Carl A. Bandy, Sr. – People to Watch in ’23
President and Founder of 4 States Youth Flyers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
For over 50 years, Carl A. Bandy Sr. has been using aviation for business and personal pleasure. Then, in August 2021, he felt this strong impression that he was supposed to start a non-profit organization to provide free discovery flights for youth 8-18 to expose them to the joy of flying and career opportunities. Five weeks later, 4 States Flyers was incorporated. They received their IRS 501(c)(3) approval in five weeks. “In the future, I would love for 4 States Youth Flyers to obtain sustainability and acquire another airplane or two for flight training,” Carl says. “I would also love to obtain my Certified Flight Instructor and Instrument Instructor ratings and teach youth and adults how to fly. I hope to obtain the money and accomplish both certificates during the summer of 2023. I am a teacher at heart and want to introduce/expose youth to the joys and opportunities in aviation.”
Flying is not Carl’s full-time job. Actually, his desire to inspire and support youth comes from his years in education. Carl is currently a sixth-grade science teacher at Texas Middle School. “I had a successful career in medical equipment sales, management and ownership, but my wife always encouraged me to become a teacher. My father was a high school teacher, but I had no desire to follow in his footsteps, though I admired him and what he was doing,” Carl says. “I was asked to substitute for a teacher at a parochial high school that needed to take a trip. I had a chemistry, physics, and biology background. I ran my own medical sales/service business, so I could take the time to substitute. The students and staff were a joy to work with. I was asked to take the high school teaching position during the summer. Turns out the science teacher had gone to interview for a similar job in Oregon, which was his home state, and that created the open science position; the rest is history.”
Though he has a lot to be proud of, Carl counts his marriage of 51 years to his wife, Linda, as his top accomplishment. “Linda and I also have three adult children: Carl II, an account manager for Microsoft; Michelle, a physician; and her twin, Miguel, a funeral director/mortician,” Carl says.
Carl is also proud to have a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine and instrument ratings and that he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working full-time and being a husband and a father. “In addition, I have served on a hospital board for eleven years and two years on a health system board. I ran for school board and served for four years. I am an ordained elder in my church and have been since 1980. I served 11 years as a Volunteer Chaplain at Great Lakes Naval Recruit Training Command,” Carl says. “Also, 4 States Youth Flyers has flown over 200 youth since we started in October 2021. In addition to myself flying as a volunteer pilot, we have two additional volunteer pilots.”
Carl says that his faith is what drives and inspires him daily. “I am a Bible believer. My wife and I have morning worship and prayer before we get out of bed each morning and prior to going to sleep at night,” Carl says. “Also, my motto is, ‘Learning is fun!’ I make it a point to learn something new each and every day, be it Biblical, aviation, news, science, or technology.”
Carl always sets new goals for himself, regardless of the future. “As a teacher, I get excited when I assist a student in achieving a difficult task and when I see the light bulb go on in their eyes,” Carl says. “I want to be remembered as someone who cared about my students and wanted to see them be the best they could be.”
● I am passionate about becoming the best Christian I can be and passionate about flying.
● I am involved in the Texarkana community as President of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), President and Founder of 4 States Youth Flyers, a science teacher at TMS, and an active member of my local church.
● My comfort food is blue corn chips, peanuts, a soft drink, and M&Ms with peanuts.
● Most people don’t know that I sing and play the piano.
● My hype song is “Sweet Home Alabama” by Alabama. I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. If you gave me two choices of favorite songs, “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers would have been my second. They parked their airplane at Chino Airport in California, where I had my airplane.
● One thing on my bucket list is to fly turbines and jet aircraft.
Additional media highlights
TV & Newspaper: https://kicks105.com/kids-can-fly-for-free-at-the-nacogdoches-airport-june-8-10/
TV & Newspaper: https://www.kltv.com/2022/06/10/pilot-introduces-east-texas-children-air-travel/
TV & Newspaper: https://www.dequeenbee.com/news/local-teens-learn-about-planes-and-air-flight-at-county-airport/article_dca63c0c-61bc-11ec-a485-1ffbe14cb911.html