Professor Tim Palcho, MS
What inspired you to teach/to become involved in your industry?
I got the teaching bug back in 1992 when I enrolled in the Theory of Flight Instruction course here at Kent State. This experience sparked my interest in sharing my knowledge with future professional pilots. I was hired as a part time instructor at Kent State University in 1998. In 2000, I quit my full time job and never looked back.
What is the best part of your job?
The question as two answers. First issuing pilot certificates is a very rewarding part of my job duties. I get to shake the hand of every student issued a certificate through our flight program. Second, attending graduation is a great way to end every semester. Everyone’s hard work is realized when the student walks across the stage.
What is your best attribute?
Patience is my best attribute.
How many students you have taught over your years at KSU?
I would estimate that over the last 21 years I have taught more than 2,500 students in the classroom, check rides and in airplanes.
What attributes made you stay teaching at KSU?
The rich history behind the flight program is why I stayed connected for the last 21 years. Dick Schwabe influenced me. He stayed connected with the program for so many years, sacrificing his career for the betterment of the aviation industry. Many times Dick said he could have gone and flown at TWA airlines, but he stayed to teach future aviators. In the end, he always commented on his happiness that I was at Kent State. He knew Kent State would carry on without him. It is hard to live up to the father of the program, but I can make sure that his ways are not forgotten.
What is your favorite aircraft to fly?
What is your favorite part of your craft? By now, the airplane with the most time in my logbook is the Piper Seminole, over 1,000 hours. It is fun to instruct in because of the excitement I see in the students eyes when they fly it. It is the last step in the progression toward their professional career.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in the future of CAE’s aeronautics and or engineering programs?
Hands down the FedEx Aeronautics Academic Center building at the airport. This new addition is long overdue and will be a welcome change from the trailers we have operated out of for so many years. I have said the infrastructure does not make the program it is the people. The new challenge will be to keep the people, in the center of the program and not the new academic training center.
What advice can you offer students just beginning their careers?
Find a job that you are passionate about, because people who find passion in something will be successful in life.
What kind of traits or characteristics are mandatory for a person in your industry to have?
Never stop learning, show up early, come prepared and be exceptional in whatever you undertake in life.
What is your favorite topic to teach?
Ironically, it is a course I no longer teach, “Physiology and Human Factors.” I love the subject and how it interacts in aviation.
What awards have you received while in your role as a KSU faculty member?
2018 Outstanding Teaching Award Finalist.
How many flight hours have you accumulated?
I have more than 5,000 hours in the air. This is great experience; however, the hours spent influencing students as far greater, and more significant.