GFPA Flying Club Helps Young Pilot Chase His Dream

The Greater Flint Pilots Association Scholarship Program assists Nick Mermuys in gaining valuable certifications and experience towards his goal of becoming a commercial pilot.


Nick Mermuys wants to be a pilot just like his dad. That was not always the case. As a boy, Nick flew in small planes with his father. Mike Mermuys flew jets in the Air Force. After his military service, he became a commercial freight pilot and today flies corporate jets on a contract basis for a number of clients. Nick thought flying was fun, something you did with your dad. It was cool to see the sights from high above.

Young Nick Flying with His Dad

Nick loved math and science in school. He wanted to become an engineer. That goal may have been prompted by what Nick call’s “the family business.” Nick’s Great Grand Father John (Jack) Alexander worked with Fred Barton on the introduction of Bar’s Leaks. The formula developed to stop car radiator leaks. The company, founded in 1947, is located in nearby Holly, Michigan.

Nick and His Dad Mike

As some of us experience when we get a little older, dreams mixed with reality often produce differing results. Flying with his dad, Nick caught the bug. Fatherly advice about the rewards of being a pilot, both financial and the associated job satisfaction, led Nick to consider making it a career.

Mike Mermuys had a friend in the Greater Flint Pilots Association (GFPA). He encouraged Nick to talk to Mike Marvin one of the flight instructors in the flying club. Nick already had his pilots license. To take his training to the next level he needed additional certifications. However, private aviation can be very expensive. Mike Marvin suggested Nick speak to Harry Hammond about the clubs scholarship programs.

Pilot Flight Training Scholarships

The GFPA has two scholarship programs sponsored by people associated with the flying club. Both were established under a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity named Michigan Takes Flight. The Association’s Board of Directors created Michigan Takes Flight (MTF) for the express purpose of promoting the expansion of, interest in, and understanding of private flying and aviation in the greater Flint area. With a goal of offering two annual scholarships to flight training students. Carol Jones endowed the first scholarship in memory of her late husband David S. Jones.

The Jones family from nearby Byron, Michigan includes son Erik Jones who currently races on the NASCAR Cup Circuit.  The Lasco Press brought you their story in a feature article last September.

The Second MTF Pilot Scholarship

Achieving their goal of having 2 annual MTF scholarships available. The GFPA was able to do that thanks to funding by a generous donation from McClellan Aircraft. The company is located on the field at Flint Bishop Airport where the club operates. The “To Become a Pilot” Flight Training Scholarship is the program Mr. Hammond recommended Nick for.

After filling out the application it was reviewed by the GFPA board of directors. They invited Nick to an interview and voted to extend the scholarship to him. Mike Marvin became his flight instructor. Now, a year later, Nick has completed his Instrument Flight Certification and his Commercial Flight Certification.

What’s Next for Nick

Nick is well on his way to becoming a commercial pilot. He needs more air time, some he gets from flying with his dad when 2 pilots are needed. Nick does some contract work and is currently seeking a full-time pilot’s job. He is also working on his college degree as a Junior taking classes online.

Nick says, “Flight training can sometimes be a grind, but young pilots should stick with it. Gain the knowledge and experience necessary to make it a career.” He credits the GFPA with helping him earn his certifications. Nick is especially appreciative to Mr. Marvin and Mr. Hammond for the scholarship opportunity that made it possible.

Sound Interesting?

If you are a young man or young lady with a desire to learn how to fly, why not check out the possibilities. To apply for a Michigan Takes Flight scholarship contact Harry Hammond at 810-629-5181 or by email at The Greater Flint Pilots Association is located at Bishop International Airport (KFNT) in Flint, Michigan.