After 24 years, I got the chance to meet the most amazing person ever.

About 2 months ago I made contact with someone who completely changed my life and whom I've never met. After a few years of searching off and on again, I finally did it. I was lucky. We are lucky.

At first we talked via email. That lasted a day, or two. Then it was through instant messanger. That lasted maybe a few days. Then it was phone calls. Then it was a visit to her home. Our connection was instantaneous and it was as if we had known each other forever. Here is someone I had wanted to meet and talk to for as long as I can remember, and the first time we chatted, I was at a loss of words. She kept asking me, 'Ok, next question?' and I was speechless. Maybe it was shock, or excitement. I don't know.

After we each got over the initial excitement, we talked about anything and everything. Here was a person I literally knew nothing about, but I felt like I could tell her and talk to her about anything. It was an intense feeling of secure. Listening to her tell me about her life and her family seemed surreal to me. I'm sure the same was for her. We filled each other in on the last 24 years of our lives. She told me all about her life and I told her all about mine. I told her things I've never told other people.

We became friends instantly, and we never stopped talking to each other. Literally. After we cought up on history, we connected in our everyday lives. She has given me direction in places that I was lost. She helped me cope with my struggles, and celebrated with me. I think I helped her seal a portion of her past. I was glad to give her peace of mind with information. I was glad to know finally where I came from.

I had been working on Christmas travel plans for a while when I decided that I wanted to meet her. It didn't seem fair to come all the way home, and not make the short trip to see her. After a hashing out of several different plans we came to a common agreement for what we would do. After an extremely long and uncomfortable day of flying, we met for the first time. She picked me up from the airport. I even suprised myself with not crying that very moment.

Over the next three days we talked more, visited with her family and friends and became closer than I even thought would have been possible. I met her parents, and siblings, her children, and her husband. An amazing family that I sometimes even share resemblances to! That's a first!

Spending time with her was incredible. Watching her mannerisms, and the way she interacted with her family. Being around her was a dream come true. My only regret of the entire trip was how short it was. Unfortunately we didn't have as much time as we both would have liked. I would never trade the time we shared though. It was everything we both wanted.

After a long drive home we finally said our good-byes. That was the hardest part of everything. After only three days together I found it extremely hard to say goodbye. I think we both shared that sentiment, maybe her even a little more than I.

I still haven't fully processed all the events of the last few days.

Under new Management

An investment group known as GTI purchased the academy. It has been an interesting few days thinking about how this will affect everyone at the academy. We’re received some letters from the higher ups, but that’s about it so far.

We’re not sure if it will change names, if we will keep an assosciation of any kind with FlightSafety International, or if we’ll even keep our jobs! Will our pay grade change, benefits? Pretty much everything is very ‘up-in-the-air’ so to speak.

Hopefully it will be an improvement in all areas that need it! Only time will tell I suppose.


I have regional airline minimum hour requirements.

600 Total time.
100 Multi time.


The academy as an IP

I’ve had a slight shift in questions from most of my readers. Now that I’m instructing here I get a lot more questions geared towards life as an instructor pilot. So I will attempt to cover the basics.

Once hired you will go through a standardization class which consists of ground school sessions as well as a few flights. These are to get you up to speed on all school procedures and how they expect you to teach your students. Depending on the size of the class this phase can take up to a full month. Most are completed in about three weeks.

Once you finish standardization and you receive your first students, the real work begins. You can begin work on your MEI if you don’t already have it whenever you like. They will not allow you to begin multi-engine standardization until you have at least 50 dual given. You will be unable to have multi students until you have 100 dual given. The multi standardization class is much shorter than single and can normally be completed in two to three weeks.

From there on, its all about how hard you want to work. For the most part you are in complete control of your schedule. This gives you flexibility, but also allows you to be lazy. You have to keep yourself motivated to keep your schedule full. The more you fly, the quicker you’re out of here, and the sooner you’re in the right seat of some regional(or whichever).

The pay is so/so. You are paid for flight time as well as ground brief time, and simulator time. What you’re not paid for is paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork. If a student were to ask me what makes an airplane fly my answer wouldn’t be lift. It would be money, and paperwork. In all seriousness though, there is a lot surrounding this job in regards to pushing paper. Most of that time is spent on: scheduling, flow charts, grading lessons, writing evaluations, weekly reports, logbook audits, signing students up for checkrides, etc. Sometimes all that can take up to an hour to two hours per day.

The benefits are excellent. I have everything I would ever need right now, and I pay a lot less than I use to. I’m unsure about the company’s 401k, but I know we have it in place.

You can expect, with a good student population, to fly around 3-5 hours per day. You can also expect 10-14 hour work days, with about 6-8 hours of pay. The more effectively you can schedule time, the more you will revenue each day. Keeping downtime between students to a minimum, and managing student cancellations and weather issues are key skills.

Right now the dual given contract is set at 600. If the student load remains the way it is now, you can expect to finish that contract in around 12-13 months. Unfortunately for me I signed on just prior to that contract reduction(It was previously 800 hours). However, I have another obligation due to a contract program that required a year commitment.

That’s about all I can really think of, if I can add anything, or answer any other questions, you know where to find me.