Brock’s career plan puts him in the sky

Published 2:13 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were about 827,000 pilots in America in 1987. Over the past three decades, that number has decreased by 30 percent.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University student Charlie Brock said those numbers are due to pilots retiring.

“This pilot shortage goes back to what happened years ago,” Brock said. “There was a push to get military pilots, and now they are older and retiring. Which is good for me, because it will open up a lot of jobs.”

Brock is entering his third year at Embry Riddle, and is starting to look at airlines that could be hiring.

“When spots open up, they pull from the universities,” Brock said. “And since Embry Riddle is one of the best flight schools in the country, hopefully they will consider us.”

One of the problems with flight school that may cast a shadow of doubt to an incoming student is the cost, but Brock had everything figured out before he enrolled.

“There are several options that you can look at for paying for school,” Brock said. “You can either go the civilian route, which is what I’m doing, or go the military route. I didn’t go the military route because I don’t think my heart would be 100 percent in it.”

Brock said that he is paying his way through with scholarships.

“When I was looking at schools, Embry Riddle was definitely on my radar,” Brock said. “Just their sheer reputation. There is a 100 percent job placement after I graduate, so I couldn’t pass that up.”

In April of this year, a student pilot crashed and died. This completely changed the way Brock feels when he gets in a cockpit now.

“I can’t speak for other people, but it definitely altered the way I feel when I get in the cockpit,” Brock said. “The things that we choose to do are not normal, but we know the risks. We can’t prepare for anything of it and it’s not routine, but we have to trust God. If it’s your time then it is your time.”

The Navy predicts a 10 percent pilot shortage in 2020, while the Air Force predicts its own 1,000-pilot shortage by 2022.

Other than flying, Brock is very involved in fraternity life by being the corresponding secretary in Phi Gamma Delta, and being the director of relations for the Inter Fraternity Council.

“There is a completely other side of flight school,” Brock said. “It is very normal and has clubs and organizations.”

Brock is also a part of the Aviation Safety Advisory Council.

“We take the concerns of the students that are in the program to the council and help make Embry Riddle a better place,” Brock said.

This fall, Brock will not be in Daytona, but will in Dallas, Texas, working as intern with Southwest Airlines.

Brock’s long-term goal is to be an airline pilot.

“I have already had an interview with PSA airlines, a daughter airline to American Airlines,” Brock said. “I have two more interviews with them and if I get hired then I would fly with them for six to seven years and then be hired by American Airlines without another interview.”