This is the pre-boarding announcement for your flight from SEMO 1967 to 2022. We are inviting anyone interested in the University's aviation history to begin reading at this time. Thank you and enjoy your flight through the decades.

While at Southeast, Torres joined the Flying Indians Organization. This group was named for the University’s former mascot, which changed in 2005. Students and alumni “interested in the fascinating skill of flying an airplane” were encouraged to join the organization. 

This campus organization was open to anyone of any skill level. Members took ground school courses and F.A.A flight instruction. Once they were ready, they practiced their techniques in the air. With the Flying Indians, Torres and his new friends shot into the sky, breaking flight records, learning about each new aircraft, and becoming masters of the flight deck. 

“...Among the many records was possibly the longest trip on the Flying Indian's Cessna 172 was when we took it to New Orleans for Mardi Grass one year. All night flying from sunset to sunrise.”

Alejandro Torres, SEMO Alumnus

It was professors like Dr. Bryce March who inspired Torres to strive for something only a few people in the world had. A young Torres would soon become one of only 11 people on the planet to have all seven Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Ratings. He believes he is still the only non-US citizen to have these certifications. That means this SEMO Alumnus is one of a small few certified to teach students to fly, well, anything.

Flight Certifications of Alejandro Torres

Certified Flight Instructors have the opportunity to earn several flight ratings. These ratings allow them to teach students to fly in any of their certified categories.

A single-engine rating is one of the most common specialties for a flight instructor. These planes are typically easier to fly with fewer controls and less complex systems.

A multiengine rating allows pilots to fly private, commercial, and transport aircraft. They typically have more speed, more room, and are higher-performance aircraft.

This is earned after intense training with only referencing your flight instruments. Pilots learn more about navigation, weather, and air traffic while gaining the instrument - airplane rating.

A helicopter instrument rating ensures a pilot can operate a helicopter in adverse weather conditions with the use of only their instruments.

A pilot with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating received additional training on advanced maneuvers. This increases the pilot's skill level and knowledge of their aircraft.

Gyroplane certified instructors must already have a pilot's license before learning to fly this kind of aircraft. These are smaller planes that hold a pilot and one passenger.

Earning a glider rating requires at least 10 hours of flying gliders. It is considered one of the simpler aircraft to learn. 

Southeast continues the tradition of flight in 2022. We've taken our love for teaching and applied it to helping students strap in to become certified pilots and flight instructors. Southeast's Professional Pilot Bachelor's Degree provides students with the training they need to go out into the field of aviation. Long before pilot programs were the norm, Southeast students were taking to the sky and we'll keep finding new ways to give students like Torres a new view of the world.

We hope you've enjoyed your flight.