Featured image of article: Featured Alum: Palmer Timmons (Class of 2018)

Featured Alum: Palmer Timmons (Class of 2018)

While attending ConVal, Palmer Timmons (Class of 2018) developed a keen interest in the technical programs offered at the Region 14 Applied Technology Center (ATC), especially the engineering and robotics courses. After working closely with the teachers in these courses, he started looking into the unmanned aircraft industry and what opportunities were open to him.

Since graduating from ConVal, Timmons has attended the University of North Dakota, known for its world-renowned aviation program. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautics, Dual Majoring in Commercial Aviation and High Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Timmons is employed as a Certified Flight Instructor at UND Flight Operations and is currently in training to become an Instrument Instructor and Multi-Engine Instructor.

Here is Palmer’s reflection:

“The second half of my time at ConVal was spent trying to complete as many technical/STEM classes as possible. I finished the entire engineering curriculum, including an independent study involving modeling aircraft using CAD and CNC machines. I got involved in the programming classes and dabbled in robotics.”

“The various projects I completed in these classes helped me explore unmanned aircraft technologies after I had already been interested in flying airplanes for many years. These interests led me to go to the University of North Dakota where I could pursue a degree with a major in each of these areas.”

“In my first year, I was able to earn my Private Pilot Certificate, allowing me to fly on my own whenever and just about wherever I want. Continuing on, and studying hard to ensure I did not fail any check rides, I finished my junior year by earning my Commercial Pilot Certificate with multi-engine and instrument ratings.”

“At the same time, I worked with highly advanced drone aircraft, such as the Insitu Scan Eagle and the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator which was a relatively easy skill set to adapt to after receiving excellent training in programming and coding at ConVal.”

“By far my favorite experience has been flying aerobatics. After earning my tailwheel rating and getting involved in various events, I was able to get a spot practicing with the Aerobatics Team. After lots of training, I was able to compete in my first aerobatics competition with a flight that earned the second-highest score in my category. The entire competition was a truly unparalleled experience.”

“During my senior year, I reached my most challenging and significant achievement to date and became a Certified Flight Instructor. The following semester, I was selected for a class 50 out of over 300 applicants to be hired on by UND Flight Ops as a Flight Instructor, which has been my job ever since.”

“The concept of becoming a pilot was something that never seemed like a realistic, attainable goal until I was actually getting into flight training. I imagine there are plenty of high school students in the same position as I was. I encourage them to talk to me if they are interested in becoming a professional pilot, or look into local flight schools and book a discovery flight.”

If you are interested in getting in touch with Palmer, you can reach him at palmer.timmons@und.edu.