Gary Baluha

by Gary Baluha on October 17, 2012

SAFE #: S0001145


Hometown: Shelton CT, United States

Home Airport: KDXR

Occupation: Information Technology

Education: B.S., Computer Science

Pilot Certificates: Private ASES, Commercial ASEL, Instrument Airplane

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Cessna 152, 172; Piper PA-28-151, PA-28-161, PA-28-181, PA-28-200R, PA-28-236

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: I used to listen to my grandfather's stories of flying while I was growing up, and always knew that one day I would eventually earn my flying certificate. I figured if the birds are flying, there must be something worthwhile about it, and why shouldn't I be able to see what they see.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I earned my flight instructor certificate in April of 2012.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years with others, and seeing them improve their skills as a result.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: All of the paperwork.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Every time I go flying is a new experience worth sharing, but two flights stand out the most. The first one was flying back from Leesburg, VA and being offered to fly directly over Manhattan Island at night, and seeing the reaction of one of my friends awe of the moment. The second was my first long-distance flight to visit a friend in Georgia and getting my first 30 solid minutes of IMC during a descent after earning my instrument rating. I truly felt at one with the airplane and ATC, and had a big smile on the whole time.

Why did you join SAFE?: I believe the only way an aviation instructor can provide the highest level of instruction is to fully immerse ones self in the aviation community.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Less regulation, fewer onerous TFRs, and more rights for pilots who make innocent mistakes.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: The Pilot's Bill of Rights is a good first step.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: I do whatever I can to help out my flying club and share my knowledge of aviation with its members.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Al Haynes, Dennis Fitch, Burt Rutan, Gene Krantz, and my flight instructors

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