USU Welcomes Matt Bunnell
Utah State University’s professional pilot program officially welcomes Matt Bunnell as the new assistant chief flight instructor and safety officer. As part of his new role, which began in January, Bunnell oversees the education of future flight instructors and manages the aviation safety program.
Additionally, Bunnell is working to write and establish a new curriculum that will enhance student learning by realistic scenarios.
“I plan to continue to emphasize the importance of safety to our beginning pilots, as well as our more experienced students and instructors,” Bunnell said.
In his teaching role, Bunnell instructs students in certified flight instructor ground school courses. In these classes, Bunnell said he is planning to shift the current curriculum in order better prepare future flight instructors.
“I hope to transition our curriculum to the FAA and Industry Training Standards (FITS),” Bunnell said. “Our current curriculum is maneuver-based which means our students practice each maneuver over and over again until they have mastered it. FITS curriculum puts more of an emphasis on accomplishing the maneuvers in a real-world situation.”
Originally from South Jordan, Utah, Bunnell is a USU alumnus with a bachelor’s in aviation technology-professional pilot and a master’s in engineering technology and education. After completing school in 2010, Bunnell worked as an aviation technical writer for the navigation company Garmin International, until accepting his current position at USU.
Choosing to return to the university was not a difficult decision to make, Bunnell said.
“I love USU and Cache Valley,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to flying more often and working with the students.”
When he is not flying, Bunnell said he enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, snowboarding and spending time with his family.