Epic Buzz Vol. 2 Issue 3 Mar. 2019

Catch up on the latest happenings at Epic Flight Academy!

Volume 2, Issue 3                                                                    March 2019


Stephen Salim is an Epic student from Indonesia who completed his flight training in amazing time. He started his Private Ground School on August 13, 2018 and completed his CMEL on February 20, 2019! That’s just 6 months from zero experience to CMEL! When asked how he was able to accomplish such a feat, Stephen said, “Study 6 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week!” That’s commitment!

Congratulations, Stephen! Your hard work has paid off, and we are all proud of you and eager to watch you soar in your career! We invite students from all over the world to come to Epic Flight Academy where we will support you in your work to achieve your dreams!

What do you notice when you look at this picture besides our brand new 2019 Piper Seminole that just arrived? How about blue skies, palm trees, and enthusiastic students wearing short sleeves in this beautiful Florida weather?
Epic continues to bring in new training equipment on a regular basis. Students can train on a G1000 before ever getting inside the airplane! Rushi Patel has only been here a couple weeks and is already mastering the avionics of the Cessna 172.

Former Epic flight instructors Cris Gammill (L), First Officer for SkyWest Airlines and Daniel Garcia (R), First Officer for Republic Airways crossed paths at Chicago O’Hare International Airport recently and shared the encounter on Facebook.

Congratulations, Cris and Daniel! Wishing you blue skies all the way!

Share your news! #EpicFlightAcademy

Epic flight student Stephen Salim posted this great photo of our new Piper Seminole! We love it when our students share our good news!

If you’re a graduate of Epic Flight Academy, we want to hear about your professional accomplishments! Please share them with us on social media. We are proud of your achievements!


Joaquin Guerra Tafur (L), an Epic graduate who now flies A320s for Avianca in Perú, returned for a visit with another Epic grad, Diego Pérez Bertocchi (R), who flies for LATAM Airlines. We are so proud of our Epic graduates and thrilled when they come “home” for a visit! And check out Joaquin’s great tattoo…

Epic Employee Spotlight

Welcoming our new flight instructor, Chris Mautino! You could say that Chris has been interested in aviation from a young age, as he was born on Beale Air Force Base in Yuba City, CA. After high school, Chris attended the University of Pittsburgh where he completed his degree in Civil Engineering. After college, Chris decided to stay in Pittsburgh and work as a Geotechnical Engineer, specializing in dam construction and inspection throughout Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Chris continued chipping away at his PPL, flying on nights and weekends, and finally earned his certificate in March of 2018. In June of 2018, Chris decided to leave his job and join Epic as a full time student. Chris completed his training in January of 2019 as a CFI and CFII.  In his spare time, Chris likes to play tennis, soccer, snowboard, ski, run, and bicycle.
We are thrilled to welcome Keon Sands back to Epic and thank him for his service. Keon was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He has been employed at Epic since February of 2015 where he started in the line department, cross-trained into dispatch, took over as the flight simulator manager, helped out in student housing, and handled a plethora of little odd jobs in between. He is also a member of the Florida Army National Guard. Keon left in February of 2018 for a 9 month deployment in Afghanistan. He returned in December of 2018 and started back at Epic in January. He is doing a little bit of everything since he’s returned. Keon just bought a home in Ormond Beach, so he will be around for a while. His hobbies include playing basketball, working out, running, and wine. His work goals include creating a positive and comfortable environment for students and employees through frequent interaction, while also making sure we conduct ground operations in a safe and professional manner in order to provide a safer campus for us all to share and grow.
Caroline Colombo is a new CFII at Epic. She is from Morgantown, West Virginia. Caroline has had an interest in aviation since she first flew in a Piper Cub at 8 years old. She started flying at a small airport in Morgantown when she was 19 and then moved to Florida at 21 to pursue a degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry Riddle and continue her training. Her goal is to work as a corporate pilot, and she is very excited to start instructing! Welcome to the Epic family, Caroline!
Welcome to flight instructor Hiro Okamoto, who has lived in the U.S. since 2000. He was born in Japan and grew up both in Japan and New Zealand. Hiro has been a pilot since 2004 and was a flight instructor at ERAU for 7 years. His pilot license and ratings include Commercial ASEL/AMEL, Instrument, CFI, CFII, and MEI. He has flown C152, C172, PA-28R, and PA 44. Hiro’s interests and hobbies include surfing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding, and playing drums. His aviation goals are to safely fly and experience as many different type of aircrafts as possible. Hiro’s dream job would be island-hop flying in Hawaii or the Caribbean. His goals at Epic is to help students achieve their aviation goals and remind them of the fun side of flying.
Mark your calendar for March 18th! That’s when the next 8-week classes begin at Daytona State College. Did you know that most of the classes are offered online for your convenience? Why wouldn’t you want to transfer your flight training for college credit? You only need to take 37 credit hours at DSC to complete your Associate’s degree with your flight training! If you’re a Florida resident, the cost is less than $4,000. So the big question for you is… why wouldn’t you enroll at DSC?

Captain Judy’s Corner:

Aeromedical Part 1: Motion Sickness

“I alerted my aerobatic instructor…”
My earliest memory of riding in a car was leaning out the window for fresh air and positioning my head carefully into a brown paper bag while my stomach was churning. My parents reassured that eventually I would outgrow these queasy moments. At a very young age, I learned to avoid looking down, such as looking at picture books, if I were inside a moving vehicle. I also always had water, sat next to a window, and if all of these precautions did not work, then the brown paper bag was nearby.

My first experiences as a student pilot produced similar airsick results. I would do my best to focus on the task and not my churning stomach. It took a while to not get queasy during maneuvers, such as steep turns. My first instructor was the macho type with the lack of appreciation for a student having a sensitive stomach. The first time I had to use the airsick bag during a steep turn convinced both of us that this instructor and student relationship wasn’t a good fit. My second private pilot instructor was considerably more understanding, allowing my body and brain to adjust in different environments. He explained the details of each flight maneuver before each flight. This eliminated the anxious, unknown moments that increased my airsickness. I had overcome the queasy moments by my third lesson with this instructor.

I stayed with this instructor after completing my private pilot certificate and continued with him throughout my instrument training. We quickly discovered that I became airsick almost immediately when wearing the instrument training view limiting device called the hood. My instructor recommended an instrument training view limiting device called “foggle” glasses. We were once again able to continue my instrument training without using the airsick bags.

PHOTOS: Instrument training view limiting devices: hood (L) and foggle glasses (R)

I knew what I was in for when deciding to learn aerobatics, and I alerted my aerobatic instructor. I have flown a variety of aerobatic certified aircraft. I began my first lesson advising the instructor that the first few flights should be short with the airsick bag handy. I adapted easily to the Citabria – a gentle, fun, flying machine capable of positive-G maneuvers. I had kept the airsick bag handy for my first few flights in the Pitts Special and certainly the powerful Extra 300. My instructors always said to let them know, and we could take a break when needed. The instructors would ask if I wanted to wait for another day. However, after airing out the airplane and giving myself time to breathe, I was fit to fly again. My body seemed consistent with taking 3 lessons to finally acclimate to the high-speed, quickly changing flight environment. I knew and understood that where there is a will, there is a way. I was determined to not allow my body to take away from the enjoyment of flight.  I later learned that even professional aerobatic pilots and military pilots often experience motion sickness after extended time off from flying.

PHOTO: Citabria

It was reassuring to know that even the great aerobatic pilot, Bob Hoover had to conquer airsickness during his primary training. I was also amazed to learn that space nausea occurs in more than 50% of astronauts during space travel and that 65% of U.S. military student pilots report experiencing motion sickness on their first flights.

The American Society of Aerospace Medicine Specialists found that U.S. military pilots’ exposure to the aerial environment often desensitizes the pilot, thus eliminating airsickness. In addition, the study recommended some of the following strategies for preventing motion sickness:

  • Avoid heavy meals before flight
  • Remain hydrated; drink water
  • No aggressive head motion during flight; use slow, purposeful movements
  • When becoming queasy and the flight environment permits, try focusing on the horizon outside the airplane
  • Place cool air vents on the face
  • Breathe slowly, and relax

The Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Medicine reported that most causes for motion sickness in civilian student pilots were caused by anxiety, fatigue, dehydration, and apprehension. Motion sickness symptoms might include: increased and rapid breathing, cold sweats, dizziness, increased salivation, headache, fatigue, general discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.

Motion sickness is part mind over matter. One of the physical aspects has to do with our internal balance system, called the vestibular system. The vestibular system, located in our inner ear, has three semicircular canals. These canals help determine our body’s position in space. Each ear has one canal for roll, one for pitch, and one for yaw. The vestibular system works fine on the Earth’s surface where the body expects the steady pull of gravity at 1g. During flight, and especially during maneuvers, the body’s internal balance system can become confused. Motion sickness sometimes can be a result of the inner ear receiving unexpected information about the gravitational changes.

Oftentimes, once the symptoms of motion sickness begin, fear and anxiety set in and contribute to the cycle, further aggravating the condition. Some people just have a lower tolerance for motion sickness and start having symptoms while experiencing mild sensory changes. Over time, many individuals gradually accommodate or adjust to the stimulation that produced the symptoms and become less susceptible.

There are over-the-counter and prescription medications effective in reducing motion sickness, but be sure to contact an aeromedical examiner and research these medications for FAA approval. If taking an approved medication, know the effects on your body before flying. For example, even an FAA-approved medication that claimed to be “non-drowsy” put me to sleep almost immediately.

There are other remedies an individual can try other than taking medicines to combat motion sickness. Some natural remedies for motion sickness include:

  • Applying pressure to the acupressure point along your wrist. Place the index, middle, and ring fingers of your right hand on the inside of your left wrist, starting under the crease. This point is underneath your index finger, between the wrist tendons. Apply firm pressure on your wrists for four to five seconds.
  • Smelling ginger, lavender, or peppermint essential oils as queasiness begins or drinking ginger, lavender, or peppermint tea before a flight.
  • Taking a licorice root lozenge
  • Taking Vitamin B-6 supplements

Except in rare circumstances, most people can eventually overcome the symptoms of motion sickness. If you’re a student pilot, don’t be afraid to bring it up with your flight instructor early on during training. I can personally testify that experienced pilots recognize that occasionally motion sickness simply comes with the territory. Remember that eventually your body will likely become acclimated to the cause of airsickness. Relax and enjoy our privilege to fly!

Be sure to check back next month for Aeromedical Part 2 – Altitude’s Effect on the Body

Captain Judy Rice



Congratulations to all of our spectacular Epic Flight Academy students (names below) who passed check-rides on their first attempt in February!

Private Pilot

Minas Gali (02/01/2019)
Jorge Ivan Gomez  (02/05/2019)
Tuan Anh Duong Tran (02/06/2019)
Joao Vitor Camacho Sinato (02/11/2019)
Calvin Lee (02/14/2019)
Annamyrat Heziretgulyyev (02/14/2019)
Zhengguang Hu (02/15/2019)
John Franco Marchione (02/21/2019)
Julian David Diaz Diaz (02/27/2019)

Instrument Rating

Gibran Eliopoulos (02/03/2019)
Pranay Gopinath (02/05/2019)
Ori Rozelman (02/06/2019)
Sebastian Torres Gonzalez (02/16/2019)
Justyn Omari Proctor (02/27/2019)
Arjun Kamalaksha (02/27/2019)

Commercial Single-Engine

Matthew Gowen Williams (02/08/2019)
Elijah Allen Fahnestock (02/11/2019)
Christopher Anthony Chavez (02/22/2019)
Jae Hoon Park (02/06/2019)

Commercial Multi-Engine

Reachta Lim (02/01/2019)
Eunjin Oh (02/07/2019)
Bakur Hani B Abulola (02/15/2019)
Stephen Salim (02/20/2019)

Certified Flight Instructor

Mickael Jean Faucher (02/05/2019)
Herman Jose Hiller Hermoso (02/20/2019)
Fabian Enrique Turell (02/26/2019)

Certified Instrument Flight Instructor

Caroline Elizabeth Colombo (02/01/2019)
Ronald Joseph Dernbach (02/22/2019)
Jangrock Koh (02/22/2019)
Mohammed Rafid Hasan Al-Ani (02/25/2019)

Multi-Engine Flight Instructor

Keegan Michael Christensen (02/26/2019)

16 years ago this month…
The March 29, 2003 issue of The Daily Journal (Daytona News-Journal) covered the story of Epic’s involvement with Angel Flights. We are proud of our long and continued involvement in our community and enjoy sharing happy memories of our flight school down through the years. Because we are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, watch for more Epic memories in each issue of the Buzz!
Our SMART Airline Program is
Structured, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, Time-EfficientEpic’s SMART Airline Program features:
– Zero Experience to Airline Pilot in as Few as 2 Years
– Earn Qualifications for Airlines Worldwide
– On-Campus Partner Airline Pilot Recruiting
– Build Flight Hours as Paid Flight Instructor
– Guaranteed Airline Interview at 300 Hours
– 100% Program Graduate Airline Hire To Date
More details below:

Now hiring CFIs at Epic Flight Academy! Join Florida’s fastest-growing flight school for a rewarding career in aviation!
Do you have questions? We have answers! Check out the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on our website!

Our mission: To provide an unparalleled pathway to achieving professional pilot dreams through innovative flight education and technologically-advanced aviation resources.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Epic Chat Close