A photo to send home, from KGYI, October 2013.
A successful career move happened since my last post. I am now the newest flight instructor at US Aviation Academy based on the North Texas Regional Airport!
Leading up to this development, my commencement ceremony at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was in April, followed by my official flight instructor course completion in June, and my official graduation in August.
Between June and August, I used my time to obtain the flight instructor instrument airplane rating, which I was advised was “the most important job qualification for a pilot.” The so-called CFII was not a degree requirement at EMU, but now I have to agree with the advice. I would not have this job today without a CFII certificate in my pocket.
I participated in the instructor interview process at EMU at the end of August and was told they had enough better-qualified applicants to fill available positions. Rejection is always slightly discouraging, but it’s important not to let it change the momentum toward any goals. I took a deep breath and proceeded to plan B: Blast résumés to flight schools in the South where there is better weather for time building.
Texas was my choice simply because I had the most contacts here from EMU and the aviation fraternity.
By early September, I had already received a couple of interview offers in the Dallas area. I threw a suitcase and a flight bag into my car and drove from Michigan to Texas over two days. The next afternoon, I had the interview in Denton, Texas, and I was invited to the company’s pre-hire training program. By the end of September, I had completed training, taken an interview flight to earn my letter of employment, signed a lease for an apartment near the airport, and drove back to Michigan to start packing.
For about one week in Michigan, I did nothing but make moving arrangements, pack boxes, ensure my Michigan accounts were closed, send address updates, attend a funeral, and load a moving truck. It was a huge effort.
Three days on the road driving the truck with my car trailer in tow.
A week to unpack.
Paperwork. My gosh, the paperwork. Just to get my car licensed in the State of Texas was a four-day process and cost something in excess of $200. This is not like Michigan where cars and assembly lines were invented!
After I got settled in here, the Academy required observation flights so that I could get an idea of what a normal lesson looks like with the prescribed procedures and syllabus. Watching a Texas sunrise from the back seat of a Cessna 172 makes for a very cool first day of work. A couple days later, I had students scheduled for lessons on flight simulators, and we went flying the day after. I’m still learning the nuances of my new syllabus, and each day so far has been a great learning opportunity for me and my students alike.