Saturday, November 21, 2009


About a week ago I accumulated 1,000 hours of total flight time. A pretty big accomplishment I believe. It seemed so foreign to think of a pilot with this many hours not more than a year ago, but here I am. I didn't think I'd be where I am now. Training through ATP, it seemed like the majority's goal was to get to a regional airline as fast as you could, and I followed that sentiment naturally. Fortunately, realizing that this couldn't happen with the current hiring status of the airlines when I left ATP, I had received my CFI certificates, and I wasn't going to give up.

Fast forward to about 200 hours of dual instruction given (i.e. hours accumulated as a flight instructor), my mentality was misinformed. After barely a few hours of being instructor I realized I didn't know a fraction about flying as I should have. Then only after about 200 hours of flight instruction, I realized how much knowledge I had gained; a huge amount compared to the 200 hours I had spend gaining my commercial certificate beforehand. The saying rings true, "the best way to learn is to teach".

There's never a flight-hour that I regret being a flight instructor. I've come to realize that those who skip flight instructing miss out on a huge learning opportunity when it comes to the skill and knowledge of flying. I believe the hours spent as an instructor has shaped me to be a pilot that I could never be without it (i.e. a first officer of a regional airline starting at 300 hours). This has made me very fortunate to have had the opportunity to realize that flight instruction is one the best ways to improve as a pilot, wherever the profession direction may be.

I respect all the pilots who have dared into the career of flight instruction. It's a career that cannot be performed without challenging yourself to be a better pilot than what you think you can be and being able to see the extent of improvement that you need as a pilot that's always learning.