Felix Chiota is a 2000 graduate of the Aviation Science program. Originally from Zimbabwe, Felix always had an inexplicable affinity for flight, and dreamed of being an airline pilot. A family friend recommended several universities in the United States. He chose Baylor University because of their Aviation Science degree program, and he began in the Fall of 1995.
Baylor was quite the cultural shock, and being in a new world with no friends, no car, no idea where anything was, and surrounded by unfamiliar appliances was overwhelming. Fortunately, it was not long before fellow freshmen and others he crossed paths with befriended him and began helping him adjust to college life at Baylor. According to Felix, "It became a great experience for me as I grew older and more mature and adapted to my new life and home. I also met my wife on Baylor grounds!"
Felix credits his education in Zimbabwe giving him an edge in class, especially when it came to Aviation Calculus. He enjoyed Physics, History, Business, and Religion classes. He was able to use his mathematical talents to tutor fellow students, which helped pay for groceries, books, and other sundries.
Since graduating from Baylor, he has worked a number of aviation jobs. He flight instructed at Aurora Aviation from December 2000 to November 2003. In November of 2003, he started Chiota Aviation LLC, and has been doing free-lance corporate flying and flight instruction since then. In September of 2004 he started flying with Pinnacle Airlines, but left in December of 2005. Felix currently flies Challengers with NetJets, and has been with NetJets since January 2006. Felix has also been a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) since the summer of 2007.
Felix has the following advice for prospective pilots and aspiring aviation professionals: "Love learning like a friend because in aviation it is not ever going to slow down or stop. Have your career goals set, but be malleable. Our industry is so unpredictable; be willing to adapt to change. My dream was to become an airline pilot, but I found corporate aviation a better fit for me. Decide whether your success in aviation is going to be defined by four stripes on your shoulders or a high ranking military title or by the quality of life you'll enjoy! I've found that if you can find a way to balance these diametrically opposed dynamics you've done well in life!"
Additionally, "Sometimes if training is not going well, or is going nowhere, it may not be because of you. The flight instructor/student relationship is just as important as the instructional experience. A change in instructors might be the the stimulus you need. Find the right relationship with an instructor and follow their lead. Lastly, your practical test is the PTS, KNOW IT!"