Ask any aspiring pilot what their dream would be and ninety five out of one hundred will respond without pause that they want to be an airline pilot. Nothing wrong with that. As a young man, that was my dream as well.
But there is more to aviation. There is so much more we accomplish on the way up to that lofty goal. I recently addressed a group of general aviation pilots. Every age group was represented. The common thread was the love of aviation.
My first question was who had flown in for this particular conference. Many raised their hands. I selected a young man in the first row. I asked him when his flight arrived and he responded that he had arrived just hours earlier. I asked what airline he flew in on and he said American. Very good. I asked what type of aircraft and he again responded quickly that it was an Airbus. It was an A320. Excellent. Next question, what was the captain’s name? He looked at me with a perplexed look. He had no idea. Ok, I responded, what did he look like? Again, he looked perplexed. He responded that he never saw him. I thanked him for his answers.
Next I asked the aviators in the room to try to identify the person who had earned their pilots license more than forty years ago. Two gentlemen and an older woman raised their hands. Ok, how about fifty years ago. One gentleman remained with his hand held high. Do you mind if I ask you some questions? He responded affirmatively so I continued. What year did you learn to fly, I asked. He responded 1964. Do you recall your first flight instructor’s name? He didn’t even have to think about it. “That was Gene Henry”. “Can you tell me a little about Gene, I inquired”. “Oh sure”, came the response, “I’ll never forget old Gene”. “What a great guy”. “Used to sit in that old Cessna 140 and scream at me whenever I did anything wrong but then we would get back to the barn and he would sit down and heat up a can of soup and we would share it as he told me all the things I did wrong and the few things I did right”. “Can you tell me anything else about Gene”, I asked? “Well, I still remember that old worn leather jacket he wore”. “And those suspenders”. “Hell, I thought he was the world’s greatest pilot”.
My message to all those flight instructors rushing through their required fifteen hundred hours and dreaming of flying the heavy iron is, slow down and enjoy this moment! You are creating those memories for new aviators right now. You will be remembered and memorialized by your students. Remember that the groundwork you put in place today will be the basis for what these future aviators do in the future. As instructors, we have the ability to make an impression on future aviators that can last a lifetime. You might spend the next forty years on the flight deck of some big Boeing of Airbus, and I am taking nothing away from an airline pilot career but, in my opinion, the real contribution you make to aviation will be in the right seat of the Cessna or Cherokee, sharing your love of flight, and making an indelible impression on your students.
Life is often lived according to milestones in life. We all celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, births, and accomplishments. The flight training industry is no exception. As pilots, we are proud of our ratings and the constant additions to those flight hours. The staff of Ocean Aviation is very proud of the accomplishments of not only its students, but also current and former staff as well. Our favorite part of this newsletter is the section on the left. The non-flying public has no idea of the time and effort required to obtain a pilot certificate. All of the studying, sweating, crying (not always from the students), and reaching for that last bit of energy when one doesn’t think any is left, pays off in dividends…
Late summer and Early Fall are perhaps one of the best times to fly here on the eastern shore. Temperatures cool and skies clear. Visibilities become crystal clear. Call or stop in at Ocean Aviation Flight Academy and find out how easy it would be to earn your private pilot certificate.
We have the staff available to answer all your questions. Always dreamed of learning to fly? Why not right now! Never a better time or a better place to learn than our FAA approved flight academy. We are approved to accept Veterans Administration Benefits.
Whether you are training for fun or to prepare for that new career, there is no place better to train than on the Eastern Shore of Maryland at Ocean Aviation Flight Academy.
Not a US citizen. No worries. Ocean Aviation Flight Academy is SEVIS approved to accept international students. So contact us and let’s get you in the air..
Among the requirements for the private pilot certificate is a requirement to fly a long cross country. Candidates must fly one cross country flight of more than one hundred nautical miles.
Tony Woody completed his long cross country last week, planning his flight from the Ocean City Airport, across the Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey. After a brief stop, Tony continued to Summit Airport in Delaware before turning towards home.
The trip covered over 170 miles and Tony used deed reckoning, pilotage and VOR navigation to complete the trip. All private pilot candidates are required to complete a long cross country. We believe the long cross country our students complete is over some of the most beautiful scenic areas imaginable. Flying high over the New Jersey and Delaware coasts, tracing the historic Delaware River is simply unimaginable until you have done it for yourself. We believe this is the first time our students truly understand the freedom of flight.
Above: Tony Woody debriefs with Chief Instructor Mike Freed upon completion of his long cross country flight.
Seems like the traffic pattern here at the Ocean City Airport is full of our flight students well on their way to living their dream.
Kevin Stanford became the latest to take that very memorable step of flying an aircraft for the first solo flight in our Skyhawk N64678 here in the pattern at the Ocean City Airport yesterday. John’s instructor was watching from the hanger as he took off, turned downwind, base and final and touched down on runway 20.
John Townes impressed us all with his first solo flight in our Skyhawk N64678 here in the pattern at the Ocean City Airport yesterday. John’s instructor was watching from the hanger as he took off, turned downwind, base and final and touched down on runway 20.
We are proud to report that one of our students, Jesse Jarvis, completed his private pilot course yesterday. Jesse did a really great job and has now net his goal of becoming a private pilot. Jesse has joined the Coast Guard and will be reporting shortly so we wish him much luck in his new career.
And, that very same week, we are happy to report that Stefenie Minto flew her first solo flight. Stefenie worked hard and she did a really great job. We are happy to report that she is moving forward toward her aviation goals.
Congratulations go out to Bill Deyhle who flew to Easton yesterday to take his private pilot test with designated examiner Frank Phillips. His instructor, Mike Freed was very confident in Bill’s abilities so it was no surprise when Bill called to report mission successful. Frank was happy with Bill’s performance and so Bill became our latest private pilot.
And on the very same day, private pilot student Youssef Selim flew his first solo flight in Cessna Skyhawk N8073E. Each of his three solo landings on runway 32 was flawless. His instructor Marc Hutcheson as well as his mom and Grandma were on hand to mark the occasion.
This Sunday is Father’s Day Weekend. I want to wish all our fathers a very happy Father’s Day. It is also once again time for the Ocean City Airshow. The Airshow draws crowds from all over the northeast to see the spectacular performances of the Air force Thunderbirds as well as performers from all over the world.
As a flight academy, we will enjoy the show but our mission is to create safe pilots, pilots who will hopefully spend their entire aviation career minimizing risk. While we encourage all who come to the beach to enjoy the airshow, that is not our kind of flying. We will always stress to our students that safety in flight should always be your number one goal. The flight demonstrations you will see over the beach this weekend will be very different from the flight training we provide.
In fact, for those who come to us for flight training and seem to prefer to show just how fearless they are, we encourage them to seek out an activity other than aviation. Perhaps a nice speed boat!
Congratulations to Michael Boyer on his first solo flight last evening. Practicing with his instructor at his side, Mike’s take offs, landings and pattern work were perfect so when his instructor, Mike Freed suggested it was time to solo, Mike was all for it.
Mike completed three solo take offs and landings on runway 32 at Ocean City before heading back to the flight school. Even kept it off the nose wheel! Great Job Michael!
Another day, another pilot! Yesterday, Sally Smith became our newest graduate, passing her private pilot flight test in our Cessna Skyhawk, N8073E. Her instructor, Marc Hutcheson noted how Sally exhibited solid flying skills and made good aeronautical decisions and her flight examiner, Frank Phillips noted that Sally did a great job during her flight test, flying exceptionally well.
Well done Sally!