About Us

Our History

The Buckeye Tigers A.C.E. (Aerospace Career Education) is a youth aviation program focused on exposing young adults in middle and high school to various aviation career fields in the Columbus and greater Central Ohio region. Started in 2008 by a group of aviation professionals and community volunteers, this summer program visits aviation related venues and organizations that are involved in airline operations, corporate and general aviation, and military aviation. Our students are exposed to career fields such as pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft mechanics, airport administration, aerospace engineers, military operations, and flight simulation to name a few. Our young adults also experience actual flight in a real single engine airplane as the culminating event of the program.

Our Team



Andrew is a founding team member of the Buckeye Tigers aviation program which launched in Columbus Ohio in 2008. Andrew is an aviation professional with over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry including flight education, general, corporate, airline, and military aviation operations. Andrew currently serves as a First Officer for a major US airline and is a member of the United States Air Force Reserves.


Eric Haynesworth has been volunteering with the ACE Academy for the past decade. Over the years, he has been a camp team leader and has recently begun capturing camp activities as a photographer and providing other forms of background support. Eric has had a passion for aviation since childhood, worked in general aviation as a contract pilot, and currently works in the public utilities sector.


Michael A.

Michael Milton is a Columbus, Ohio Native. He joined the Buckeye Tigers in 2008. Michael graduated from the Ohio State University and is a Delta Airlines Captain on the Airbus 320 out of Detroit, Michigan. Michael is responsible for the ACE camp photos, videos and is our camp treasurer.

John C.

John C. Mitchell is the son of an original Tuskegee Airmen and a founding team member of the Buckeye Tigers ACE Academy. He is the past President of the Ohio Memorial Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., and a retired Airline Captain with over forty years of flying experience.


Jerome Willis is a founding team member of the Buckeye Tigers ACE Academy. He is a graduate of West Virginia State University and has been a licensed Commercial Pilot for over 30 years. He began his flying career with Wheeler Airlines flying passengers and later cargo all over the United States. In addition to his flying experience, Jerome has worked with and coordinated various youth programs while mentoring and teaching life skills to those in the community, and has been recognized by the community through various awards for his dedication over the last 30 years.

Our Volunteers


Our multi-generational group of volunteers are an integral part of our ACE Academy, and our program would not be successful without their assistance since its inception in 2008. Drawing from years of experience, our volunteers are teachers, nurses, insurance agents, active and retired pilots, and mechanics, and provide a wealth of life and operational experience to share with our students.

What We Offer!

Aviation Career Exposure

On Day 1, students become acquainted with the academy, staff, and classmates and are also introduced to the basic science of flight and various careers in the aviation industry.

Aviation History + Today

The students visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force located in Dayton, OH. They also visit the John Glen International Airport where they will experience full-motion flight simulation training.

A Flight Experience

Students will have the opportunity to experience actual flight at the controls of a small single-engine airplane with a certified flight instructor at a local general aviation airfield in Columbus.

Students In Action

For More Photos, Check out Our Media Page