David Hersman stands next to his trusty Cessna 150, a familiar plane to local aviation enthusiasts. Sarah Richardson photo.
Hersman is pictured here in the plane he used for his own training, a 1959 Cessna 150 owned by Carol Gwinn.

By Sarah Richardson

For those visiting the Greenbrier Valley, or who live in the area but travel out of town frequently, the Greenbrier Valley Airport is a familiar scene. Established in 1968, GVA has proven vital to the growth and success of Lewisburg, White Sulphur Springs, and the surrounding region. Those familiar with the airport are most certainly familiar with David Hersman, who has been flying in southern West Virginia since the 1970s. He first soloed at GVA in 1977 and earned his commercial pilot’s license just six years later in 1984. May 25 of this year marks the official 35th anniversary of his career as a flight instructor.

“I always admired those old pilots that have been around a long time, but I realize now that I’m the old pilot who’s been around a long time,” Hersman joked.

Since 1984, Hersman has logged over 5,200 hours of instructional flight time, and nearly 16,500 hours of total flight time, with…

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