His social media pages are plastered with praise for the Wright Brothers, and inspirational quotes such as Mandela's "Everything seems impossible until it is done" and Thomas Edison's “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” punctuate pictures of his own attempts at aviation.
Suffice to say, Asmelash Zerefu is a man with great belief. The 35-year old Ethiopian has suffered countless setbacks in his mission to become a pilot, and despite still never having even set foot on a plane - let alone fly one - the amateur aircraft builder refuses to give up on his dream.
Fifteen years ago, Zerefu decided to leave the world of academia behind in order to pursue his passion of flight - despite scoring a GPA (grade point average) of 3.8 out of 4.0 at high school, and being accepted onto university courses for both Public Health and Civil Engineering.
The prospective pilot planned to leave the Alemaya University campus to join the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy, but encountered his first major setback when the Dire Dawa branch of the aviation school refused to let him enrol. "I was turned down," Zerefu tells me. "I did not meet the height requirement. I was just one centimetre short."
A heavy blow to Zerefu's dreams of flying, many men would have been deterred for good after such a rejection. But not Asmelash.