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CFI Close-Ups: Flight Instructor Q&A with Ashlynn

We asked our flight instructor Ashlynn, CFI, CFII, MEI about her experience and why she loves flying. Read more below!

Q: How did you get into flying?
A: I grew up in an aviation household. My mother is retired from FEDEX as a Boeing777 captain, and my oldest sister is a pilot now too, delivering cargo to the villages of Alaska. We were fortunate to take a lot of vacations as kids where we would fly and I began to associate flying with being fun and being able to see new places. I took my first discovery flight 11 years ago in a Taylorcraft Seaplane in Anchorage Alaska, and during my freshman year of college decided to take another flight to see if I was still interested in flying. Since then, I’ve been hooked and started working at an FBO. I was hired with American Eagle as a flight attendant while I was in college in 2017. I started to pursue my ratings after graduating from Florida State University in 2019.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a pilot?
A: My first discovery flight was very fun and I knew it was for me, but the second is what sealed the deal .I knew because it was all I could talk or think about for months straight and knew that this was the career I wanted.

Q: What do you think is important when choosing a flight school?
A: There are many factors that go into choosing a flight school, instructors, program details and specifics and airplanes/ availability. Sterling has some of the nicest airplanes I’ve seen with at a flight school!

Q: What do you like most about being an instructor?
A: I love the opportunity to teach people and see how they grow and transform as a pilot. Teaching is very rewarding.

Q: What is your most memorable flying experience?
A: During my commercial training we did turns about a point over a manatee and being able to fly into cities where I grew up.

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: Study hard, and study long. Keep studying and chair fly at home. Showing up prepared is huge and this will benefit you being able to maximize your time in the airplane and not have to keep relearning. And learning to roll with the flow. Aviation changes a lot and very quickly and being flexible is huge! Getting ahead of the airplane is something your instructor will preach to you, studying before your lessons and coming in prepared helps get you in front of the airplane that is your training.

Q: What advice would you give individuals interested in instructing?
A: It’s easier to refresh and build on the information you built a foundation for than to have to learn new topics, on top of the flight instructor information. Be thorough when you study as you are working on your initial ratings so that it helps you when you start on the more challenging ratings.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: Hopefully moving onto a regional airline once I am qualified and would like to finish my career at FedEx flying cargo. I would love to fly seaplanes too.

Q: If you could fly anywhere, where would it be?
A: Alaska or seaplane in the Maldives

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