WEST LAFAYETTE -- From the time he was old enough to drive a tractor, Tim Markley was a farm boy. Little did his parents know that one day he would be flying the deep, blue skies.
His parents Dan and June Markley still recall the day that young Markley announced his interest in taking flying lessons. His Dad said the family had always farmed the land they owned since they purchased the farm in 1960, and that all of the children worked the farm, and were 4-H and FFA members all through school, so naturally they figured Tim would probably stay around and continue farming.
Then one day when Tim was still in high school, he announced his plan to take flying lessons. His Dad said at that time, the money was scarce and basically earmarked for other needs, mainly college funds that some of the older siblings were already needing by that time. Tim then decided he would take on several jobs to raise the money he needed. His Dad said Tim actually had four jobs at once. He said once Tim had the money he needed, he started taking flying lessons with local flying instructor, Clyde Zimmer.
He said one of the early lessons involved Tim learning to navigate his way from Washington, Pa., to Plainfield, Ohio, by use of radio frequencies (on a regular AM-FM radio). He said Tim succeeded with no problem. At this time, Tim was 16 years old. He eventually obtained his private pilot license before he graduated from high school (Ridgewood High School, Class of 1983).
Tim's Dad said he was surprised at first about Tim's decision, but said he had little worry as he knew Tim could succeed at just about anything as he always had a special way of going above and beyond (no pun intended!) with whatever he set his mind to doing. While the Markley family had no pilots in the family, Tim's grandfather, Eugene Markley, used to fly remote-radio model planes for a hobby, something that caught Tim's interest at a young age.
Tim later attended Ohio University, obtaining his Bachelor's degree in computer science. He also received an Associate's degree in aviation technology and obtained his commercial license as well as necessary flight certification. Following his graduation, he stayed on at Ohio University as a flight instructor.
Tim later left Ohio University for Vero Beach, Fla., where he worked as an instructor at Flight Safety International. During his first year at FSI, he met and married, Kelly Woods, who was also a flight instructor, and came from an aviation family. Her father was a surgeon and worked as a pilot and ground school medical educator for Executive Jet Aviation (later known as Net Jets). He later landed a job position with the same company. Tim and his wife later moved to Columbus where Markley served as a first officer until 1995 when he was named Chief Pilot of the entire Net Jets fleet.
In 1999, he was named Director of Operations for Net Jets. His duties included evolving logistics needed for ramp space, updating computer systems, coordinating catering and ground transportation, and finding qualified pilots.
In 2005, Tim returned to piloting, and entered a Master's degree program for Positive Organizational Development and Change Strategy at Case Western Reserve University at Cleveland.
After 25 years, he has flown thousands of miles and seen many changes in aviation since the 1980s.
He is currently featured in the Summer 2013 edition of Net Jets magazine.
He resides in Sunbury with his wife and two daughters, Kendall and Kate.