Avionics News July 2019 - 59

Andy Osantowske
and his wife, Katie,
have four children.

newly-outsourced flight service station program and was
sent to Arizona for a few months for training, and then
to Fort Worth as the first duty station. In his eight years
there, he was an ATC specialist, front-line manager, and
a quality assurance engineer.
Osantowske's entry into unmanned systems occurred
in late 2014 when he was not selected for a test flight
dispatcher position on the F-35 program in southern
Maryland. When he learned it was a colleague who
was offered and accepted the position, he went to the
operations floor to congratulate him. "Obviously, I was
disappointed and telling him congrats was hard to do,
but he mentioned this unmanned systems degree that
was just starting at Embry-Riddle. Almost every thought
of not getting that job vanished on the spot. I went home
and looked at the program and was enrolled that night. I
was all in." 	
Shortly after starting the master's degree program
in unmanned systems at Embry-Riddle, the national
quality assurance director approached Osantowske with
an opportunity to transfer to the Washington, D.C.,
area flight service station. This transfer was initially
discussed as a few months from then, but the next
morning it had changed to an immediate need.

"I saw a lot of opportunities for someone like me with
a background in policies and procedures and interpreting
and working through gray areas that arise in an
emerging industry," Osantowske said. "All of that work
was in Washington, D.C., not northern Texas."
But the reporting date was just two weeks away.
When Osantowske called his wife immediately after
receiving the news, he told her they were moving.
"I have to give Katie all the credit in the world," he
said. "My career could not have been possible without
her support."
He had moved within the week while his wife packed
up the house - all this with three kids under the age of 5.
While the new flight service position worked out
well, about a year later he was offered a position with a
small consulting company as a contractor to the Federal
Aviation Administration.
"The company needed somebody with experience with
drones, and, at that time - this was 2016 - not many
people had professional experience," he said.
Osantowske was brought on board as an unmanned
aircraft systems expert to the FAA's air traffic
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Avionics News July 2019

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