EMU Lancaster’s first student to earn a Flight Instructor Certificate begins work this week

Ivy Yanek, a junior in EMU Lancaster’s aviation program, was among the first to commit to the fledgling program three years ago. She was among the first to solo in that cohort of history-makers. And now she has set another milestone, as the first in the program to earn her Flight Instructor Certificate.

That certificate and a new job with Aero-Tech Services starting this week allows her “to earn money for flying, instead of paying for it,” said John Sibole, director of the aviation program.

To work towards her career goal of flying for a charter service or airline, Yanek must build up her flying hours. She says approximately she’ll need 1,000 hours before she can apply for those kinds of jobs, but now she can be paid while accruing time in the air.

Zach Hurst is the chief flight instructor for Aero-Tech Services, the flight training partner in the EMU aviation program. He first met Yanek several years ago when the high-schooler was still figuring out her career path, and has had a firsthand view of her decision-making skills, self-confidence and professionalism. He’s also appreciated her commitment to growth and development and the way that she interacts and communicates with both fellow students and experienced pilots. 

Earning the Flight Instructor Certificate is a requirement of EMU Lancaster’s aviation curriculum and one aspect that sets the program apart from many other collegiate aviation programs. Sibole said, “It allows our students to get a head start on building the flying experience that is foundational to achieving their vocational goals.”

Yanek has earned her Private Pilot Certificate, her Instrument Rating, and her Commercial Pilot Certificate – all prerequisites to the Flight Instructor Certificate.

“The training for becoming a flight instructor largely involves transitioning into being able to teach while flying the aircraft,” she said. “Rather than focusing solely on my own performance as a pilot, I now have to focus on the needs and abilities of my student as well.”

Yanek is looking forward to teaching and sharing her passion for flying: “I look forward to helping students develop their skills as aviators and watch them grow into safe, successful pilots. I also know that I will learn a lot during my time teaching others.”

Read more about Ivy Yanek and her flying career below:

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