Western Nevada College’s aviation program has introduced a commercial pilot class for the spring semester, adding to its private pilot and instrument pilot classes.
WNC has brought on two new instructors, Russell Smith and Frank Monack, each with a wealth of experience and expertise in the industry.
All three courses are open entry, meaning students can enroll until the ninth week of the semester and work at their own pace. Spring semester starts Jan. 22.
Smith, a certified flight instructor, began his journey in aviation as a college student at Ferris State University in Michigan, earning his private pilot training in 1971.
His extensive background in general aviation includes involvement in search and rescue and disaster relief operations with the Civil Air Patrol, flying across the United States and the Bahamas, and participating in the International Cadet Exchange in Switzerland.
After a successful career as a pharmacist, Smith continued to excel in aviation, obtaining his commercial pilot and instructor ratings. His dedication to flight safety and instruction has been recognized with numerous accolades, including the FAA Flight Instructor of the Year in 2019 and the Master Pilot Award for 50 years of accident and incident-free flying.
Monack’s aviation career began in the U.S. Army where he operated the Unmanned Aerial System RQ-7b “Shadow.”
His expertise in unmanned aerial systems and commercial flight operations is extensive, having managed UAS flight departments during his service and later at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.
With approximately 450 hours of general aviation flight time, Monack brings a unique blend of skills and leadership to WNCs flight program.
For information, call 775-445-3267 or visit www.wnc.edu.