Although Amy Hoover did not start out intending to fly planes, she was hooked from the moment she stepped onto her first small aircraft. She was just out of graduate school and looking to have some adventures, and soaring through the skies certainly fit the bill. Dr. Hoover proceeded to obtain a private license in 1987 and to accept a job as a back-country air taxi pilot in Idaho in 1992. She then furthered her skills by becoming certified as a flight instructor and as a flight instructor instrument through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1992 and 1995, respectively. This propelled her positions as a back-country flying instructor at FAA seminars in Challis, Idaho, a flight instructor in Boise, Idaho, and a corporate pilot.
In 1996, Dr. Hoover was invited by friend and mentor, Lyn Clark, to join her and another flight instructor as the principal and co-owner of McCall Mountain Canyon Flying. Their goal was to promote education and safety. When Ms. Clark passed away after only a year, Dr. Hoover carried on her legacy and spent the next several years developing curriculum and training materials. Some of these are still used in local seminars.
Dr. Hoover found that she enjoyed the academic aspect of the field, so she became the director of aviation at Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon. Then, upon earning a PhD in education from Oregon State University, she advanced to the title of full professor of aviation and department chair at Central Washington University, where she remains to this day. She has also continued as the owner of Canyon Flying since 2001. This, in addition to Dr. Hoover’s writing endeavors, has allowed her to widen her reach and to connect with a greater number of students. Some of her most notable publications to date include “Long Term Effect of Concurrent Task Management Training on Single Pilot Task Prioritization Performance” in the International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies and “Prioritizing Tasks in the Cockpit: A Review of Cognitive Processing Models, Methods of Dealing with Cognitive Limitations and Training Strategies” in the Collegiate Aviation Review.
Looking to the future, Dr. Hoover is eagerly anticipating the release of “Mountain, Canyon, and Backcountry Flying.” The book is being produced by Aviation Supplies and Academics, one of the largest aviation publishers in the world, and will hit shelves in 2019. Dr. Hoover attributes her ongoing success to her mentors, Karen Lund, Jim Larken, and Dick Williams. All three were amazing individuals who influenced her perspective on just about everything. In a field where women are a large minority, Dr. Lund inspired Dr. Hoover to always do her best. She showed by example that thoughtfulness, inquisitiveness, kindness, and integrity are important to success and happiness. Dr. Hoover met Mr. Larkin shortly after receiving her pilot’s license. He was an icon in Idaho aviation and a World War II U.S. Army Air Corps pilot, and he always took time to share his expertise with others. Mr. Williams flew for the forest service and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), and collaborated with Dr. Hoover on her upcoming book. She feels he brought a lot of depth and richness to the project.
When Dr. Hoover isn’t in the air, she likes to cook, kayak, and travel.