Imagine landing your airplane gently onto the glassy water of a lake, taxiing up to your dock, tying the dock lines, grabbing your overnight bag and walking the short distance to your front door. Keith Ovitt has wanted to fly a seaplane for a long time. To tie it up at the dock in front of his lake house is the caveat.
Keith has taken a two-week break from his flight training schedule to go to the Glasair Aviation factory in Arlington, Washington where he is building his airplane, the Glasair Sportsman 2+2, a single-engine, 4-seat airplane similar to a C-182. After the airplane is complete, Keith will have to fulfill the FAA requirements for airworthiness certification.
The Ovitt family includes 16 year old Keegan, 19 year old Kalie and wife Vicki. The kids enjoy bringing their friends to the lake house for boating, skiing and general hanging out. Vicki and Keith enjoy entertaining and relaxing. The new airplane will bring an exciting element to their experience this summer.
Seventeen year old Sam Irvine always loved aviation. He fondly remembers his grandfather who was an Air Force pilot and a captain for American Airlines, “My grandpa always encouraged me to fly, if I liked it.” Sam likes it and his whole family has been encouraging him. His Dad, Mom and brother will be the first passengers from his long list of family and friends to get a ride now that he has earned his Private Pilot Certificate.
A senior in high school, Sam is already looking forward to attending University of Illinois or Purdue and being a part of the ROTC program. His grandmother has always told him to get a degree in something other than aviation, so that he would have something to fall back on should ever be unable to fly and it may help secure future aviation jobs. Sam has been listening and though he’s not sure what direction he’ll go, perhaps a liberal arts degree or prelaw, he does know that he wants to be a Navy pilot after college.
Juggling flight training and school work was a challenge, but it was made easier by how much fun flying was… really fun! He advises student pilots, “Stay current. Don’t take time off, if possible.” Sam learned that it’s harder to catch up again, if you let yourself get out of practice.
When he’s not flying, Sam likes to play soccer, hang out with his friends and play disk golf. One of the first things he wants to do with his new Pilot certificate is see Chicago from above. Look up one of these days and you may see him fly by.
Daniel Cutting’s life is going through a series of positive transitions. In August 2007 he graduated from Georgia State University and later that same month he began flight training from zero and is now days away from beginning a new career as a flight instructor. On May 24th he’ll be marrying Laura, the girl of his dreams.
Always having loved airplanes Daniel was very lucky in high school. His older brother Jamal was a flight instructor and would take him flying. Daniel knew this was what he wanted to do as a career. Jamal is now a captain with a regional airline.
“I underestimated how much ground knowledge there would be to learn,” he says. “It’s hard work to do all the studying, but it’s the most gratifying feeling.”
His first solo stands out as the most memorable moment of his training. “The instructor got out of the airplane and as I was rolling down the runway, I realized the only way this is coming out safely is if I do it right!” So he did it right and hasn’t stopped since.
On his journey to discover his passion, Adam Khan often chose paths full of adventure. After high school he enrolled in pre-med, following the cultural expectations of his background. He struggled with it and decided pre-med wasn’t the right choice for him. So he followed the footsteps of his cousin and joined the U.S. Air Force at age 19, working 14 hour days on the flight line in Alaska at minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Though many would have considered those conditions a challenge, Adam considered the experience an adventure. It contributed to the man he has grown to be.
Eventually he went back to college and earned a double major in Business and Sociology. As he was looking into working on his MBA, Adam thought flight school sounded like another exciting adventure. He enrolled in a large school, but found it to be disorganized. After looking into other options he decided on American Flyers. “Don’t waste time at a gimmicky school,” he advised. “American Flyers is structured and got me finished up quickly with a good education.” Adam is now halfway through his Instrument training.
Adam’s family is very proud of him – he’s the first pilot in a long line of doctors and IT managers. His long-term goal is to fly for United Arab Emirates Airline. Then his dream will be fulfilled. What some people may consider challenges, Adam Khan considers adventure.
A large portion of my flying time has been with instructors as I worked through programs of private, commercial and instrument training at recognized flight schools including Florida Institute of Technology and Perdue University . Recently I came to American Flyers to retool my skills and complete my instrument rating.
The time I spent with Jacob Lyndon was the shortest and most productive instruction I have ever received. Mr. Lyndon is a very effective teacher who has been able to effectively share his tremendous practical knowledge. As a result, I believe that I am a far better and safer pilot and am able to perform well above the basic requirements for the difficult instrument rating. This opinion is shared by the FAA Flight Examiner who tested me before and after my American Flyer training.
I would not hesitate for a moment to highly recommend American Flyers to any discriminating pilot who is seeking excellent and professional flight training.
I am writing to let you know what a fantastic bunch of teachers and staff you have at Morristown , New Jersey . I had about 110 hours when I came to your school, and I would call some of the time I had at other schools wasted.
Your instructors pushed and encouraged me. Each was superbly trained. I did the majority of my training with Mr. Ian Henry, an unusually intelligent and resourceful young man worthy of special notice. All of the other instructors were terrific. I learned from each of them. The manager, Mr. Mark Bennett, and his staff, were quite responsive. I set a goal – to get my private pilot in short order – and they responded.
I am looking forward to doing my instrument rating at Morristown as soon as possible. Best wishes for continued success with your school.
I wanted to thank you for helping me obtain my instrument rating. It’s great that American Flyers will sponsor foreign pilots to train in the U. S. I wanted to say how profoundly impressed I have been with the course, the teaching as a whole, the organization, from nightly phone call reminders of the next day’s lesson time, to the course material.
In December I was attending another flight school, and was getting quite disheartened with instructors who were simply building hours and showed no enthusiasm for teaching or interest in how you were progressing. After two weeks I realized that despite self-study and a wish to be a good instrument pilot, I was getting nowhere and had learned nothing.
Thankfully I found American Flyers. Without exception all the flight instructors were helpful, patient and extremely knowledgeable. Can I also say that Michael Biagini, my primary flight instructor encouraged me at every stage, despite a shaky start with a 8 hour time change, he was optimistic from the start, planned out every lesson in advance, told me what to do to become proficient and made the whole experience an absolute joy.
I truly believe that without Michael Biagini, my primary flight instructor, there is no way I would have completed my instrument written exam, oral test and flight test in just over 20 flight school days, flying once a day. I look forward to returning in a month’s time to complete my commercial rating.
I found your group to be highly professional and very easy to work with. The level of training was excellent and if I pursue additional ratings it will certainly be with American Flyers. Thank you again.
I would just like to extend my gratitude to you, and all of the instructors there at American Flyers. I started out flying elsewhere, and after burning through thousands of dollars, and getting nowhere, I got frustrated and quit. I was referred to American Flyers by a friend of mine, and decided to look into it. After meeting with you and Chris, I was sure that this was the way I was going to get through my training. You guys worked with me, and got me through my private. Everyone was incredibly patient, professional, and knowledgeable – a far cry from where I came from.
I worked with John Keating quite a bit for my private, and some of my instrument. He was wonderful. He made me feel good about every flight, good or bad, and always kept me motivated – his love for aviation really comes across in his teaching.
Should I choose to continue my flight training in the future, I know that American Flyers will be my first and only choice. I will also be referring you whole heartedly to my frustrated student pilot friends.
I want to thank the entire staff at American Flyers for your assistance and training, which enabled me to obtain my private pilot’s certificate. As you may recall, it was about four months ago that I signed up for a few lessons just to gain some more knowledge about travel in small airplanes into small airports. I wanted to learn more about flying in chartered airplanes into small airports to visit jobs and clients. Also, I wanted to learn more about weather and the decision-making process regarding when it is safe to fly.
I fell in love with piloting and I enjoy the many people I have met in the process of training. While I don’t intend to make this another profession, I am very comfortable and confident that traveling by small aircraft is safe and economical way for me and my fellow engineers to save time when getting out to see clients and jobs.
As an added benefit, I found the communication and decision-making skills and continuous learning approach that are stressed at American Flyers to be very much in line with the attitudes we stress among our professional staff at Patrick Engineering. I would encourage others to take the time to go through your program whether they want to learn to fly or whether they just want to be more confident and knowledgeable about travel in small planes. Thank you again, and all the best to your entire staff.
Getting my Private Pilot Certificate has been a personal goal for a long time and I am frankly surprised that I was able to complete it start-to-finish in just about 2 weeks. I attribute much of that success to the tight coordination and service oriented approach of the staff and instructors at American Flyers. I would happily recommend the school to anyone who is willing to concentrate and work hard to get their Private Pilot License in a relatively short period of time.
I would like to express my appreciation for the exemplary flight training that I received from American Flyers and your instructors. That I obtained my private pilot certificate in less than four months after starting my training demonstrates the quality of your flight school.
First and foremost, I believe the training I received will allow me to be a safe and safety conscious pilot. Additionally, my flight education provided me with a comprehensive and global understanding of aviation, both in practical and theoretical terms.
Lastly, I certainly appreciate your individual attention and accommodations in addressing those particular issues unique to my training, which I believe ultimately ensured my success in obtaining my private pilot certificate.
I must tell you that my experience was absolutely fantastic. The attention to my individual learning, the flexibility of scheduling and the intelligence of the instructors made my lessons simply amazing. The bottom line is this. The value of any organization is based on the intellectual capital of the individuals that make up that organization. You have many individuals working in your office with a high amount of intellectual capital.
While I never took any lessons with Mark Bennett I did however have fairly constant contact with him throughout the last ten months. He was extremely cognizant of the fact that I am basically chained to my desk throughout the week and also have a very busy schedule on the weekends. He also realizes that I am doing this completely for my own pleasure, and given that fact that it is meant to be FUN. In short Mark completely comprehends all aspects of your business. He understands that you are not only teaching people how to fly, but you are also running a business with customers who have many different needs and that these needs should not be under estimated and need to be met.
Consider yourselves lucky to have such talent working for you.
Last Thursday my Mom suffered an acute cardiac event while vacationing in Myrtle Beach , SC. I could not get a commercial flight into Myrtle Beach anytime on Friday, so I opted to fly myself. Most will agree that flying while under this type of stress is not recommended, but 24 years as a Paramedic tends to give you a good foundation to handle about any situation. Besides, she was not critically ill. I did my flight planning Thursday night and reviewed it again Friday morning when I decided to launch. I flew roughly 1000 miles (round trip), landed at uncontrolled fields, navigated around the PHL and DCA airspace plus all of the other restricted areas without incident. I returned home safely about two hours ago, and landed in some pretty stiff crosswinds.
I must thank your facility and Jim for giving me the education and experience to make this trip possible. My Mom was discharged yesterday and is doing well. I am just thankful for having undergone my training with your facility and Jim. I doubt that I would have had the confidence if I were trained locally. I am forever thankful. (and so is my Mom)
I now have an additional 11 hours of cross country PIC time to add to my experience. Hope to see you in the fall for IFR training.
I recently received my private pilot’s certificate from your FBO in Santa Monica, California. I feel compelled to convey how thrilled I was with my overall experience while achieving one of my lifelong goals. The administration and personnel at American Flyers fully embody the genuine spirit of flight: soaring above and beyond. From the aircraft mechanics to the chief pilot, a professional and positive demeanor was ever present. While safety always came first, the team at American Flyers created a fun and relaxed atmosphere that made every flight or ground lesson an enjoyable experience. Incredibly, even tests were a pleasant occurrence.
I would like to personally thank three outstanding individuals on director Jay Elder’s team, who contributed greatly to my success. Scott Gibb is a topnotch ground school instructor, who made his classes both enlightening and enjoyable. Travis Ring is not only a superior instructor, but also a tremendously ambitious pilot. He pushed me each and every day, while constantly reminding me about the joy of flight. Allie Ermel’s unmistakable organizational skills and dynamic attitude kept the front office running smoothly. It is my distinct honor and pleasure to recommend American Flyers to anyone who dreams of taking to the skies. My experience remains one of the true highlights of my life.
Thank you, American Flyers!