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This semester, aviation students at Delta State University are benefitting from the expertise of Commercial Aviation Instructor and Assistant Chief of Flight Instruction Trey Rayburn who joined the aviation faculty in August. Originally from Laurel, Rayburn is a graduate of Delta State receiving his bachelor’s in commercial aviation in 2001 and his master’s in commercial aviation in 2005.
Happy to be serving in his new role at Delta State, Rayburn said, “My passion for flying is surpassed only by my passion to teach, and ultimately this brought me back to Delta State. Our training program is designed to build a foundation for student pilots that will prepare them for an exciting career in aviation. Some students will choose agricultural flying, some will choose corporate flying, and some will choose airline flying, but regardless of the career path the student will have knowledge needed to advance in the aviation profession.”
Rayburn is no stranger to working for Delta State. In 2001 he served for one year as a staff flight instructor administering tests. Today, Rayburn teaches private pilots, instrument pilots, and commercial pilots. His assistant chief duties include being responsible for the direct supervision of all flight instructors, making sure the aviation program is in compliance with Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration regulations, administering flight tests, and heading over administrative duties.
Rayburn has been a certified pilot since 1998 and is multi-engine rated with just under 8,000 flight hours. Prior to returning to Delta State, Rayburn spent nine and a half years as a captain and check airman for Pinnacle Airlines Inc., a Delta connection airline based in Memphis, Tennessee. While at Pinnacle, Rayburn was responsible for the six-month training and annual training event for both captains and first officers. Additionally, he taught employees how to fly the company jet. Preceding his time at Pinnacle, Rayburn served nine months as a corporate pilot for Bill’s Dollar Store in Columbia.