April 12, 2018, SUN ‘n FUN – Lakeland, FL – Pete Muntean of Washington, D.C. is the winner of the King Schools and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) 2017 CFI scholarship. This scholarship consists of $5,000 toward flight training and free, lifetime access to all King Schools courses, including lifetime FIRCs. The estimated value is over $18,000.
A Certificated Flight Instructor since September 2017, Pete is actively teaching with GT Aviation at Potomac Airfield in Maryland. When he is not flying, Pete covers transportation as television news reporter for WUSA9 in Washington. He regularly uses his aviation knowledge on news stories and advocates for general aviation on social media. Previously, Pete covered state and national politics for WGAL in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pete has emulated his career after his mentor and fellow pilot Miles O’Brien and was his intern at CNN.
In his scholarship application essay, Pete wrote, “I was 18 years old on October 14, 2006 when I watched my mother, aerobatic pilot Nancy Lynn, crash and burn at an air show. Her sudden death not only orphaned me, it attacked my once immeasurable excitement about flying. Having soloed exactly two months prior, I considered quitting flying altogether. I was stunned.”
“In the years since, I have found the only antidote to the trauma– the fear, guilt, and doubt– is by flying. I became a private pilot less than a year after the crash, earned an instrument rating in 2008, and a commercial rating in 2011. Through practice I have gained perspective. Through continued training I have gained confidence.”
When Pete learned he had been awarded the scholarship, he commented, “I’m very grateful. Being recognized by two prestigious aviation institutions is an awesome honor, albeit bittersweet. My late mother, a NAFI member and aerobatic flight instructor, would be thrilled. But this is not about me. Demystifying aviation through every medium possible is key to its future. I promise this investment will pay dividends.”
John King, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of King Schools, said, “Pete has a demonstrated ability to overcome adversity and inspire others. He is a fabulous communicator. He will make profound and lasting contributions to the aviation community.”
Robert Meder, the Chairman of NAFI, said, “Pete exemplifies what it means to give back to aviation. To be able to overcome a traumatic personal tragedy and turn it to something positive is a tribute to both his courage and his mother’s legacy. Pete’s desire to share his joy in aviation while teaching and clarifying best practices is admirable in no small measure. We at NAFI are proud of his achievements and are delighted that, through the King Schools NAFI scholarship, we are able to recognize his efforts. Through his example, Pete Muntean is a mentor to us all.”
Pete is a CFI who has logged 1,000 hours. He will use his scholarship to add an Instrument Instructor (CFII) rating to his flight instructor certificate as well as continue his education in aerobatics with the goal of teaching upset recovery and competition aerobatics.
Applications for the 2018 NAFI/King Schools scholarship will become available in August of 2018. The deadline to submit scholarship applications will be January 2nd 2019.