Joe Howley, Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey
Flight time: 2,200 hours
Private pilot certification: Trained in a Cessna 172 from November 1994 to June 1995.
Shared secret: Failed his initial checkride.
When Brian Lisoski of Montauk, New York, began his flight training in March 2007, he had to make a promise. That promise—to finish—was made to retired flight instructor, Tony Patrone, who became recertified in order to help Lisoski learn how to fly.
“He made me feel comfortable,” said Lisoski, who earned his private pilot certificate on August 23, 2008. “It was the best experience.”
But it didn’t start out that way. Flying out of East Hampton Airport at the end of Long Island, New York, is tough.
“It’s windy and I was getting beat up,” said Lisoski. “But Tony helped me stay in it.”
No stranger to a challenge, Lisoski has been in the financial market since the age of 18 and works as a Natural Gas trader for RBS Sempra in Stamford, Connecticut. He commutes to work on the Metro North railroad from New York, where he works for his boss, Joe Howley, who is also his flight training mentor.
“I helped him with the challenges of flying in the New York airspace as well as helping with his cross-country flying strategies,” said Howley.
With Howley there to guide him, Lisoski said his flight training “went smoothly.”
Howley, 49, is a board member for Angel Flight in the Northeast—a non-profit, charitable organization, which arranges free air transportation for any legitimate, charitable, medically related need.
“Once you start out, you meet people,” said Howley. “My friend is a pilot and that’s how I got involved.” As a volunteer for 10 years, Howley understands the importance of using his skill set to help people who need it, like Lisoski.
“I enjoy encouraging pilots like Brian because the ability to fly an airplane opens a world few get to experience,” said Howley, adding that he looks forward to mentoring future students.
Just shy of 100 hours, Lisoski said he wants to move on to get his instrument rating and possibly do some Angel Flights. In the meantime, he will continue flying for leisure and plans to take full advantage of the Cessna 172 he bought into with four other men on the field. And he kept his promise.