I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but CFII Kurtis Hornung’s hair has been getting much longer… We’ve heard word that he’s going for the mullet, and we have reason to believe that his inspiration is from none other than his own awesome, tail wheel flying, advanced student, Mason Koonce! But aside from being mullet bros, we have even more exciting news. Mason Koonce is officially an instrument rated pilot! Mason was able to successfully complete his checkride this morning in N328ME before the flight school was grounded for weather. With his sight set towards the cargo airlines or maybe being a stunt double for Billy Ray Cyrus, Mason is one step closer to his dream. He still needs to mullet it over 😆 But for now he’s enjoying the epic ride of low and slow C172 flying. Congratulations to Mason and his CFII Kurtis Hornung!
Sam- I mean… Shane Smith (inside joke) is officially a Private Pilot!! Shane is easily one of the coolest pilots behind the flight deck. With his classic, slick hair and pearly white smile, the mere glimpse of this guy screams “pilot”, but now he finally has the license to prove it! With temperatures picking up this afternoon, it wasn’t enough to stop this calm and collected pilot as he brought N495SP back to KRNO with victory as he heard the words “you passed”! You can find Shane with his nose in a book or his mouth full of sushi when he’s not greasing his landings and studying for hours on end. Shane has an amazing support system, composed of his family, friends, and girlfriend, all of which he’s incredibly excited to share the gift of flight with. Congratulations to Shane and his instructor Ethan Chinowsky on this incredible achievement! Now don’t rest for too long, let’s get that instrument rating and don’t forget to close the door…
David Streetman is a pretty amazing student pilot! So much so that he kicked out his instructor, Ethan Chinowsky, and soloed in N328ME on Runway 08, KRTS early this morning! With five beautiful landings, Ethan hopped back in and flew back to KRNO with David. However, with a little extra time left over and enjoying that taste of freedom, David decided to continue his solo at KRNO, kicking Ethan out yet again (we don’t blame him), and added an additional four landings to this already amazing day! David is hardly a stranger to aviation. With prior exposure in his father’s Bonanza, this pilot certainly had an edge coming into this journey. Commuting from Susanville for flight training, being an active member in the National Guard, full time work in law enforcement, and time for his family, David’s motivation, work ethic, and drive are beyond inspiring. We can’t wait to see him get his private pilot certificate! Congratulations to David and his instructor Ethan on this great accomplishment! Keep up the awesome momentum.
Ethan can fly in the clouds!! Ethan Vincent, 17 years old, had a great round this morning adding this tough rating as he navigated with precision in N2291C. Successful multitasking is nothing new to Ethan. When he isn’t at the airport working on advancing his aviation certificates/ratings, he is studying to finish his senior year strong, working at Home Depot, or tearing up the green as a member of his school’s golf team. Ethan definitely kept things in the fairway today proficiently demonstrating the VOR-D, ILS, and RNAV, reporting “Bread,” and showing the examiner he is a safe, competent pilot without having to look out the window. Only birdies from here on out Ethan (just don't hit them while you are flying)! Next comes schooling for his A&P, then commercial certificate, CFI, and who knows, you might see his name added to the GBA instruction roster in a couple years :) Huge congratulations to Ethan, a super motivated young aviator. Great job as well to his CFIIs Danny Britson and Cody Lucero. Enjoy the 19th hole!
Gustavo soloed!! If you were listening to CTAF this morning, that cool, calm, collected voice with a Brazilian accent was Gustavo Riggio. He enjoyed some solo laps in N752DW, runway 24 as his CFI Kurtis Hornung looked on. Gustavo came to the States from Brazil several years ago enjoying all that Northern Nevada offers. Snowboarding, RV-ing with his family in the gorgeous Sierras, and other outdoor adventures. Then he took a discovery flight and the rest is history. He has been hard charging in the little spare time he has. Gustavo completed ground school, aced the knowledge test, and now soloed. Private Pilot will be here before he knows it. In the meantime, enjoy that feeling of freedom from this most memorable flight! Huge congratulations to Gustavo and Kurtis! All the efforts are paying off :)
"De grão em grão a galinha enche o papo."
Calling all creative minds!! GBA is excited to announce a t-shirt design contest. Join fellow creative aviators by putting your spin on a GBA t-shirt. The GBA logo goes on the front, Cessna Pilot Center logo on the sleeve, but the back of the shirt is your blank canvas. Let your design take flight! Winner will receive a free t-shirt, the joy of wearing that sweet shirt on a hour of flight, and bragging rights until we do this again. Pilot Sam Roberts designed the last few shirts and we will continue to stock those, but now more will be added to the wall. Submit your idea to email@example.com by March 25th, 5:00pm. Instructors and staff will vote on the winning design(s), winners will be announced, and t-shirts will go into production. Good luck to everyone and we are excited to see what you come up with!
There’s this nice quote: “A good landing is one in which you can walk away from. A great landing is one in which people can use the plane after you” and in the case of Wilson Liang, you never know which one it’s going to be… joking! Wilson Liang, stud, and lollipop-stealer extraordinaire has earned his wings as a private pilot today in N328ME! Wilson is a common face around the office and one pretty radical dude. Being a Beach Patrol Officer for Sand Harbor sparked his interest in aviation when he met a Coast Guard Pilot, and now, with the prospect of getting a navy pilot slot, Wilson is one step closer to fulfilling this dream and Great Basin Aviation is proud to be a part of his amazing journey! Congratulations to the legend himself and his instructor Cody Lucero! Keep it up you guys!
This guy again?? You better believe it! Richard Brong, as many of you know, is the farthest thing from ordinary. From roasting nuts, having pet bugs (like… a lot of pet bugs), predicting weather in his sleep, and flying drones to compensate for the time he isn’t flying his Tomahawk, it’s easy to say that Richard Brong is an interesting character. But we’re not here to talk about how weird Richard is, we do that on the daily here in the office 😉. We’re here to celebrate yet another incredible accomplishment Richard has added to the list, that being, Richard is now a CFII! I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Richard talk about atmospheric rivers, but if you haven’t, it’s an incredibly moving experience. But have you ever heard Richard talk about instrument flying? I’m sure his students are trembling with excitement, of course, in the reembrace of it. Richard, being the Director of Aviation Education, took his absurd amount of knowledge to his Checkride and dazzled all his fans and spectators as he took off from KRNO. Using his innate teacher skills, Richard brought his CFII Checkride back home in the princess N2291C with success! Congratulations to Richard and his CFII Cody Lucero!!
Holy Moley!! Max Gratrix is now a Private Pilot! Local Dermatologist and decorated and highly accomplished Army Veteran took to the sky with the examiner this morning. It was clear that no pore maneuvers were made as Max now is a certificated pilot! Earning his Private Pilot Certificate was no rash decision. Max definitely had a lot of skin in the game balancing priorities with his family, successful career, and somehow popping flight training in there. He started from scratch with that Discovery Flight and today that hard work paid off! Aviation is like a fungus, it just keeps growing on Max. Next step is to go have some fun and build those cross country hours. Huge congratulations to Max and his CFI Danny! Time to celebrate with some topical drinks :)
All posts are either written by Great Basin Aviation's staff or shared articles from other aviation sites. Source will be referenced in post.