BPT: Sam, what first attracted you to aviation – and why?

SS: Aviation has always been a “thing” for me.  Even as a child, I was obsessed  with flight.

BPT: Tell us when you learned how to fly – and where were you then?

SS: I learned how to fly in the United States Air Force [USAF] Undergraduate Flight Training Program – as well as in the United States Navy [USN] Advance Strike training program.

BPT: That’s pretty exciting!  Can you give us an idea of the aircraft you have flown?

SS: I have been fortunate to fly a number of different aircraft in the military, including the AV-8B Harrier, MV-22 Osprey, UC-35 Citation, and UC-12 King Air 350ER.  In the civilian world, I have flown the Beechcraft 55 Baron and all other Beechcraft models, as well as the Mooney M20, and Cessna 150s,172s, etc.

BPT: How about now; what do you currently fly /own?


SS: I own a 1969 D55 Baron with IO-520s.


BPT: Share with us some of the highlights of your flying career.

SS: They really run the gamut, from meeting new people at BPT events and taking them to the next level of proficiency and confidence to combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in the MV-22 and the AV-8. Three others come to mind, as well: the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom [OIF] in the Jump Jet; rescuing the Yazidis in the MV-22; and literally flying all over Southwest Afghanistan.

Recently, I retired from the corps and joined forces with Ameircan Airlines. I start sim training in March at CLT and by May, I’ll be on the line, flying A320s from the Big Apple.

BPT: That’s incredible, Sam!  Congratulations!


SS:    Thanks. It’s exciting.


BPT: So, tell us, how did you become involved with BPT?

SS: Many years ago, I found a BPPP name tag in an airplane I purchased and
attended a seminar! I then transitioned to becoming an instructor with BPT
and I’ve been with the program ever since.


BPT: Sounds as though BPT is important to you.  Why is that?


SS: It’s all about meeting new people and helping them to develop higher-level
piloting skills.


BPT: What makes BPT unique?


SS: That’s easy: Great instructors and pilots!


BPT:  Would you recommend BPT to a new pilot?  And if so, why?

SS: I think it is extremely important to get the right information early in your ownership experience to avoid years and years of bad habits.

BPT: That makes sense.  What about for a seasoned pilot? Would you recommend BPT?

SS: Absolutely! Attending a BPT Clinic is the best way I know to validate flying techniques and maintain high proficiency!