Updated: November 18, 2020
AFTER FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Crystal and I were on a US Department of State evacuation flight on April 9, 2020. PNG does not have a serious level of the Coronavirus, and we did not have to leave, but our visas were running out, and the time was otherwise right for us. Our orignal tickets were for March 27, but the domestic flights were stopped four days before that, and the International flights had already been cancelled. We arrived back in West Virginia April 14th.
WE RESUMED FLIGHT INSTRUCTION IN MAY, but of course we expect our trainees and associates to use common sense, reasonabe precautions, and good hygeine practices regarding the Covid-19 threat. Now that we are back in the United States, I have resumed TEXT communications, as well as our other contact media listed on this page.
SPECIAL NOTICE: I have produced an html page of our recent Missionary Newsletters which is uploaded to our server, and should be visible. The new format is more readible, and includes several recent photos. At the top of the page, there is a link to go to the previous newsletter. I believe these will be a blessing and inspiration to you.
Welcome to the wonderful world of flying! My name is David Hersman. I learned to fly right here in the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia, soloed in 1977 at Greenbrier Valley Airport. Since 1984, I have given over 5500 hours of instruction. I have had the privilege of training young people who soloed on their 16th birthday, as well as older folks who just wanted to fulfill a life-long dream. I hope I will soon be sharing the sky with you! This web site is designed to help provide you with a lot of free information about flying, inform you about how FUN it is, and inspire you to get started. You'll love flying!
We have been married over 50 years. Although we were first doing inter-city work in Cincinnati, since 1971, we have been involved in educational mission work in West Virginia, and have spent about 8 of those years in Papua New Guinea as missionaries. We still spend time there doing Educational Leadership Training, and helping to encourage and strenghten the churches. This work usually takes place when it is winter here in the United States, and the weather is not very suitable for flying. The prayers and support of God's people make this ministry possible and fruitful.
Because of the travel restrictions associated with the Coronavirus threat, we do not plan to go to Papua New Guinea this winter (2020-21).
The picture here was taken on our 51st Anniversary, October 4th. We were visiting our son in Canton, Ohio.
David H. Hersman,
Certified Flight Instructor
1458 Henson Road
Clintonville, West Virginia 24931-7158
Phone: (304) 392-2035
Cell - Text: (304) 661-2534
Here I am at Hinton-Alderson Airport, Pence Springs, West Virginia, several years ago, with a 1941 Taylorcraft in which I was giving the owner instruction at that time. Some of these older airplanes, as well as many new ones, are in the "light sport category," and under some circustances can be flown with less training, and without FAA medical certification.
Here I am with Jackson Croy shortly after his first solo flights. Jackson began flying June 1, and soled July 21, 2020. This picture was August 24, after a flight to Bluefield. A few days later he left for college in Lakeland, Florida, and is continuing his flight training there. He is a very motivated young man with strong Christian character. Jackson is also an inspiration to other young people, and I am confident he will see his aviation dreams come true. God's blessing, Jackson.
Dr. Justin Douglas soloed September 11, 2020 in this Cessna 172, at Greenbrier Valley Airport, Lewisburg, West Virginia. After gaining a few hours of local solo experience, we work on "dual cross-country" flights, then the trainee usually does three or four solo cross-countries. For initial train ing purposes, a cross-country flight is a flight with a landing at least 50 nautical miles from the departure point. Each succesive cross-coutry solo is a little longer than the previous one as students fine-tune their navigation skills.
Bob Neff soloed October 14th, 2020, after a protracted gap in his flying. Bob actually began flying about 40 years ago at White Sulphur Springs, and did his initial solo flights under the intruction of the late legendary pilot Oscar Tate, who began operating there in about 1936. Bob has returned to the air, and is working on his required solo time.
This is Henry Tilley during his second flying lesson. The first part of your training is aimed at acquiring knowledge and proficiency for your first solo flights. The amount of time varies from one person to another, and is influenced by the weather, how often you can fly, etc. but is usually in the area of 15 to 20 hours. Certain elements of training are required to be included, partly knowledge, partly skill, and partly good judgment.
This is Joelle Heilemann after her very first flight lesson. The first 15 -20 hours of training are usually focused on basic flight skill in prepartion for solo flight. After a person soloes, the next step is to gain a few hours of local experience to further develop their flying skills, as well as knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (putting good judgment into practice). They still fly part of the time with their instructor, according to individual needs, weather conditions, and preparation for cross-country flights.
Jackson Croy is enjoying his first flying lesson. We flew from Lewisburg, West Virginia to Beckley, and return. This type of flight allows a new trainee to go through the same start up, taxi, take-off, approach, and landing routine twice, helps him get aquainted with the sensations of flight, and to experience how fast an airplane can go from one point to another. He also began getting familiar with the use of the controls, and how to interpret the information shown on the flight instruments.
NEW PRIVATE PILOT: George MacKinnon is shown with Flight Examiner Don Judy after his Private Pilot Practical Test October 14, 2017, at Elkins, West Virginia. The airplane is a Diamond DA-20-C. Sadly, George passed away the following August, but I am honored to have had the privilege to help him see this dream come true.
In aviation, a "cross-country" flight doesn't mean you literally fly across the nation, but any flight with a landing at least 50 nautical miles (about 57.5 statute miles) from your departure point is called a "cross-country flight" for training purposes, and for the logging of flight time. Even a relatively slow airplane, travelling about 100 miles per hour, can take you pretty far from your "familiar stomping grounds" in an hour or two - in a straight line. Normally, such airplanes may get you to a destination about 300-400 miles away in about one-third of the time required on the road.
Some of my flight students, including Harry Humphreys, pictured below, have participated with me in the Annual Prayer Flights over the state Capitols. The goal is to call attention to America's Christian Heritage, and seek God's mercy, guidance, and restoration to this great Land.
This is the State Capitol of West Virginia at Charleston. Also included is a picture of Harry and I at the Yeager Airport (CRW) at Charleston.
In April 2016, I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my first flight in a small airplane, and in May 2019, celebrated my 35th year as a Flight Instructor. In 1976, I flew this 1946 Piper Cub with a retired flight instructor, Tate Mauzy. Click on the HISTORY button above for more information on the History of Eagles' Wings.
Below I am pictured with 6 of my students, or former ones I had taught to fly, left to right, Harry Humphreys, Adam Haymond, Andrew Dowdy, son of John at far right, Ben Hersman, David Hersman, Bob Jagodzinski, and John Dowdy.
They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31).