A Bull-rider's Love of Flying


A Bull-rider's Love of Flying~Guest Blogger Collin W. Hughes, MEI/ATP

With everything that is happening in the world today I felt the need to post something positive. I have seen so many aspiring pilots ask the question about becoming a flight instructor to build their time. The question many of them ask is if others enjoy being instructors.

Here is my perspective on being a flight instructor. I had two dreams growing up. I wanted to be a cowboy and a pilot. I have been fortunate to have accomplished both of my childhood dreams. I rode bulls for eighteen years and was privileged to compete with great legends in the sport of professional rodeo. Aviation came later in life. I am so grateful that I was able to fly several different aircraft, including a few that required type ratings. My point is many people dream of being a pilot.

When I met my first flight instructor I was in awe. I felt it an honor that this person was took the time to teach me something that I had wanted to do my entire life. My first time taking the controls of an airplane was an absolute dream come true. I was nervous and unsure of what I was doing. However, my flight instructor was sitting next to me guiding me though whatever maneuver I was being taught.

I felt the same way about every flight Instructor I have worked with throughout my flying career. Each time I met an instructor I felt trust, respect and admiration for their skills and abilities. I do mean every instructor right up ones at FlightSafety when I received my ATP and my first type rating. Additionally, I had the same respect and admiration for the instructors who worked with me at the airlines.

Becoming an instructor takes hard work and dedication. It is not an easy thing to accomplish. I can emphatically tell you that it is well worth the effort. When you meet your first student and that person looks at you with admiration, you will know what it is like to help someone achieve their lifelong dream to become a pilot. It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. For me that sums up what it is like to be a flight instructor.

So, if you are new to aviation or a seasoned CFI with ten thousand hours of dual given, remember that you are not just instructing you are helping people live out their dreams. You are working with someone who as a child would run around their yard with their arms outstretched pretending they are flying through the air. You are not just working with a man or woman, but his or her inner child as well. They will be nervous and possibly even scared. But you are there with them. You are there coaching them along. You are helping make their dreams come true!

That is what it is like to be a flight instructor. I love to fly. I will miss flying as I approach my retirement. I hope those who come behind me will love flying and instructing as much as I do.

Do what you love and love what you do!

Collin W. Hughes, MEI/ATP
NAFI# 222803


 (Featured Photos Courtesy of Collin W. Hughes)



Blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent, professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinions or position of the National Association of Flight Instructors. NAFI does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Readers should note content may appear in various media, including print, email, enews without further notice.
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