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Tuesday, August 21 2012
While selecting a good flight school is important, nothing is more important than finding the right flight instructor. Flight training is a two person job and having an instructor that enhances your learning has a massive effect on the quality of your training and your happiness throughout the process.
Talk to several flight instructors
It is important to begin by acknowledging that all flight instructors must meet the FAA's minimum standards, so in a way they are all the same. What is important is how well you and your instructor get along with regard to personality and attitude. Don't get in such a hurry to start flying that you neglect to sit down with prospective instructors and get to know them. You want to discuss your goals, their background, and how they like to teach. You may find that you get along great with several instructors, but one in particular uses methods to which you respond best. Just don't bother too much with the little details, like an instructor's age; if you find a flight instructor that seems like a good fit, go with them.
Choose a flight instructor that will work with you
This is where the interview will come in to play. You need to know that your flight instructor is going to work well with you. Whether this means an instructor who respects your deep-seated desire to fly glider tows for the rest of your life or one who is able to cope with your limited schedule, it is essential that you and your instructor are on the same page.
Choose a flight instructor that has certain specialties
The other thing to consider is whether you need a flight instructor with certain specialties. There are certain areas of flying where specialized flight training is necessary. If you have some kind of special need, like a tailwheel endorsement, it is important to find an instructor that meets that need. It is important to mention that this can also mean finding an instructor who specializes in a particular aircraft. For example, if you fly a Cirrus, you may find it beneficial to find a flight instructor with a lot of hours in Cirrus aircraft.
With just a little bit of time investment you should be able to easily find a great instructor who will have you flying in no time. If all else fails, just remember that you can always change flight instructors or even flight schools; you don't have to struggle through a relationship that just doesn't work.
For more information about learning to fly, check out "pilot training"  at http://www.aviationschoolsonline.com/flight-schools.
Posted by: Kyle Garrett AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, August 20 2012

I recently discovered Facebook.  I know what you’re thinking, “Where have you been?”  I will have to admit, it is a lot of fun to see what all of my friends are doing.  By the same token, I’m still not a huge follower of any of the social networking sites due of privacy concerns.  Needless to say, I have been very guarded with my photos and personal/family information with regards to the social networking scene.  Just as I started to “loosen up” and thought about posting some family trivia to my Facebook page, I received a call from a seasoned Captain that stopped me immediately in my tracks.

For simplicity's sake we will call this person John.  John stated that he had recently been fired from a long term flying job because of a situation in his background that he had been so careful not to disclose to any of his co-workers and especially his employer.

Four years ago John was arrested and convicted of a crime.  He did exactly what the court required, completed his probation, paid his fines and then retained a lawyer to have his records expunged.  Because of the expungement proceedings, John felt that he could keep the embarrassing matter to himself and not have to discuss it with anyone ever again.    

Last month, as John was preparing for one of his trips, he received a call from his Chief Pilot.  John was asked to stop by the office before checking in for his shift.  John was greeted by the Chief Pilot, the Director of Operations, and the Director of Human Resources.  After sitting down, John was handed a piece of paper that had been printed from the internet.

John was devastated to realize that his arrest and conviction had been discovered by a coworker and had been passed along to the Chief Pilot.  What is even more amazing was how this co-worker had been able to find out this information. 

Apparently John’s arrest took place in a small town where EVERYTHING gets written about in the local paper.  An acquaintance of John’s,saw the small town article and asked another friend about it on Facebook/Twitter.  Before long, several people on Facebook/Twitter were talking about the incident and one of the Friends of a Friend happened to be a co-worker of John’s.  As a result, the co-worker did some Googling on John and found the article regarding the original arrest.  The co-worker then passed the information on to the Chief Pilot.  Unfortunately, John was terminated on the spot. 

Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet are all wonderful tools that allow us to learn, work, research and communicate with the rest of the world.  The problem is that most everything is recorded on the internet.  Whether it is pictures of our new baby, a snow storm in the Northeast, a School Teacher wins an award in the South, or a local resident gets arrested in a small town.  Once the information is captured by the Internet, it is permanent; there is no getting rid of it.  Never assume that just because your paper records have been expunged or sealed or because you have not spoken to anyone about the matter, that a situation will go unrecognized. 

The good news is that John was able to find another flying position.  With a lot of hard work, he was able to present himself and his past situation in a manner that allowed his current employer the opportunity to see that while John had made a big mistake he was well worth the effort for training and employing. 

While this story is not meant to have you feeling like you are under a microscope, it is meant to make you think.  With the anticipated hiring expected in the aviation community for this fall, there are some areas where pilots need to be cautious.   Remember that potential employers are internet savvy.  Use discretion in what pictures you post and what you say on your social networking pages.  Do a Google/Facebook/Twitter search on yourself and see what others might find.  If you have difficult areas in your background, be prepared to discuss them openly, take responsibility, and have your documents in order.  And remember, being a pilot doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, it just means that you have to prepare accordingly, present your background appropriately and accept responsibility for your actions.

Angie Marshall

Cage Consulting, Inc.

 

Posted by: Angie Marshall AT 03:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email