CFI Close-Ups: Flight Instructor Q&A with Alan Pickard

We asked our flight instructor Alan Pickard, CFI, about his experience and why he loves flying. Read more below!

Q: How did you get into flying?
A: When I was around 7 years old, I got the opportunity to fly with my grandfather and his friend in a Cessna 172. I immediately fell in love with flying and wanted to be a pilot from then on.

Q: What do you think is important when choosing a flight school?
A: In reference to choosing a flight school, I believe that a prospective student should look for a school that cares about their development as an individual. I know as a student at Sterling, I had instructors that cared and ensured that my needs as a student were being met.

Q: What do you like most about being an instructor?
A: My favorite part of being an instructor is seeing a student succeed at something they’ve struggled with and seeing the pride a student has in that success.

Q: What is your most memorable flying experience?
A: My most memorable flying experience was my first time flying over a layer of clouds. There is not much that matches flying over an endless layer of clouds.

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: I would advise a student to be prepared to study a lot and be willing to push through setbacks. With flying, there may be an entire week of training canceled due to weather (especially with Florida’s weather). That being said, it is completely worth it.

Q: What advice would you give individuals interested in instructing?
A: To anyone interested in instructing, be ready to explain things in depth. Further, be ready to explain things differently than you’re used to. Every student learns differently.  

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I am still exploring what’s next for me. I enjoy where I’m at currently, and am excited to explore any future opportunities.

Q: If you could fly anywhere, where would it be?
A: If I could fly anywhere, I would fly over Yellowstone. I went on vacation there when I was younger and Yellowstone is one of my favorite places. I think it would be neat to see the park from a different point of view.  

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