Posted by Literary Titan
Becoming a CFI provides readers with practical guidance that will help them be a better flight instructor. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I started writing this book in 2007 when I realized as an already experienced flight instructor that many, if not most, flight instructors don’t know the basics of education. Teaching is not about the knowledge that you have but about the ability to pass it along to someone else. And pass it along in a way that another person will understand and be motivated to acquire more knowledge on that subject. Education was and is a passion of mine for my entire life. It also runs in my family. Both of my parents were academic teachers; my grandparents were teachers. My great grandfather was a teacher.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about flight instructors?
The problem is that our system of developing young professional pilots forces them to do something many of them are not interested in doing—being instructors. To accomplish their ambitions to be an airline pilot, they have to “survive” until their “time-building punishment” is over. Most CFI candidates think that teaching is easy, and it is the way for them to quickly build hours in the air. In reality, it is an exceedingly complex and challenging task. The flight instructor position is probably the most essential certificate in aviation. Your action in the form of your signature in the student’s logbook stating that someone is ready to fly solo is literally a life and death decision that you must make. It is a huge responsibility, and not everyone is prepared for it.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
My overall theme, if you will, is that short-term fixes may alleviate short-term symptoms. Only long-term solutions based on an assessment of the big picture make any sense. It is up to us to guide, mentor, and demand a higher standard. This book aims to show the way for anybody who wants or “needs” to be a flight instructor the path which can be beneficial for their students and make them, flight instructors, successful. Doing the right thing is not only going to give the instructor “moral satisfaction,” If you will, but also has some tangible benefits. If your students like you, then your flight school will like you. There is no better benefit than a long list of positive referrals in your resume or when you are a well-known flight instructor in the industry when you apply for that airline job.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you became a flight instructor?
I wanted to be a pilot since I was a child. I was able to start realizing this dream in my thirties. I always knew exactly what I want to do in life, but it was in a sphere of dreams. I always liked teaching, and I wanted to be a pilot. I concluded to connect those two passions late in my life. I could have done it a lot sooner. I wish someone would tell me it is doable when I was twenty. Most people think the aviation profession is something that is out of reach. It may seem that way, but it is more achievable and reachable than we realize. So, yes, I wish someone would give me that piece of advice by telling me it is possible much sooner.
Posted in Interviews
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