United States War Department to provide pilots for World War I. Today, The Ohio State University Airport’s Flight Education program still includes military-affiliated instructors among its staff. These individuals bring a unique approach to their teaching styles, with the success and professional growth of their students in mind.

A few military-affiliated staff recently shared how their service experience has enhanced their teaching styles.

Scott Edelman, who is a senior certified flight instructor (CFI) at KOSU, served as a paratrooper in the Army, where he achieved the rank of Specialist. Outside of the military, he continued to foster an enjoyment in aviation. He began with flying gliders, then moved on to operate single-engine aircraft.

As a senior flight instructor, Edelman stresses the importance of discipline by telling his students a saying from his time spent in the Army: “What you get is earned. Not Issued.” He wants his students to understand that they must work to achieve their goals; success isn’t just given away.

Jacob Romanyak with a military aircraft bearing his name
Jacob Romanyak in the Air Force

Jacob Romanyak, a Senior Airman Air Force veteran, is also a CFI for Ohio State. Romanyak decided after his service that he wanted to continue his love for aviation at Ohio State, because the university offers a great veterans program and is closer to home.

Romanyak regularly incorporates his learnings from his military experience in his classes. He stated that the most important thing for his students to learn is, “punctuality – being on time and being early for questions before time slots start.”

CFI Greg Turner, who is also a Center for Aviation Studies instructor, enhances his flight instruction with knowledge from his time as a Navy Lieutenant. He spent four years learning how to operate and fly various systems on Navy aircraft and helicopters. Turner is now a Naval Reserve Officer Instructor for the university’s ROTC program.

Whenever he is flying or instructing Turner keeps in mind a quote by Frank Borman, commander of Apollo 8: “A superior pilot uses superior judgement, prior to using superior skills”. With this he advises students to never put themselves in a bad position in the first place. He also uses the Navy’s core values in his teachings: honor, courage and commitment.

The teaching styles employed by military-affiliated staff in the flight school benefit all students, but especially resonate with those connected to the military. The instructors’ dedication to excellence, as well as the diverse teaching styles they bring to the classroom keep flight students soaring.

by Josie DeCaro, professional writing intern

Category: Personnel