Flight Training Scholarships Announced for 2018

In 2018 we are offering two (4) flight training scholarships at $1000 each. The window for applications begins on June 15, 2018 and ends on August 15, 2018. Winners will be announced prior to September 30.

An overview of the programs is below and can also be found on the website under “Scholarship.”


Scholarship Application Documents:

  • 500 word essay
  • Resume

On June 15, there will be an online form on this page that will allow you to copy and paste your resume and your 500 word essay.

This is the preferred method for submitting your application. If unable to use this feature, please email both the resume and essay to: education@fullthrottlaviationllc.com

After submission, essays and resumes will have the names redacted and current FullThrottle Aviation pilots will vote for the winners.

FullThrottle Aviation Skills Enhancement Flight Training Scholarship

Number of Scholarships: 2

Amount per Scholarship: $1,000

Differences from 2017: The applicant may have a restricted commercial without an instrument rating and may use funds toward an instrument rating. There is also no longer a maximum flight time for this scholarship.

The FullThrottle Aviation Skills Enhancement Flight Training Scholarship is for a commercial pilot who is looking to expand their skill set.

The scholarship can be used for any of the following. Funds will be paid directly to the individual or school offering the training:

  • New rating (such as multi engine, seaplane, or instrument rating)
  • Advanced endorsement (tailwheel or high performance)
  • Checkout in a new type of aircraft (such as a Pitts or Stearman, but not limited to these)

Applicant Requirements:

  • Current commercial pilot (with or without an instrument rating)
  • Current 2nd or 1st class medical

FullThrottle Aviation Flight Attendant to First Officer Scholarship

Number of Scholarships: 2

Amount per Scholarship: $1,000

The FullThrottle Aviation Flight Attendant to First Officer Scholarship is for a current flight attendant with a minimum of a private pilot certificate who is enrolled in flight training toward a commercial flying job.

The scholarship can be used for any of the following. Funds will be paid directly to the school offering the training:

  • Instrument Rating
  • Multi-engine training
  • Flight Instructor Training

Applicant Requirements:

  • Current Flight Attendant for a Part 121 U.S. Domestic Carrier.
  • Minimum of a private pilot certificate.
  • Flight attendant may be on an approved leave of absence for flight training/education, but must be on a current seniority list.
Experience & Judgement: What Prepares a New Pilot for the Airlines?

Experience & Judgement: What Prepares a New Pilot for the Airlines?

Every once in a while, we hear of triumph over an impossible scenario. Well-known accidents such as United Airlines 232 (DC-10 that lost all hydraulics), Air Canada Flight 143 (Gimli Glider), and US Airways 1549 (Miracle on the Hudson) bring light to the fact that a well-trained crew relied on experience outside of their formal training to turn disaster into triumph. Recent discussion regarding the 1500-hour rule has led to opinions and studies that have contradicted themselves while speculating on how to best prepare new airline pilots for their operation.

The simple truth is that we can’t possibly prepare a pilot for every scenario. In fact, even our most advanced simulators cannot exactly replicate the disasters that occurred throughout the course of history that had impossible outcomes. Dual engine failures and loss of all hydraulics are two scenarios that have impossible odds and yet there are instances throughout history where the crew came together and left survivors from un-survivable accidents. There are also many instances throughout history where inexperience was a contributing factor to an accident. So what constitutes experience that will allow a new pilot to become the next Sully or Al Haynes (United 232)?

Regional airline recruiters often say that they look for people with crew experience, while many other pilots say that new pilots should have hand flying experience. The tailwheel community screams tailwheel endorsement, and other parts of the industry scream glass cockpit experience. Some say that the new pilots need to instruct, and other say that they are best served by towing banners. The captain of Air Canada Flight 143, Rob Pearson, relied on his knowledge of flying gliders to safely land the fuel-less Boeing 767 at a closed military airstrip. Although the intention is to create airmanship and judgement, I’m a firm believer that these concepts are trained and then reinforced by experience.

Airline flying is very little about stick and rudder skills, although we can all agree that having stick and rudder skills is an important part of the job. Every once in a while, I hear bragging from airline pilots about disconnecting the automation and doing some amazing stick and rudder maneuvering for a perfect landing. I often joke that I use the automation at work, and then I yank and bank on my days off. I’ve taken ag planes internationally and flown long distances over water with no autopilot in VFR and IFR conditions, and the skillset for that flying is very different than that of airline flying. I’ve greased landings in planes I’ve never flown before in strong crosswinds (especially if nobody is watching) and had some interesting emergencies throughout my travels that truly tested my systems, performance, and weather knowledge. These scenarios have allowed me to solidify my judgement based on experience. It’s unrealistic to think that every new pilot will get that kind of experience prior to going to the airlines.

One thing that many of these landmark triumphs have in common is that the crew worked together efficiently to resolve an impossible issue. I believe that what new pilots need is exceptional training that includes judgement and crew resource management. The simulator can’t re-create a scenario that’s “outside the book” and give crews the surge of adrenaline that’s associated with a real-life emergency. But we can train procedures and judgement that will solidify over time with experience.

The answer to the original question of “will 1500 hours prepare a pilot for a real-life emergency situation?” is still “it depends on the experience.” If pilots receive quality training from the start, then they will learn judgement over time. Seeking a variety of experience is also key to developing skills that will be useful in the cockpit of a jet.  I believe that a diverse experience is helpful, but not necessary. Judgement and training are the most important parts of any type of emergency management; and that is something that is learned from exceptional leaders, instructors, and mentors instead of something discovered while in the traffic pattern in a Cessna 152.

by Sarah Rovner – Master CFI, CFII, MEI, ATP, Owner of FullThrottle Aviation, LLC

Sarah is currently a FAA Safety Team Lead Representative, Master Instructor, Captain and FTD/CTP instructor/evaluator with a Part 121 airline. Since changing careers after years as a senior network engineer for the oil & gas industry, Sarah has obtained her ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI and has flown about 4000 hours. As the owner of an international ferry pilot company, FullThrottle Aviation LLC, Sarah has flown over 115 different types of general aviation airplanes in 15 different countries including oceanic crossings in small aircraft. She continues to stay involved in general aviation through mentoring and education; volunteering at many different events and presenting original seminars on aviation safety and human factors. Although much of her flying is now professional in nature, she still enjoys flying her Super Cub on her days off. As a regular attendee of Oshkosh and local fly-ins, she enjoys the company and camaraderie that general aviation brings.

First Flight as an Airline Captain

First Flight as an Airline Captain

I had never been so excited in my life to receive a call from crew support. The dreaded crew support incoming call has a reputation amongst line pilots of being the bearer of bad news amongst reserve pilots; in the sense that off time ended and work was to begin. After nearly a month and a half of ground school, simulator training, and on the job training (IOE), I was finally a qualified captain ready to be released into the stream of steady line operations. The assignment was a quick turn from Houston to Corpus Christi and back; a route I knew well from my Cessna days while traveling back and forth to that area for work in my previous career as a network engineer. The only thing different about that day was there was a lot of precipitation and storms in the area on a warm December day due to frontal activity that the warm south wanted nothing of.

A good friend of mine told me to save the release for my first flight as a captain, and I went through a lot of hoops to get it printed since our releases are now all digital. As soon as I laid eyes on it – I realized the first mistake. To my dismay, were filed at 8000ft and 300 knots. Although a typo on account of our dispatcher (intending for 18000ft), I called dispatch to get this corrected and get a new alternate that was closer to Corpus Christi in order to avoid bumping passengers due to weight restrictions with a lot of extra fuel. It almost felt like ferry flying again in the sense that I was the one looking at weather in the area and pulling up TAFs and METARs to brief myself on what was going on around south and southeast Texas. Although I did do this as a first officer, it almost felt like I was looking through a new set of eyes when briefing the flight.

Shortly before taxi, it started pouring rain on the ramp. Although rain isn’t a no-go item for taxi, the rain has its own trance that makes every pilot perk up in their seat and pay close attention to everything going around them. The flight to Corpus Christi was pretty uneventful except for my firm landing. I had greased on landings in the CRJ 700 for a long time, but yet my first landing as a captain was far from a greaser – but definitely acceptable. After the landing, I told my first officer that I set the bar low for him to beat my landing, which is a game I often like to play to challenge the crew to do their best at flying.

After boarding the next load of passengers, we pushed back and got ready to depart back to Houston. Storms had been building right over the coast and the strong winds were blowing them inland toward Corpus Christi, and by the time we taxied out to the runway there was a cell consisting of what the tower called “moderate to heavy precipitation” about halfway down the 7500ft runway. Both myself and the first officer agreed that it was definitely a cell, and neither of us could see to the other side. I remember times as a first officer taking off in heavy rain and being on the edge of my seat, clutching the armrests with white knuckles while the captain powered that heavy bird into the sky. My line of thinking was that I wouldn’t take off in a Super Cub in it, so why would I take off in the jet? When asking for the first officer’s opinion, he declined to give any advice or opinion and just looked over and said it’s up to me; subtly hinting that he was OK with it. I made my first captain’s decision that the pay increase was meant to cover, and declined to takeoff. 5 minutes later, the storm had dissipated and we took off uneventfully and landed safely in Houston a short time after.

As a self-proclaimed scholar of human factors and airmanship study, I try to self-debrief every action and decision I made as if I’m in the audience hearing a story about the event. I hesitate to Monday-morning quarterback the actions of those who escaped unscathed by an abnormal event, and in this situation, I was more than satisfied with the flight overall. After all, what is 5 minutes in the grand scheme of things? I am the captain now, and sure as heck ready to use the well-trained team and my experiences throughout 3800 hours of some of the toughest flying decision-wise all over the world to make the best decision.

OPINION ARTICLE: Training Engine Failure Procedures in Multi-Engine Aircraft

OPINION ARTICLE: Training Engine Failure Procedures in Multi-Engine Aircraft

The question posed was:

Engine failure just after V1 but before Vr on jet or turboprop aircraft during takeoff: What are your thoughts regarding advancing power to the mechanical stops?

First and foremost, no procedure or limitation supersedes the PIC’s authority to do what is necessary to meet the needs of the emergency. However, in many turbojet aircraft, an engine failure is considered an abnormal procedure as most transport category airplanes meet design criteria that allow them sufficient performance on one engine, even after a failure right at V1. In fact, in a 121 environment the airplane has to meet the performance criteria with the worst case scenario engine failure at V1 in order to be approved to fly into that airport. Therefore, IN THEORY, there should never be a scenario with an engine failure at V1 in which the airplane is in imminent danger while following published company, manufacturer, and FAA procedures.

However, we all know that pilots often face scenarios that do not conform to what is trained in the simulator. If you need more power, by all means push those thrust levers/throttles up. I can only speak for my own company’s engine failure procedure. The manufacturer of the aircraft published procedures that have been interpreted by our company and approved by the FAA. In our procedures, we do not advance thrust levers forward instinctively in the event of an engine failure as either FADEC or APR (CRJ-200) will automatically adjust thrust on the operating engine in the event of a failure of the other engine. Our reduced thrust performance numbers are calculated also taking into account obstacles, weight, runway length, and engine failure procedures. If suspecting an engine failure, we do verify that the additional power has been AUTOMATICALLY added by using a “check thrust” call when experiencing a SUSPECTED engine failure. If the engine power has not increased automatically through APR or FADEC, then we do advance it manually.

As with any modern CRM/Threat and Error management model, the concept is that we don’t “instinctively” throw levers and switches (unless it is an approved memory item). I often tell my students that “no action is better than an incorrect wrong action.” The concept is that as a crew, when dealing with an emergency (especially a threat with adequate time such as an engine failure, given the flight path of the aircraft is not deteriorating), we take a step back and evaluate and not rush into action. If you are approaching terrain or losing control, as I said in the first sentence, NOTHING supersedes the PIC’s authority to meet the needs of an emergency. You do what you must to maintain aircraft control.

For a long time, the industry has encouraged quick reacting in primary training. In fact, when doing my multi engine training, only seconds elapsed from the time my instructor cut off the fuel to the time the engine was feathered. As airplanes become increasingly automated, the industry focus is staring to shift to making more calculated decisions and taking more time to evaluate emergencies that are not critical and immediately life threatening. Many accidents have occurred when pilots took immediate wrong action, such as feathering the good engine. In all reality, the body does experience a “startle response” and stress reaction when faced with an emergency in real life, and we have to account for a different psychological state when dealing with real life emergencies. A wise instructor of mine once said “there are two types of emergencies – one sip and two sip. One where you take one sip of coffee and deal with it, and the other in which you take two sips of coffee and then deal with it.”

I can’t stress the importance of following the procedures recommended by the manufacturer and your company (FAA approved), if applicable. Many airplanes have different procedures, so there is not a one size fits all solution. I personally fly so many different types of airplanes that I really do have to consult the emergency/abnormal checklists even in a Cessna 172 because it’s the best source of information on how to handle it. But if my judgement tells otherwise or the procedure will put me in a worse place, then I use that PIC authority to make a better decision in the interest of safety.

As for configuration changes, that is also airplane specific. Although many manufacturer’s do call for reducing drag at specified times (gear/flaps), a pilot needs to consult their company/manufacturer to see what is recommended. Larger turbojet aircraft systems often rely on logic related to the airplane configuration, so following manufacturer’s recommendations is critical. However, every pilot can agree that reducing drag in a single engine flight scenario is optimal. The question of when to do it is generally set by the manufacturer or company.

I hope this clears up my thoughts on engine failure procedures. Although it’s mostly specific to larger turbo-jet aircraft in an airline (Part 121) environment, I think the operating philosophy applies to general aviation aircraft as well.

by Sarah Rovner

Sarah holds an ATP certificate with a CL-65 type rating and is currently a FAA Safety Team Lead Representative, Master Instructor, Captain and FTD instructor/evaluator with a Part 121 airline. Since changing careers after years as a senior network engineer for the oil & gas industry, Sarah has obtained her ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI and has flown over 3800 hours. As the owner of an international ferry pilot company, FullThrottle Aviation LLC, Sarah has flown over 115 different types of general aviation airplanes in 15 different countries including oceanic crossings in small aircraft. She continues to stay involved in general aviation through mentoring and education; volunteering at many different events and presenting original seminars on aviation safety and human factors. Although much of her flying is now professional in nature, she still enjoys flying a Super Cub on her days off. As a regular attendee of Oshkosh and local fly-ins, she enjoys the company and camaraderie that general aviation brings.

Airplane Review – Turbo Maule M5-210

Airplane Review – Turbo Maule M5-210

By Sarah Rovner, Tailwheel ferry pilot

As a Super Cub driver, I’ve been a little biased toward airplanes with sticks. Although I do admire the amazing flying characteristics of some of the other epic yoke taildraggers such as the Cessna 180/185, I’ve always been particularly fond of airplanes with a stick. I was expecting about the same handling characteristics of the Maule M4 in the Maule M5, but was pleasantly surprised to see how versatile the M5 was.

I recently looked into buying a Maule M5 with the Franklin engine, which has a bad reputation. While doing research, I found out that many Maules had engine conversions to the Lycoming’s. Surprisingly, there just are not a whole lot of Maules flying around and the ones that are have much lower value than similar airplanes such as the C180/185. I found the Cessna 175 with the O-360 conversion to be the same way – a versatile, great performing airplane that had a bad reputation from the start with an engine that was notorious for problems (originally came with the geared O-300).

I was contacted to ferry a 1978 turbo Maule M5-210 for a client who planned on using it for mountain flying on private airstrips. This is one of 7 turbo Maules in the country that came from the factory with a carbureted, turbo-normalized Lycoming O-360 that puts out 210hp. In fact, Maule claims that the plane will maintain 200hp all the way to FL200. I found that to be true, although I didn’t take it all the way up to FL200. I was still getting sea level power at 11,500ft, with the throttle not even close to being all the way in. With the turbo and constant speed prop, I was able to take off in record distance at not even close to full power. It would maintain a 1000 fpm climb all the way up to 10,000ft, and probably much higher if I wanted it. And that also wasn’t at full power!

For a backcountry landing, I found it to be a stable airplane compared to its squirrely brother, the Maule M4-210. Although I didn’t have any big crosswinds on the trip, I found that the plane really didn’t try to go off on its own for landing. Even coming in fast, although it did float, it did slow nicely with the 40 degrees of flaps and I was able to stop within 1000ft with minimal braking. After approaching slower (about 60mph) I was able to get stopped in about 500ft with a nice 3-point landing. I tend to like 3 points in this plane since its very pitch sensitive and hard to finesse to avoid a bounce for a wheel landing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the turbo Maule M5. All of my Maule time has been solo, so I’m not sure quite how much performance would be lost with 4 people in it. But from what I’ve seen, it’s a solid, good performing airplane with an unnecessary under-whelming reputation. I’d be glad to fly one any day, and would feel pretty good on being able to match stock Super Cub performance in a lot of situations.

“What If I Don’t Want to Instruct to build time?”

“What If I Don’t Want to Instruct to build time?”

By Sarah Rovner, Master CFI / FAASTeam Lead Representative

“What if I don’t want to instruct?”

Those words, when uttered, generally bring on a slew of bitter old pilot responses on how new pilots should be “putting in their time.” After all, most of the pilots that have come before us in the past decade have only had instructing as an option as they attempted to build time in an industry where pilots were plenty and jobs were few. The aviation industry is on the rise, and we are at a time where expansion is outgrowing the pool of pilots available, bringing many opportunities for pilots of all experience levels.

If we think back to our training days, I’m sure we can all remember a distinct instance where we had an issue with an instructor. That issue could have ranged from poor communication, lack of ability, or complete disinterest in teaching. I have had many people reach out to me with these issues, and the students often change instructors. Not everyone is cut out to be an instructor, and in my opinion we shouldn’t force people to be an instructor I they don’t want to. It doesn’t do anybody any good to have an instructor who doesn’t care to be an instructor. Students, instructors, and the industry suffer as a whole when that happens.

People often ask me about whether or not they should pursue a CFI rating. Many university programs offer this even if the student doesn’t plan to instruct for the school upon graduation. My answer to this is yes, even if you don’t plan on teaching full time. When I was a new CFI, I had many opportunities to fly with plane owners to do BFRs, IPCs, and other occasional training events. I tagged along on Angel Flights, long cross countries, and was able to get experience flying in a variety of airplanes, many of which I could log PIC time as dual given because I had a flight instructor certificate. The networking opportunities were endless. I was introduced as the local CFI in EAA meetings, FAASTeam seminars, and other events. I never instructed full time, and yet I was able to gain opportunities just having the license and giving occasional dual in some amazing, rare airplanes that I would have never gotten to fly otherwise. Additionally, I was able to log just about every flight I took in the right seat because a CFI can log PIC while giving dual instruction, circumventing the rules regarding splitting flight time. Having the rating and being a Master CFI continues to make me more competitive for other jobs and sets me aside from my peers.

There are many opportunities in aviation in which many qualified pilots are applying for the same job. When you want to set yourself apart, the best way to do that is through differentiation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with instructing – it will give you a skillset and insight to flying that will make you a more knowledgeable pilot. However, the best way to differentiate yourself from your peers is to get involved in other aspects of the industry. Being a CFI can help you network and gain these opportunities.

I would never fault a pilot for declining to instruct when they don’t want to. I agree that we all have to do things we don’t want to in order to progress in our careers. But the last thing that aviation needs are instructors who don’t want to instruct as they do a horrible disservice to their students. My advice is to networking as much as you can, fly as many planes as you can, and volunteer your time as much as you can. These three things will take you farther in aviation than you would have ever thought of. And when the time comes, those things will make you stand out amongst your peers.

FullThrottle Aviation Scholarship Winners Announced

2017 is the first year of the scholarship program, and the winners have been selected. We would like to congratulate 3 outstanding individuals on this award and hope that the scholarship provides them a unique opportunity to expand their skillset and knowledge as a pilot on their way to a career in aviation.

Skills Enhancement Scholarship Winners (2)

Lisa Katzke Pic

Lisa Katze

Lisa began her aviation journey in late 2015 after a chance encounter with an airline pilot on the train during her evening commute. Her discovery flight reignited the fascination with aviation she’d had as a child, and she knew from the moment they leveled off that a career change was in her future. She achieved her private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and tailwheel endorsement in 2016 while balancing a full-time career.  She started her professional aviation career as a CFI this fall, transitioning from a 12-year career in retail inventory management. She is genuinely excited about everything she has to learn from teaching as well as the opportunities it will provide her to make a difference for her students. From that very first pilot to all of those who have since taken the time to offer their advice, experience, and sofas, Lisa has been consistently amazed and humbled by the spirit of mentorship and giving back that is pervasive in the aviation community. It is this spirit that she hopes to embody as she continues her growth as an aviator. With this scholarship opportunity provided by the generosity of FullThrottle Aviation, LLC, she will be starting her commercial multiengine rating, an important next step towards her ultimate goal of the airlines.


Elizabeth Keller

Elizabeth was born and raised in East Tennessee. She grew up and worked on her family farm and knew by the time she was twelve that she wanted to fly. Her college search included several reputable schools, but she made her decision when she was selected for Middle Tennessee State University’s highest academic award, The Buchanan Fellowship. She spent the summer after graduation earning her private pilot certificate, and by 20 years old, she had also earned her instrument, commercial, and CFI. She is currently a CFI at the University Flight school, and plans to use the scholarship to pursue her multi-engine rating.

Airline Training and Orientation Program (ATOP) Scholarship (1)

Nathan Dailing

Nathan Dailing

Nathan is an aspiring pilot from Wisconsin.  His father was an aircraft mechanic and introduced him to aviation at a young age. He prides himself on the fact that he has been to every EAA Airventure in Oshkosh since he was three years old.  When Nathan was 17 years old, he obtained his private pilot certificate and has continued to gain ratings, obtaining his flight instructor certificate as well. Nathan is currently building hours to pursue a career in the airlines. He will use the ATOP scholarship to further my education and diversify his to be an exceptional pilot candidate for the airlines.