Aaron Dabney is the Chief Flight Instructor at Waco Flying Service. He is tailwheel-endorsed and also carries a seaplane rating. Aaron is also a factory-endorsed instructor for the American Legend Cub. He has over 2,500 hours of flight experience, about 2,000 of which are dual instruction given. For almost four years, he has led the successful evolution of a flourishing flight school from the ground up - starting with one airplane and himself to now counting six planes and four instructors.
Aaron developed a comprehensive in-house flight training curriculum designed to train more flexible, effective pilots-in-command who have the ability to be life-long learners when it comes to aviation. The curriculum trains pilots for and in real-world conditions and enables them to achieve full utility from their ratings and aircraft. Aaron has also personally trained every flight school staff member in learner-centered instructional techniques so that they can be the most effective educators possible.
Mr. Dabney holds a B.A. in International Studies from Baylor (2003) and an M.S. in Educational Administration, also from Baylor (2009).
Working with Baylor
Aaron became formally associated with the Institute for Air Science in 2009 as a graduate assistant to Aviation Science Assistant Director Tim Compton during his last semester in grad school. Since 2010, he's been an adjunct lecturer with the department, teaching the Intro to Aviation course every fall and proctoring or facilitating various upper-level electives. He's been instructing Baylor students in the cockpit since 2009, when he instructed at Waco Flight Training before it was purchased and transformed into Waco Flying Service.
Here's what Aaron has to say about being involved with the program: "I enjoy being part of a program that provides such a robust preparation to students desiring to enter the aviation industry. Our focus on coupling practical training (whether it be flight or ATC) with academic rigor means that our students are uniquely prepared for the ebb and flow of our cyclical industry. They're insulated from being "just" pilots, and prepared to make a broader contribution to our field. Flight training flexibility is also a huge plus---by allowing our students to experience multiple flight training perspectives, we maintain an ever-evolving, pragmatic professional gene pool.
Specific to WFS, BIAS' flight training flexibility allows me to expose professional aviation students to many scenarios they wouldn't experience in a traditional flight training environment. Their initial takeoff training includes obstacles and soft fields, we actively seek out crosswind days, they have the chance to be exposed to tailwheel flying (and many elect to continue to the endorsement), and they have the opportunity to engage in the instruction process as student teachers once they advance past the commercial stage. The synergy created between the classroom and cockpit makes my role with students highly effective and rewarding, whether I'm the assigned flight instructor or the evaluator."
More about Aaron
Growing up around grassroots aviation, Aaron's passion is grass-strip tailwheel flying. When he's not working, he can be found flying for fun in his family's 1946 Piper Cub in south Texas. He is also an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and is president of Chapter 340. Aaron is also a member of AOPA, the International Aerobatic Club, Seaplane Pilots Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors. He enjoys traveling, gardening, and home improvement projects with his wife Alisa.