Wayne Sherman, who serves as the assistant chief flight instructor and safety manager for the EKU aviation program, earned his DPE status in 2021 after nearly a year of intense interviews, training and monitoring by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is one of only 10 DPEs serving the state of Kentucky.
Designation is provided to flight instructors who teach and evaluate other pilots. Sherman represents the FAA in administering oral and in-flight exams that issue pilot licenses and ratings of active pilots. To keep the designation, he will undergo annual training sessions, meetings and continued monitoring of his aviation skills and knowledge.
“As the only four-year flight school in Kentucky and a leading aviation program nationally, we are committed to ensuring the EKU aviation program has the necessary equipment, professional development and staff to continue to elevate our flight program,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “Having a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner as a part of our team enhances the competitiveness of our program.”
“The EKU aviation program is fortunate to have Mr. Sherman as a member of our staff,” said Dennis Sinnett, executive director for the EKU Center for Aviation. “His recent designation by the FAA as a Designated Pilot Examiner is further acknowledgement of his professionalism and recognition of his exceptional skills as a flight instructor. Mr. Sherman is a true professional pilot and the entire program is excited for him to have achieved this career milestone.”
Sherman began flying in 1979 and became a flight instructor in 1984. He has served as line pilot for various charter companies, a chief pilot for numerous charter operations, and the chief pilot for a Chicago-based corporate flight department.
“I had never even considered aviation as a hobby, let alone a career,” Sherman said. “My father-in-law was a corporate pilot and instructor. He bought a Cessna 150 and planned to teach his son to fly. He offered me the opportunity to be his student. From the first time I touched the controls I was hooked.”
Sherman was a full-time firefighter and paramedic at the time but after spending 20 years in the ranks, he became a full-time pilot.
He began at EKU in 2019 after retiring from the corporate pilot life and moving to Kentucky.
“I knew that EKU was looking for instructors, and as I have always liked the university setting, it seemed like a natural fit,” Sherman said. “The more I came to know the university and the staff that I work with, the more I knew that this was the place for me.”