Wayman Eddy: Welcome to insight aviation where we welcome pilots captains air traffic controllers and aviation professionals from around the industry uh today we have a very special guest Rob Dumovik who have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know at the air shows he’s got a really interesting background uh in in aerobatics as a flight instructor and just has a really interesting point of view on becoming a professional pilot uh rob uh why don’t you introduce yourself.
Rob Dumovic: Hello and welcome my name is rob dumovic and uh i’m one of those uh i’m one of those weirdo pilots i decided very early on to be a professional flight instructor and so oh i gotta start my video i gotta click a button and uh the professional flight instructor means that i get to do a lot of things with a lot of very interesting people and it’s a great honor to finally get onto this program here after when did i first meet you eddy like 2016 or something like that yeah and i think that might have been either my first or second sun and fun which was kind of a fluke as to why i was there um i i think that first sun and fun actually no i met you in 2017 it was my second sun n fun but it was uh my first sun and fun i was in the shower like two days before the show and i was like wait a minute i’m an adult i have money i can go to this thing that i’ve never been to and i was like i gotta go so it was uh everything that’s kind of come about with uh with meeting you and everything was was mainly because of that decision in the shower so i’m happy to be here good to see you again my friend
Wayman Eddy: You know those moments of clarity moments of levity usually come in the shower right when you’re going for the run and you’re not thinking about stuff you’re like oh wait a second i could totally do this right yeah and at some point i’m sure they clicked in your head like hey i could fly extra 300s and be an aerobatic pilot right.
Rob Dumovic: Yeah i think uh i think the desire to fly extra uh started at a very young age especially to be a pilot and even then an aerobatic pilot so uh but yeah i mean my my desire my passion for aviation started when i was about this many and i saw the movie top gun and i was like man that’s awesome i want to go fly fighters and i think that i think that has happened to a lot of people who are in the field right now they saw a top gun at a very young age
Wayman Eddy: Yeah you know in our flight school we actually uh in this hangar you see that the movie screen in the background they actually had screenings of top gun on that on that in the hangar i i think that’s the way to go yeah absolutely and it usually is a story like that right uh someone’s very young something interesting um let’s start there uh you got interested in aviation at that year’s was it seeing top gun do you have any family members or any other exposure to aviation outside of that?
Rob Dumovic: No no family members uh i’m the first generation pilot for the duma vix and i took my first airplane ride in a cessna 172 with a family friend when i was in the seventh or eighth grade uh and i already knew at that point i wanted to be a pilot nice and then fast forward applied to two colleges the air force academy and kent state university didn’t quite do the right things to get into the academy as far as you know get good grades but uh made it to kent state university which has a fantastic flight program and earned all my oh you did yeah i’ll come back to that but please continue i obtained all my licenses and ratings at kent state but i say that i learned to fly at my hometown airport because that’s where i first got in the tail wheel flying my mentor john dye had convinced the airport owner who was rather brand new he bought the airport probably a year or two prior he convinced him to purchase a seven eca cytabria and when this thing showed up with a starburst paint scheme and blue and white uh color scheme i was like that is awesome i can’t wait to fly it and i was the first person to go through the tailwheel program now john dye is a master cfi aerobatic he’s retired now 75/76 captain for united he runs a an upset recovery training school and in uh um it’s kind of boardman canfield ohio area youngstown ohio area and i got to be the first one to go through that program then when he convinced them to buy a super decathlon i was the first one to go through that program and that was where i really learned about flying airplanes because for the first time i was in an airplane that would talk to me and tell me what it wanted and all this talk previously about adversary and you put the ailerons to the left and the nose goes right i never saw it until i first got into that cytobria climbing out went to turn crosswind put the stick to the left the nose went to the right and i went that’s what my feet are for i was already a commercial single engine pilot working on my multi and i didn’t know how to use my feet flying cessna’s my entire career and what i learned from that was that the airplanes have their own language and some of them are loud talkers some of them are whisperers some of them are close talkers some of them are frankly psychotic ex-girlfriends but it all in all if you learn their language and how they’re communicating what they need that will make you a better pilot in knowing how to put in a rudder input with a stick input or how to change power with an elevator input and all these other things that the airplanes want need to make us a better in-tune pilot and that’s the difference between being a pilot and an airplane driver and i think the pipers and the cessnas uh unfortunately don’t challenge us enough as pilots to make us really really good unless you have that really good mentor mentors that i’ve had along the way that helped me to understand the language of the airplane and how to fly it really really well so it’s not that it’s impossible to learn how to fly these the pipers and cessnas very very well but it takes some really skilled guidance because the airplanes are so friendly.
Wayman Eddy: Well exactly so that’s you know i was just thinking about that it’s best selling point in attribute is that it is a very complacent easy to fly airplane it’s very forgiving and that’s why it’s great for low time students that are you know getting their private or their instrument but it seems from your point of view as an interesting point of view is that it’s also its greatest weakness because it doesn’t challenge you.
Rob Dumovic: Yeah and so i mean you take it back to world war ii when we were taking 20 21 22 year olds at very low times 200 some hours and putting him into 1200 horsepower fighter airplanes and tell him to go fight the germans and having great success at it now you couldn’t take a 200-hour pilot who learned exclusively in a cessna and put him in a p-51 and expect that to to turn out well so you know what what kind of changed and i know military training and all that is is a bit different from the civil civilian world but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still have high standards and adapt the way that we’re teaching to make sure that we’re giving pilots the skills that they need.
Wayman Eddy: Absolutely absolutely so let’s let’s take it a step back into into your path into becoming a pilot are you from the ohio area i didn’t realize that.
Rob Dumovic: Yeah i was born and raised just south of youngstown ohio in a little town called salem nice and kent state university was about 45 minutes up the road and they have a fantastic flight program out there that i was very proud to be a part of and to to teach there uh after my uh before and after my graduation um and i also got to teach at my hometown airport and uh fly with some of the local pilots in their tailwheel airplanes as well.
Wayman Eddy: Nice for everyone that’s watching please let us know where you are what city you’re in in the chat or if you’re watching us on facebook i think you’re streaming this also on twitch and anyone else yeah.
Rob Dumovic: So uh nowhere else right now so right now i’m in boston and i got hired here by the totally awesome dude michael gulian to take over the aerobatics program which is uh i still i still can’t i still can’t quite figure out how it all worked because there was there was one day i had been teaching at the university it was 2013 and i was starting to get um a bit burnt out you know that can happen in the education world and was uh preparing my resume and looking for other opportunities i was going to go fly cargo so i had a fresh resume ready and i’m scrolling through facebook and i don’t remember ever adding michael goolian as a friend ever liking my boolean air shows none of that but there was this post mike ghoulian air michael in aviation actually it was executive flyers at the time looking for an aerobatic flight instructor must have time in super decathlons and extras send your resumes too and i went well i got about 100 hours of tailwheel 20 hours of super d time and 0.5 and an extra 200. yeah what can hurt so i set my resume and a little you know i got an email back i think this was a thursday i got an email back on monday saying hey we looked at you we would be honored to get you out here to boston to take a look at the school and do an interview and and all that what do you say and i couldn’t believe i got an email back but the problem was i couldn’t afford to fly out to boston i couldn’t afford the flight i couldn’t afford the hotel like i was like ah thank you very much for the opportunity i have to decline respectfully at this time i just can’t afford it i was just upright and honest and they said well we’re going to the dayton air show in a week do you want to meet us down there yeah i’ll go to a free air show of course right and and i’m like well all right but can i bring my dad they said yeah sure bring your dad we’ll put you up in our chalet mike does this awesome thing he’s got a nascar hauler and he puts the chairs out as you know yeah and it’s got an awning and food and all kinds of displays and stuff and i’m like yeah sure we’ll go out so my dad and i make the journey down uh and he was the one that took me to my first air show at the youngstown air national guard base a reserve base uh back in like 1987 or 88 something like that i was young i had to be 91 anyway uh so i’m like this is this is so appropriate that i that i take him because he’s been a part of of uh of fostering this passion for aviation my entire career so we get down there and it it was the weirdest interview i’ve ever had in my life because it was michael gulian me and my dad yeah how long did their dad come along let alone to me like yeah but mike was totally cool with it and the very interesting thing happened uh that has happened a handful of times in my flying career it stopped being an interview and it turned into a conversation between two people that love airplanes and within 15 minutes he stopped using if statements and started using when statements uh about when you come to boston when you’re when you’re working for us i’m like that’s nuts he hadn’t even officially offered anything to me yet but i noticed that change and we sat there for 45 minutes until he had to go get ready for his show uh so like that was that was the first like holy cow life is about to change and go in a completely new direction in a big way.
Wayman Eddy: Let’s take a minute right there because a lot of the people that are coming to well two things i want to touch on right is for those of you that don’t know who michael gulian is it’s a great time to google him so if you’re a fan of aviation you’ve probably been to an air show those of you that international i know air shows are not as common get yourself to an air show sun and fun just happened here in florida about a month and a half ago oshkosh the biggest air show in the country is coming up in july find the nearest air show to you and you will see something like what’s in the background here of rob just a bunch of people walking around admiring planes of all shapes and sizes and you get to see some of the most amazing pilots doing things that bother the mind like michael gulian who’s a champion aerobatic pilot red bull racer watch the videos i can’t really explain to explain what it is to see an extra 300 do its aerobatic flight and dance um so that’s a definitely something i want to touch on right away but you mentioned their interviews and that’s something that comes up on this quite a bit because a good part of our audience are pilots that are young in their career or maybe looking to make that next move and you hit on something really i like them a lot when an interview turns into a conversation you’re doing it right right yeah this comes that point and i hear the same from airline pilots when you get to an airline level interview you know how to fly you’ve got thousands of hours of log book everyone knows you’re probably already typed they want to know if they can spend three days with you on the road right yeah exactly exactly.
Rob Dumovic: Skills are so critical absolutely and that also i think goes hand in hand with your check ride technique and skills and how you approach a check ride and for the first i don’t know what four or five check rides that i took uh plus i was at a 141 school so we had stage checks i was nervous so i was terrified going into the check ride and cfi leading up to that i did not want to be a cfi did not want to do it at all i didn’t want the responsibility of trying to take an 18 year old who can barely drive a car and giving them the third dimension and 2 000 pounds of aluminum and flammable liquids it’s probably not the way to think of it but i didn’t want that responsibility so while i was doing that training i was also working as the commercial pilot given airplane rides at the local hometown airport in salem and the reaction of the the customers every time we got out of the airplane was always the same i loved that that was awesome this is cool i can’t wait to to do this again and i thought you know what i love this this was awesome it is cool and i just got to share it with somebody and so i realized that a check ride is just another opportunity to fly with someone else who loves flying airplanes as much as i do and then i get to demonstrate to them how much i love flying those airplanes and so my previous check rides where i was nervous and sitting in the hoping to answer the the rote information my cfi checker out i was sitting back in the chair i was just chill was asking him questions he was asking me questions he’s like why don’t you tell me how this was i’m like yeah sure no problem let me draw it out on the board for you and the attitude the approach everything behind taking a check ride and an interview changed once i realized that i was just sharing this thing that i loved with other people and so that’s how i approach interviews and check rides and things like that now and i’m training yeah i’m training to be a dpe with the boston fsdo out here and that’s how i want to come into the check rides i want to make the candidate the applicant feel that same way like hey i love flying airplanes you love flying airplanes that’s right we’re gonna go fly an airplane here in a little bit we’re gonna talk about it first then we’re gonna go do it so just do this thing that you love to do and you’ll have a great time yeah absolutely.
Wayman Eddy: I always say that examiners uh they’re not there to fail anyone in fact i’ve had examiners come to me we had a string of three students who just weren’t cutting the mustard right and the examiner comes and knocks the door he’s like hey i don’t come here to fail students like what’s going on right so we have to dig in and kind of think and kind of do a little bit of course correction there and i love that i love that he came to me and said like i don’t come here to fail students right like i come here to make sure they’re safe you know and keep and and keep them flying um so it’s a great asset so that’s something we can definitely dive into maybe a little bit later is becoming a dpe that’s a big step how many hours are you at now you’ve been in the industry for a while.
Rob Dumovic: Oh i’m just north of 8 000 or so i’ve flown 50 different types of aircraft including some experimental ones blimps helicopters and uh done some test flying for aircraft that were working towards certification for part 23 and unfortunately i can’t talk a whole lot about that yet the contract stuff but it was a lot of fun uh test flying this aircraft for a local company up here and uh we actually did manage to get the aircraft certified so really really awesome stuff that was going on there but that’s right yeah i mean it’s it’s you take an opportunity to to fly and experience gain as much experience you can and all these different airplanes and you start to see how they’re all really the same they all behave the same way uh and uh it’s very rare to have one that’s performing differently and and i’m saying that in the most general sense of up down left right.
Wayman Eddy: Sure that’s interesting so uh 50 types do you have a favorite?
Rob Dumovic: I mean i know you specialize a little bit but well the extra the extra is just a magic carpet and um it’s a create your own roller coaster if you want it’s a go fast it’s not exactly comfortable it’s very raw and uh because it’s raw it does exactly what you tell it to do whether you mean to be doing uh telling it to do it or not one of my favorite aircraft to fly actually was the goodyear blimp and i’ve flown both versions the the zeppelin and then the uh the previous dirigibles uh and the the the early one before they went to the zeppelin uh was very interesting it did not it did nothing fast you put in massive inputs and you just sat there and waited and it was super fun to grab a bunch of beta in flight and bring the thing to a stop and just hear the props and then just bring it back forward just a super awesome and unique experience uh all around and then the new zeppelin has all thrust vectoring rotor heads uh prop heads and it’s it’s a side stick fly-by-wire thing super cool but a completely different animal than than the other than the other blimp so it was such a different way of flying that was it was super fun.
Wayman Eddy: Is this the goodyear blimp that said akron akron ohio?
Rob Dumovic: Yeah so i flew both uh the spirit of goodyear i think they were both the spirit of goodyear spirit of akron uh november three alpha and november two alpha were the two that i flew um and i didn’t get to fly the zeppelin actually until it came out to plymouth they were doing a tire event uh for some of the local tire dealers but my college uh commercial and multi-flight instructor was the chief pilot for the blimp and so he called me and was like hey we’re going to be in boston you want to come out i said yeah so i took the decathlon down and i gave all their pilots a ride in the decathlon and they gave me a ride in uh in the blimp right so that was that’s how i got into that one that was a lot of fun so small world.
Wayman Eddy: The reason i mentioned ohio my wife is from cleveland macedonia oh very good yeah right so kent is the nearest airport and her uncle was actually a professor of art and painting at kent state university ah i definitely wouldn’t have met him but that’s awesome it’s right it’s a small world right and it’s it’s a great little town i really enjoy it and when we flew up last year in the middle of the pandemic like we got to get away so we actually uh flew flew up uh seneca and landed at akron field and i didn’t realize it goodyear was right there and there’s the big uh the big head and all that good stuff is like right there beautiful airport oh yes yeah uh so yeah it is a super small world and a beautiful part of the country to fly around yeah absolutely and of course i think most people that have had that have dabbled into aerobatics started with zytabria right uh yeah i’d say maybe 10 years ago we had an opportunity to bring uh a super decathlon into the flight school here at hero wayman aviation at opa locka airport we brought it in uh because at the time we had this great pilot uh sasha if you’re out there uh watching he was he’s a gulfstream pilot now but he was embry riddle aerobatic team he’s like yeah i’ll be your i’ll be your upset trainer instructor uh and my brother and i got a chance to go up there flat cyber did my first aileron rolls and all that kind of stuff and we were hooked my brother signed up for aerobatics magazine we’re like yeah we’re going to do this there are street drugs that are cheaper than getting hooked on aerobatics that’s the problem is it’s a very expensive sport i have to admit though i probably did like two aerobatic flights and then you know life life happens right yeah and absolutely you know after about a year you know he he did his transition and ended up flying corporate so at the time we got less and less work until you know we kind of passed it back to uh to the owner uh yeah so since then i’ve gotten to to slip away a little bit i was actually out in vegas and flew uh extra 300 with the name escapes me right now it’s a great operator out there but they sell it just like you said as a roller coaster without rails right for you know all the thrill seekers in las vegas and i was like okay that makes sense you know but i’m a pilot i kind of want to i’ve done a couple of arobatic flights he’s like oh great so you know we started getting a little bit deeper trying a little technical and like doing all this stuff i shared the story with you before that a good aerobatic session is like maybe 20 minutes maybe yeah maybe right you cannot and you got to build up to that you’re taking a little bit softer training wise maybe you can do 30 45 minutes you’re not it’s not like a air show routine right you were kind of introducing maneuvers and the extra would be out of gas mostly but yeah so uh so i did that and then uh he’s like hey you want to fly the red rocks because the red rocks are right there outside of vegas i was like sure let’s go check out the red rocks little did i know that after our 30-plus minute like workout we’re gonna be doing loops and rolls all through the red rocks yeah after like an hour i was like i’m done turn it around point me back that was pretty brave of him to take you through the red rocks and it was uh well done by you to to keep your lunch down so i i applaud you sir very good job most of it i’d say um it was beautiful experience and you’re absolutely right it’s just um it’s an engine with with wings it does more than what you’re you’re right you’re kind of talking to it um that you don’t really know what you’re saying i think an untrained pilot is kind of saying more than they realize and the airplane will fully act on your implants right and then some so that’s really where the expertise comes in from from somebody who let’s say you’re you’re a cessna pilot you know private pilot maybe you’ve done your instrument like would you jump right into the next stretch would you take that certain route how long did it take to get comfortable?
Rob Dumovic: Every pilot is different and um i just had this conversation a couple of weeks ago with a friend of mine who currently flies f-16s but he’s got no tail wheel time or at least very little and he says i want to buy one of these hot rods after i get out and and have some fun with it but i want to be safe so what’s my path and so in his in his five-year plan in this specific case i said look go out get yourself a tail wheel endorsement find yourself a decathlon and get a hundred hours in the decathlon okay that way you’re proficient in the aerobatics you’re proficient in takeoffs and landings in an aircraft that’s not exactly helping you but not trying to hurt you either um like the citadel is friendly the decathlon is a little less friendly and then the extra is is very much a uh i will do exactly what you tell me and i would do it right now so if you’re wrong you’re wrong quickly and then we’ll transition in into an extra and you’ll pick it up in like five hours and you’ll be okay to go from a 172 to extra and extra proficient um i did have somebody transition to take off some landings at 125 hours and be safe in the aircraft after about 15 hours but that was us being very specific uh and flying really just exactly ground reference maneuvers steep turns stalls all the private pilot level stuff and then coming back and doing five six landings at a time uh and then putting it back in the hangar so those those flight profiles were very specific you do this do this the same way every single time and once he could demonstrate uh um routinely that he could do it and i didn’t have to do anything i was just a passenger on the flight i said okay go solely your airplane so we met the insurance requirements and he has at the proficiency that i held for a standard for being able to be safe in that aircraft and then we then worked on the acro side of things so we’ll get you comfortable making sure you could take off and land in all kinds of conditions i gave him crosswinds that you know you’re gonna have to deal with in his area and uh just made sure that he went flying on the days that were gonna be the most challenging and that he was up to that challenge and i gave him the tools in his toolbox to be able to do that before we really went out and hammered the across side.
Wayman Eddy: That’s good you know um i forget who i was talking to about this but they said that we were talking about was it crosswinds or it was a type of airplane but that when you’re with an instructor do the challenging things right when you’re doing that flight review or whatever is do the stuff that you’re afraid of or that make makes you a little nervous right because you have an experienced instructor with you you know to help you kind of see where the edges and that’s one of the things i love about aerobatics because you always talk about the edge the edge of the envelope this is the do not exceed right airbags is all about crossing that line you know moving back and forth kind of knowing where the line is and and how far you can push it so you don’t really know where the line is until you’ve jumped right over it.
Rob Dumovic: Yeah absolutely and in aerobatics it’s beautiful because you learn about the entire envelope of the aircraft and the entire attitude envelope as well as a private pilot you work between 45 degrees of bank and 15 those up and 10 those down as a commercial pilot you work 60 to 60 and 20 maybe 25 up 10 down that’s 11 of the flight attitude envelope yeah it’s pretty nice what do you do if you’re in suddenly now a 15th percentile of the aerobatic or of the flight envelope and you don’t know how to get back to the 11. that’s a problem and so in aerobatic training you learn about every single position that the aircraft can be in those high notes low upside down upright over banked all of that and then how to get it back and how to manage the angle of attack how to manage g-force uh and that way you can keep yourself safe you are safer as a pilot because you’re not comfortable more comfortable in those upset recoveries and as upset attitudes uh to the point where we have anecdotes of uh there was a i think it was an md-11 or a dc-10 that lost an engine coming out of o’hare like the engine fell off the left wing yeah and the airplane started to roll over on its back and the captain knew the right cedar was a pits pilot and he goes your flight controls because whatever the captain was doing trying to hold the nose up by pulling back and trying to roll opposite wasn’t helping the aircraft and so what the guy in the right seat did was he unloaded the wing now the wing doesn’t have to support the weight of the aircraft now it’s got full aileron authority all the work the wing is capable of doing can be now dedicated to roll and so they were able to correct the roll the bank angle and get it back towards level flight and save the aircraft and this was i think back in the late 80s early 90s but there are stories at least where a good cockpit crew understanding what the capabilities of each seat are can delegate in times of stress to the other person who’s got more experience you look at jeff skyles and sully jeff that was jeff’s leg sully took it okay well he had more experience and we see how that turned out so to go out and get this training that is outside of the normal path of private instrument commercial multi cfi and then i get 1500 hours on them at an airline makes you a better candidate a better prepared pilot and better able to handle these situations that are completely outside the normal and our safety record in the aviation world is so good because we do regiment everything you fly in this box and you don’t deviate from it from whatever you know from whatever uh takeoff cruise descent landing from whatever phase of flight you’re in but things happen mother nature doesn’t care and she’ll take you outside that box it’s up to you to have the skills to be able to fix it.
Wayman Eddy: That’s a great story about the chicago flight and you know what you make me think of uh so right now we’re in a special moment in the aviation industry right we went from a massive shortage where everyone was going through that street pipeline private instrument commercial cfi handing over to the airline at 1500 hours and have to admit that’s that’s our main product here at wayman aviation we take zero to hero in a year you do another year maybe two as an instructor and we have five airline partners right yeah but right now we’re in a moment right where there’s there’s still pilots that are furloughed that pilot shortage is coming back really quickly though from i mean i was talking to a vp of american airlines latin america just last wednesday and he said there is no pilot shortage i’m hiring 300 pilots right now right yeah but for those of you that are out there and you find yourself you know maybe in that weird spot where you just got your cfi or you just got your commercial you’re not at the hours or to apply for the airlines now is the time to expand your personal envelope as a pilot right now is the time to pick up that tail wheel rating a little bit of aerobatic you know trying to handle gliders um what’s the most important resume is that you stay active and you stay current right and if you have it available to you to go out and do some certain flights or a tailwheel rating it’ll make you a better pilot right when you when you’re faced with these situations uh keeps you current and it’s seeing more of aviation because i think there was a bit of a blinders situation there for five years where people are just like putting in the hours you know trying to get to that uh six-figure paycheck but this has given people i think uh whether they wanted it or not the space to explore aviation a little bit more.
Rob Dumovic: Yeah and i’ve been flying i’ve been in this industry now since 2003 and i wasn’t paying attention to it early on but uh in the you know after about the fourth year i started to realize that hiring was always this this uh sinusoidal wave of of ebb and flow where they’re hiring everybody that’s got a thousand hours and all of a sudden there aren’t nobody uh i know a guy that got a leader jet job at 250 hours that was back in 2005 and then starting 2008 with the uh with the real heavy downturn of the economy everybody stopped hiring and so now you had this this cfi pool especially at the university level and at your uh like at your uh a location there where you didn’t have one-year cfis you had guys that were there for two and three years and in that time they managed to gain a level of experience beyond definitely a brand new cfi and they were teaching better and better techniques making better and better private pilots so like i talked about earlier with the the world war ii taking 200 hour pilots putting them in p51s and we had a a ton of pilots come out of world war ii and enter into the teaching world in the airline world and all the airplanes were tailwheel airplanes you didn’t really have tricycle gear airplanes until the 50s and you made really safe pilots and those really safe pilots made the next generation of flight instructors in the next generation of pilots but let’s say that from pilot from instructor a to pilot b you have a an instructor who’s really good and they’re able to communicate and transfer 90 of that instructor’s skill into their student and over the next five years that pilot gets up to 95 or 98 of where that previous cfi was and they make the next generation of cfi who’s now 90 of their 95 percent yeah so you can see how generationally we get this decline and then you throw in factors like adding tricycle gear to the airplane and making them easier to handle and more autopilots and more technology and i’m not saying that that stuff is i’m not saying automation is bad i love it use it properly yes and still enhance your skills and your hand flying skills but you can see how generationally we get this loss and so at the university when the airlines were hiring everybody who had a thousand hours you would have the brand new cfis teaching the brand new cfi candidates so you’d have a 90 percenter teaching the next guy right and they’d never really get up there so i think it’s actually kind of a good thing that we have these lulls in hiring where you can gain experience as a flight instructor make a better pilots behind you and never be afraid to be a four-year-old and ask why all the time and that will help you master a craft and understanding and and that’s the great thing that students do to us flight instructors is they ask why all the time and it’s our job to not say because i said so but to actually go here’s why this is the pieces and parts how it all interacts and this is how it interacts with say steep turns and how steep turns affect your ground reference maneuvers and how reference ground reference maneuvers make your traffic patterns and your landings come from flying a good consistent traffic pattern and being in the same spot every single time over that runway where you do a power off stall at two inches oh wow everything we do at 3000 feet agl applies to the traffic pattern and making our landings uh nice and smooth you know so there’s there’s all these.
Wayman Eddy: Yeah everything takes time you know that uh synthesizing it and kind of making it your own and i do have to say uh one of the silver linings of the current pause in hiring is just that we do not have a single green instructor in the building you know everyone’s a thousand hours plus uh you know we’re lucky to have had that extra year with our senior instructors it’s helped us kind of reinforce a lot of our standards and our operating procedures and all these things big shout out to our team leaders who have really been putting in that effort to make it happen and i know that the hiring is opening up right so we’re probably going to lose a good portion of them but it’s bolstered the entire system right especially the entire system uh because there was a moment there where i was pretty nervous and we were actively going out and recruiting retiring airline pilots and 135 pilots and saying we need the senior guys that are not running off to the airlines to keep the standards be our stage check pilots and uh you know your assistant chiefs this is probably uh every flight school in the country probably has a part-time uh chief pilot because there for the most part they were you know flying uh 135s and uh gulf streams and or airlines on the side so it is a weird place right now in in the flight school industry but so now so you’re you’re with michael gouldian now?
Rob Dumovic: No that was prior yeah so i’ll i’ll run the slideshow here and we’ll take you through um yeah a little bit of the history of oh of course you opened the percentage of you i’ll change it here boom.
Wayman Eddy: This is exciting because we usually don’t have presentations so i’m going to kill my video here and let rob take over the screen and we get to see a little bit of what it’s like to be at uh executive flyers mike goolian’s aerobatic school and this is standby one let me just do it and for those of you out there on facebook uh in the zoom on twitch go ahead and put your your questions in the chat in the comments we’ve got yen checking the comments um out on the facebook and he’s going to feed him back to us we can do a little bit of q a with rod before the end of the hour.
Rob Dumovic: Yep excellent so this is uh this is actually my first aerobatic practice and the gentleman that we’re seeing on the right hand side is a former air force f-4 pilot and a retired fedex captain named mark nathanson and he was the previous aerobatic instructor at executive flyers everything i i have right now in my life is because he left so they were hiring and he’s talking with vanessa who is a good friend of mine she was she also worked for executive fire she was one of the first people i met out there uh and they were good friends because they had worked together and they’re two fantastic people but like mark and i are very good friends to this day i have flown his airplanes all around the country we’ve done formation flights together and uh just really awesome dude he was at my wedding he was a guest on the podcast uh i think it was episode four fighter pilot uh he was the guest on so you know everything that i have right now including my wife my son my house is because he left but still a cool dude still teaches aerobatics he’s a dpe he got me into the dp program we’ll talk about that a little later but that was that’s mark nathanson and so when he left i had the opportunity to move out here to boston and this is a shot of boston logan i didn’t work here but i worked at hanscom field which is just up the way and then they moved the aerobatics program to lawrence and then they moved it to beverly and then they moved it back to hanscom so i traveled where the airplane was was going to be based and i got to meet a ton of different people all along the way and have a lot of fun flying the eight kilo charlie alpha bravo super decathlon and this is me at that uh that same i think this was actually at a contest at the same location uh and got to meet some really really cool people this is me at my first contest with uh the guy on the left in the green shirt and the break green shirt is john chavinsky he was just starting out in aerobatics when i got hired he now is a co-owner in an extra 300l and uh he’s just awesome dude we’ve been roommates at several different contests awesome guy and then the gentleman on my right was my another student of mine at the time he was 17 his name was rob pinkston he is now the chief pilot for the collings foundation and he’s checked out in their p51 their p40 they’re f4u i think they have one of those they’re snjs the b17 that they they had 909 which is unfortunately lost in an accident uh the b25 the f4 uh their helicopters the uh one like he flies all their stuff and here he is at 17. that’s great yeah uh after a couple years in the x and the decathlon i got to transition into the extra 200 and this was an uh an owner’s aircraft who was good friends with the gulen family had been part of the school for years and he just never flew the airplane and so when he and i would go out and and do some training in it he would just go he would say okay take me up to maine drop me off at my lake house and take the airplane home and after a couple months of that he’s like you know if you want to use the airplane go ahead so i just i asked hey can i take the contest he said yeah sure absolutely and so i was uh privileged enough to be able to start my uh my extra training and competing in this fabulous aircraft which was in it now that i know more about setting up an airplane and control harmony and things like that this was one of the most challenging airplanes to fly precisely because the controls were set up neutral to almost negative so if you made a deflection and tried to come back to center it had no problem going past and so you had to be very precise with your control inputs and where you where you put that stick because it wasn’t helping me at all it was basically like trying to balance on top uh on top of the needle the entire time that i was flying it and i did manage to win some categories in a contest with this airplane and it challenged me as a pilot to fly so precisely that now when i get into a more modern aircraft like the extra 330sc this thing is a completely different animal in terms of both horsepower and control harmony uh this particular aircraft here is michael gulian’s airshow airplane which he trusts me occasionally to ferry around the country and i have more hours in this airplane than the last year than michael does because i picked it up in january of 2020 and took it to california from florida then i picked it up in april in california took it back to massachusetts and then took it to the houston air show and then i just picked it up this year from sun and fun brought it back to massachusetts and then back down to florida last weekend or last week to uh for him to fly at the next air show and this is a completely different animal in in its control.
Wayman Eddy: Question there about farying right so yeah really curious about it because i’m sure you’re fast as heck but i can’t imagine you have a whole lot of fuel like what’s sparing something like this?
Rob Dumovic: This aircraft holds about 60 gallons of gas in cross-country mode okay it’s got 25 gallons in just acro mode so you’re sacrificing about uh what’s the math there 35 gallons or so uh of of fuel when you just want to do airbags you don’t want any fuel in the wings of these airplanes when you’re doing uh as as strenuous aerobatics as michael is doing with it in an air show so there’s two center tanks that are for inverted flight and those hold about 25 gallons of gas and you’re burning about 25 to 30 gallons an hour at uh at wide open at air show performance when i’m in cross-country mode i’m about 15 gallons an hour so with 60 gallons of gas i got about four hours of endurance until it’s empty of course we’re not going till it’s empty we’re only planning three and a half for our reserves and uh in that time i can go 600 plus miles depending on the winds in this aircraft and generally it’ll outlast the bladder so i generally want to land by the by the time i’m at my reserve fuel or or anything like that but it’s actually pretty so it’s actually a pretty good performance or for cross-country and something around interesting yeah it’s about 190 knots ground speed uh while i’m cruising and uh 15 gallons an hour right in that right in that neighborhood and the airplane is actually not all that bad to fly it’s got xm uh radio so i got my helmet on with my my my bows and uh she just she just rips there’s no heat so it can be cold but you just dress for that sure yeah that’s just additional way you don’t need but from this picture you can tell i mean it’s like engine and that cockpit’s just hanging on yeah right yeah so there’s a little space behind my head for bags and usually my helmet bag goes in there and then in between my feet there’s a space where really nothing’s going on and my backpack goes in there so uh and you wedge water bottles around to the the in between the frame rails just to make sure that you have something to drink while you’re there and i don’t dare i don’t dare eat in the thing because i don’t want to get any crumbs anywhere and a micro rolls over and that’s all of a sudden you know granola on the canopy he’s not going to be happy with me but uh the airplane is is an absolute ripper it’s a fun performer and you know everywhere you go it gets attention and it it uh it draws people over and it’s it’s an opportunity to be uh while i’m not sponsored by bose or cirrus or wheel and aerospace technologies or anything like that if you’re in the aircraft you’re a representative and that customer’s experience that person’s experience whether they’re a customer or not uh their view of the brand is going to be reflected on how you are so i’m always saying hi to people and shaking hands and saying yeah take photos of the airplane that’s fine and i want people to do that i want them to i want them to have that positive experience with it and so you know if michael goes to an air show this person shows up and goes hey i saw your airplane in virginia and it was really cool it’s nice to meet you and he’s gonna be like yeah how was the fairy pilot was he a jerk no that guy was awesome like okay cool so you know and uh if they show up and they’re like you know will in aerospace i met that guy he was a he was a jerk and you know you can’t have that can’t have that so yeah but this airplane is is uh is absolutely awesome the 330sc um it’s it’s got an experimental engine it’s probably about 350 plus horsepower and makes a lot of noise which makes it really good for the airshow world and he’s got an extra smoke tank so he carries extra uh smoke oil with extra smoke injectors so it makes a nice nice thick plume of smoke coming out the back of the back of the aircraft while he’s performing and that really makes for a great great show michael does a very very good job yeah he does wonderful dog and then the other person who’s a big part of this this was my business partner matt who’s a student of mine he’s the perpetual student pilot uh but here we are on a trip to the udbar hazy center in a 172 and this was like the first real extended period of time together where we uh made a friendship and decided to start a business together and he was a one of my groomsmen of my wedding like just been a really awesome dude and he’s part of the podcast as well as spread aviation uh which you can find on uh google play apple podcasts and spotify as well as spreadaviation.com so check out episodes with uh with matt and i in the in the podcast.
Wayman Eddy: Yeah all your pilots out there check it out it’s a great podcast and actually it’s a good time to mention that this show inside aviation officially launched its podcast version last month uh and we’re on spotify and uh apple podcast look us up inside aviation very good all right that was excellent um excellent presentation uh just kind of photos are going to give us some context what we’re talking about that’s really nice so let’s see if we have any questions cooking up here let’s see so we’ve got alan miles i think on our facebook who uh wants to know if there’s any flight aerobatic flight training in south florida now i’m aware of a dr fox and tamiami who flies an extra 300 he does some spin training but actually i don’t think it’s the right the right equipment for spin training if you want to be a cfi and i feel like spin training if you want to be a cfi should be done like it says i want you to the set like what you’re going to be training in right because the idea is to help uh if a student gets into a situation that you’re ready to help there now do you have a different opinion on that rob or?
Rob Dumovic: I do and you’re not necessarily wrong in the in the mindset of a train in what you’re going to be flying um what i don’t really like is i don’t like the tool for the job i’ve spun cessna 152s 172s and in my professional opinion they get into the incipient mode of a spin and they kind of stay there and it’s more like a spiral and we have seen in uh at kent state university we actually had a safety stand down because the 152 that was being used and we had cockpit video which was this was unheard of in 2007 or 2008 uh but they figured out how to mount a camera and record this thing because they were in a spiral mode instead of a spin mode where the wing is stalled and drag is very very high and air speed stays low the air speed got up really really high and exceeded vne during the recovery but the other bad thing about that is they were into uh what’s um asymmetrical loading so they were rolling and pulling all at the same time so the aircraft was was rolling and pulling yeah whereas we just want to roll then pull okay uh and so we had this video of the aircraft exceeding bne and being stressed asymmetrically uh and we ended up taking a really close look at that airplane in maintenance um but what it came down to in in my mind was we weren’t using the best tool for the job we were using the best tool that we had and i spent about six months with uh with a buddy of mine tyler khan who also went through the table and aerobatics program in ohio um going with putting together a program for the university to buy a super decathlon and we were going to be the instructors for that we’d provide table basic acura uprt do all the stuff that we didn’t want to stress our cessna’s with in this aircraft as well as providing a higher value to our students and um our timing probably sucked because it was like 2009 and everybody was worried about money but uh unfortunately we couldn’t get that to to go so i recommend highly using a tool that’s designed for the job and the decathlon is great for that the satabria is okay-ish i’d just rather have a stronger airframe uh the capped tens there’s some places that use cap 10 bees even those are getting up there in age right now um but i do know that scott farnsworth uh he’s just north of west palm beach yeah yeah uh he’s putting together a program with a decathlon they just got that online uh i know that they’re gonna do a good job i haven’t been through the program but this is one of those things this is one of those types of training where it’s it’s easy to have an over stress accidentally and even i who was doing upset recovery with a cfi in the decathlon i called recover on a nose low recovery and we start that at like 80 knots i put him into the maneuver super super slow and then i give it to him right away and he sat there and froze and he got the he finally kind of came around he got the wings upright and he sent it to stick and he still froze and i’m watching the airspeed just ripping along and like okay come on buddy come on pull pull pull and i’m giving him every opportunity to do it and i’m the type of instructor who will wait uh and and allow them the opportunity to make the mistakes see the see the uh the conditions and then recover from it like do their do their own thing and i’m not going to take it from them because i don’t think that helps them to learn but i’ll take that to the last minute we were getting real close to vne when i finally grabbed the throttle and brought the g on slowly and that that g coming on increases induced drag which freezes the airspeed indicator uh and it’s like okay well you’re an experienced pilot you now saw this environment for the first time and this was your reaction to it okay let’s digest that let’s move on to the next one and let’s do better next time it’s okay to make mistakes and i’m there so that they can make those mistakes in a safe environment so i i’m not the biggest fan of the 172 because of its characteristics and it’s not the strongest tool and i don’t like i don’t feel good putting that back on the line you know especially after an event like that but if it’s the tool that you’ve got there just needs to be special care special training maybe a handful of cfi’s not everybody can teach you know the spin training but just a handful of experienced certified trained individuals using the tool the best they can to get good quality training out of it uh it can go a long way so that’s that’s my long answer to that one.
Wayman Eddy: No that’s a great answer that’s a great answer uh and that was actually my question versus his question his question was where’d he get flight training?
Rob Dumovic: Scott Farnsworth i was not aware that he was putting them together i know he flies uh uh the albatrosses right the yep yeah he’s got an l-39 and i don’t know if he still has the extreme errors but he had a couple xa-42s and this was just on facebook like a week or so ago um where they have a decathlon and a flight instructor uh coming on uh for that.
Wayman Eddy: Very nice all right so i have to check that out uh yeah it’s a nearby program uh down in 10 miami dr fox uh does extra 300. uh i don’t know if he does aerobatic training but he does spin and things like that so i imagine he probably moves a little bit further if you’re good at it and then of course there’s patty wax up from the saint augustine but how can somebody work with you if they want to work with you?
Rob Dumovic: You got to buy an airplane unfortunately right now i only work with aircraft owners so i travel around the country and give transition training in mainly extras and super decathlons um and i’m busy enough doing that right now that excellent uh i’m i’m away from home a little more than the wife wants me to especially with the 10 week old baby thank you very much uh but it’s been it’s been very unique and so that kind of what i do now is built on my experience that i had with michael goolian at the flight school there where i started out i was hired to be the aerobatic instructor but i had all this other experience and ratings and experience in the 141 world that i moved into okay you’re now the director of standards and safety and then when the school got sold uh it was okay well now you’re going to be the 141 assistant chief flight instructor you’re gonna go take a check ride okay great and i did that for a year and um there just started to be things happening outside of the 141 world my flight instructing world there where i was getting busier and busier outside of the school and i wasn’t willing to forgive the language half-assed uh what i was doing outside with spread aviation and at the flight school that’s dangerous and it’s not uh it’s not fair to the client who’s paying good money to come out and fly with me and uh so a very hard decision was made to leave the 141 world and try to to go out on my own with spread aviation and uh and make a living at it and so part of that has been the podcasting uh the monday night live streams on twitch uh check us out spread aviation on twitch and flying with customers every monday night at 8pm i’d like to do it more but the monday night at 8 p.m because that’s when the bachelor was on and my wife wanted to watch the bachelor and i didn’t so i was like oh honey i got to go do this thing so for for a while there we were sponsored by abc’s the bachelor but that has led to opportunities instructing all kinds of different people all around the country uh both in aircraft and virtually uh in in my my favorite game dcs world and uh now occasionally i play microsoft flight simulator 2020 which i have some strong opinions on how they call that a flight simulator but uh it’s it’s been just an absolute blast and uh mark nathanson who we saw in the first slide um has he’s a dpe and he’s very busy and he’s been pushing boston fizzy to get me in to be a dpe and uh i’d be i’d be done by now if it weren’t for coronavirus i think a lot of people would be at different places in their lives right now if it weren’t for coronavirus uh but uh things are getting fired back up here in this area so hopefully that’ll happen by i don’t know i’ll be optimistic and or maybe that’s pessimistic by the end of 2021 i’ll be a dpe out here and be able to give check rides as well.
Wayman Eddy: I think people would be very happy to have you as an examiner uh yeah but just to build off that prior question uh i think anybody that’s watching you know whether now or the twitch or the facebook or in the future take a quick look around right ask around at the fbos astronaut the flight schools you will find that most places have a guy with uh with a decathlon yeah you’re lucky to find someone with an extra or a pits or something like that and these are some of the most passionate aviators i know right because it’s the fun flying right it’s the out there seat of your pants like this is what an airplane can do right yeah i have a guy here on the field um peter who does uh pits rides for foster kids oh nice that’s how he introduces people to aviation and i just thought that’s the best thing in the world right and uh and so you’re gonna find people like that if you hang out at any airport in the hangars like what you got in there right yeah we have some beautiful planes um so yes there’s some wonderful aerobatic programs out there but they’re few and far in between i can’t really think of too many like official uh aerobatic programs other than like patties in saint augustine uh patty wax up in saint augustine or it sounds like uh michael is not involved with executive flyers anymore?
Rob Dumovic: No so executive flyers uh it started in 1964 and then it ended in 2018 uh it was absorbed by horizon aviation out of providence and they bought the they bought the school and the aircraft assets and everything uh but after uh uh a couple of months operating in a very expensive area at hanscom field there’s there’s a very high cost of operation uh to be in there they said you know what this doesn’t make sense we’re uh we’re not going to keep this place open when we can take the assets and go to a much cheaper airport and operate unfortunately that’s what they did and i went with them i moved to the other airport which was twice as far away but turned out the drive was four times as long because of boston traffic but i did that for a year and uh at the new location and it was uh i learned a ton i met some awesome people i loved working for horizon aviation and the owners out there they were awesome and uh that was that was why the decision to leave was so hard was because it was it was working for great people and it’s easy to leave a crummy situation you know but um but yeah so mike ghoulian doesn’t have a full-blown acro program he is exploding in the cirrus world however in new england uh i think he’s opening his third location uh up in laconia new hampshire they’re hiring flight instructors and i think there’s going to be a fourth location not new england opening soon but i don’t have uh uh enough information to talk about that.
Wayman Eddy: It’s a powerful airplane too but i guess that’s a whole other conversation to put a pin in that one though you’ll find that the vast majority of aerobatic instruction is independent it’s a it’s one-on-one it’s independent and that’s honestly risk and liability right a big flight school uh it’s tough to get the insurance and wrap around it when you have you know the production line of private instrument commercial so you find that usually it’s dedicated operators that have uh have their plane and teach aerobatics but i feel like every every pilot should go out there not just a spin training that you have to do for cfi if you’re doing if you’re going that route but to really go out there and kind of push the limits and get to know the airplane um yeah kind of coming to the end of our hour rob i mean if you had to share a few nuggets of wisdom that you’ve learned from the aerobatic world uh to to an aspiring pilot somebody coming up through the ranks what would you say.
Rob Dumovic: Well for more information check out iac.org that’s the international aerobatics club and they have links in there for how to get started finding local schools near you and you can sort by state and uh there they have listings for everybody that well i can’t say everybody but everybody that is affiliated with the iac and uh where you want to get that training never stop being a four-year-old and four-year-olds ask why uh and that’s how we really get to the root of understanding of the of whatever whatever we’re working on talking about or trying to accomplish and if we talk about levels of learning uh rote understanding application correlation if we can’t understand it it gets very hard to apply and impossible to correlate so find yourself a good instructor who challenges you doesn’t just i don’t want to say take your money but uh isn’t just occupying the right seat of the aircraft while you fly but find a flight instructor who challenges you to hold you to a high standard and uh don’t be afraid also to to go up with a flight instructor whether you’re a student or a rated pilot uh or not and go up into those conditions that make you maybe uncomfortable get with that experienced person and say you know what i’m weak at this can you help me and hopefully they can or hopefully they can at least point you to someone who can uh and those are my uh those are my big keys oh and if you’re gonna go on an aerobatic ride eat something first don’t go on an empty stomach you will get sick so uh make sure you get your blood sugar up just a little bit before you take that first acura ride don’t i don’t yeah eat till you’re not thinking about your stomach either way you’re not too full you’re not still hungry and uh keep that ride to less than 10 minutes.
Wayman Eddy: Yes that’s i definitely recommend that you know that’s a good point we didn’t even touch on iac because you’re also an aerobatic judge i saw yep i’m a judge a coach and that was what i was doing last weekend was critiquing uh for the local iac chapter they had a practice day and i don’t have an airplane so i sit on the ground and i get on the radio and i help the other pilots make their maneuvers look like they’re supposed to look and uh i had a couple of people the organizer for the event and another gentleman who was uh i think he’s uh he’s a long time iac member for that chapter we’re out at the judges table with me and there were a couple times where i watched an airplane fly a figure and i said okay i need you to make these changes in the stick input and then they came back around and they flew it perfect and i’m going yes yes because i was able to communicate to someone else in another airplane and make them make a 3d path in the sky that was exactly what i wanted it to be was exactly what they wanted to be and that uh i was super pumped up about about that so while i wasn’t in the cockpit and i wasn’t feeling the i did get to have an impact and a change and uh i i got a lot of enjoyment out of that.
Wayman Eddy: That’s wonderful rob and i and i hear the the passion and the enjoyment you get out of aviation and what you’re doing i certainly hope that anyone that’s watching uh and starting their steps into aviation gets that passion and that joy out of it uh rob once again how can people get a hold of you and spread aviation?
Rob Dumovic: Yeah so spread aviation give us a like follow subscribe on youtube instagram facebook uh you can reach us that way pretty well head over to spreadaviation.com and check out what we got going on right there and if you have any questions or comments uh for me send an email to hello at spreadaviation.com
Wayman Eddy: Very nice very nice and you can find uh wayman at and at wayman.edu aviation on instagram and facebook and youtube and just about everywhere else at weymon aviation i certainly hope uh you good luck on all your aviation endeavors thank you for joining us today thank you rob thank you for having me and everybody out there fly safe have a great afternoon.