Oct. 18, 2018

Aerobatic and air race pilot Anthony Oshinuga shared his inspiring story of high-flying success with a record-setting crowd of students during NBAA’s Careers in Business Aviation Day, held on the third day of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Orlando, FL. More than 1,100 students from around the world – the largest attendance in the history of the event – registered for this year’s program, which shines a spotlight on the diverse career opportunities within business aviation.

“I know how important it is to expose the youth to aviation because it changed my life,” said Oshinuga. “You can absolutely do what we do, it just takes training, motivation and dedication.”

The son of Nigerian immigrants, Oshinuga recalled catching the “aviation bug” during a childhood trip to an airport. An athletic scholarship helped him earn a mechanical engineering degree at the University of California, Riverside in 2006, and he earned his private pilot certificate the same year. While working to pay his bills, he took aerobatic lessons, telling students that “as soon as the clock hit I’d be on my way to the airport.”

He has since become a nationally-ranked aerobatic pilot and has his sights set on becoming the first African-American Red Bull Air Race pilot. Persistence was the key, he said, to overcoming obstacles he faced on his path to achieving his goals.

“With big dreams come bumps along the way,” Oshinuga said. “If you’re going through that turbulent area, don’t stop – push through it and things will work out for you.”

After discussing his background, Oshinuga presented tips for success, which include showing up to obligations early, carrying yourself with confidence and being honest at all times. Most importantly, he told students, be passionate about what you do.

“If you’re chasing a goal, fuel it with passion,” he advised. “That passion will fuel the determination and consistency that help you reach your goals.”

In his introduction to the day’s events, NBAA’s Manager of Operations Peter Korns emphasized the invaluable learning opportunities students have at Careers in Business Aviation Day.

“This is your chance to see our industry at its best,” said Korns. “People in business aviation are passionate about what they do, and we love to share that with the next generation.”

Careers in Business Aviation Day offers free attendance on the third day of the show for middle school, high school and college students, as well as faculty and chaperones. College students attending schools affiliated with the University Aviation Association were eligible for complimentary access to all three days of the event.

Any person who attends an NBAA convention, conference, seminar or other program grants permission to NBAA, its employees and agents (collectively "NBAA") to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs, digital images, voices, sound or video recordings, audio clips, or accompanying written descriptions, and, without notifying such person, to use his or her name and such images for any purpose of NBAA, including advertisements for NBAA and its programs.

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