A Survivor's Story of Unbelievable Perseverance - External Relations
A Survivor's Story of Unbelievable Perseverance
May 18, 2020
INDIANAPOLIS - Todd Bouslog suffered 13 broken bones in a traumatic
helicopter crash in 1997 when he was in the military that led to
a three-month hospital stay and nine more in physical therapy.
However, like a true Trailblazer, his perseverance displays
inspiration and courage.
Bouslog is a Vincennes University Aviation Flight major who loves
flying. He's following his dream of becoming a certified flight
instructor and is loving every moment of it.
Todd Bouslog, VU Student
For 20 years, Bouslog, who lives in Noblesville, Indiana, didn’t
pilot an aircraft. He took up flying again in the summer of 2015 as a
hobby before deciding to choose aviation as his next possible career.
“There’s a quote from Leonard DaVinci and it says, ‘Once you have
tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned
skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.’
“Getting back into flying...that quote kind of hit me.”
VU offers degree programs in Aviation Flight and Aviation Maintenance
at VU’s Aviation Technology Center located near the
Indianapolis International Airport. Aviation students learn to fly at
the Eagle Creek Airpark in Indianapolis, just a few miles north of the ATC.
Sean MacDermott, VU Instructor
“Todd is representative of a certain subset of students who join our
program to change their lives; students who realize they haven't
achieved their dreams yet and are willing to make a huge lifestyle
change in order to chase those dreams,” VU Aviation Flight Technology
Assistant Chief Instrument Flight Instructor Sean MacDermott said.
“Todd and other students like him seem to have a better understanding
of what’s at stake. They tend to study harder and take the program
more seriously. Todd specifically is great to be around. He's a good
storyteller, very personable, and safety-oriented. Three key skills
for a flight instructor."
This is Bouslog’s second time around as a VU student.
He studied Drafting Architecture and graduated from the Vincennes
campus in 1989. He also earned his private pilot’s certification from
VU when the Aviation Flight program was based at the
After graduating from VU, he was a tank platoon leader for the Army,
then attended Army Flight School and became a helicopter pilot where
he earned his commercial and instrument ratings in the helicopter.
Following the helicopter crash that was caused by catastrophic engine
failure, Bouslog was employed as a traveling construction
superintendent, building apartments and strip malls, and worked home
construction in the Indianapolis area. After a while, his heart just
wasn’t in it.
Yet, his passion for aviation burned hot.
“I always thought about flying,” he said. “I almost thought about it
daily. Once it’s a part of you, it’s always a part of you.”
Bouslog had several options to choose from when it came to pursuing
his dream of being a flight instructor. He considered a four-year
university and also thought about flying with an instructor at a local airport.
“Vincennes University is able to accelerate the courses in two years
and I wanted a program where I could sit down in a classroom with
other students,” he said. “At a local airport, you go fly with an
instructor, then you come back home. That’s it. There’s no sitting
around and talking with other students. Being able to get into small
learning groups is a huge help in aviation. Studying with your peers
is a very huge way of excelling through the program.”
His time in the program is nearly complete and he’s preparing to
“The experiences I’ve had this last year is something I wouldn’t
trade,” Bouslog said. “I’ve reconnected with people who have a similar
interest. There is probably a 30 or 35-year age difference between me
and my fellow students, and I don’t think they see that. They see Todd
has some experiences, but we’re just hanging out at the airport and
having a good time.”
He plans to pass along his love of flying and knowledge to
“When I flew back in the day, I always enjoyed it,” Bouslog said.
“Whether if it was a good flight or a rough flight. No matter what
type of flight, I just enjoyed flying. I want to share a love of
flying. I want to give back my enjoyment and teach others how to fly.
It’s a personal reward to know that a student has gone on to do what
they want to do.”
Bouslog is well respected and well-liked by his fellow students and
others in VU’s Aviation Flight program.
“I'm very glad Todd made the decision to get back into aviation. I'm
excited to watch him grow as a flight instructor in our program. The
experiences he's had will be a great asset in shaping the students he
will train,” MacDermott said.