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. However, he chose Baylor University because of their Aviation Science 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 being 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." 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 expenses.
Since graduating from Baylor, Felix has worked a number of aviation jobs. He began his career as a flight instructor for Aurora Aviation from December 2000 until November 2003, when he started doing free-lance corporate flying and flight instruction under his own business name, Chiota Aviation, LLC. He began working for NetJets in 2006 and is now a captain with seven aircraft type ratings flying the Embraer Phenom 300. Felix has been employed as a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) since the summer of 2007 and also serves as the Election Committee Chair for the NetJets Pilots' Union.
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'll do 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 itself. A change in instructors might be the stimulus you need. Find the right relationship with an instructor and follow their lead. Lastly, your practical test is the ACS, KNOW IT!"