September 11, 2023 | ,

Where Are They Now? – Brian Werner

Brian Werner started flight training at the age of 16 when he received the James C. Ray Scholarship. While he was a Sophomore at Central Florida Aerospace Academy, he completed his Private Pilot’s License. He completed his checkride on his 17th birthday. With the remaining money from the scholarship, Brian started his Instrument training and ended up completing his Instrument rating in May 2016. As he saved money, he built hours to obtain his Commercial License in September of 2019, and only a year later, he completed his Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) training.

Brian began instructing at Legends Airways, based off of Lakeland Linder International Airport, shortly after obtaining his CFI Certificate. As he was instructing, he added on his Certified Flight Instrument Instructor (CFII) in October of 2021. Brian left Lakeland, FL, in May of 2022 to begin Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, and graduated in August 2023, where he received his Air Force Pilot aeronautical training. Currently, he still resides at Laughlin Air Force base flying the T-38C Talon.

Short-term, Brian’s goal includes receiving an A-10 assignment and getting mission qualified. His long-term goals are to build and fly a Vans RV-7.

He states how the scholarship has impacted him: “The JCR scholarship introduced me to aviation and allowed me to start the path to become a military aviator. I don’t think I would have pursued a career in aviation if I didn’t discover CFAA and the JCR scholarship. Attending CFAA and volunteering at Sun n Fun really allowed me to gain exposure to aviation and all of the pieces of it. Aviation requires an entire team of people to get a plane in the sky. Aircraft have to be manufactured, avionics have to be installed, engines have to be produced and installed, aircraft have to be delivered to the customer, pilots have to receive training with an instructor in new aircraft, aircraft have to be well maintained by mechanics to continue flying, aircraft need fuel from FBOs, aircraft need places to park on a ramp or hangar, there is an entire community that works together to keep aviation running.”

When asked what advice Brian would give to the future generation of scholarship recipients, he said, “Join the world of aviation. Whether that’s a career as a pilot, mechanic, scheduler, FBO employee, airport operations, or any other important part of the industry. The industry is growing and needs people in every position to keep up with the growth. Be a life-long learner because you never know what someone else might teach you. Flight training is difficult but worth the effort. The only thing stopping you from achieving your goals is the decision to take action.”

Another piece of advice Brian gives is, “Find what part of aviation you enjoy most and keep working to get where you want to be. Aviation is one of the best industries to work in and is filled with great people who share a common interest in airplanes. Share your experiences in aviation with others because it is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.”

Aviation has played a part in changing many lives, including those who have had the opportunity to receive the James C. Ray Scholarship. The scholarship has allowed students to obtain their pilot’s license at 17 or 18 years old and jump-start their career in aviation. We see how the scholarship has impacted Brian and where it has taken him; however, we also praise all the hard work Brian has done to get where he is today. We wish Brian the best of luck in his aviation journey!

ACE News

Girls in Aviation Day 2023

Here’s a recap of Girls in Aviation Day at the Aerospace Center for Excellence and the Florida Air ...
Read More

August Wings ‘n Waffles & Cookies ‘n Convos

Every month, the Aerospace Center for Excellence hosts Wings 'n Waffles and Cookies 'n Convos. This month we ...
Read More

July Wings ‘n Waffles

Thank you to Jeff Kaloostian for speaking at our Wings 'n Waffles event this past Saturday! Jeff's background ...
Read More
Scroll to Top