Zachariah Powell

Aug 15, 2010   //   by admin   //   Scholarship Recipients  //  No Comments

Scholarship Recipient Date: August 15, 2010

Were it not for the Burton Scholarship he received, Zachariah Powell would never have been able to earn his multiengine instructor rating.

The senior in professional pilot from Colorado Springs, Colo., wants to enter the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard after he graduates and “then hopefully work in unmanned aircraft systems somewhere,” but Zach hasn’t always wanted to make a career out of flying.

He earned his private pilot license at 17. “I got it before I had my driver’s license. My dad wanted me to have it.”

Zach grew up in the aviation industry. His parents ran an airport in Memphis, then purchased a flight school in Colorado that they eventually turned into an FBO. But when it came time to go to college, “I wanted to pursue something other than aviation.”

He head to the University of Colorado to major in nursing, taking a break from flying.

Eventually, though, the sky called him back. “I started to get back into flying again and decided to make a change. I had too many distractions in Colorado.”

He enrolled in Kansas State University’s aviation program in 2008 and since then has gotten involved on campus.

He led K-State’s Flight Team to a second place finish at their regional competition and, as coach, is preparing the team for the national competition in May.

Zach place in short-field landing, second in top pilot, second in aircraft preflight inspection, fourth in top-scoring contestant, fourth in top-scoring male contestant, fourth in power-off landing, seventh in message drop and 12th in navigation at the regional competition.

“It’s fun to compete and apply the skills we’ve learned. Pilots are competitive by nature, so trying to beat them makes you a better pilot, especially because our competitions focus on safety in the air and on the ground.”

He is minoring in aviation safety.

Zach is learning to navigate in the sky while standing on the ground through classes in unmanned aircraft systems. He plans to add the UAS option to his bachelor’s degree in professional pilot.

“I wanted to broaden my scope and be more marketable since it looks like the future of the industry is in unmanned systems.”

As Zach prepares for his future, he is certain of one thing: he will have a lot more opportunities because of the Burton Foundation.

Leave a comment