Gift Honors Former Flight Instructor Michael Demchak

MELBOURNE, FLA. – Florida Tech Board of Trustees member Bobbie Dyer has made a $50,000 commitment and established provisions in her estate for a permanent endowment for Florida Tech to name a College of Aeronautics classroom in honor of Michael Demchak, a former associate professor and flight instructor at Florida Tech. Her gift will also support Counseling and Psychological Services to ensure resources are available to assist and educate students about mental health.

Demchak died in 1996 at the age of 58 in a plane crash in Lake Washington.

Michael Demchak was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force when he was 18-years-old. During his Air Force career, Demchak earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree from Ball State University, and qualified for Air Force pilot training where he flew the F-4 Phantom and the OV-10 Bronco.  He flew the Bronco in Vietnam, where he was an Airborne Forward Air Controller.

Demchak arrived in Brevard County in 1978 from Soesterberg Air Force Base in the Netherlands for his final Air Force tour as a Bronco instructor at Patrick Space Force Base, before retiring from the Air Force in 1981 after 26 years of service. Demchak became an associate professor and flight instructor at Florida Tech, where over the course of his tenure he taught hundreds of students to fly. He also served as faculty advisor for Alpha Eta Rho and The FIT Falcons Flight Demonstration Team. Furthermore, Demchak was a member of the Quiet Birds, the Civil Air Patrol, and the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association.

“He probably enjoyed flying more than anything else,” said Larry Wilder, a friend and co-worker. “He was just a professional who put 100 percent into the job.”

In addition to his love of flying, Demchak he was an avid bowler and former president of the Men’s Bowling Association and vice president of the Southeast Bowling Association. Demchak and his wife, Rose Demchak, had two sons, Thomas and Christopher, both Florida Tech alumni.

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