williams_travis2Travis Williams,
Chief Flight Instructor

Email:  travis.williams@averett.edu
Phone: 434-791-5705
Office: Flight Center

“I tell all my instructors that the students’ job is to try to kill you. Your job is to not let it happen. That is how they learn.”  Chief Flight Instructor Travis Williams seldom pulls any punches. He lives in a world where things have to be spelled out and followed precisely, where it truly is a matter of life or death.  “We learn so much from mistakes,” he says. “You know that plane that landed on the Hudson River? Any accident like that helps the whole industry plan and train for such events.” His program relies heavily on simulation and other techniques. “Each student is an individual,” he says, “so we come up with specific training techniques tailored to each student.”

His own experience is unlike that of most of his students. When he was a little boy, his grandfather was a plane owner and pilot. “He took me up all the time. Flying to me was just a part of everyday life.” Don’t all kids fly?  He says that 80 percent of those who enter the aviation program at Averett have never even been in a plane. Certainly no one in their family has a plane; they simply know that they want to fly.

Williams’ honesty comes to the surface again when he meets interested students. He tells them “If you don’t love this, if you’re in this program to make fast money, now is the time to switch majors. The money will come, but it might take 15+ years.”  Obviously the program is brimming with success stories. The halls of the aviation center are lined with framed photos of pilots standing in front of planes, all sorts and sizes — and they’re all graduates of the Averett aviation program.  He recently had 30 graduates, all now working pilots, come in to talk to the students over a weekend, sharing stories and giving career advice.  Not surprisingly, they flew themselves in.

Credentials:

Certified Flight Instructor

Certificate Instrument Instructor Rating

Multi-Engine Instructor

Airline Transport Pilot Certificate

Bachelor of Science, Aviation/Criminal Justice, Averett University