Bradley Dill received his student pilot’s certificate when he was a 16-year-old student at St. Mary’s High School. At 17, he had his private pilot’s certificate and at 18, he had his commercial pilot’s certificate.
Looking back at that sequence, it means Bradley Dill was flying planes before he was driving cars.
The son of Tom and Estelle Dill, Bradley has taken another huge step in his aviation career pursuits, having obtained his flight instructor’s certificate this week. The 19-year-old Bridgewater State University junior can officially provide training for aspiring pilots, assign solo flights for student pilots, make recommendations for practical tests, and give flight reviews.
He’s begun giving flying lessons at the Beverly Flight Center in Danvers. He is also a flight instructor at Bridgewater State, helping other students obtain their private pilot’s certificate or commercial pilot’s certificate. He will be providing physical in-airplane training at New Bedford Airport.
“The first time I flew a plane by myself I was 16,” said Dill, who actually began flying (with an instructor aboard) when he was 12 years old.
Dill is on track to begin a full-time career as a pilot upon his graduation from college.
“I have applied for a program at Bridgewater that’s called Gateway,” said Dill. “You flight instruct at Bridgewater for a year. You graduate from college and then you work at Cape Air for two or three years and after a couple of years, you go on to JetBlue Airlines and get a JetBlue captain/mentor.”
Last Saturday Dill spent his first day as a flight instructor, taking a 23-year-old student up in an airplane (out of Beverly Airport) and giving him a full-scale flying lesson. He will be working at the airport throughout the summer as a flight instructor.
“The minimum required flying time for the government is 40 hours in order to receive your pilot’s certificate – the national average is closer to 60-70 hours,” said Dill. “You also have do ground school and you have to pass a written test. You have to get your endorsements and then you take the practical test. If you pass the practical test, you get your pilot’s certificate.”
Dill is majoring in Aviation Science with a double concentration in Aviation Flight Training and Aviation Management.
“Getting my flight instructor’s license was an exciting step,” said Dill. “A lot of people say that they want to work an airlines. For me, it was ‘I want to be a flight instructor,’ so this was a big moment.”
Dill has piloted a single-engine plane 1,100 miles to Lakeland, Florida in a Piper Dakota plane, making stops in South Carolina and northern Florida.
He is a man of many talents. In addition to his piloting skills, he is also an accomplished musician who plays with the Dirty Floorboards band and friends Bailey Trahant, Andrew Blocksidge, Tony Uva, and Colin Kennedy.
While some are calling Dill the coolest kid in Lynn, he says at college being a pilot is not as big a deal.
“The group I hang out with at school is all aviation majors, so it’s just very common with the group,” said Dill.
He said it was his father who first stirred his interest in airplanes.
“My dad worked at GE and he us
ed to bring home these videotapes of F18s landing on the carriers and I thought that was cool,” said Dill. “He always used to watch the military channel and he was really intrigued by it and he kind of got me into it.”
Years later, Bradley Dill is a certified pilot and flight instructor and his career prospects are flying high.