Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Cross Country Runner David Adler
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // September 9, 2023
Adler is a junior majoring in Aviation Management
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
We caught up with Panther cross country runner David Adler, a junior who is majoring in Aviation Management with Flight, for our Scholar-Athlete Spotlight of 2023/24.
Originally from Nesconset, NY, Adler was Tech’s top finisher at last weekend’s Fire Invitational in Lakeland, taking eighth place with a time of 28:39.90.
Following his freshman season in 2021, Adler was named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
With cross-country’s season just underway, David joined us to talk about what turned his eyes to the sky and what he’s enjoyed the most about his time in the classroom at Florida Tech.
Your major at Florida Tech is a little different than most, tell us a little bit about it.
I’m an Aviation Management with Flight, with an associates in Air Traffic Control. What I do is getting into the business side of aviation while also going for my flight certificates and eventually hoping to reach the airlines.
■ There are all different kinds of inspirations for wanting to be a pilot; what was it for you?
So, ever since I was younger, going to the airport, I was just absolutely fascinated with planes, and sometimes, for me, the favorite part of my trip was being at the airport and looking at the planes.
■ Pilots have to accrue hundreds of hours in the air before they begin their careers; what’s been your favorite experience-gaining trip so far?
I just did a solo flight down to Marathon in the Keys for my commercial flight training, and that was really a lot of fun. I was able to go down there in one of our Piper Archers, and it’s a pretty long trip but really great views. I flew over Miami Airport, and it was just a lot of fun overall.
■ Living on Long Island, New York, what was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
The flight program seemed really prestigious to me. It stood out compared to all the other schools I was looking at, and then the location as well being on the coast, having great weather all the time, compared to New York.
■ There’s many different career paths for a pilot, what would you like to do once you get your license?
I’m looking at the commercial airliners right now. I’m looking at Delta primarily, as well as American, and United and I would actually like to do international flying one day on the wide-body aircraft.
■ What’s something you’ve learned at Florida Tech about your field that you didn’t know before?
I’ve had a lot of classes and job experience in other parts of the aviation industry than what I would have expected. I took an airport design class, airport planning, and that really showed me what goes on behind the scenes. It’s not just oh ‘I’m a pilot, I get to fly to another airport,’ It’s, there’s so many different people working at the airport just to make everything go smoothly for you as the pilot as well as the passengers.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from your sport that you apply to your studies?
Definitely, we run an 8K here, and it’s a lot of mileage. So really, just having to get through that mileage, it hurts a lot, but you have to be consistent in that and really that goes into life.
Sometimes it’s gonna be harder, sometimes it can be easier, but either way, you just need to put the same amount of effort into everything that you’re doing.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Aviation Management with Flight?
Definitely stay ahead on your work. There is a lot of assignments that you need to do, the flight training takes a lot of hours out of your day.
So, if you stay ahead of your work, just look at your classes, see what assignments are coming up two, three weeks from now, get them done as soon as possible. You’ll be in a great place to complete all your work while training at the same time.
■ What’s something you’ve done in the classroom that you’re most proud of?
Going back to the airport planning classes that I took, so we did a project where we made a mock airport master plan and that involved just seeing the airport’s capacity, how many runways they have, and looking at future calculations for that airport to see what needs to happen in order to make sure that the capacity doesn’t get out of control, so that there’s no delays. So, what we did is we analyzed the Kissimmee Airport over in Orlando and determined ‘this is gonna get a little bit busy next coming years, maybe we can add a runway and more parking spaces for the aircraft,’ and that was a really fun project to do.
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