By: Andrew F. Henley, Vice President American Flyers
I really enjoy being a part of our American Flyers Airline Academy orientation. If you don’t already know, our airline academy is designed to create professional pilots who will become leaders in the airline industry. In fact, during orientation, we tell our students that their first day in the airline academy is their first day working as professional pilots. We mold these young aviators with solid teaching from inspirational instructors who are dedicated to mentoring the next generation of pilots. That’s something we strive to include in all our training programs.
Teaching is a passion, and all our employees are passionate about aviation. Joseph Joubert said it best: “To teach is to learn twice.” A good teacher is always looking for new ways to teach according to changing industry standards. American Flyers has a dedicated team, our very own National Safety Board, that promotes a solid curriculum and makes discoveries about what our instructors need to know to better educate our students. Our instructors are not here to build flight hours; they are educators, and they are here to teach and to share their love of aviation.
Mentoring is more than just teaching. A good mentor stays close to their protégé and provides them with a solid role model. I see students follow our CFIs around with the same sunglasses, bomber jackets, and pilot bags because they idolize their teachers. I’m proud of our instructors for recognizing their impact on the next generation of pilots. Our CFIs spend time getting to know our students, finding out who they are and where they come from. They also find out what their goals are so they can help them get where they want to go. A good mentor cherishes your dreams and is someone you never forget, and our team is unforgettable!
To be successful, both teachers and mentors need to inspire those around them. I see our team inspire new aviators all the time with these four words: “You can do it!” And it’s true: anyone can learn to fly. We had a student at our Pompano Beach location a few years ago who struggled during his private pilot training. The student was so discouraged that he thought about quitting. He met with one of our chief pilots, Garry Goddard, and shared his feelings. Garry inspired him to keep going and mentored him from that moment on. Garry encouraged the student with a few simple words: “You can do it, and I will help you.” Wouldn’t you know it, that student finished his private pilot training and went on to become a flight instructor! Our team never gives up on our students, ever.
We have a wonderful team. We are so thankful for their effort and dedication to our students and to each other. I would like to thank them for all they do for American Flyers.
To our students, thank you for choosing American Flyers. We know there are other options, but we will work hard to ensure you receive the best education the industry has to offer.
On behalf of the American Flyers board of directors, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!