Kriegsman ’11 takes flight, in the cockpit and beyond

This Brandeis alumnus gets to see the university's campus – and the world – from up above.

Matthew Kriegsman '11 posing with his plane.Photo/Matthew Kriegsman

Matthew Kriegsman '11

Matthew Kriegsman ’11 has a unique view of Brandeis: from a plane he pilots himself.

The pilot from Plainview, New York, who took the past year to log more than 50 hours of flying throughout the northeast region of the United States, has also flown less than 2,000 feet above his alma mater to take aerial shots of the campus from a Cesena 172 glass cockpit Skyhawk.

Kriegsman, who earned his private pilot license just two weeks prior to entering as a first year at Brandeis, co-founded the Brandeis Aviation club with fellow alumni Brian Fromm ’11, also a private pilot, and Jonathan Berkman ’11.

Over the course of Kriegsman’s time as a Brandeis undergraduate, more than 75 students were able to complete a first flight with an approved flight instructor. While many students take time to travel abroad, Kriegsman had always wanted to take time off in order to enjoy the freedom of flying.

Flying over Brandeis in particular, holds a special place in Kriegsman’s time in the air.

“I had always wanted to try taking pictures of Brandeis from the air while I was an undergraduate,” said Kriegsman. “So I flew a direct route right over the school. It’s amazing, being in the sky, seeing how close the campus actually is to Boston.

“I hadn’t been on campus in years, so there were new buildings for me to see.”

Kriegsman has flown in light rain, beautiful sunshine, and moderate turbulence to destinations such as Albany, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and everywhere in between from his home base, Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Long Island.

Kriegsman, who last year completed a law degree and a master of laws degree in alternative dispute resolution from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, was forced to take a three and a half-year break from flying due to the demands of law school. When he finally returned to the skies, however, he was excited to discover advances in technology and navigation. In participator, the deep integration of tablets like the iPad has the ability to track global positions and condense hundreds of pages and documents into one central device.

Kriegsman is now considering melding his two main interests by breaking into the aviation sector and believes his recent short break from flying would serve him well in court or even in business and consulting. As someone who had to familiarize himself with the latest airplane technology and in-flight regulations, Kriegsman thinks he’s also capable of using his personal experience as a pilot to convey some of the nuances of flying in a courtroom setting.

"If I worked as an aviation attorney or consultant, I’d probably fly a few times per year just to stay up to date,” he said. “And, if I’m litigating I can put myself, and the jury, inside the cockpit, too.

Whichever direction Kriegsman chooses, the sky is not the limit.

Categories: Alumni, General, Student Life

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