Jeff Earnhart has made his dream into reality this year. On June 19, he became a private pilot, and couldn’t be happier. He has waited a long time for his training to begin, and with some dedication and a few pleasant surprises along the way he made it happen.
While growing up, Jeff’s grandfather would often take him for rides in his Piper Arrow; it was during these formative times when Jeff was inspired to learn to fly himself. However, scholastic responsibilities had to take priority; and throughout his high school and college career, Jeff never had the time to go after his goal. Even after graduation, he was forced to wait. But in the meantime he embarked on a successful career selling tools for the fabrication of marble countertops. His selling region encompasses North and South Carolina and Georgia.
It was in the beginning of this year when Jeff decided it was time to learn how to fly, and he, “just did it”. He enrolled at American Flyers in Atlanta and took his first training flight on May 1. As his training progressed, he remarked that he had not expected flight training to be so enjoyable, that it was “more fun than I thought,” and that before training he imagined it would be “more like work”.
With the earning of his private certificate, he immediately set to work on his instrument rating, and as of the day he gave this interview, he was only a few flight hours away from his check ride.
As he looks ahead, he sees his new skills as a “definite” boon to his career in sales, but as far as a flying career, it’s “just for myself,” although Jeff does have an interest in eventually pursuing a commercial license one day and maybe his instructor license as well. His immediate goal however, is to take his grandfather up for a ride.