PRESCOTT, Ariz. – 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.
For more information about Arizona ASAG, go to http://www.asagaz.org/home.html
About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.