Friday, February 02, 2018 11:20 AM / news.erau.edu
Embry-Riddle flight instructor Oluwadamilola (Dami) Coker has been recognized
by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as Flight Instructor of the Year
for the state of Arizona. Coker received the award at the 44th annual Arizona
Safety Awards Banquet on Jan. 20, presented by the Aviation Safety Advisory
Group (ASAG) and Scottsdale Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
The Awards Program, a cooperative effort between more
than a dozen sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry and the FAA,
has recognized aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction,
aviation maintenance, avionics, and flight safety for their important
contributions to the general aviation community for nearly 50 years.
"This honor left me short of words," said Coker. "It means a lot
to me knowing that my effort is setting an example for many and motivating a
lot of potential pilots to never give up."
Originally from Nigeria, Coker has always wanted to be a pilot. The pursuit of
his dream led him to Embry-Riddle where he completed his undergraduate degree
in Aeronautical Science, as well as a graduate degree in Safety Science. Coker
has been flight instructing with Embry-Riddle since 2012 and has a total of
3,600 flight hours in both single- and multi-engine airplanes, including the
Super Decathlon aerobatic airplane for upset recovery. He also serves as a
Check Instructor and is the Assistant Safety Program Manager for the
Embry-Riddle Flight Department.
"There is a uniqueness to Dami in his light-hearted approach to working
with students and peers that does not compromise the standard of
training," said Josh Donaldson, Assistant Chief Instructor. "His
students and peers appreciate this. They enjoy working with him as a flight
instructor, while also respecting his example and guidance."
This award is also a testament to the role that Embry-Riddle staff provides in
promoting aviation safety, education, and professionalism.
"What I enjoy most about flight instructing is seeing my students grow
from little or no experience to demonstrating great mastery of an
airplane," Coker said. "It's a feeling of immeasurable accomplishment
for me having the opportunity to impact them and being a part of their dream in
becoming professional pilots -- and even more fulfilling to see them excelling
in various aviation sectors."
In being recognized as the state award recipient, Coker will now be eligible
for subsequent regional and national recognition.