Ryan Oltman


Ryan Oltman's passion for aviation began as a child growing up in western Colorado where his relatives owned a crop-dusting operation. Flying lessons began early and coincided with his father obtaining his pilot's license. Ryan soloed when he was 16 and obtained his PPL at 17.  Aviation remained at the core of Ryan’s ambitions as he earned degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois. During this time, Ryan also participated on the university's National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) competition flight team, qualifying for the national competition every year, and winning Top Pilot for Region VIII in 1995. 

After college, Ryan began his career in flight simulation, initially working flight test, simulator development, and certification programs for small GA aircraft through light jets, earning just enough income to purchase a share of a 1964 Piper Cherokee 180. Shortly after, Ryan moved to Texas and transitioned to the defense industry. Still working in simulation, his new position required a weekly commute between Lubbock and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, which he made using a 1989 Bellanca Viking. 

In 2007, Ryan and his wife, Kathy, relocated to Williamsburg, Virginia when he took a position with Bihrle Applied Research supporting Level D full flight simulator certifications. Looking to upgrade from the Bellanca Viking, Ryan joined PMOPA in 2015 and just one year later, he and Kathy purchased their 1988 Piper Malibu. 

Ryan was elected to the PMOPA Board in 2018 and in the fall of 2019, he was elected President of PMOPA, a role he filled until fall of 2022 when he transitioned to Past President. Ryan is now Vice President of Bihrle Applied Research and continues to work almost exclusively on Level D full flight simulators, focusing on flight-testing, system and subsystem model development and international certification.  He and Kathy remain in Williamsburg and are based at KJGG.