I am a 2000 graduate of the Professional Pilot Program at Spartan School of Aeronautics. Since graduating from Spartan as a Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFII), I have been teaching students to fly in Boulder, Colorado. It was a job that I found through Spartan’s job placement service.
Upon my arrival here in Boulder, I realized how valuable my training at Spartan had been. I had an edge over other instructors from my very first day. My knowledge of the regulations was much better than the CFI’s that had been working here for some time. I had thorough procedures for maneuvers when other instructors had none. I had a complete understanding of aircraft systems while other instructors did not. All of these things can be attributed to the training I received at Spartan. It wasn’t long before I was mentioned to be next in line for the Chief Pilot spot. When the Chief Pilot did leave for another job, I was moved ahead of two other instructors to take over the position. It is a position that I have had since April of 2001.
The training at Spartan inspires confidence in your abilities. When a Cessna T210 I was flying near Cheyenne, Wyoming broke its crankshaft, I was forced to land in a field without engine power. I followed the emergency procedures I first learned at Spartan and I put it down with no damage to the aircraft or myself. That confidence came from hours of practicing emergencies at Spartan.
As the Chief Pilot of a small Part 61 flight school, I have tried to mimic the operations of Spartan’s flight school. I have established a standardized syllabus, updated the dispatch procedures and written a Policy and Procedures Manual for the instructors. I want this fight school to reach the same level of professionalism that I experienced at Spartan.
Attending Spartan School of Aeronautics truthfully was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life and career as a pilot.
I earned my Private Pilot certificate in August of 1972 and started school at Spartan in September of the same year. I originally enrolled in the instrument repair area but decided that I wanted to instead get my A &P. I did not come from a mechanical background and found it difficult to ‘catch up’ with most of my classmates. At that time many of my fellow students were just coming out of the military with a lot of experience. I finished and graduated from Spartan in December of 1973 with my Airframe Mechanic’s license but not the powerplant portion. This was due to my being young and dumb. I worked at Great Western Airlines for a very short time while I continued to pursue the flying part of my career. I always kept my hand into the maintenance side and the training I received at Spartan was instrumental several times in being able to go further in flying. I earned all the rest of my flying ratings and started instructing throughout North Eastern Oklahoma and back in my home of Texas. I flew charters and then was hired at Metro Airlines flying Twin Otters. This company later became American Eagle. I flew G-1’s for Conoco Oil Company, out of Ponca City, OK and then left there to buy a DC-9 type rating and was hired at Emerald Airlines out of Austin Texas and at Muse Air. When Muse was bought out by Southwest we were eventually shut down and I was hired at Midway for a few months, then at UPS Airlines in 1988. I was hired as a B-757 First Officer and after a time flew the right seat of the B-747 before making Captain on the DC-8 and then back onto the 757 and 767. I am currently flying Captain seat on the MD-11 internationally.
As with many things in aviation, the grass is greener somewhere else etc. I am now in the mode of coming full circle. I am in the process of rebuilding a Decathlon from the ground up. The one class that I enjoyed more than any other at Spartan was the Dope and Fabric. I really enjoy working with the older airplanes. At the present time I am trying to go back and finish up the work to obtain my powerplant license. I guess better late than never.
Spartan opened many doors for me as a pilot/mechanic. The reputation of the school has made it possible for me to go further than many thought possible.
Stay the course, finish the race that is set before you and don’t let it take thirty-four years to go back to get your education completed.
I am a 1995 Graduate & former employee of Spartan. I wanted to share my experiences once I graduated from Spartan.
In 1996 I returned to Spartan to seek employment as a Flight instructor. I was hired in September, spending 2 and ½ years as a ground & flight instructor, a check airman and was Spartan’s Flight Instructor of the Year in 1998.
After building valuable flight time and experience, I set out to attain my career goals. I experienced some rejection at first, and then found success at Trans World Express as an ATR 42/72 first officer. I was based in St Louis, Missouri for approximately 1 and ½ years, accumulating a thousand hours of heavy, turboprop time. I was able to use the skills I received at Spartan in the airline environment.
Most pilots continue to seek a bigger and better deal. I was no exception. I stepped to the next tier of my career by getting hired with my current employer, Flight Options, LLC. We are the second largest fractional ownership company in the world, with over 225 planes and almost 1000 pilots. I began as a First Officer in a Hawker 800A aircraft then was promoted to Captain in a Citation Jet and now I am a Check Airman for the Citation Jet fleet.
The experience and tools I learned at Spartan helped me to secure a good job in the aviation industry. I have been flying a total of 16 years, but Spartan was the best decision I made in my aviation career.
I encourage your students to stay focused, work hard and Spartan will provide the knowledge and skill necessary to overcome superstition and luck.
My interest in aviation began at an early age when my dad began building an airplane in our garage at home. By age sixteen I had soloed in our homemade airplane and knew I wanted a career in aviation.
The person with the job I admired the most at our local airport was the Chief Pilot for Corporate Flight Department. He told me that his A & P license really opened the doors for him in corporate aviation. Realizing that I enjoyed both flying and working on aircraft, I knew that becoming a professional Pilot/Mechanic was for me. I began asking around about A&P schools. The owner of an Aircraft Repair Station said that of all of the mechanics he has hired over the years, the A&P’ s that came from Spartan were the most knowledgeable.
I graduated from Spartan’s AMT program in 1984 and I immediately went to work for a regional airline as an A&P Mechanic. As I gained maintenance experience with the airline I continued to log as much flying time as possible and within a few years I was a Corporate Pilot/Mechanic for one the of the largest banks in the country.
I now have a very unique job with a company that allows me the opportunity to fly and maintain extraordinary aircraft including the only Grumman Albatross on an Air Carrier Certificate, and a meticulously restored 1931 Waco biplane. I am very proud to tell people that I earned my A&P from Spartan and would highly recommend the school to anyone looking for a rewarding career in aviation.