Aeroinstructor.com’s primary focus is aviation education
My goal, is to build upon the FOI, making it not just another academic tome, but to bring it to life, such that it becomes a valuable tool in a flight instructors arsenal . In addition, where and when possible, aeroinstructor.com will push the limits, by bringing current educational developments from other sectors to aviation.
Meet the webmaster
My early days in aviation, flight training, and apprenticeship
I learned to fly as a college student at KOSH, and like all students had very little money, but chose to spend the money I had on flight lessons rather than beer. A good tradeoff looking back. In addition, I also started working for the FBO, with my first work involving insulating and painting the hanger, cleaning the place, pumping fuel, and being the receptionist in exchange for flight time. It wasn’t long before I ended up assisting the mechanics with 100 hour and annual inspections. By the time I had graduated with a physics degree, I had been involved with a wide range of maintenance tasks, major and minor repair and alterations, including aircraft painting. Looking back, I coud have pursued getting an A or P certificate via apprenticeship, but neglected to follow up on it. (I did not have enough hours for both…) I was also fortunate to deal with a number of vendors and repair shops, even learning about instrument repair from one of the gurus with a repairmans certificate. I learned a great deal by being involved with maintenance for those 4 years.
Military style training and ATC
As an FBO employee, I was able to fly with every one of our instructors, and being that Larry Marks, the owner was a retired Air Force Colonel, he had some pretty high standards. Thus I learned something new from each person. In the first year or two, Larry hired a lot of freelance instructors from ATC. In fact, the main CFI I flew with other than Larry himself used to remark that he handled more air traffic in the Chicago area between 7AM-9AM than a week at the local tower. It was also interesting to note that everyone knew Lon Nanke when we did cross country flying. The ATC community is indeed a small one. Tthe perspective of flying with Lon, Michelle, and James gave me some insights into ATC that I will never forget. I also must add, that outside of Michelle, a recent ERAU grad at the time, most of Larry’s instructor’s had over 30 years of experience.
In addition, being located at KOSH, our hanger was usually pretty busy, and we had a wide range of experience. Everything from retired airline pilots to young college students were there. I know I never would have learned situational awareness from the guys that used to fly the A-N radio ranges (predecessor of the VOR), nearly as well, had it not been for those war stories. Nor would I have picked up the words of wisdom from the home builders, or stood in awe of Steve Wittman’s insight after a test flight.
Crash Fire and Rescue
Of course, the sad parts occured too, I’ve seen way too many crashes, and hanging out with the CFR guys gives one yet another perspective of the unforgiving nature of aviation. Out of those experiences, my emphasis on teaching judgement and the decision chain became more than just an academic exercise, but a real life emphasis based upon personal observation.
Ground Instruction Focus
For the time being, my emphasis is on ground instruction. My flight skills are not as sharp as they once were, and while my instructional techniques are rock solid, the stick and rudder skills take some time to be derusted. In addition, the state of Minnesota makes it exceedingly difficult to operate as a freelance CFI without a commercial operators certificate. Thus in order to build a decent client base, I would need to be employed by an FBO, or start my own, an exceedinly daunting task. Aeroinstructor was born out of changes in Minnesota law that allow ground instruction to be offered without a commercial operators certificate.
Minnesota Association of Professional Flight Instructors
I am a member of MAPFI . One of my goals is to acheive the master instructor designation from NAFI in 2010. not only from the standpoint of status, but also as a way to hone and sharpen my skills, and take advantage of new and evolving instructional techniques.