Nobi (Bobbie) Buntin
I never realized how much I loved flying until doctors told me I would never do so again. My career as a flight attendant ended abruptly when turbulence resulted in traumatic injuries. Prior to my injury, I had always been extremely athletic. Doctors told me it would take a miracle to walk again. From that instant, I put every ounce of energy into healing. Over two years, I underwent five procedures, countless hours of rehabilitation, and physical therapy. Determined to return to the sky, I obtained my First-Class Medical. I was one step closer to flying again, but this time from in the cockpit!
When I took my first discovery flight in 2016, I felt a surge of adrenaline and a sense of freedom I had not felt since my injury. The second we landed, I signed up for flight lessons! As the sole provider for our family of four, it is a struggle to make ends meet. To balance costs and support my goal, I pick up extra shifts and taken out loans. My family has been incredibly supportive, despite the sacrifices they endure on my behalf.
As I immerse myself in aviation, it is my passion to support our flying community. I am blessed with phenomenal mentors; it only feels natural to pay forward. Currently, I serve as the ‘WAI Hawaii 5-0 Treasurer’, chaired GIAD, ’99s Aloha Chapter Chair’ and formed an enthusiastic fundraising committee. In response to Covid-19, I founded the ‘Aloha Aviators’, a charitable group of aviators. Receiving media attention from WAI and AOPA enabled us to raise funds and awareness of our efforts. The Aloha Aviators have sewn and transported over 1400 masks throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
With my Multi-Engine Commercial certificate completed, I am one step closer to becoming an air ambulance pilot. Unfortunately, the offer to fly SIC for Mokulele Airlines was withdrawn due to the pandemic. During the lockdown, I remained focused. I passed two FAA Knowledge Exams and designed lesson plans. Learning to fly from the right seat is definitely a challenge, but it will soon become second nature with my tenacity. In conjunction with training, I work towards a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Despite the various uncertainties, I managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA.
It would be a tremendous honor to receive this scholarship; my strategy is to obtain a Commercial Single-Engine Add-On, followed by a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. Teaching comes second nature and is extremely rewarding to me. I am eager to utilize my bilingual teaching experience to instruct the local and international community. Upon completing my instructor certificate, I have been offered a teaching position at Lani Lea Flight School. This will serve as a jet bridge to my goal of becoming a MedEvac pilot. Receiving the prestigious flyGIRL Sporty’s Scholarship will allow me to achieve my dream efficiently. With my relentless determination to leave the world in a better place, you will not regret investing in me. Aloha nui loa.