I’ve been beating around the bush on writing this post, part because I’ve been busy and part because I don’t believe it’s really true. On the 9th of March 2007, I completed my training towards my Certified Flight Instructor (Airplane, Single Engine; CFI) and took my checkride. The checkride was comparatively easier than my initial instructor checkride (Instrument Airplane, CFII).
I contacted Academy Of Aviation earlier in the week and met with Joe Yhitzak to start my training. Well really, it was to RE-START my training. I explained my situation to him and we flew. He was please with my skills at that point and scheduled the checkride for the 9th. After flying more and doing some ground school, he felt I was ready. Sure enough, I took the checkride and managed to pass it on my first try.
That’s the short story, the long edition starts back in 2003 when I decided to work towards my commercial license. I knew at that point that I was interested in teaching. I’ve been a teacher, professionally, for many years now and I really enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. My passion is flying, and so to marry the two seemed like the perfect idea. In working towards my commercial license, I decided to do everything from the right seat. It’s unusual as the pilot normally sits on the left, but I knew I was working towards CFI which requires you to do everything from the right seat.
2004 went by fairly quickly and I managed to complete my Commercial license in late May. Like usual, money got a little tight and the CFI rating got pushed to the back burner. I didn’t pick back up until May of 2005 and that was when I discovered that it would be easier to go for CFII first. I started working with an Instructor I had flown with a few times, Endrew Allen. Endrew felt I was ready and took my logbook and forms for signoff on 18 May 2005, my checkride was scheduled for 25 May 2005. On the weekend in between Endrew had an accident, he and his passengers were fatally injured. This was just a few miles from my house and when I heard what had happened, a friend and I made the trip to see the wreckage on the beach.
Needless to say, after that I questioned my abilities and desire to become an instructor. Milton and I flew the very next weekend, so that I could get my mind “back in the saddle.” It worked for me to feel comfortable as a pilot again, but not as an instructor. Endrew hadn’t signed off my forms or logbook and so I couldn’t take my checkride, I would have to start training over again. I didn’t do that until after the probable cause was released on the accident. Once we knew what happened I, somehow, felt better. I started training again.
A very knowledgeable and experience pilot, Shlomo Zelkine, did my CFII training and I completed that rating in October of 2006. I re-took my CFI written test and dedicated myself towards getting my CFI.
On the flight home after my CFI exam, I let my Instructor Joe fly from the left seat, he doesn’t get to do it often, so I thought it a nice, thank you gift. As we were flying at about 300’ over the Atlantic just south of the Rockaways, he asked me “So, what’s next?” The question was so interesting to me, I had to smile. Pilots always know, if you’re not working on a new rating or endorsement, you’ve given up and will stop flying. So what’s next? My answer was simple, Multi-Engine. Doesn’t matter if it takes another 4 years to complete, I’m working on it.
Fly safe and if you need an instructor, I can do that!