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Finishing Up and Finally Earning Your Pilot Certificate

Finishing Up and Finally Earning Your Pilot Certificate

I have written several articles in the past about finishing up what you started. Many of these were focused on the technical side of what it takes to finish your training. This month I decided to approach this from a different perspective.

There is a psychological aspect to many stories that I hear about why various people did not finish their training. I say this because the most common reason I hear is “life got in the way.” Life is always there throwing curve balls at you, usually at the most inconvenient times. If you are vertical and breathing, that is what happens. Yes, you can say the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” You can also come up with a million reasons why your decision to postpone is the right choice.

However, many people out there have no source of income, and no logical way of paying for their training, yet they find a way to earn their certificates. Now, I am not judging anyone here. I am simply trying to point out that what one person sees as a barrier, another finds a way to navigate around.

When I started teaching, I worked with an instructor (I’ll call him Mr. X) who didn’t have two pennies to rub together. He had to have a piece of plywood on the floor of his car because the bottom was rusted out. I remember him slamming the front seats to chase the bugs out. But he wanted to be a pilot more than anything. He managed to find a way to pay for his flying and college classes. I remember asking him one time about how he managed to do this. He said it was pretty simple for him. He didn’t feel like he had a choice, and he did whatever he needed to do to achieve his goals. Nobody was going to give it to him or do it for him. Whenever I think things are too hard in life, I usually think back to him for motivation.

We see so many people come into our schools who started flying ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago with the goal of having a career in aviation. Many stopped flying because “life got in the way,” and they decided they couldn’t do it for one reason or another. I feel sorry for these people because many have never asked anyone in the industry for help or guidance on their options. Or, even worse, many did ask and were not given very good advice.

At American Flyers, we see many of these types of people every day. Their desire and motivation are inspiring, especially when they say they are willing to do anything to reach their goals. When someone like this comes in, we can usually work with them. Through various programs we offer, and even, in some cases, employment, we are here to help pilots, mechanics, and managers. If we don’t have opportunities for them, we certainly give them suggestions and guidance on what they can do to move forward in aviation.

That is one side of the spectrum. The other side is the person who is so immersed in their chosen career that they can’t find the time to finish up. I love to ask these people about how much stress they have in their lives. Many say it is off the charts. In these cases, I can’t help but think, “don’t you know that flying is a great stress reliever?” Then we discuss how much more efficient flying can make their lives when used for business trips and personal travel. The comments usually sound the same. They wish they would have completed their training sooner.

If you started training for a certificate or rating and never finished, please don’t wait any longer. Call one of our National Support Team members to find out what American Flyers can do for you.

By the way, when Mr. X finally had enough money to buy a new car, he tried to trade in his old one. The dealer looked at him and said they would charge him $200 to take his old car off his hands. True story.