I have been flying airplanes now since 1984, and this has developed into a way of life. Throughout this time, I have just about tried all that civil aviation has to offer. Landplanes, Floatplanes, Bush Flying, Small Airline flying, Flight Instructing, all over the span of 40 years. Of all the aviation that I have experienced, Flight Education has been my focus. “But I thought you were a pilot sir” and so did I. It started out that way as a pilot, however, early on, as I built flying experience things changed.
I became a teacher of aviation, as a pilot. My expertise now is in the world of Aviation Education. I suppose this is not unusual for many in the education industry. One learns as a technician, how to do some skill; or trade. You learn the skills of a Computer IT technician, Machinist, Dentist, in order to learn how to do the work. Starting somewhere and then becoming so good at that something, that eventually you end up helping others do or become that very thing. I enjoyed airplanes, plain and simple. All the aspects, from building model airplanes to fixing real airplanes to flying real airplanes and eventually teaching people to fly airplanes. At this stage of my life, as a professional flight instructor, I now teach people how to do the work of a professional flight instructor.
75 percent of my whole life as a pilot I have educated people to fly airplanes and learn aviation. In the early years, I read everything I could about airplanes. Others around me thought that I was diverted, distracted, from more important duties in life, like College, University, and normal society programming. I always went against the grain. My grades were low, math and science were challenging, and reading and writing were always a challenge. I could not satisfy others in my traditional education.
In my out-of-school life, I built model airplanes, flew model airplanes, crashed model airplanes. So at age 20, I joined the air force and now I was with liked minded people, learning about real airplanes, that were associated with real pilots. Shortly I began to learn to fly real airplanes.
At this stage becoming a flight instructor was baked in my cake. I learned the language of aviation since 9 years old, to the point that when I received my first job as a professional flight instructor I had 14 years of aviation study and apprenticeship. Teaching aviation became my path, a path that I had not foreseen.
For a long time, I thought that I was still a pilot.
Later I was employed as a civilian flight instructor in a military training institution and at that point, I finally realized that I was hired not just because I could fly, the whole gang in the office where I worked were good flyers, but that I could teach flying. So it went on for another 27 years teaching the skill and education of aviation.
Now as I move into the 39th year of being a professional aviation educator, I look back and understand that I am a different kind of professional than I had set out to be. I was a black sheep that turned white. So now at this stage, I am looking forward to the future of aviation and hope that young pilots can entertain the thought of being a professional pilot educators.
I have in all the years never been unemployed…