Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Running With The Big Dogs: A Jet Experience

“Flying Like The Pros” shows GA pilots big-cockpit methods and techniques

Don't be in a rush to screw things up!" It's one of many little sayings and memory joggers that 2010 National CFI Of The Year Jeffrey Robert Moss (everyone calls him "MossY") teaches students in his Flying Like The Pros (FLTP) system. It's MossY's passion and concept: flying general aviation airplanes like professional pilots fly jets at the top tier of the aviation hierarchy.

The valuable reminder would be one of many I would commit to memory as MossY engaged me in his second biggest passion: transitioning piston pilots to jets. MossY's years of specialized flight training in both airline and GA cockpits has endowed him with a unique understanding of how best to transition GA pilots to single-pilot jets. MossY is the industry expert on the task. He's merged this with his Flying Like The Pros concept to create a multifaceted training system with courses that teach the secrets and methods the pros use on the elite flight decks of the world.

Even at 5:30 a.m., MossY exudes passion like most people exhale. Passion is an overused word in aviation, but nothing better describes his zeal for flying. "There is nothing I enjoy more," says MossY in an exuberant voice, "than teaching a purely piston pilot like yourself how to fly a jet!" I know it's not marketing hype because he doesn't need this. His FLTP courses are respected in the industry, and his own accomplishments negate the need for him to teach a taildragger guy like me how to fly a Citation Mustang. Clearly, he loves this.

Even at this hour, with the sun still snuggled behind the Earth, MossY's voice fills the room. "I discovered that the real pros were doing things differently than I was." He tells me the story of his flying a tough ILS approach with a renowned captain from British Airways one night. "I flew it beautifully," says MossY. "But when I asked him what he thought of it afterwards, he said it was pitiful! I sat with him for four hours and took notes about how it should be done!"

747 Love Affair
MossY has a unique view into the elite world of international cockpits because of his own association with the Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Those of us who grew up in the pre-9/11 world might recall the fact that "civilians" (nonpilots) could pay money for left-seat time in the full-motion simulators used for training at many of the world's biggest airlines. Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, United, Pan Am and many other airlines offered the little-known program.

In college, MossY was given the gift of a "Pilot for a Day" with United Airlines in a 747-400 simulator by his girlfriend. "That was one of those life-changing moments," MossY says. The sim experience led to MossY traveling all over the world buying 747 simulator time with the biggest airlines. By the age of 23, MossY was considered an expert on airline standardization and procedures on the B744, and shortly thereafter started consulting to several airlines. By this time, MossY had earned his private certificate and was earning his instrument rating.

MossY's airline-pilot connections put him squarely on a path that allowed him to fly and observe pro pilots and their methods and procedures; especially those in international cockpits. MossY adopted these techniques, and found they increased safety and precision by a large margin, and were just as viable in GA cockpits as in a 747. He also positioned himself as an instructor on glass cockpits—new to GA at the time—and in the newer technically advanced aircraft like the Cirrus SR22 and Columbia 400. Flying Like The Pros came from that.


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