To: American Flyers Management March 10, 2012
David Wayne Hooks Airport Houston, Texas
I have just completed American Flyers’ Instrument Rating Course at your training center located at David Wayne Hooks Airport in Houston, Texas and would like to provide you with a few comments on that experience.
As one might expect at a flying school, the flying skills of the instructors were all first rate. Their knowledge of the material covered was solid. Over the course of my training I was with several different instructors all excellent aviators in their own right but each providing a new perspective on my flying which I felt helped me immensely in grasping the new material and putting it into practice. What I found most refreshing however was the interest the entire organization had in my personal success. From the Instructors to the Director of the Facility they were always eager to hear how my last flight faired and always ready with suggestions on how to improve my skills.
I found the flight simulators to be quite valuable – not only in developing the skills and knowledge required for IFR flying, but also in helping to keep training cost down. I am convinced that the use of these simulators easily reduced my training cost by half.
Aircraft maintenance was first rate with all documents well maintained and up to date (I even picked up some tips on how to improve the documentation requirements for my own plane). I was particularly impressed with the speed and thoroughness of the response from the mechanic when any issues with the planes were brought to his attention. Each time I was given feedback on the cause and action taken to correct them (if one didn’t know any different one would swear they were his planes!).
The oral exam and check ride with the chief pilot were thorough. His approach made the event not just a check-ride but a learning experience in itself. His demeanor took the edge off the event and helped build my confidence in the new skills I had developed. At the same time he made sure I understood the limitations inherent in a new IFR pilot and provided guidance on how best to continue to build me IFR experience. To be sure, I wanted to do well on the Check-ride, but I found myself also not wanting to disappoint him.
As a retired senior executive for a global Chemical Company I understand full well the importance of having skilled, knowledgeable and experienced professionals in an organization. This is particularly critical for an organization dedicated to pilot training. Indeed, I would expect to find these attributes at any reputable flight training facility and American Flyers has them in full measure. But I believe what sets American Flyers apart is the attitude and pride they bring to flying instruction – a “flying culture” that creates a safe, positive learning environment, breeding success not only for its graduates but also for the school itself. Such a culture does not develop by accident – it must be lead and nurtured by the leadership at the facility.
Thank you for providing such an enjoyable and rewarding training experience. I am proud to wear the wings of American Flyer.
Arthur R. Colwell