Jeff Nash – Pilot
I was born and grew up on a dairy farm, understand the concept of hard work and believe that obstacles can be overcome. As a teenager, my original plan was to enter military aviation. Unfortunately, I was very seriously injured in high school which made me ineligible for service. So instead, I went off to college, studied hard and eventually became a university professor (that took almost 15 years).<
My first position was with the University of Alaska, at a research station on Kodiak Island. I made friends with a group of pilots and they convinced me to buy a J-3 Cub. That was probably the most impulsive decision of my life since I did so even though I’d never been in a small airplane. I hadn’t a clue how to fly that rag wing. Remember, obstacles can be overcome. A week later, I was washing my newly acquired Cub when a Coast Guard C-130 pilot rolled up and asked me if I would like him to teach me to fly. Many months later, I soloed in my Cub. It took a long time since the weather in Kodiak is semi-permanently bad.
After my solo flight, I transferred to our main campus in Fairbanks. A few months later, I earned my private pilot certificate in a C-152.
Nothing is stable. I ended my association with that university and moved to Thailand for three years. Working as a production engineer in a factory just outside of Bangkok, I saved enough money to earn an instrument rating, commercial certificate, a CFI and CFII certificates upon my return to the US. I did some flight instruction in Texas, but then returned to Thailand for a few more years with a promise of a flight instructor position at an emerging flight school, but that fell through.
In 1997, I moved to Pennsylvania (love the state) for a college teaching position. In 1999, I joined Pennridge Aviation at KCKZ as a part-time flight instructor and remained until 2011. Along the way, I gave more than 1,300 hours of instruction and earned multiengine land and single engine seaplane ratings. For a few years, I was a FAASTeam representative and I did a little work with the Civil Air Patrol at KUKT.
Personal responsibilities brought me back to Thailand in 2011. There was some opportunity to fly, but it is much harder than in the US. Did you know that general aviation in Thailand is a smaller enterprise than it is in Doylestown? There are more general aviation airplanes based at KDYL than in all of Thailand. There’s a fun fact for you.
For the past seven years, I’ve been a university instructor in Thailand. My university position is rather sweet and I am doing well. Starting this year, I elected to take six months of leave (January – early July) to live in Pennsylvania. I still do a lot of work for my university but I’ve also begun flight instructing again. I plan to continue this rotation moving forward.