Mount Vernon, OH – Dillon Boyd, senior in Precision Machining and four-year cadet in
JROTC at Knox County Career Center (home school is Mount Vernon High School), earned his
Private Pilot’s Certificate this summer.
Boyd earned his Private Pilot’s Certificate from the JROTC Flight Academy that took
place at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. The JROTC Flight Academy accepted
300 students out of 1,300 that applied and took place at different colleges and locations across
In order to qualify for the JROTC Flight Academy, students had to carry a 3.0 grade point
average, obtain a first class flight physical (medical certificate first class), take a variety of tests
along with a fitness test, and obtain a Student Pilot Permit (similar to a driver’s license permit).
The JROTC Flight Academy ran from June 1 through July 27 (8 week program) from 7
am to 4 pm (Monday through Friday). The academy included six flight instructors, 24 students,
and six planes (Cessna 172 planes).
The training consisted of half of their time in the terminal and half of their time in the
hangar. Training included ground school, planning navigational logs, studying flight information,
flying with our instructor, practicing landings, turns, high altitude maneuvers and low altitude
maneuvers, and making solo trips in the air.
Boyd has family who served in the military and introduced him to flying. “I went to an Air
Force museum with my grandpa (Terry Dillon). I thought it was neat and that really sparked my
interest in flying. We both like aircraft,” said Dillon.
Boyd also won a Discovery Flight Scholarship through JROTC through Chris Cordle at
the Knox County Airport. That discovery flight sparked his intrigue with flying as well.
Boyd added, “I just love flying. Sunsets are nice and night flying is really fun. I really like
flying cross country on a nice, clear evening.”
“We’re proud of Dillon. He set a goal of winning the Flight Academy Scholarship and
worked hard to reach his goal and succeeded,” commented Christopher Salvucci, LTC, USAF,
Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Knox County Career Center.
Salvucci added, “As a JROTC instructor in Mount Vernon, I feel it’s also important to
thank the community for supporting Dillon and all the JROTC cadets who have benefitted from
the local JROTC Flight Scholarship program that got Dillon started. Without a well organized
airport and support network at the airport, it’s hard to imagine how a student could successfully
begin an aviation career.”
Several people have been instrumental in providing opportunities for students. Salvucci
concluded, “Mr. Phil Taffin, a local flight instructor, has provided orientation flights for aspiring
JROTC cadets while Mr. Chris Cordle has provided oversight of the program. Chris has taken a
hands-on approach to ensure the success of aspiring student pilots and he, along with his wife
Susie, sponsor the local JROTC Flight Scholarships, which give young cadets their first
exposure to flight.”
Boyd is undecided on his future plans but would like to pursue an opportunity in the