Thompson Rivers University

TRU alum in Top 20 Under 40 in Canadian aviation

  Posted on: November 3, 2020

TRU alum Jonathan Davis

TRU alum Jonathan Davis is a trained commercial pilot, and an aerobatics and upset recovery flight instructor.

Jonathan Davis hasn’t let the pandemic keep him on the ground. Wings Magazine just named him one of the top 20 under 40 influencing the future of Canadian aviation, two years after he completed his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies at TRU.

“Obviously, with the downturn, aviation was hit quite hard so I’m back on smaller airplanes but I’m still enjoying it and I find myself quite lucky to be flying something,” he said.

Trained in aerobatics, Davis is currently an aerobatic and upset recovery flight instructor at the Calgary Flying Club. Most of his students are trained pilots interested in advancing their skills. Before pursuing his TRU degree—focused on expedition leadership—he completed his commercial pilot’s license. He worked in airline flying, instructing part-time, until the pandemic halted most air travel.

Now, Davis is setting his sights on a master’s degree.

“I’m always actively working toward something,” he said. “This has just fast tracked my intentions to attend grad school.”

He’s currently involved in an enrichment program through the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences and considering his grad school options. Davis has a background in paramedicine and is contemplating studies in health care and flight test engineering.

At TRU, he was involved in undergraduate research, receiving an Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program grant to explore aviation safety in British Columbia. That experience has served him well, prompting him to work as a co-lead on a research group: Transport Canada’s General Aviation Flight Safety Campaign.

“Understanding critical thinking and the ability to weigh new knowledge with a grain of salt, find its worth and then apply it to your job, that’s been quite useful,” Davis said. “And, in terms of applying to grad school, it’s huge. Not only am I interested in research and academia, I had the opportunity to do primary research and work with a supervisor and complete a thesis. That’s quite valuable.”

Davis grew up in Newfoundland and Labrador and is hoping to spend time at home in the coming years, but he’s also interested in working in Canada’s northern region, serving a remote sector of the country.