My name is Diana Trofimovich and have been flying for 8 years now. I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in the state of Washington. I’ve lived in Washington my entire life and think it’s the best state to fly in! Although very rainy, the summers here are breath-taking. We get the desert views in Eastern Washington, the ocean views on the West Coast as well as the Olympic and Cascade mountain views! Washington has it all.
I fell in love with aviation at a young age, but also didn’t start flying until I was 21 years old. I started working at the local FBO/flight school in Puyallup, at Thun-Field Airport. I was a customer service/front desk specialist at Spencer Aircraft and then slowly transitioned to the flight school side of It and worked for Safety in Motion Flight School. My boss offered all the employees free ground school and 10 hours of flight instruction to encourage all of us to get into aviation and start flying. I started ground school as soon as I could and jumped on the opportunity of getting those flight hours. It didn’t take long for me to realize I wanted to do this as a career rather than just a hobby. I made the decision to finish my private and then the rest of my ratings and certificates. After my private, I went to Central Washington University and got my Bachelors. While in college, I came home for the summer and finished my commercial rating, and once I finished my time at CWU, I pursed my instrument rating and onto my commercial multi-engine rating. After that, I obtained my Masters through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and flew around for fun with friends until I had 500 hours which is the magic number working for a VFR 135 operation.
I fly for Point to Point Air which is a VFR 135 charter operation here in Arlington, WA. We do mostly island hopping around the San Juan Islands which I absolutely love. I even had the opportunity flying to Bermuda Dunes in a PA-32 which was a blast and quite the experience.
I think some of the battles I experienced throughout my flight training was during my PPL, and flight instructors coming and going. I had five different CFIs and a few of them were just hour hungry and only looking out for themselves. I finished my private at 108 hours, which should have been much sooner. My advice to everyone who is starting out, is to find a good instructor that suits you. Fly with a couple of them and establish a plan so that you aren’t wasting your time because it is expensive! I had fun regardless, but I wish I knew a little more back then.
I am also a first generation pilot so I had no mentors or pilots around me growing up so I did this solo. It was challenging but I made it! I encourage (especially female aviators) to have a mentor throughout their journey and find others who are on the same path as you!
Currently, I am waiting for the airlines to start hiring again and wish to fly for Horizon and then move onto Alaska Airlines. I am also building a Vans RV7 in the meantime and hope to see it fly by summer 2022!