U.S. Marine, general aviation pilot introduced as new instructor for aviation career tech program

ALANSON – Former Marine helicopter and current general aviation pilot Duane Enos will be the new instructor of the Aviation Science and Technology course, housed at Alanson Public Schools with instruction at Pellston Regional Airport, beginning in the fall for the 2022-23 school year.

The course is a collaborative effort between Alanson schools and Char-Em Intermediate School District’s Career and Technical Education Department. It is open to any student in any Char-Em ISD school district, as are all CTE programs.

Journalism students at Alanson High School recently interviewed Enos and published an article in their school newspaper. It follows:

In The Skies and In the Classroom
By Journalism Students at Alanson High School

As a Marine on the ground and a pilot in the sky, Duane Enos has led an exciting life.  He has served two tours of duty in Iraq, lived in Japan, and visited several other countries in the world. He retired from the military and recently moved back to Michigan to be near family during the pandemic. Enos is looking forward to his next adventure as the new instructor for the Aviation Science and Technology course housed at Alanson Public Schools with instruction at Pellston Regional Airport.  

“If you don’t know what you want to do after high school, the military is a good way to go,” he said. “You can find your passion.”

Graduating from Cheboygan High School at the age of 17, Enos immediately enlisted into the Marines. His father was in the Navy, so he was accustomed to military life and moving around a lot.  He was born in Washington and lived in several states where he attended seven different schools throughout Michigan, Texas, and Illinois. 

“It can be hard growing up in a military family, he admits. “I developed a quiet personality.”

Despite being more soft spoken, Enos is a proven leader. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Captain with 20 years of honorable service. He earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Eastern Michigan University, as well as officer training from the University of Michigan. He began his career as an Avionics Electrical Technician. In 2004, he became a USMC Helicopter pilot, flying TH-57 Bell Jet Rangers and AH-1W Cobras. After a few years, he became a Logistics Officer until he retired in 2013. 

Using his experience and knowledge to his advantage, Enos became a general aviation pilot. He enjoys flying for personal recreation, becoming a member of the Air Force Base Aero Club in Warner Robins Georgia, the Georgia Civil Air Patrol, and currently is a member of the Michigan Civil Air Patrol here in Harbor Springs.

“I love flying planes,” he shared. “I’ll never forget the first time I flew. I was in Virginia training, and the very first time I went down the runway, my instructor let me take off. It was a beautiful day, the Potomac River was on my left, and I saw the ground come away from me. It was so exhilarating.”

Since retiring from the military he has dabbled in a few other careers and hobbies, yet he never lost sight of his passion: flying. He worked as a Realtor for a few years in Georgia, and built custom furniture and cabinets as well. He looks forward to investing in his community, becoming a mentor to future aviators, and leaving his legacy here in Northern Michigan.

“Take advantage of opportunities while you can,” Enos advised. “And do what you need to do first, then do what you want to do.” 

The Aviation Science and Technology course is offered to students in Char-Em ISD districts and homeschool students alike. It meets daily from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Pellston Regional Airport. For more information, visit: https://www.charemisd.org/student-academic-services-programs/career-and-technical-education-cte/cte-programs/


Jim Rummer, Director of Career and Technical Education for Char-Em ISD, said he is thrilled to welcome Enos to the helm of the program which was started several years ago to expose students to careers as pilots and also in aviation maintenance and technology areas.

“There will be a pilot shortage coming in the years ahead, and we try to keep our finger on the pulse of various industries when determining career tech courses. With Pellston airport in our back yard, this has become a terrific collaboration to provide more opportunities for our region’s students,” said Rummer. “Duane will be an exceptional addition to our CTE teaching staff and a positive influence on our students.”

Students interested in enrolling in the Aviation Science and Technology program for the 2022-23 school year should speak to their high school guidance counselor. 

Top photo caption: Alanson High School Journalism students meet the new Aviation Science and Technology Instructor, Duane Enos. He is eager to start teaching new generations in the 2022-23 school year at Pellston Regional Airport. Pictured from left are Seth Sumner, Michael Hendrickson, Joshua Walker, Duane Enos, Robert Wochoski, Adam Hendrickson, Evan Plastino, Mary Bley, Aliza Guerrero, Delaney Smith, and Cortney Midyett. 


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