Aviation Networking and Attitude

The direction of this article is driven toward corporate aviation but can be applied to any job in the aviation industry.  You can apply this to a rural country airport or a busy city airport with many FBO’s.  Rule number one, get to know as many people as you can and have an impeccable reputation.  What I mean by impeccable reputation is first, your FAA record must be clean of accidents and incidents, but I suppose that is a given.  Equally important is your record with people and your attitude.  I know of many high time flight instructors who sit around the flight school all day with bad attitudes because they think they should be out flying the local King Air or Citation.  If you are thinking that your flying passion may someday turn into a job, that is where your networking starts.  The people in this business who make the most of it and get the farthest in my opinion are the ones who have a passion for aviation and have no problem sweeping up a hanger floor and washing an airplane just because they enjoy being around the airplanes.  Contrast this with the irritable flight instructor who can’t understand why that kid who was just sweeping out the hanger is in the right seat of that local King Air going for a ride.  Another thing to keep in mind on the corporate flying side is your ability to get along with people and being comfortable in social situations.  Corporate flying requires some people skills, remember that a common corporate crew spends 7-15 nights on the road per month and that may include some time interacting with the boss.  On a typical month at my department we will get deployed overseas and spend 1-2 weeks flying around the world.  That will require the crew to be able to get along and spend not only 8-13 hours flying in one sitting, but eating and whatever else we find ourselves doing without driving each other crazy for two weeks.  This takes work on yourself, like being in a relationship.  The point is be somebody who people want to be around in and out of the cockpit, on and away from the airport.  This is the single best piece of advice I can give to a corporate pilot candidate.  If you hang around enough airports, FBO’s and hangers with the right attitude your chances of filling a seat on a trip are much better if your prepared and armed with the right attitude and know the right people.  Get out and meet as many people you can, even if its just a quick hello you never know what door will open.

GV Chris 


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Teens-N-Flight: Helping Kids Through Aviation

Wounded military veterans — even those with wounds that aren’t visible — get far less attention than they deserve and their families get even less. Jack Howell, a retired Marine colonel, is actively doing something about that. He’s established a non-profit called Teens-N-Flight whose sole goal is to offer cost-free flight training to the children of soldiers killed or wounded in combat.

In an interview at Sun ‘n Fun last week, Howell told us the country has been slow to recognize thatteennflight post traumatic stress disorder doesn’t affect just the military members themselves, but also the families and especially the children. “I really want to use aviation as a conduit for these kids to help them overcome their PTSD,” Howell says. “The wizards in Congress have finally acknowledged that the entire family suffers from PTSD, but there’s no funding to do anything. Well, I’m not waiting. I’ve been doing this five years now,” he adds.

As a 501(C)3, Howell runs the organization entirely on donations, including his own funding. Howell has training sites at three locations: Colorado Springs, Jacksonville and Palm Coast in Florida. Teen-N-Flight finds candidates through schools and service organizations.

By Paul Bertorelli, Editorial Director AvWeb



Pilots Are Very Special People

by John King.
From the video, “Hanger Flying With a Point”
produced by King Schools.

Pilots are very special people. Here’s why.  First, pilots aren’t quitters.  In spite of what the ads used to say  in the 1950′s, it is difficult to learn to fly.  And it takes time to learn and a lot of effort.  Second, pilots aren’t out for cheap impression.  You can get a Ferrari and roar down the road the same day with no special license and impress the daylights out of people.  In fact, for the price of a Piper Malibu, you can buy four Rolls Royces.  If you brought someone to your house and he saw four Rolls Royces in your garage, this guy would be blown away with how successful you are.  But you take that same person out to your Piper Malibu at the airport and he’s likely to say, “What?  Only one propeller?  You expect me to get in that?”

Pilots are the winners in life. They have some degree of money because it cost money to learn to fly. And pilots are willing to look silly because when you learn to fly, you look silly.  You sweat all the way down to your belt line, your leg shakes from holding rudder pressure, you slam the plane in when you’re learning to land.  Overall you just plain look silly.  Pilots are willing to put up with discomfort in order to be doers rather than spectators.  The next time you preflight an airplane in a 30 knot winter wind, just remind yourself, you chose this.

When you have a room full of pilots, you have a room full of bright, achieving, successful winners.  Willing to look silly, willing to put up with discomfort for personal development.  You have a room full of very special people.  Every time I meet pilots I think of this and I take pride in knowing these special people. Yet I’ve see these bright, special people do damned fool things. And sometimes hurt themselves and their passengers.  So how do you avoid it.  You remember that everybody is a damned fool for 15 minutes a day and some of us do get even longer than that.   And some of the smartest people can do some of the dumbest things.

So You Want To Get Your Multi Engine Rating

If you want to pursue a career in aviation or own a multi-engine aircraft, the multi-engine rating is very important.  Since multi-engine airplanes are costly, it is hard to build time.

When can I get a Multi-Engine Rating? 

The most cost effective method is to wait until you have gotten your commercial pilot’s certificate. Once the single commercial or private is done, you can do a multi-engine add-on quickly because you don’t have to meet all the specified training requirements for a given certificate.   The add-on can be as few as 8 hours depending on your skill as a pilot.

If you decide to get the commercial multi-engine certificate (not the add-on), be prepared for several commercial cross-country flights and your long cross country flight like any commercial single-engine certificate applicant.

What is the best way to get a multi-engine rating? 

This really depends on your situation. If you don’t have much time, you could go to a school like ATP and get it in a few days. Some of these schools are very good, but be careful. I would not recommend the schools that only get you 3-8 hours before your get your certificate.  It’s just not enough time to become a safe multi-engine pilot.  While you might pass the checkride, a safe and proficient pilot will obtain much more training than this.  Talk with your favorite CFI, he might help you build time at a reduced cost for his time. .

How can I build multi-engine time?

Building multi-engine time is very important in building your airline career.  There are several schools around the country which specialize in multi-engine time building.  Some airline pilots also offer this in their personal aircraft.  Check with your CFI, perhaps a special rate, lower than the typical rental rate, can be secured for you.

Can You Handle a Single-Engine Emergency? 

During multiengine training, you repeatedly practiced single-engine flying.  Once you have the rating, it doesn’t mean you can relax. Your single-engine skills need to stay sharp in the event you lose an engine.  The only way to avoid becoming a statistic is frequent recurrent training.  Continuing to work periodically with an instructor to push your single-engine skills to the next level can help increase your safety. And if you encounter an actual emergency, you likely will feel more confident while going through the recovery procedures.

12 Easy Steps To Saving Money During Flight Training

I’ve spent too much on flight training.  I wish I knew some tips to reduce my overall cost.  Here’s what I learned…

  1. Don’t fly if you are not prepared for a lesson.  You will get the most bang for your buck by being prepared. Even the best instruction cannot fully compensate for lack of preparation.
  2. Arrive on time for your flight lesson.  In fact, arrive early so you can avoid paying your instructor to watch your pre-flight.  If the aircraft is not available prior to your scheduled lesson, review notes from your previous lesson as well as topics for the current lesson
  3. Be sure you operate from a detailed plan of attack.  Before you fly, know what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it.  Don’t waste expensive flight time learning the maneuver for the first time.
  4. When you take a solo flight, have a plan.  Know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it and then it’s a matter of determining if you meet PTS standards.
  5.  Each session should be geared towards a set of skills, be sure there’s a plan, and follow it.
  6. Use smaller airplanes if possible as larger ones cost more.  Many flight schools have 2 seaters such as the Piper Tomahawk or Cessna 152. Stick with the same aircraft throughout your training.
  7. Learn your aircraft’s checklists and procedures early in your training.  You can practice these on the ground for free.
  8. Take advantage of block time discounts if they are available at your flight school.  If you know you’ll be doing a lot of training over a short period of time, negotiate a larger block time discount for 50 hours or more.
  9. Once you start, don’t stop. The aviation learning curve is steep enough to merit consistent attention until you achieve your goal.
  10. Fly regularly.  The longer the time between lessons, the more the student forgets resulting in more time spent reviewing past lessons.
  11.  Learn from your mistakes.  Making mistakes is part of the process. Asking questions is part of the process.  Don’t become frustrated with the learning process.
  12. Have an honest, open dialogue with your instructor about your progress.  Your flight instructor is an experienced professional, and will know how to help you over the roadblocks or can get the resources you need to succeed.