A member of AAUW Honolulu since 2018, Nobi Buntin worked on the AAUW Scholarship Interview Committee to interview candidates for our 2019 academic scholarships. Tweet Coleman, namesake of the aviation scholarship, appointed Nobi to serve on the 2020 Aviation Scholarship Committee.
She is also chair-elect of the Aloha Ninety-Nines Ninety-Nines. Nobi credits her inspiration to get involved in the aviation community in Hawaii with attending a Talk Story Tuesday event in July 2018. She said, “Learning how Tweet Coleman has been a trailblazer for women pilots over the years was incredibly inspirational.”
Nobi is currently in Las Vegas for flight raining. The comment she sent with the photo was “I completed my initial Commercial Multi-Engine checkride two hours ago! My next goal is to obtain a Commercial Single-Engine Add-on!”
She added, “I am now navigating my way towards becoming a Medical Evacuation Pilot. According to my flight plan, the ETA towards meeting the Medical Evacuation First Officer requirements is three years from now. Since earning my Instrument Rating, I am working full throttle to acquire my Commercial Multi-Engine Pilot Certificate, my MEI and CFI licenses.
With an unprecedented demand for MEI and AMEL pilots in Hawaii, I intend to specialize in instructing ME students. I am currently volunteering at a local flight school and they have formally offered me a teaching position once I have I obtained an MEI. Since teaching comes second nature and is extremely rewarding, I am eager to utilize my previous bilingual teaching experience to flight instruct the local and international community. This approach will serve as a jet bridge to build hours while I navigate my way towards my ultimate dream of becoming a professional Medical Evacuation Pilot.”
Janet Morse, Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship Chair, recently sat down with Nobi for a question and answer session about how the scholarship has helped her.
What got you into aviation?
Becoming a pilot was a childhood dream. However, I was always told it would never become reality due to the high cost of training. After my intro flight in 2015, I was addicted to flying. Determined to find a path, with the help from countless foundations and organizations awarding scholarships, my dream began to slowly unravel and become reality.
Where are you in you training?
I completed my Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate in June 2019, followed by Pilatus PC-12NG training at FlightSaftey International in Denver, CO. I am currently working on my Certified Flight Instructor Certificate which will enable me to utilize my extensive teaching experience.
What did you achieve by being awarded the Tweet Coleman Scholarship? How did it help you?
Being awarded the AAUW Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship allowed me to propel towards my goal of becoming an Air Ambulance Pilot. The Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship enabled me to receive the absolutely priceless opportunity to receive over 40 hours of in-depth Ground School from a flight instructor who is considered a legend and has the utmost respect in Hawaii.
What are your short and long term goals?
I am in my senior year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, working on my BS in Aeronautical Science. If everything goes as planned, I will graduate in Spring 2021.
My long term goal is to become an Air Ambulance Pilot in Hawaii to pay back society. I believe this would be the most honorable career while fulfilling my craving of giving and nurturing others.
How do you give back to the community
I have always got a pleasure out of paying forward. It’s a hobby of mine, in a way. Standing at the helm of the Ninety-Nines Aloha Chapter, being the Treasurer for Women in Aviation Hawaii 50 Chapter, and sitting on the AAUW Tweet Coleman Aviation Scholarship Committee, etc…I find all to be extremely rewarding. Mentoring the future generation, watching them achieve their goals, offering guidance to the various committees, gives me extreme satisfaction. It’s invigorating to watch mentees win scholarships, pass exams & checkrides, watching their “wings grow” and careers take-off.
What’s your advice for the next generation of women aviators?
When you choose to chase the wonders that aviation has to offer, you must accept and embrace the fact that the odds are against you. Training is ridiculously expensive and time consuming, comprehending and understanding the material is challenging, the “boys club” mentality, and if you are a pilot – it’s a constant battle with Mother Nature! Aviation is designed for folks with a diehard mentality!
With that being said, take time to enjoy the ride. Aviation is an extremely deep subject, it cannot be mastered hastily. Never stop learning, but most importantly never stop sharing your knowledge and experiences! There is no need for competitiveness. There are countless paths and room for each and everyone of us to have a successful career.
What’s your advice for future scholarship applicants?
Get involved! Attend meetings, events, volunteer and most importantly surround yourself with honest-loving people who will not only celebrate your achievements but also act as a pillar when you face obstacles and setbacks. Nobody is immune to disappointments in aviation. Your inner voice is usually your worst critic. If you run in to anybody who brags about never having setbacks – run and don’t look back! Everybody in aviation needs a support group!
Treat your application with respect it’s as if you are applying for a job at a Fortune 100 corporation. Have a goal and design a strategic plan to achieve it. Anticipate unexpected delays, begin preparing your application package far in advance and submit early.