Josh started his aviation career in 2001 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. After working as an Air Traffic Controller and becoming a flight instructor, he now owns Queen City Flying Service.
The original Queen City Flying Service was a school which operated at Lunken and Middletown from the mid-1920s until 1971. It was owned by George “Pappy” Wedekind, Sr from 1932 to 1961.
Pappy was a WWI pilot and mechanic who performed as a barnstormer after the war and eventually became the airport manager at Middletown and Lunken airports. QCFS provided the flight portion for Miami University’s civilian pilot training program sponsored by the US Navy prior to WWII. The founder of FlightSafety International was an instructor at QCFS in the ‘40s before moving on to Pan Am and then eventually FSI.
Starting a School
Lead instructor Josh Hunter started his aviation career in 2001 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Josh graduated in 2004 from the Aerospace Studies program, covering the fields of professional flying, meteorology, safety science, and Air Traffic Control. In 2006, Josh started working for the Federal Aviation Administration in ATC, spending over three years at Washington Center in Leesburg, Virginia and almost two years at Mobile Tower/Approach Control in Mobile, Alabama. Josh became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) in 2007 and taught students part-time while working in ATC.
At the end of 2011, Josh left the FAA to pursue teaching and contract flying full-time. One of Josh’s clients was Skywarrior Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida, where he taught Navy ensigns and Marine lieutenants in the Introductory Flying Syllabus program, a screening process for Naval Aviator hopefuls. Josh also taught in various models of Light Sport Airplanes (LSA), expanding his experience beyond the typical training airplanes. In 2013, Josh earned the CFI Instrument (CFI-I) certificate, which, combined with his ATC experience, made him a specialist in Instrument Flight Rules procedures and radio communications.
After a short stint as the Chief Flight Instructor of a school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Josh and his wife moved to Cincinnati to take care of her mother. He continued to teach and landed a job in Indianapolis flying a Cirrus SR-22T, through which he earned the Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP) designation. He then moved on to Piedmont Airlines, a regional subsidiary of American Airlines. Josh spent two years flying the deHavilland DHC-8 “Dash 8” turboprop and then another two years on the Embraer 145 regional jet, including over a year as a Captain on the ERJ. In May 2020, he started flying a Hawker 800XP for an air charter company out of Lunken Field, a position which afforded him time to resume his passion for teaching.
Finding a Location
Cincinnati Municipal Airport, better known as Lunken Field, FAA identifier LUK, is one of the oldest and most historic airports in the country. The Embry-Riddle Company was started here, which went on to become Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A forerunner of American Airlines operated from Lunken, pioneering the scheduled airline service industry. The original Queen City Flying Service provided training, maintenance, and airport management not only at LUK, but also at Middletown, Ohio’s Hook Field, another early and historic airport. Even with the opening of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in Covington, Kentucky, LUK has remained a vibrant airport, serving multiple flight schools, maintenance services, corporate flight departments, and personal aviation customers, and it still has scheduled airline service via Ultimate Air Shuttle.
Waypoint Aviation is the host facility for QCFS. Waypoint is the newest terminal at LUK, with a beautiful lobby, private office space and conference room, on-site maintenance, and a meticulously clean hangar. Queen City is proud to offer a flight training environment unlike the typical school experience of dingy classrooms, cluttered hangars, and rundown equipment. Our instructors are flight training professionals with real-world experience, not time-builders looking to bail out at the first opportunity. Every client is an individual with specific needs and desires, not a number to be pushed through as quickly as possible.
In lieu of mandating a specific groundschool program, our instructors work with each client to select a training package which best meets the client’s need and learning style. Various providers such as Gleim Aviation, Sporty’s Academy, King Schools, M0A, and others all teach the same information, but offer different styles and formats. The instructor’s first job is to determine which program will most benefit the new pilot.
Queen City Flying Service offers the FAA Private Pilot certification and the Instrument Airplane rating using the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, the most popular training airplane in the industry. Eventually, we hope to use other aircraft types such as the Piper Cherokee, Diamond Star, and Cirrus SR-20/22 for fans of low-wing airplanes. We also plan to expand into Sport Pilot training for recreational flying, Commercial Pilot for those looking to increase their skills, and Flight Instructor for people with a desire to teach others how to fly.
QCFS instructors are also available for training and pilot services in client-provided airplanes. For customers looking to buy their own airplane, we recommend our friends at Lone Mountain Aircraft or Steel Aviation. Both companies are local to southwest Ohio and are experts in pre-owned aircraft sales and financing. Our hosts at Waypoint Aviation have years of aircraft management experience and a first-class hangar for storage. Maintenance services are provided by Airtech, Waypoint’s sister company.