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Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Aviation faculty and staff have offices at the Flight Operations Center and on the main Westminster campus. We work from both locations to assist students in meeting their educational and flight training goals.

Main Campus

Gerry Fairbairn - Aviation Department Chair
Phone: (801) 832-2666

Education: B.S. Aeronatuical Operations, San Jose State University; M.S. Management, San Diego State University; Ph.D. Business Administration, Santa Clara University.

Hobbies: Bicycling, skiing, motorcycle touring, computer programming, and video editing.

Advice: Use your superior judgement to avoid having to demonstrate your exceptional flying skills.

Link to college directory


Gail Avendano - Director of Aviation Student Support, Testing Center Supervisor, and Associate Instructor
Phone: (801) 832-2671

Education: B.A. English/Teaching, Montana State University; M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Westminster College

Hometown: Bozeman, MT

About Me: I started working at Westminster when we began our flight operations program in 2000. I enjoy all of the different ways I get to work with students. Westminster is a dynamic, energetic, place and I love it.

Hobbies: running, traveling, and getting my teenagers to do chores

Favorite Restaurant: Yellowfin--within walking distance of campus. Great Asian-inspired food. 

Advice for new aviation students: Regularly read your college email, get involved in clubs and organizations, and plan on doing at least one--or more--internships before you graduate.

Link to college directory.

 


Bill Ogilvie - Aviation Instructor, Advanced Course Leader
Phone: (801) 832-2626

Education: B.S. Political Science, Weber State; M.A. in Business Management

Flying Experience: ATP with type ratings in Lear Jets, Boeing 737, and a L-382 (C-130). Flight Instructor Certificate for single engine airplane, multi engine airplane and instrument airplane. Flight Instructor glider rating.

About Me: I earned my Private Pilot certificate the summer I graduated from Highland High School in Salt Lake City. After college I was commissioned in the US Air Force and trained as a C-130 Test Program Navigator. I worked as a special test programs navigator in the development of the Air Launched Cruise Missle at Hill AFB, Utah for four years and was rewarded for my work with a pilot training assignment in 1982.

After pilot training I completed a 24 1/2 year career in the US Air Force and retired in 2002. I spent my career flying weather reconnaissance in the WC-130H, air taxi service for senior government officials and military leaders in the Lear 35A/C-21A, electronic warfare and signals intelligence in the EC-130H, and air transport of oversized and heavy cargo in the C-5 Galaxy. My BS in Political Science served me well as an aircraft accident investigator and my MA in Business Management gave me the foundation to manage major projects throughout my career, including directing the Travis Air Force Base Air Show in 2000.

Hobbies: Bicycle touring, model airplane flying, camping, and glider soaring.

Link to college directory


Flight Operations Center

 


Lance Vaculin - Director of Flight Operations, Master CFI, Associate Instructor
Phone: (801) 832-2923

Education: M.Ed. Westminster College

Hometown: Silver City, NM

About Me: I started instructing in 2002 at Skypark in Bountiful, Utah and served as their Chief Flight Instructor before coming to Westminster. I am very excited about being part of an outstanding program here at Westminster.

Hobbies: In my spare time I enjoy wakeboarding and anything to do with the outdoors.

Link to college directory

 


Julie Paasch - Director of Flight Education, Chief Flight Instructor, Master CFI, Course Leader for Multi-Engine and Flight Instructor Courses, Associate Instructor
Phone: (801) 832-2920

Education: B.S. Aeronautics, University of North Dakota: M.Ed. Westminster College. CFI, CFII, MEI, Master CFI, CE525 SIC Type Rating

Hometown: Excelsior, MN

About Me:  I moved to Salt Lake City in 2005 when my husband was hired as a First Officer for SkyWest Airlines. I've had a variety of flight instructing experiences around the country including UND, Virginia, and Utah. Most recently, I was flying single pilot 135 operations in a Chieftain for a small freight company in Utah and flying as a First Officer in a Cessna Citation II.

What I like best about Salt Lake City: the outdoor access!

Hobbies: Climbing, cycling, scrapbooking, skiing

Advice to Students: study hard and have a good attitude

Favorite Restaurant: Cafe Rio

Link to college directory


Brandon McQueen - Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, Safety Officer, PIC Development and Intermediate Course Leader, Associate Instructor
Phone: (801) 832-2668

Education: B.S. Aviation Technology, Utah State University

Hometown: I grew up in Idaho, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Utah

Hobbies: I like biking, kayaking, skiing, and climbing.

Link to college directory

Scott Olsen - Assistant Chief Flight Instructor-CFI, CFII, and MEI, tailwheel endorsement, Foundations of Flight Course Leader

Education: B.S. Flight Operations, Westminster College

Hometowns: Layton, UT and Twin Falls, ID

Hobbies: basketball, classic cars, camping, and raising chickens

What I like about my job: The beauty of flying. I never get tired of flying over mountains and deserts. 

What I like about Westminster: Westminster truly teaches beyond the level required by the FAA. I like that Westminster is devoted to creating smart, safe pilots.

What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: Utah is such a diverse environment. Salt Lake City has what big cities have to offer but also has a small town feel. If you like the outdoors, you will love Utah.

Favorite Restaurant: The African restaurant on Redwood Road. Get the samosas!

Aviation Goal: Fly for SkyWest, be a Utah backcountry pilot, or be a chief pilot.

Hobby: Backcountry flying

What you may not know about me: I ride my bike to work more often than I drive.

Link to college directory