Pilot’s Digest: What inspired you to learn to fly?
Christian Winsnes: Since I was a young kid, I loved to see airplanes wherever I was. When I traveled with my family, I kept staring at all the airplanes that could be seen from the window. At that age I was already in love with planes, but actually, I had some fears about all that aviation life involved. Until one day I was hiking with my dad in a big valley when I saw a jet flying just 200 feet above us, and I was totally amazed. That was the point when I realized I wanted to be a pilot, no matter what.
PD: How long have you wanted to be a pilot?
CW: My whole life.
PD: Describe your first solo flight. How many times have you soloed since?
CW: There are no words to describe my first solo. When I did my first solo, I was in the minimum hours; I had a total of 25 hours the day I did my solo. The night before my solo I was so excited. It was the moment I had been waiting for my whole life. I had a hundred emotions but really focused to get it done. We took off and went to Mesquite where I did my first solo. We did a few landings, and my instructor decided that I was ready. I was now on my own. It felt awesome, the best feeling in the world. Since my first solo, I have soloed to a lot of places within Texas, and it has been amazing. A lot of the experiences you achieve are because of your solos.
PD: What are your aviation goals in the future?
CW: To get into the airlines, the one I like is called Aeromexico. I really like that airline, and I want the possibility to stay in the country where I was born. I would like to be in a big airline and get to the point in which I fly a big aircraft such as the 787, 747 or A350 as a captain. After that when I retire, I definitely want to do something that involves aviation because it is what I love.
PD: If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would you go and in what aircraft?
CW: I would fly to Norway and the northern countries within Europe. They have spectacular views and really challenging terrain and airspace. I would definitely go in an Airbus A350 or in a Boeing 787. Those airplanes are ridiculously amazing.
PD: What is your favorite aviation movie?
CW: That is an easy one: “Top Gun.” There are a lot of movies about aviation that I really like, such as “Sully,” “Pearl Harbor” or “Barry Seal,” but the best one definitely is “Top Gun.”
PD: How did you go about choosing the right flight school for you? What made you choose American Flyers?
CW: Actually, I chose my school just two weeks before the scheduled start time for the academy I joined. I was looking for a lot of flight schools in my country and also in United States. I was already settled for a flight school in my country, and I was going to begin classes a month from there. I told a captain to help me to look for some flight schools in both countries. That’s when one day he gave me a call telling me about American Flyers. He gave me a contact number and I contacted another captain who worked with the company. After some chat and information, I attended a conference of the school and after some interviews I entered the Airline Academy. American Flyers is one of the best flight schools you can get in. The way they are involved in your training and the way they teach is amazing and shows a lot of experience.
PD: What is your favorite flight training memory?
CW: I have thousands of favorite memories. One day I landed in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. When I did my private, all the flights that I did were amazing, my first cross countries. I also loved all my multiengine training and the commercial. Actually, every flight I did was amazing, and they all were my favorite.
PD: What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a pilot?
CW: Well, the first thing I will tell them is never hesitate about your dreams. When it is about your dreams, don’t listen to anyone other than yourself. Why do I say that? Because it will be people who tell you that you will not succeed, you won’t be happy, you will fail, but that doesn’t matter because they aren’t you. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. My advice is just follow your dreams no matter how many failures you had, or how much money you have or what your friends think. I tell you if it is your dream, you will find a way, always. Just work hard and give all your heart to it. Expend all that you have in your dream and you will find success.