Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Many Roads To Aviation
Real pilot stories show how passion and dedication equal flight-training success
She finished her private pilot certificate training in just three months with about 88 hours of flying time, including a few hours flying the Avidyne glass panel. After taking only a few weeks off, Endsley dove right into instrument training. To build cross-country time in more complex aircraft, she flew nearly 30 hours in a turbocharged Cessna 182. One of Endsley’s instructors rewarded her with a flight in a Cessna Citation Mustang jet, and Endsley was enamored of it. She earned her instrument rating just five months after her private certificate and added some 70 more hours of time in the Cessna 172.
“Flying a jet is just an amazing experience,” she says. “There really is nothing like it. There’s a lot going on, but it is intensely rewarding.”
What makes Endsley’s story unique is she earned the single-pilot jet rating with only about 300 hours of flight time—more than half of it in single-engine piston airplanes. It’s an illustration of what hard work and determination can accomplish. “I was lucky,” says Endsley. “I trained early in glass cockpits and I was able to count my jet time as multi-engine time. That and really good instructors got me where I am.”
Though it may seem out of the ordinary to earn a single-pilot jet rating after only 300 hours of flying tme, Endsley's experience shows that passion and dedication can be more important than hours flown.
Endsley started her training in a traditional, local flight school just like most of us. But it was her personal motivation and desire to do something special that make her story extraordinary. Here’s a look at more traditional routes to the cockpit. Just like Endsley’s, these stories illustrate how passion and dedication took each pilot on a journey of personal discovery and achievement.
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