Faculty Spotlight - Eric Himler

Eric Himler had a lustrous 25-year career in general, military and commercial aviation. He flew over 700 combat hours and served as the commanding officer of the Marine Corps training unit for KC-130 pilots. He is also a former Blue Angel C-130 Demonstration Pilot where he would participate in airshows and the impressive C-130 JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) maneuver, taking off at a 45-degree angle subjecting him to over two G’s of force.

Blue Angels C-130 Plane
Aims' Director of Aviation, Eric Himler, piloted the Blue Angels C-130, performing the JATO maneuver.

After retiring from the United States Marine Corps as both a Naval Aviator and Lieutenant Colonel, Himler went on to fly Boeing 737s for Alaska Airlines, where he went on to accumulate more than 3,000 flight hours, most in complex, multi-engine turbine aircraft. 

Himler has numerous FAA certifications and ratings including Airline Transport Pilot, the highest-level certificate and now he brings his one-of-a-kind expertise to the students of Aims.  Himler became the Director of the Aviation program in the fall of 2016 and came in hungry to grow the program.

Himler has brought an exciting dynamic to Aims and he has helped get new technology on campus to help students learn in real-world scenarios. From a new fleet of training aircraft featuring the same avionics found in large commercial aircraft, to new simulators for both the pilot and air traffic controller programs, it is safe to say that Himler believes in a strong hands-on learning experience.

Growing the program’s technology is just one part of Himler’s repertoire.  The program is buzzing with positive energy. Whether you are on Aim’s Greeley campus or over at their facility at the Greeley-Weld County Airport, there is a high level of excitement for the program and the students. Himler enjoys meeting with prospective students, helping them make the best decision for them as well as being part of students blossoming into pilots and air traffic controllers. 

“There is no bigger rush than a student’s first solo-flight. I love sharing that big moment in a new pilot’s career and offering encouragement to the students who will soon follow,” Himler said. “It’s a dynamic I never thought my career could turn into as a young recruit in the military, but I am sure glad I am here and get to fly with these talented students and help guide them with all the skills I have learned over the past two decades.”

Eric Himler walking by jet
Eric Himler inspects a C-130 during his days as a Navy Blue Angel pilot.

Aims is thrilled to have such a decorated and experienced aviator leading the only collegiate FAA approved Part 141 fixed-wing flight school east of the Rockies in Colorado. Himler’s passion for teaching new pilots with the latest technology is sure to lead Aims down a path to further success.