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Fly Higher: Dream Career Started at Huntingburg Airport

Earlier this week, Dutchman Colin Smith was in Seymour, Indiana as the new Seymour airport manager.
The double major (Aviation Management & Unmanned Systems) graduate of Indiana State University is fulfilling his dreams of working in the aviation industry. The double major (Aviation Management & Unmanned Systems) graduate of Indiana State University is fulfilling his dreams of working in the aviation industry. An Indiana University graduate with a dual major in Aviation Management and Unmanned Systems is pursuing his dream of working in the aviation industry. A graduate of Indiana State University with a dual major (Aviation Management and Unmanned Systems) is pursuing his dream of working in the aviation industry. He credits his internship at Huntingburg Regional Airport last summer, working hand in hand with airport staff to get where he is now.
“They did their best,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t think I will be who I am. The internship experience is key and the culmination of my education for this job.”
Smith applied for a mentor/internship program in April 2022 to experience the day-to-day operation of an airport and gain hands-on practical knowledge. Huntingburg also has a CTE (vocational technical education) STEM program partnership through the Patoka Valley Career and Technical Cooperative, where local students can participate in internships designed to familiarize candidates with career opportunities in aviation.
“Smith does everything we do here, including the little things that college graduates neglect, like cleaning toilets, trimming and mowing lawns,” advises Huntingburg manager Travis McQueen. “He has shown progressive leadership in doing this job, and by applying his newfound experience and skills, he responded individually to a malfunctioning aircraft at another airport (Orange County) helping it again!”
Through internship experience and advice from INDOT managers Martin Blake and McQueen, Smith was hired by the Seymour Airport Authority as the new Jackson County Seymour Airport Manager. He began his new role on Wednesday, October 26th.
“You can take what you learned in college and forget about it now; that’s how it’s done,” said Andy Kippenbrock, an airport employee with 19 years of experience who has led Smith Experienced’s various training activities at the airport.
The opportunity to help someone develop a passion for aviation and pursue their dream job validates the internship/mentorship programs offered by the Huntingburg area through their local partners.
“Smith oversaw every aspect of general aviation airport management during his summer job, and the excitement opened up an excellent career path for Huntingburg,” said Jim Hunsiker, Dubois Airport Authority Chairman of the Board.
Seymour Airport (KSER/SER) was built in 1942 as a World War II military air base, and in 1947 the facility was taken over by the city of Seymour. Freeman Airport has an economic impact of $5,478,000 today according to a 2022 INDOT study. Freeman Field is self-sustaining with a complex of industrial parks, farmland and an airport with two runways over 6,001 feet and 5,502 feet respectively. SER is a general aviation (GA) airport located south of Seymour in southern Indiana. The airport supports daily GA entertainment flights as well as corporate and business flights. Other activities of the SER include flight training and education, police and law enforcement, aerial advertising, traffic and news coverage, and occasional military operations. The airport has a large open apron, and the airport has numerous box and T-shaped hangars. Several businesses and aviation clubs have premises on site, including agricultural applications clubs and soaring clubs. Nearly equidistant from Indianapolis and Louisville, and less than 100 miles from Cincinnati, the SER provides a central location for access to major Midwestern cities as well as southern Indiana.
Huntingburg Regional Airport (KHNB/HNB) was established in 1937 to serve the needs of the regional industrial base, including: Kimball International, MasterBrand Cabinets, Fortune Brands, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Best Home Furnishings, OFS Brands, Dubois County Flight Services, Mann. Enterprises and HNB Angar LLC.
HNB is a general aviation (GA) airport located 3 miles south of Huntingburg, Indiana. The airport serves a GA audience with a focus on corporate and business air travel. Local businesses rely on airports to conduct business, airlift executives or other personnel to the area, and quickly transport goods and products across the state and country. This level of business dependency supports jobs in the region and boosts economic activity in the region. HNB has several local business tenants, including aircraft rental services and fixed base operators (FBOs) providing aircraft services, charter, leasing and more. The airport is supported by the local government, which understands its importance to society and the local supply chain. In addition to business activities, the airport also hosts daily recreational flights and flight training. With the airport’s proximity to State Route 64 (SR-64), US Highway 231 (US 231), and Interstate 64 (I-64), HNB and its Aerospace Science Park provide an ideal location for airlines, pilots, and passengers . enter southern Indiana.
Colin is doing well in both athletics at Southridge and his studies at ISU. I know he will continue to do great things in his life! He has and will continue to make the Smith family proud.
Ken Smith has said it all! This old grandfather is proud of all our children and grandchildren. Go, Colin, the moon isn’t that far away!

Post time: Nov-01-2022