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  • Harry F. Bell, Jr., Esq.

Taking to the skies at Marshall's first-class, top of the line facility at Yeager

In West Virginia today we are at the cutting edge of civilian aviation training thanks to the incredible vision of WV native and former COO of NetJets, Bill Noe. From a young man from Huntington who began his flight training at a little airport in Ohio, this Marshall University grad rose to the top in the aviation industry with fractional leader NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway company. A hallmark of Warren Buffet’s management style is to ensure he has the best leaders at the top of all his organizations, and clearly West Virginian Bill Noe fits the mold. When the opportunity presented itself to bring world-class civilian aviation training home to WV, Bill reached out to his alma mater, and the Bill Noe Flight School came to be. Thanks to a gracious invite and tour, this former student pilot had a chance to experience firsthand what a jewel we have here in Charleston WV at West Virginia Yeager International Airport. MU has spared no expense in building a first-class, top of the line facility at Yeager. The classrooms and simulator are first rate. The hanger is spacious, new and pristine, ensuring all school aircraft are fully hangered inside every night. Long-time Flight Safety International employee Nancy Ritter comes to the school as director of operations. Totally professional, she ensures all teaming, instructors and equipment are functioning at the highest level. With Marshall professor David Pittinger, there is also a superb integration into a four-year MU college degree program. With Marshall also starting an aircraft and power plant maintenance training program in Huntington, it allows the school to provide full maintenance for its ever-expanding fleet of aircraft. Speaking of aircraft, the school’s choice to use Cirrus SR20’s with full glass cockpits, A/C and totally customized in school colors and logos brings a special look to a very special plane. For dual-engine instruction the school employs a new Piper Seneca styled and equipped to mirror the crisp professional image that not only the school projects in appearance but also in its professionalism and devotion to safety. A great joy today was spending time with Bill, Nancy, Dr. Pittinger, and others on the team and seeing the infectious optimism Bill brings home to WV and which permeates throughout the operation. As Bill shared, if you are successful in your training here in WV you will be better prepared for your aviation career. You’ll encounter winter weather, storms, rain, cold, fog and heat, all over mountainous terrain, and you will learn safely and gain confidence as you master not only the aircraft but also learning about service. Not just customer service but service to your school, state, local community, which in turn helps you grow and develop as a responsible and empathetic member of the global aviation community. Bill is customer service-oriented, and all is done at the highest level of safety. So, if it is a degreed aviation program you see with a true fast track to a career in the industry or if you are seeking the highest level of training, then the MU Bill Noe Flight school is for you. As Bill described the cockpit of the Bombardier Global Express at 51,000 feet over Alaska with the dancing northern lights recently, there is no better office window view in the world. For more information on MU Bill Noe Flight School reach out to them at Contact Us - Division of Aviation A.A.S., Aviation Maintenance. James B. Smith, C.M., ACE Director Aviation Maintenance Technology Marshall University 304-696-4832 I’m dusting off those old flight training books and getting that airman’s physical. Hope to see you up there, too!

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