Brendan Compton

Aug 15, 2008   //   by admin   //   Scholarship Recipients  //  No Comments

Scholarship Recipient Date: August 15, 2008

When Brendan Compton started his freshman year at Kansas State University at Salina at the age of 17, he’d never flown a plane. He graduated on May 8, 2010 with nearly 800 hours, approaching the minimums required to be an airline pilot.

“I used to build model rockets and airplanes. Then I found out that I could fly them,” Brendan said. “No one in my family is a pilot, but I knew a guy who came here and he really liked it.”

His college selection path included aviation maintenance and aerospace engineering. “Then I discovered the pilot program and ended up with a happy medium.”  When it came time to choose a program Brendan was also considering Embry Riddle, Spartan College, and Central Missouri State University. He ultimately chose K-State “because everyone I talked to said it was a good school,” he said.

“The best part about the aviation program is the opportunity to progress at your own speed,” Brendan said. “It took me just two years and one month to become a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) and my last semester I was teaching seven students.”

The Burton Scholarship allowed him to train in the Canadair Regional Jet simulator and take Flight Management Systems training classes. “That’s similar to the sims used in interviews and airline training programs. The FMS training transfers to, and parallels, the systems in most larger aircraft.”  “It’s also allowed me to accept opportunities to participate in the transportation program. I’ve flown both the King Air and the CitationJet and been to Washington, D.C., Texas, and Kansas City. I’ve got 30 hours of turbine time.”

Brendan spent most of his spare time flying or working. He spent two summers interning in weather modification flying in Scott City, Kansas.  In June, Brendan starts a 6-month internship with Hawker Beechcraft as a production test pilot. “Interns have ended up with full time employment at the company in the past, so there is potential opportunity to be hired on, either way it is a great first step into the industry.”

His favorite part of flying: I like that it takes you a completely different place. I can leave Salina at 10 a.m. and be eating lunch in Texas at noon.

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