Do you aspire to be a flight instructor? Maybe you’d like to sit in the left seat of the newest Boeing or Airbus transport plane down the road? You already know how good a pilot you are! But, aside from that, what else is required? What are the requirements for becoming a professional aviator? You owe it to yourself and your pupils to be true professionals if you want to be an efficient aviation instructor.
Whether you plan to pursue aviation education as a career or are preparing your resume for your next aviation position, being recognized as a professional will be critical. After working as a flight teacher, many pilots go on to work for a commercial airline. How does the airline business pick between you and your opponent across the field as an instructor? I recommend that they look for pilots who can demonstrate that they already possess “Captain” traits – true professionals!
It’s worth noting that I used the phrase “aviation instructor” rather than the more specific “flying instructor” in the title. If you narrow your emphasis too much, such as thinking of yourself solely as a “flight instructor,” you’ll find that you can teach stick and rudder abilities just fine. Still, you’ll miss out on the all-important soft skills, such as aeronautical decision-making, that are so crucial to aviation safety.
As a result, as your pupils gain experience and expertise, they may seek a real aviation specialist to continue their training. Let’s look at some of the qualities that define professionalism, particularly as they pertain to aviation teachers. First and foremost, let’s be clear: professionalism is not a single talent that can be mastered in a single day.
Professionalism is a set of abilities and characteristics that can take years to achieve. One of the qualifications for becoming a flight teacher, for example, is that you have at least a commercial pilot license. This certificate is not given out solely based on your superior knowledge and talent; you must also have a certain number of hours of flying experience.