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.


natty rat said...

Was doing research on ATP school and stumbled on your blog. Thank you for taking the time to put your journey out into the electronic world. I'm sure as you were writing there were moments when you thought that no one will ever read any of this - well I did and your words have influenced whether you realize it or not. In your own small way you have nudged a stranger to to put aside her fears and pursue a dream.

Thank you!

Sastre Air said...

Awesome. Glad to hear. You'll see a lot of negativity if you stumble upon some of the aviation forums out there today, but stay positive and you'll enjoy the journey. It's definitely not an easy task, both financially and mentally, but it's worth it in the end. I'm still instructing (going on 3 years), something I thought I would dread, and there are some days where I'm filled with amazement that I'm lucky enough to fly for a living. It doesn't seem to get old. But most importantly, I keep a positive outlook on everything. This is appropriate for any job out there. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.