Benjamin Samples graduated from WVU with BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, he enlisted as a paratrooper and airborne communications specialist with the Army’s 19thSFG(A). He later employed with Caterpillar as a Six Sigma Black Belt/Master Black Belt, reporting to the executive committee and leading company-wide projects in communications, inventory, operations, and purchasing. Concurrently, he secured his commercial airplane certificate and completed an MS degree in the Quality Management of Air Transport Systems and Engineering Technologies at MSU. Over the next few years, he continued in engineering and management consult work, primarily facilitating chemical plant operations and natural gas extraction projects with companies such as DOW Chemical, CDI, Caterpillar, and others.
Later, Samples transplanted to Seattle where he completed a second MS degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering with the University of Washington, studying information design, embodied interactions, and data visualization. He taught design courses and also developed a new mapping concept called a geo-temporal cartogram.
More recently, Samples secured his Helicopter ATP and Instructor certificates with Palm Beach Helicopters and his advanced fixed-wing flight instructor ratings with Lynn University. He then organized the rotor wing program at Lynn University and now serves as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Helicopter Operations at the Burton D. Morgan College of Aeronautics. Samples also provides tailwheel instruction in airplanes and advanced helicopter training in longline and night vision goggle operations.
AS Aeronautical Science, Palm Beach State College
BS Mechanical Engineering, West Virginia University
BS Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University
MS Quality Management, Mountain State University
MS Human Centered Design and Engineering, University of Washington
In the air, Samples approaches aviation with a “stick-and-rudder” mentality, educating students to fly with sight-pictures and to become acquainted with their aircraft’s capabilities. In the classroom, he builds up aviation knowledge from a regulatory foundation with a very objective, positivistic approach, encouraging students to know “why” something is right, not just that it “is” right.
Awards and honors
- Valedictorian, SCHS
- ATP Helicopter, Commercial Airplane Single and Multiengine
- CFI/CFII Helicopter (SFAR73, NVG) and Airplane Single and Multiengine
- CAT Black Belt/Master Black Belt
- CSCS, NSCA-CPT, National Strength and Conditioning Association
- Patch Aero, Co-Founder