Steven Daun, National Chief Pilot
An aviation career requires a substantial investment. While some trainees are able to pay for their training with savings, and some can obtain a career loan, there are those for whom the financial burden of flight training stands in the way of their career goals. The American Flyers Fully Sponsored Flight Training Program was created with this group in mind.
American Flyers is always looking for trainees who are self-motivated and unafraid of hard work. These trainees know that by investing their time and effort, they can achieve incredible success in their careers and their lives. These are the perfect candidates for the sponsorship program.
In addition to earning a salary, sponsorship candidates receive a monthly scholarship to be used toward their flight training. Furthermore, by working in operations, maintenance, and other areas of the company, their knowledge and experience grows far beyond the limits of their training.
The sponsorship program is available for both maintenance and administrative candidates. For the maintenance position, candidates are required to have their A&P certificate, while administrative candidates must hold a four-year degree (or equivalent) and at least a private pilot certificate.
Because all sponsorship students are considered employees, they are entitled to medical insurance, and, after a year of full-time employment, benefits such as life insurance, a 401K with company contributions, and more. In fact, many sponsorship students elect to remain with American Flyers after their programs end to pursue careers in maintenance management or various administrative positions. As one student put it, “The sponsorship program is basically a one-year interview to allow me to move onto bigger and better things.”
Rick Farmer is the American Flyers national director of maintenance. He is also a graduate of the American Flyers sponsorship program. Rick shared his experience with us below.
“I remember walking into the American Flyers Pompano Beach location during the summer of 2002 with a resume and newly issued airframe and powerplant license in hand. Unlike many of my fellow classmates at A&P school, I had no desire to work as a mechanic for the airlines. My goal was to follow my passion for general aviation and work as a mechanic long enough to be able to pay for my flight training. I had been bitten by the flying bug a couple of years earlier, but my on-again/off-again schedule and flying anytime I had extra cash in my pocket was not cutting it. I couldn’t afford to train full time with my current job, so I came up with a plan. I decided to become an A&P mechanic so that I could hopefully find a job at a flight school that would give me a discount on flight training. It made sense to me that being a mechanic would make me a better pilot, but I didn’t realize that being a pilot would also make me a better mechanic.
“I remember being impressed by the level of professionalism and the condition of the aircraft at American Flyers. The school director told me that there were openings in the mechanic sponsorship program where I could receive my private, instrument, and commercial pilot licenses as part of my compensation over the course of an eighteen-month position. Long story short, the interview went well, and I was off and flying into a new career (pun intended).
“After a thorough eight-week maintenance training program, the flight training benefits began. As promised, I was able to achieve my private, instrument, and commercial pilot licenses with no out-of-pocket expenses while working on the same aircraft I flew. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun, and I believed then, as I believe now, that there was no other place that I could have gained the experience as both a pilot and a mechanic that I gained with American Flyers.
“Somewhere along the way, I realized that I truly enjoyed working in maintenance and decided to continue with it as a career with American Flyers. It makes me proud to see graduates of the American Flyers mechanic sponsorship program kick off exciting careers both as pilots and as mechanics.”
Matthew Monteagudo is the director of American Flyers Addison – North. He is also a graduate of the American Flyers sponsorship program. Matthew shared his experience with us below.
“I am currently the director of the Addison North location but my journey with American Flyers started in 2020 as part of their sponsorship program. I came into the position in the middle of the pandemic when the aviation industry was taking a hit. At the time, I had just graduated from university with my degree and commercial certificates ready to go. After a few months of searching for opportunities, I came across the sponsorship program and joined. My time in the sponsorship program was tough but extremely rewarding. It gave me insight that my four-year degree couldn’t give me. Seeing behind the curtain of a flight school, and directly working to run it, shaped my next steps. I finished the program on time with both my CFI and CFI-I certificates and a year of real-world aviation experience.
“I then started my work with the school as an instructor. Having worked behind the scenes helped me become the best instructor I could be. After several months as an instructor, I was selected to become a check instructor. A few months after that, I became chief pilot. Then I was able to work my way up to become a school director. There was a lot of learning that came in between those periods and a lot of support from the team here at Flyers, but without my experience in the sponsorship program, I do not believe I would be where I am today. It sets you up for the real aviation industry.”
As you can see, the American Flyers Fully Sponsored Flight Training Program is designed to educate, develop, and promote future leaders in aviation.
Do you have what it takes? If so, contact us today.