Junior Zach Floto, a Liberty University School of Aeronautics student, recently landed a competitive internship at the Delta Air Lines headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. He is one of only three college students chosen from a pool of more than 700 applicants nationwide.
Floto, who is in the commercial/corporate aviation program at Liberty, first heard about the internship while he was attending a national flight team competition at Ohio State University two years ago. After he applied online, the management of the Chief Pilot Center and the vice president of Fight Operations at Delta contacted him and set up a web-based video interview.
“Two hours after the interview was finished, I got the call with the exciting news that I was selected to be one of the next interns for Delta,” Floto said.
He is the first intern to represent Liberty University.
“Everyone here is really excited about having a new school represented by the interns,” Floto said. “Whenever I am introduced to the employees here, they always start by saying, ‘This is our first student we’ve ever had from Liberty.’”
Floto has already invested more than 50 hours in the internship. He works with the Next Gen GPS Working Group, whose primary purpose is to assist the FAA in developing RNAV procedures (a navigation method) for new airports that Delta flies into, as well as revising and updating current procedures. His job requires him to keep track of developing procedures and test them in simulators. He has been instructed on how to use the aircraft simulators in the Delta training center, giving him opportunity to practice takeoffs, landings, low visibility operations, engine failures, and more.
Floto said he’s also gained a lot of experience outside the cockpit.
“I’ve learned many other valuable skills working in the office and talking to the other pilots. By interacting with my fellow employees, I have learned much about how an airline operates and the amount of work required to make such a large operation successful.”
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dave Young, dean of the School of Aeronautics, said Floto’s selection for the internship is “a testament to the quality of the students in the School of Aeronautics.”
He said it provides “a grand opportunity” when a major airline like Delta acknowledges Liberty’s aviation program: “Zach’s representation of Liberty University and the School of Aeronautics will open doors for our graduates. We’re very proud of him.”
During his internship, Floto is taking online classes to keep up with his studies. His ultimate goal is to become a captain for an international airline.
“Delta is a very strong company with a great future in front of them, and I hope to return to this airline in the future,” he said.