Scott Miller Interview: "Roger That" -- Push Past Your Fears!
Diana Landau | October 26, 2021
Carl talks with Scott Miller, who landed his dream job at 56 after having many different acts—and he’s still chasing his dreams. He is currently a pilot for a major airline but is also an aviation professor, flight instructor, TV broadcaster, Tiki enthusiast, and silent business investor in the restaurant world, including, of course, a Tiki Bar. Scott is a man of many passions and his enthusiasm is infectious.
In college, Scott enrolled in the San Jose State aviation program and thought his course was set. He had intended to join the Navy to gain flight experience, but a medical issue made him change course and he then decided to become a civilian flight instructor. Although he thought that job would lead him to his ultimate goal, he discovered he really liked it. “I was shocked by how much I enjoyed teaching and being an instructor,” Scott tells us.
By 2009, Scott was also a pilot for a regional airline when the recession hit. Wanting to return back to Sacramento, he changed course again, this time teaching in a new aviation program that Sacramento City College had just launched. “I wasn’t flying, but at least I was talking and teaching about flying,” Scott says. He was nervous. He hadn’t taught a room full of 40 students before. “When the students at the end of that first semester were able to do well on the FAA tests, I knew I had done my job. I took a breath, knowing I was able to do this.”
During that time, Scott took on yet another act when a local TV station called, wanting expert advice on a recent major airplane accident. “I wasn’t nervous, because I was talking about flying!” Gigs at CNN and other stations followed. By 2015, opportunities with major airlines came calling. Even though he was a tenured professor by then, he jumped at the chance to fly again. Scott eventually became a full-time pilot for a major airline at age 56. “I thought I was completely past realizing that dream,” he reflects. Now 58, he still appears in news programs, part-time teaches aviation and flight instruction, in addition to his full-time dream job. Clearly, Scott’s drive to seek new heights keeps him going.
Scott’s (Un)retirement insights:
•“I developed a passion at a very young age. Obviously, that passion has driven a lot of the decisions I have made in life!”
•“If there’s something you truly want to do, give it a try and go for it. Make them tell you ‘No’!”
• Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.