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16-year-old Area Flight Student Wins National Award from Air Law Institute

5/2/2014  |  Melbourne, FL

16-year-old Area Flight Student Wins National Award from Air Law Institute

Melbourne, Fla. (May 2, 2014) – When the sky’s the limit, there’s really no better place to be for a future pilot. For John Totaro, a 16-year-old student at Florida Air Academy at Melbourne International Airport (MLB), the sky has proven limitless as he received top honors at a recent San Diego Air Law Institute’s (ALI) inaugural Air & Space Law Awards Reception and Dinner, held at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in San Diego.

John Totaro, a junior, was the recipient of the ALI Inspiration Scholarship Award – Air. He is one of only two high school students in the nation to be honored by the organization in 2014.

“It was a huge honor to receive the Inspiration Scholarship Award for Air,” said Totaro. “I was totally overwhelmed at the level of support I received from the aerospace community.”

Currently, Totaro has 115 prop hours in a Piper Warrior and a Remos GX Sports Light. During his visit to San Diego, Totaro also became one of the youngest students ever to test his skills on the F35 Lightning II fighter jet simulator at Lockheed Marin.

“I’m now even more determined to follow my dream of being a test pilot,” said Totaro. “I feel very fortunate to attend Florida Air Academy – where flight is part of everyday life.”

“John Totaro’s recognition is a testament to the quality of student pilot training available at MLB,” said airport Executive Director Richard Ennis. “We salute him and his instructors at F.I.T. Aviation.”



Totaro, pictured above, became one of the youngest students ever to test his skills on the F35 Lightning II fighter jet simulator at Lockheed Marin.

About Flight Training at Florida Air Academy

Florida Air Academy, a co-ed, college prep boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12, has offered world-class flight training to its students for more than 50 years. Training aircraft are located at Melbourne International Airport (MLB) in partnership with F.I.T. Aviation, which offers a modern, full-service facility just minutes away from campus. Designed to meet the standards of the individual student, the program teaches not only the basics of aviation, but responsibility and decision-making skills as well. Experienced flight instructors possess college degrees and are fully licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. A Flight Coordinator employed by the Academy monitors each student's progress, ensuring that the highest quality and safety standards are maintained. Florida Air Academy students must be 15 1⁄2 years old to begin the Private Pilot Training Program. A Junior Wings Flight Program is also offered for students over the age of 13, but still younger than 15 1⁄2 years old. For more information, visit

About the Air Law Institute

The Air Law Institute (ALI) was formed to advance the study of air and space at the intersection of business, law, and engineering. ALI does this by partnering with centers of excellence in all three focus areas at the primary, secondary and university levels to promote and fund educational opportunities for students. ALI also provides a forum for discussion by industry leaders on the issues facing the future of Air and Space Law. The goal is to promote and provide a farm system of trained professionals ready to take on the very near and real changes expected in the next ten to twenty years while allowing current practicing experts to shape the direction the future will take.



Lori Booker, APR

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Rebecca Crisafulli

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