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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Living the life of a CFI

It's been ages since I've updated this blog so here I am for a few minutes.
After starting to instruct a few weeks ago, Jen and I left on a belated honeymoon. Because we eloped, we had a party in Lake Como, Italy with my family. It was nothing but magical. After some initial stress, we both thoroughly enjoyed a celebration at a beautiful villa on the lake with her family and mine as well as a group of close friends.
We then escaped for a badly-needed few days together in Le Midi, France's beautiful Provence.
After our return, which involed a hellish trip home on Alitalia, a truly mismanaged airline, I got back to teaching.
It's been only 4 weeks of instructing, but I love my job. I've met many different people and have been trying my best to adapt to my students' various personalities. In that short time I've logged about 100 hours and learned a lot.
The highlight of my experience so far has to be the day I soloed my first student. I'll write more about that experience but the inexperienced and sweaty CFI marching across the ramp nervously with a handheld safely glued to his ear came out a different person from the experience, as did the student. In many ways, that day was more special than my own first solo. Those few minutes were intense, stressful and very rewarding when it all ended well.
Teaching what I love is amazing. Financially, it has pretty much only drawbacks. But I'm learning more from flying through it than I ever thought imaginable and the payoff in helping others realize their dream of becoming pilots cannot be quantified.
So it is with a perpetual smile on my face that I bid you all good night in search of some badly needed sleep. I'll write more very soon.
Flying rocks. Teaching others does too.
I am a very happy and fortunate man.

3 Comments:

Anonymous RichC said...

Glad to hear you're happy! I've heard that from other CFI's, except for the ones in a hurry to work for an airline. The financial aspects are crazy, I don't know how you guys do it. I'll have to wait until my kids are out of college before try teaching. Good Luck.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Between "teaching sucks!" CFIs and "teaching rocks" CFIs, I sure like the latter a whole lot more. They obviously make better CFIs, but it also reflects well on their overall personality and I'd argue they're the kind of people that make better freight dogs, corporate pilots, airline slaves, etc. Most of the CFIs I knew that hated instructing because they were in such a rush to get to the airlines were total tools, and no doubt their future crewmembers will think of them that way as well...

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing what we learn when we take the role of a teacher, isn't it? Obtaining my CFI is one of my lifetime goals only to be able to teach one of the things I am so passionate about.

Long ago I tried to figure a way to make a living in aviation. You know, I'm back to trying to figure that out but I think the answer is about the same. Damn tough!

All the best to your new endeavor (not so new now!). It sounds like you'll enjoy it. This time around (got my ticket in '82) I refused to fly with CFIs that are just looking to build hours. One can smell them a mile away. So, I actually enjoy flying with most of the instructors I've flown with.

--
Shawn
Aircraft Ownership - An Aviation Adventure
'73 Skylane 182P

9:32 PM  

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