The Individual Development Account program is a savings-match incentive program that can yield a 3-to-1 match of funds. Wallowa County native Hugh Donovan recently graduated from the program, applying his savings and match to flight instruction. NEOEDD asked Hugh Donovan about his career plans, and how the IDA program helped to make them possible.
NEOEDD: Give me the basics (how flight school works, your career goals):
Hugh: There are several different ways to earn pilot credentials in the civilian world. I'm working under 14 CFR Part 61 which allows me the flexibility I have utilized to fulfill my flight experience requirements at a variety of locations. Lane Community College offers both the fully structured curriculum and lessons on an individual basis. I schedule lessons and airplane time with my instructor, and we work through the various areas of proficiency. Provided I've completed the required written knowledge test, meet the experience requirements, and have been recommended by my instructor for a new rating--I can schedule a test with a FAA representative. I'm currently working on my commercial pilot license which I expect to complete within the next month! Once I finish that, I'm going to start working on becoming a certified flight instructor. I haven't decided exactly where I want to end up in the aviation world, but it's a good time to get into the industry. Primarily I'm thinking of bush flying, and maybe I'll go to the airlines later on.
N: You grew up in NE Oregon?
H: I grew up in Enterprise, where I have been interested in all things connected with flight from a young age. When I was two or three years old, David Lundquist flew over our house out on Zumwalt with his ultralight, and I remember thinking, "I want to do that!" I got the Microsoft Flight Simulator for Christmas one year from my dad when I was around 10 years old. I started taking flying lessons from Joe Spence when I was 15. I mowed lawns to earn money to buy, build, and fly model airplanes. My enthusiasm for flying eventually helped me get a job at the local hobby shop, where I could apply my passion and be around people who were also passionate about aviation. I've worked a variety of jobs since, but my goal has always been to fly.
N: Why did the IDA program appeal to you?
H: It allowed me to multiply my savings, and I was able to fund all of my airplane instrument training through the IDA program. It really took the stress out of getting back into flight training and will have helped me get to a point where I can work as a professional pilot without having to go into debt! The program gave me the confidence and momentum I needed to start an intimidating project.
N: Did NEOEDD staff do a good job of ushering you through the program?
H: Yes! Whenever I wasn't sure what to do about paperwork or arranging payments, it was easy to sort out with a quick phone call.
N: Would you recommend this program to people? Why?
H: Yes, I recommend the IDA program to anyone who might be eligible and wants to fund one of their ambitions. There is no risk involved and the payoff is huge! Additionally, it's another way to connect with people who will support you or help you find the support you need to do the things you want to do.
If you are interested in the IDA program, visit our website
for more information, and then contact Lisa, Sara, or Kristy at the NEOEDD office.