Epic Buzz Vol. 6 Issue 11 | November 2023

Volume 6, Issue 11 | November 2023

Grand Opening at New Tucson, Arizona Flight School

Grand Opening at Epic Flight Academy in Tucson, Arizona

Epic hosted a grand opening at its third satellite flight school location at the Tucson International Airport on Oct. 27, 2023. The Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce joined Epic staff for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and CommuteAir pilots brought in an Embraer ERJ-145 jet for the occasion.

The press and public turned out for discovery flights, food and fun. Sending a special shoutout to Brock Rees, Director of Satellite Operations (center, green shirt, between Danny and Amy Perna) for his leadership and hard work in establishing our newest location, and thanks to our neighbors, Million Air Tucson, for their warm hospitality.

New Flight Students

New flight students who arrived at Epic Flight Academy in Oct 2023

Welcome to the flight students who joined us in October at the New Smyrna Beach campus! They are well into their training, and we will share updates on their progress.

Josh Rawlins Recognized by AMT Magazine  

COO Josh Rawlins, AMT 40 Under 40 Recipient

Congratulations to Josh Rawlins, COO and Director of Part 147 Operations! Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) magazine presented Josh with a 40 Under 40 Maintenance Professionals Award. We are so proud of Josh’s hard work and the recognition and distinction he has brought to Epic. Way to go, Josh!

Progress at CVG

Construction of Epic Flight Academy's location at CVG Airport

The construction crew is making excellent progress at our new Aircraft Mechanic School at CVG. We are on schedule to open in the spring of 2024. Students are welcome to submit applications now, and FEAM Aero is offering $25,000 in tuition reimbursement for 8 students.

Alumni News

Epic Alumni News Nov 2023

Epic-trained pilots share a passion for flying! We are proud to share their career updates and achievements. 

Ben Smith

Captain Ben Smith flies for the Tunison Foundation. He shared the following:

“The photo was just after passing my DC-3 type rating checkride two weeks ago at POU. We don’t have sims for DC-3s, so the checkride is actually flying the plane. The guy on the left was my DPE (and co-pilot for the day) Doug Rosendaal. Placid Lassie is the DC-3/C-47 that I fly. She is painted as she was on D-Day (6 June 1944) when she towed a glider of the 101st Airborne to behind the invasion beaches.

“From 2018 to 2020, Placid Lassie was based at EVB over at American Aero. We will be leading 8 to 10 DC-3s across the Atlantic next summer to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day by dropping re-enactor parachutists.”

David Hansen

Once in a while we get a visit in person. Captain David Hansen stopped by to say hello. David flies for SkyLens Aerial Photography as an aerial surveyor. Also, He was recently promoted to Captain of the Bill Mitchell Squadron 079 in the Civil Air Patrol, located at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. 

Ryan Bailey

We also had an update from Ryan Bailey. Ryan is now a flight instructor at Wisconsin Aviation. He shared, “Epic prepared me for any scenario sent my way while instructing my students and allowed me to give top tier instruction to all of my students.”

Ryan earned 4 ratings at Epic in just 7 months. He is an outstanding pilot, and we’re sure his students agree! 

Anh Duong

Epic grad Anh Duong is a First Officer flying the Airbus A320 for Bamboo Airways. Anh earned his PPL through commercial multi-engine at Epic in just 6 months!

Anh shared his thoughts on his time at Epic: “For the rest of my life, I will never forget my time at Epic. Wonderful instructors, great facility, beautiful weather and absolutely amazing syllabus. I’m grateful for choosing Epic as my first mile runway that has been taking me on the journey of my life.”

Jevan Carvajal

More good news from Jevan Carvajal who trained at Epic and is now a First Officer flying the Cessna 208B for Tropic Air in Belize. Jevan shared, “Epic is a great school with awesome instructors! I had lots of fun while training and will never forget the good times I had.”

Renata Nahser

Last but not least, we caught up with Renata Nahser on social media and learned she is now a First Officer with Southwest Airlines. We are proud to see our graduates soaring with success!

If you’re an Epic graduate, send us an update!

Student Appreciation Day

Epic Flight Academy Student Appreciation Day with Taco Shack

Last month we shared some love (and food) with our wonderful students on Student Appreciation Day! Taco Shack catered and Epic staff served. We love our students!

Epic Out and About

Epic Flight Academy representatives at career fairs

Epic representatives attended career fairs in Florida, Arizona, and Georgia. We love visiting schools and sharing career opportunities in the field of aviation!

Epic Staff News

Epic Flight Academy Staff News for November 2023

Epic recently honored Jonell Abrao “whose exceptional commitment and tireless efforts elevate Epic Aviation beyond boundaries.” Jonell’s legacy is everywhere!

In other staff news, we welcomed two new flight instructors to the team: Nick Siusta in Ocala and Kevin Mullen in New Smyrna Beach. Check out their full bios on their staff profiles. Welcome to Epic, gentlemen!

Mountain Air Cargo Career Seminar

Mountain Air Cargo Career Seminar at Epic Flight Academy

Recruiters from Mountain Air Cargo hosted a career seminar for Epic aircraft mechanic students last month. Our students are learning that numerous hiring opportunities await them when they graduate. General Aviation News recently reported on the ‘critical’ shortage of A&P mechanics.

Aircraft Mechanic Exams

Congratulations to these aircraft mechanic students who passed FAA exams last month!


Christopher Lambert
Emilio Sampoll Tollinchi

Powerplant (A&P Mechanics)

Brandon Root 

Pilot Check Rides

These flight students passed check rides on their first attempt in October!

Private Pilot   

John Michael Aganan Lewis
Kassim Mahmud Bello
MD Sazzad Hossain Mahin
Gregory Thomas Sheppard
Bradley Charles Hagerman
Chance Jamari Curry
Zesan Ferdoush Badhon
Sajid Sahadat
Samiul Islam
William Kevin Angelette
Umear Ibne Huq
Geovany Torres
Tanat Kongkam
MD Shahidun Nabi Tasin
Lauren Rose Shtogrin (TLH)
Andrew Michael Ryder
Katie Clairene Murphy

Instrument Rating   

Xiaochen Xu (TLH)
Tyler Austin Hencken
Vincent Azkayo Mgaya
Michael William Malone (TLH)
Sasa Naorungroj
Kevin Luke Steinmann
Conan Austin Dulac
Brock Waldon Fletcher
Eric Leon Godet
Abdel Rahman Emad Zaki Mansour
Cheyenne Elizabeth Brewer
Rodrigo C DaSilva Jr

Commercial Single-Engine

Christian Scott Turner
Sariann Ortiz Bezares
Phuoc Minh Phan
Yesenia Thays Gonzalez
Casey Allen Ladurini
Zachary James Reader
Emily Lynn Shelton
Andrew Youngdo Jeon
DR King Coates
Onurcan Unal
Asmar Nurieva
Amber Mizuki
Anastasia Ceca Lasic
Olushola Alabi

Commercial Multi-Engine

Jack Sheryar Durrani
Lauren Michelle Faberlle

Certified Flight Instructor

Taylor Mark Valletto
Matthew Steven Soja
Patria Liz De Leon Cortes
Masa Mhd Ammar Alkodsi
Andre Javier Rivera Perez
Taylor Breyton Jackson
Adrian Felipe Vinueza Cordova
Mario Emad Harby Abdelmalak Zaki 

Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument

Michael Joseph Davenport
Shannon Caroline Kelly
Bryan David Cintron Nieves
Franklin Benjamin Rujano Alain
Daiana Ayala Morales
Taylor Mark Valletto
Jacob Charles Niewinski
Leah Denise Jaicks
Andrea Grace Stewart

Holiday gifts for pilots

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