Captain Dan Drew | Flight Program Graduate

I earned my Private Pilot certificate in August of 1972 and started school at Spartan in September of the same year. I originally enrolled in the instrument repair area but decided that I wanted to instead get my A &P. I did not come from a mechanical background and found it difficult to ‘catch up’ with most of my classmates. At that time many of my fellow students were just coming out of the military with a lot of experience. I finished and graduated from Spartan in December of 1973 with my Airframe Mechanic’s license but not the powerplant portion. This was due to my being young and dumb. I worked at Great Western Airlines for a very short time while I continued to pursue the flying part of my career. I always kept my hand into the maintenance side and the training I received at Spartan was instrumental several times in being able to go further in flying. I earned all the rest of my flying ratings and started instructing throughout North Eastern Oklahoma and back in my home of Texas. I flew charters and then was hired at Metro Airlines flying Twin Otters. This company later became American Eagle. I flew G-1’s for Conoco Oil Company, out of Ponca City, OK and then left there to buy a DC-9 type rating and was hired at Emerald Airlines out of Austin Texas and at Muse Air. When Muse was bought out by Southwest we were eventually shut down and I was hired at Midway for a few months, then at UPS Airlines in 1988. I was hired as a B-757 First Officer and after a time flew the right seat of the B-747 before making Captain on the DC-8 and then back onto the 757 and 767. I am currently flying Captain seat on the MD-11 internationally.
As with many things in aviation, the grass is greener somewhere else etc. I am now in the mode of coming full circle. I am in the process of rebuilding a Decathlon from the ground up. The one class that I enjoyed more than any other at Spartan was the Dope and Fabric. I really enjoy working with the older airplanes. At the present time I am trying to go back and finish up the work to obtain my powerplant license. I guess better late than never.
Spartan opened many doors for me as a pilot/mechanic. The reputation of the school has made it possible for me to go further than many thought possible.
Stay the course, finish the race that is set before you and don’t let it take thirty-four years to go back to get your education completed.