The 2024 Utah Aeronautics Conference will feature a variety of training sessions on Tuesday, May 21, and Wednesday, May 22. Each track is tailored for pilots, mechanics, airport managers, airport engineers, and drone pilots. Several of the tracks provide continuing education credits for the related associations.

Pilots Track 
Attendees will receive WINGS continuing education credits 

The Pilots Training Track is designed to equip aspiring and seasoned aviators with the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and proficient flying. This unique training opportunity will cover various crucial topics that contribute to a pilot’s expertise and decision-making abilities. Topics will include:

  • Aeromedical – Gaming the System
  • Normalization of Deviation and CFIT
  • Energy Management
  • Use of Weather Information
  • Best Glide Speed

Day 1 | Rex Shoell

Rex is a local independent CFI in both gliders and airplanes who has been instructing for 5 years and specializes in the Sport Pilot Airplane rating, TAA, and experimental aircraft training. He is the current EAA Chapter 58 President based at the Ogden Airport. Our main programs include a monthly social for like-minded aviation enthusiasts, the Young Eagles program (where he gives youth ages 8-17 their first flights in an airplane), and the VMC Club (where he talks about real-world flying scenarios and tips and tricks to get the best outcomes).  He also leads the FAASTeam Representative and WingsPro for the SLC-FSDO where he conducts FAASTeam safety seminars.  Rex helps pilots learn how to stay safe and proficient as well as navigate the Wings Program for flight reviews and instructor renewals.

Day 1 | Jim Lipscomb

Jim Lipscomb has an extensive background in aviation as his career spans both the general aviation (GA) and commercial airline sectors; from his first flight in J-3 Cub in 1957 at 14, to his last flight as MD-11 Captain. He has served as a Line and Proficiency Check Airman in multiple types, as B737 Training Manager, Examiner, and RTS test pilot; and as a contributor in the development of SMS, LOFT, CRM, and AQP. On the G/A side, he holds a commercial License S/MEL-G, CFI-I, AGI, and A&P. He is a member of both EAA, SSA, and the FAA FAASTeam; and is a holder of the FAA Master Airman award. Contributing significantly to the aviation community through his multifaceted expertise, Jim’s lifelong dedication to aviation excellence makes him a respected figure within the aviation industry. He embodies the passion for flight that has endured for decades.

Day 2 | Andreas (Baron) Wesemann

Lt Col Andreas Wesemann, USAF (retired), is a Professional Practice Associate Professor at Utah State University.  Known as Professor Baron to his students, he is the Assistant Department Head of the new Aviation Technology Department at USU.
Professor Baron achieved his dream of becoming a pilot after graduation and commissioning from the United States Air Force Academy in 1991. He was drawn to teaching throughout his distinguished military career, becoming an instructor pilot in five different aircraft.  After retiring from his 27-year military flying career, Professor Baron returned from the sky to become a full-time instructor at USU. In addition to teaching aviation students The Art and Science of Flight, Baron has taught over 3,000 students in the last 9 years and was selected as the Top Professor at Utah State University in 2020.  Baron was honored with the inaugural Gail Halvorsen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023 for the state of Utah. He joined the FAAST Team with the FAA to support safer aviation in general aviation and drones. He is a sought-after speaker and mentor in the community.

Mechanics Track
Attendees will receive continuing education credits

The Mechanics Training Track is for highly skilled aviation maintenance professionals as well as pilots. This training will dive deeper into a range of essential topics, ensuring that individuals within aircraft maintenance as well as private owners gain the expertise needed to maintain and repair aircraft with precision and safety. Topics will include:

  • Part 43 Regulations: What Pilots Can and Can’t Do
  • Hands-on Maintenance Safety

Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder is a Technical Training Coordinator at Duncan Aviation. He oversees the apprenticeship program and technical training at Duncan Aviations Provo location. He graduated from Salt Lake Community College with a degree in Aviation Maintenance.

Airport Managers Track

The Airport Manager Training Track is tailored to equip airport managers, board members, mayors, city managers, and other elected officials with the knowledge and tools needed to efficiently oversee airport operations, foster growth, and ensure a positive impact on the community. Topics will include:

  • Airport Management 101
  • Airport Planning and Community Engagement

Ryan Leick

Dr. Ryan Leick enjoys executing real-world solutions to the challenging aviation environment grounded in a unique and diverse career in industry and higher education.  He brings strategic insight from three airlines and front-line operational knowledge acquired from training airport professionals during his lifetime in aviation higher education.  Dr. Leick draws on industry experience in airline marketing, distribution, and information technology gained from working for entrepreneurial startup and long-haul low-cost carrier MAXjet Airways, major network carrier United Airlines, and privately held, niche carrier Aloha Airlines.  His qualifications combine specialized technical application of data science with a strategic understanding of the industry, a focus on value creation, and large-scale project management experience.  Ryan is currently an Associate Professor specializing in airline/airport operations and planning at Utah Valley University.  Ryan also assists airports in developing minimum standards, establishing rates and charges, creating land use plans, and evaluating development proposals with Aeroplex Group Partners. 

Airport Engineers Track
Attendees will receive continuing education credits

The Airport Engineers Training Track is designed to prepare engineering professionals for the unique challenges associated with airport infrastructure. This training encompasses a range of crucial topics, equipping participants with the skills and knowledge needed to design, manage, and optimize airport facilities. Topics will include:

  • Airport Drainage Engineering
  • Airport Engineering 101
  • Human-Centered Design for Regular People

Day 1 | Dane Hurst

Dane has nine years of experience as an airport engineer, specializing in drainage design. He has worked extensively in Utah and in other western states. He holds a master’s degree from Utah State University in civil engineering with an emphasis in hydraulics and water resources. Recently, he undertook a longstanding and unorthodox career goal by returning to Utah State for a second master’s degree in instructional design & learning sciences. His goal with this degree is to improve the ways that engineers and related professionals communicate with each other and with the public.

Day 2 | David Hartmann

David has been with Armstrong since 2000, working up from design engineer to project manager to, now, chief engineer. With a 30-year career in civil engineering, David has worked with a wide array of clients around the West.

Drones Track

The Drone Training Track is designed to cater to drone enthusiasts, professionals, and industry experts seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in the dynamic field of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Topics will include:

  • Drones: Opening a Whole New World
  • Interactive drone flying courses

    Day 1 | Chris Grazioso

    Chris Grazioso is a long-standing instructor for DARTdrones, the nation’s leader in drone training. After working 35+ years in public safety, Chris Grazioso is now Director of UAS Operations at Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division’s Drone Team. Chris is responsible for flying missions, the team’s initial and recurrent training, coordination of emergency responses which include pre and post incident damage assessments and large scale transportation accidents.Chris is the team lead for the Metropolitan Law Enforcement SWAT Tactical Drone Unit which assists with pre-mission planning, real-time situational awareness, live streaming, search and rescue, and indoor and outdoor suspect searching.Chris is also a FAAST Team DronePro for the Boston FSDO and on the Board of Advisors and is a Public Safety Technical Expert with DRONERESPONDERS.Chris’s extensive aviation experience includes 13 years as a manned aircraft pilot and 9 years as an unmanned pilot. He has significant experience in all of DJI’s rotorcraft as well as the Delair and eBee fixed wing aircraft. Chris’s sensor experience includes EO, thermal, multispectral and LIDAR. Chris’s UAS areas of expertise include aerial mapping and inspections, aerial photography and videography, public safety operations, night operations, search and rescue, and indoor flying.

    Day 2 | Aggie Drone Academy

    Aggie Drone Academy is USU’s Extension arm under the aviation department. Aggie Drone Academy is responsible for all education outside the classroom. Director Shawn “BW” Barstow and representative Shalyn Drake are both drones instructors at USU Eastern.