Today we offer two interviews in one: Joe Rossini and Joe Donofrio, both Class of 1970, both from Queens, and both born to fly. In these excerpts from longer oral histories archived at the Dowling Library, you’ll hear how they took different paths but both wound up as members of Dowling’s new Aeronautics Program that started in 1968.
You’ll follow their early solo flights at Flushing airport, their tour of colleges looking for the right program and finally their experiences at Adelphi Suffolk/Dowling.
Joe Rossini spent his first few years after Dowling learning to fly jets for the Navy in Meridian, Mississippi and then stayed on to instruct other pilots. He went on to a 29-year career flying with Southern Airways before retiring in 2007.
Joe Donofrio opted for the Air Force and after his training became an instructor pilot at Williams Air Force Base near Phoeniz, Arizona. A retired Lt. Colonel and former FAA air traffic control manager, Joe now teaches in Dowling’s School of Aviation.