Alumni Spotlight: Doug Bitter

Corporate Pilot, Aircraft Management Group
  • Place of Employment(s) and Title(s): 

    • Corporate Pilot, Aircraft Management Group

  • What are your academic degree(s) in and what year did you graduate? 

  • What inspired you to become involved in your industry/pursue a career in your field? 

    • There were signs that I was interested in flight from a very young age. My family would fly from our home in California to visit extended family in Ohio and Florida. I would have my nose pressed to the window for most of the flight. If I were to pick a moment when I knew for certain, it would have to be my older brother taking me to the Ypsilanti Airshow in Michigan to see the Blue Angels. Having seen what the commercial industry offered and then seeing what the enthusiast side of aviation offered, I knew this was the field for me. The next year, I enrolled in Kent State’s aviation program.

  • What is the best part of your job? 

    • There are many great aspects of a career as a corporate pilot that I enjoy. While it’s fun to fly to beautiful vacation spots on a regular basis and flying a diverse clientele, you really fall in love with the art of flight quickly. Feeling the raw power of dual jet engines darting you down the runway to then seeing the world at 40,000 feet… there’s nothing quite like it and it amazes me every time. 

  • What are your long term career goals? 

    • Ultimately, I intend to become a Chief Pilot and an owner/partner of a company that specializes in part 135 operations with full responsibility of all operational and logistical needs of the company and its customers. I have returned to school for a Master’s Degree in Aviation Management and Logistics while continuing to learn about the inner workings of a 135 company, I believe I’m well on my way.

  • How has your time at Kent State influenced your career aspirations? 

    • The students and faculty at Kent State had a tremendous impact on my career path. I was inspired by my instructors’ knowledge, the passion of the professors, and the driven yet collaborative mindset of my peers. My time at Kent State provided me with great experience and motivated me to become the pilot I am today. 

  • What was your favorite course of study when you were at Kent State? 

    • My favorite class was Aviation Weather! At the time, I never truly respected the power of Mother Nature but that class has taught me invaluable information that I use each and every flight.

  • What are you most looking forward to seeing in the future of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering?  

    • I am most excited about the advancement of equipment and facilities for our undergraduate students. I am amazed at the dedication of our University to transform our campus and airport into one of the finest aviation departments in the nation.

  • What is a fun fact about yourself? 

    • I love snowboarding as much as I love flying. I have been fortunate enough to travel to the premier snow resorts across the country but I am hoping to branch out and hit the slopes abroad someday! 

  • What is one piece of advice you have for our current students? 

    • In the finale of The Office, Andy Bernard muses: “I wished there was a way to know when I was in ‘the good ole days’ before I left them.” Unlike Andy, I hope the students have the luxury of knowing for certain, that right now, they are in the “good ole days.” While each stage of life has unique experiences and benefits, your time in college is truly special. I hope they enjoy their time at Kent State. I hope they soak in every bit of education that they can because it will set them up for success later in life. I hope they get involved around campus to continue elevating the culture of Kent State. Most of all, I hope they find their passions. My passion kept me at the airport and my time at the airport provided me with opportunity.  I found a job at the Kent State airport and took advantage of opportunities to fly on weekends or summer breaks. When the winter weather prevented me from flying, I didn’t need to worry because I was where I needed to be and was doing things the right way. I would get where I needed to be... As a pilot and as a person, we are more than just a number (or our total flight time). We are defined by the paths we take and the choices we make. I hope the students make the most of their journeys and I look forward to meeting them on the field.

POSTED: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 3:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 3:48pm