The Flying Musicians Association (FMA) is a nonprofit organization built on encouraging pilots to become musicians and musicians to become pilots. The FMA welcomes new members of all skill levels with an instrument or airplane. You can often find members of the organization congregating at aviation events around the country, most recently at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, hosting music jams and hangar concerts for event-goers.
A few weeks ago, we spoke with John Laughman about the FMA Solo Program, a scholarship program that pays for a selected student’s flight training up until his or her first solo flight (~15 hours). This week, we met Nathan Nothelle, who was also selected for the 2018 FMA Solo Program.
Q: What sparked your interest in music?
A: My interest in music comes strictly from passion. A long time ago, I found a guitar with only a few strings, but that didn’t stop me from learning how to fiddle around. That guitar helped me learn I had a real connection to music, and I figured out how much I loved playing and making songs. When school band came around, I grabbed a trumpet and that became my real passion; I’d call it an addiction at this point. I wanted to play 24/7. I auditioned for, signed up for, and created every band possible.
Q: How did you become interested in aviation?
A: My interest in aviation comes from my first airliner flight to Florida. That short flight showed me the beauty of the sky, and I remember thinking to myself, “How cool would it be to do this every day?” “Pilot” became my end goal, but I just needed to decide where. Now my dream is to be a search and rescue pilot with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Q: How did you become involved with the Flying Musicians Association?
A: I came across the Flying Musicians Association by total accident while doing some research online. Once I read what they were all about, I couldn’t believe there was an organization devoted to the two things I loved more than anything. Of course, I joined immediately and started to find my place. I am more than honored to be a part of the FMA Solo Program.
Q: What’s the status of your aviation training?
A: Currently, I’m working towards my first solo. I fly a Cessna 172 out of the Oakland County International Airport (PTK) in Michigan. My flight school is Flight 101.
After I complete my training, I aim to be accepted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Aviation Program. I’m also working to move past my position as an air observer with Coast Guard Auxiliary Air. I would like to move to the front of the plane in the Auxiliary while I’m still in school.
I’m also beginning my college career this fall at Western Michigan University to study Aviation Maintenance. Obtaining my license is also important for my degree.
Q: Do you have any connection to Gleim training products?
A: The FMA connected me to some Gleim products such as t-shirts and hats, a flight bag, and of course, the Private Pilot Online Test Prep. I wouldn’t have gotten started without these things!
Written by Austin Scott, Marketing Assistant for Gleim Aviation
About the Flying Musicians Association, Inc.
The Flying Musicians Association (FMA) is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation of pilots who are musicians spanning the globe, of all proficiency levels and genres. We want to share our passions in order to inspire, educate, and encourage through performances, presentations, networking, and scholarships.
Donate or arrange a bequest! If you believe in the joys of music and flying and the future of both, there is no better way to make a lasting difference. We’re doing it together, one student at a time. Donate to the FMA.
About Gleim Aviation
Since 1980, the Gleim Aviation team of pilots, instructors, writers, designers, and programmers has helped aviators pass millions of FAA knowledge and practical tests using the unique Gleim Knowledge Transfer System. Gleim is an environmentally-friendly company headquartered in Gainesville, FL.