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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, September 27, 2019

Young Aerospace Professional Pursues Flight Training at Elite Aviation

By Carmelo Turdo
Andrea Martinez and 
CFI Luis Zelaya
Andrea Martinez is currently in the flight training program at Elite Aviation. She is not your typical student pilot, however. Martinez is an Aerodynamics Engineer at Boeing Research and Technology, a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a graduate engineering student at Purdue University. She has a long list of accomplishments, including internships at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Boeing's South Carolina facility, that would invite employment offers from anywhere in the country. Along with her impeccable academic record and professional experience, she also possesses a cheerful personality that projects a sincere desire to help others enter the aerospace field.

Andrea Martinez is taking the time now to pursue flight training as another practical application of her education as she settles into her aerospace career at the nearby Boeing Company. "This engineering background that I have, I would like to apply it to something," she told The Aero Experience. "I want to feel how an airplane behaves and how it responds to pilot inputs. That's partly why I want to pursue my Private Pilot License." She feels strongly that being a pilot will enhance her effectiveness as an aerodynamics engineer.

Andrea Martinez did a careful search for flight schools before making a commitment to begin her training. "When I was searching for a flight school, I wanted a school that was professional, that took aviation very seriously, and that knew what they were doing," she told The Aero Experience. She took test flights at several flight schools and settled on Elite Aviation. "When I came to Elite, I knew right away that this was going to be the right place for me. I was welcomed by John [and Donna Tipton], they were very friendly and I appreciated that they took the time out of their busy day to meet with me at seven o'clock on a Tuesday to give me a tour of their hangar and flight line...Also the fact that John is a pilot is another great thing because he knows where we are and where we're coming from." She also added that Elite Aviation supports work-life balance for their students and encourages women in aviation, making her flight training experience very satisfying.   

The Aero Experience was invited to interview Andrea Martinez for this story, and she was featured in a previous post, Young Aerospace Professional Pursues Flight Training, Inspires Women and Hispanic Americans to Embrace STEM Careers. Here we feature the video of the interview where she explains her love for aviation, why she chose Elite Aviation, and how she wishes to encourage others to pursue flying or a career in the aviation industry.

To view the full video interview, visit The Aero Experience YouTube Channel.

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