Bill Coyner was the kid who looked to the sky whenever a plane flew overhead, who got the urge to fly young and began reading about how to do it at age six.
Today, he’s the head flight instructor for the Clover Park Technical College, and a man with more than 10,000 flight hours under him – all without a single accident.
As today’s column points out, Coyner was named the Flight Instructor of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration for the Northwest Mountain region.
Coyner not only teaches at Clover Park, he graduated there, went on to fly commercially, then returned – briefly, he thought – to be a flight instructor.
“I thought I’d teach awhile, then return to commercial flying,” Coyner said. “That was more than 20 years ago. I found I really enjoyed teaching.”
A man who has never forgotten the first time he flew, Coyner tries to make that first experience in the air special for students, too.
“I want ‘em to look around. If I know where they live, I might try to fly over there home, give them that perspective,” he said. “I’d read about flying since I was six, but I wasn’t ready for the perspective you get from the air.”
Married to a private pilot and the father of two grown children, Coyner flies daily in one of the Clover Park fleet of 11 single-engine Cessnas. He’s found that on weekends now, he’d rather not fly.
“When I get a day off, I don’t want to fly, I want to do something different,” he admitted. “My family got me a kayak for Christmas, and I really love that.”