Mike Spencer - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

Top aviation business Spencer Aviation is flying high under Mike Spencer's direction.

Over 2,400 schools from around the US were nominated for the Flight Training Excellence Awards Flight School Honor Roll, and Spencer Aviation did more than reach the top 50—it placed No. 2 in the country. In addition to teaching enthusiasts how to fly, Spencer Aviation's Ground School is responsible for making sure that the employees of a leading avionics equipment manufacturer learn what pilots need to know in the cockpit.

"When I first decided to get into the field, I wanted to know as much about aircraft as possible, and Columbus State gave me the start."

To create his company's culture of excellence, Spencer built on the fundamentals he learned while getting his Columbus State associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology, and in the Aircraft Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Certificate program.

"I can credit Columbus State for getting me off to a great start in aviation," he says. "When I first decided to get into the field, I wanted to know as much about aircraft as possible, and Columbus State gave me the start."

Since graduating in 1988, Spencer has been an aviation mechanic, a corporate pilot and a flight instructor.

"Eight years ago, I started Spencer Aviation. We want to keep flying fun, exciting and challenging, all in a comfortable atmosphere. Spencer Aviation is a place people can come just to hang out, even if they're not taking a class right then."

Always striving to improve his business and his students' skills, Spencer has strict education requirements. His instructors follow the syllabus closely so students are always aware of their progress and future goals.

And Columbus State—then Columbus Technical Institute—places sky-high among his professional and business experiences.

"I appreciated the small class size and how all the classes are taken consecutively, not spread out throughout the day. I was given a good base to start with, and I'd recommend Columbus State to anyone looking to get into the field of aviation."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State