by Dr. Terence H. Fontaine, ATP, A&P
August 8, 2019 was a historic day for Texas Southern University and the Department of Aviation. Aviation Science Management, Professional Pilot Program’s Mr. Deran Williams became the first student since the inception of the Professional Pilot Degree program to earn his Private Pilot’s license. Mr. Williams passed his FAA oral exam and then took to the skies in TSU’s logo draped and award winning Cessna 172, later passing his flight examination. Speaking later in the evening to Mr. Williams expressed his appreciation for his primary instructor Larry Connelly and his Chief Pilot Costantinos Papanicalaou who worked with him on his oral preparation.
Although Deran is the first to achieve this heralded accomplishment, the department has a few more students that are close to achieving their goal to become licensed pilots. Mr. Williams will immediately begin training for his Instrument Rating. When you see him on campus, give him a TSU high-five for his achievement. If you don’t see him on campus you may see him at either IAH or Hobby Airports in TSU’s ad campaign for the Aviation Science Management, Professional Pilot Program.