CJP Hoover Scholars Set Big Goals for 2018

In 2017, CJP partnered with Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation to jointly award four Hoover Presidential Scholarship recipients $25,000 each to be use toward their aviation-related studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). The four scholars, Brandon Baber, Dillon Smith, Mariano Quintero and Andrius Logvinenka, recently shared their progress and what they hope to accomplish in 2018.


Brandon Baber

Brandon-BaberHello Citation Jet Pilot Association members! My name is Brandon Baber, and I’m a proud and grateful recipient of the Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship. I am from the beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas. Growing up I spent time competing in sports and played baseball all through high school.

After finishing high school, I attended Texas A&M University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Upon graduating I served in the U.S. Marine Corps where at the end of my four-year enlistment I was an M1A1 Tank Commander. Currently, I’m in my second semester at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the Daytona Beach campus. I had a successful fall semester finishing with a 4.0 average and hope to keep the momentum rolling into the spring.

I have two jobs that keep me very involved on campus. One at the Veteran Student Service Department and the other as a nighttime room supervisor in the College of Arts and Science building. As for flight, I am working on my private pilot license. I’m currently preparing for my monumental first solo flight! It has been very exciting and challenging. I still can’t believe I get to fly every week! It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. The amazing part is that all of this is just the beginning. I am enthusiastic to complete my ratings and become a flight instructor at the school. After achieving the required hours, I will pursue my career as an airline pilot.

Thank you to everyone who is involved with the scholarship. I feel honored and humbled to be selected among so many great candidates at such a prestigious school. Your unparalleled generosity is sincerely appreciated and will not be squandered. This award will contribute greatly to my continuation through the extensive flight training at Embry-Riddle. For this aid I am extremely grateful. However, what I most look forward to are the many doors that will be opened to advance my education, and the knowledge I will gain from the people standing behind them. Thank you very much and I look forward to meeting all of you in the near future!


Dillon M. Smith

CJP-2017-Dillon Smith-Hoover Scholar-0217First, I would just like to thank you for your continued support of my aviation education and allowing me the pleasure of being involved with this fantastic organization for another year. This means more to me than I could ever express, and I am truly grateful for the blessings you have brought to my life. When Cheryl called me with the news that I was going to be a Bob Hoover Scholar another year, I was in the process of applying for another federal loan with my father in order to continue my flight training. This scholarship has removed an unmeasurable amount of financial burden from my life and made my dream of flying professionally a feasible ambition. The Citation Jet Pilots Association has had an unbelievable impact on my life and future.

I am now in my second semester of my junior year at Embry-Riddle in Prescott Arizona. After some tough check rides and scheduling errors, I earned my instrument rating Dec. 19, one day before I returned home to spend the holiday season with my family in Sumner, Washington. Enjoying the relaxing life of no homework, deadlines or responsibilities, I took time to spend with my friends and family. I attended a Christmas party hosted by my high school band’s trombone section. I did the math, and we had six generations of Sumner High School trombone players in one room, my friend Jon and I being the oldest.

I also had the pleasure of spending a day at work with my mother, where I was reminded how difficult it is to be a first-grade teacher.

My winter break was much too short. I love my family dearly and wish sometimes I could spend more time with them. Nevertheless, school is back in session and I’ve finally adapted to the craziness I call my life. I’m still dispatching at the flight line and performing as the mascot at basketball games. The Swingin’ Eagles Jazz ensemble is back it again as we prepare for our concert in late April. I will be starting intermural volleyball and basketball in a few weeks, hoping for a fun and injury free season. I recently took a weekend trip to Arches and Canyon Lands National parks with Chi Alpha, the youth group I am a part of on campus. This is my second year attending this trip and the beauty of both parks is just as good the second time.

I commenced my commercial pilot single-engine flight training the first day I returned. I always get a little nervous starting a new flight course because it means getting acquainted with a new instructor and learning new skills. However, it has been an easy transition and a great experience. My new instructor is extremely knowledgeable and fair in grading my performance. The challenge I am currently facing is learning how to land to commercial standards. It can be frustrating because throughout instrument training I was landing from instrument approaches with 10 degrees of flaps at a 3-degree glide path. Now that I am a commercial pilot, I am back to flying visually, using 30-degrees of flaps, landing on a 5-degree glideslope with tighter tolerances. It has been challenging for me to learn to land with that degree of precision. But with every great challenge comes great reward and I know with time and practice I will perfect the skill.

This semester has been a wonderful time so far. I have a lighter class load than previous years allowing me time to do things that are important to me like the clubs and jobs mentioned above. This semester I am taking space weather, aviation safety, interview techniques, organizational behavior and cross-cultural communication. My classes have been very informative and enjoyable thus far.

I am also in the process of securing an internship this summer. I have completed the final interview process at Alaska Airlines for the flight operations intern position and will receive confirmation in a few weeks. I have applied for six different flight operations-oriented internships. At the very least, it has been an invaluable experience going though many phone and Skype interviews and filling out a plethora of different job applications. I have gained a better understanding of what an aviation career-field interview is like.

There is only one-and-a-half years left until I begin my career and the rest of my life. College has been an unimaginably valuable experience, and I can honestly say that I don’ think I’ve wasted it. There have been surprises and opportunities around every corner, CJP being one of them. I have had amazing experiences with you all and I am so excited to continue my involvement with the association this year. So, until next time all I can say is thank you.


Mariano Quintero

Mariano-Quinter loI would like to start by thanking the directors and members of the CJP for providing me this incredible opportunity as a Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship recipient. I am truly grateful for your support of young aviators alike.

A little bit about myself, I grew up in the Palm Beach area of South Florida and have always been fascinated by airplanes. Around the time I started school, my family moved to a neighborhood that was practically right below the centerline path of runway 14 into PBI. Plane-spotting soon became a regular pastime for me, and my interest in aviation only grew from then on. Around 10 years ago I got a chance to meet the pilots of a flight I was on and received my honorary junior pilot wings. I knew right then and there that this is what I wanted to do as a career. However, a life in the skies seemed to be out of reach due to the high costs of flight training and my family’s financial circumstances. When it came time to choose a path in college, I took a leap of faith and applied to Embry-Riddle, which was the best decision I’ve made thus far.

Currently, I am on my second year in the aeronautical science program with a minor in finance. Within the next several years, my tentative goal is to become a regional pilot at Endeavor and proceed to Delta from there. With enough experience, I hope to one day advance to the executive board of an airline. But for now, I plan on extending my stay at ERAU as a flight instructor while working on a master’s degree and MEI certification.

So far, I have attained my private pilot’s license and am almost finished with my instrument rating. If all goes well weather-wise, I should be ready for the check ride within the next month. On campus, I work as a dispatcher for the Advanced Flight Simulation Center and also serve on the Chairman’s Advisory Council.

Receiving this scholarship is life changing for me. It will allow me to focus on my academics and flights without worrying about how I’ll meet the next tuition deadline or afford to advance further in my flight training. My goals as a CJP Scholar are to remain dedicated to my passion for flying, make my family proud, and consistently strive to become a better person and pilot than I was yesterday. I look forward to meeting and connecting with everyone at CJP.


Andrius Logvinenka

CJP-2017-Andrius Logvineka-Hoover Scholar-0217It is so great to be a part of the CJP newsletter for another year. First of all, I want to thank each and every member of CJP. Becoming a scholar with CJP two years in a row is a true blessing. Aside from the huge financial benefit, the opportunity to meet so many members at the CJP events was the best experience I could ever ask for. I can’t wait to continue that this year.

Since this is the first update of 2018, I wanted to give some background information about myself. I am currently in my sophomore year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University located in Prescott, Arizona. I am majoring in Aeronautical Science Fixed Wing, and I am planning to graduate by spring 2019. By graduation I will have earned a bachelor’s degree and all ratings up to commercial multi-engine. I am originally from Lithuania, but I moved to the United States in 2005. I have a huge passion for martial arts; I am a first-degree black belt in a system called Goju Kenpo. My favorite pastime is watching my favorite NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers!

During my last update I earned my private pilot certificate, and although I haven’t had the opportunity to exercise the privileges, I am still ecstatic that I am a private pilot. After a wonderful winter break with friends and family, I have started classes in weather for aircrews, commercial aviation safety, interviewing techniques, navigation, cross-cultural communications and jet aircraft systems. Currently I am three weeks into the semester and I would say that jet aircraft systems is my favorite class. This class is centered on the CRJ 700, and it’s set up like a ground school for airline pilots. We learn everything from programming the FMS to how the hydraulics work.

Also, I have been assigned an instrument instructor, and I am going through the course fairly rapidly. My goal is to earn my instrument rating by the end of summer 2018. I can’t wait to learn so much more about flying and all the new challenges that it will bring.

For 2018, my goals for flight are to obtain my instrument rating and single-engine commercial licenses. I am also trying to get myself involved in more clubs around the school, and I have signed up to be an airline ambassador for ALPA ACE club, which I think will be a great networking opportunity.

Once again, I want to thank everyone for selecting me for this scholarship. I had a blast last year being a part of this loving aviation community, and I can’t wait to see everyone again.