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CFI Close-Ups: Flight Instructor Q&A with Jackie Anderson

We asked our flight instructor Jackie Anderson, ASEL/AMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI, about her experience and why she loves flying. Read more below!

Q: How did you get into flying?
A: I got into flying after a ten-year career in DC and realized I wanted to do something a bit more exciting. I come from a family of aviators and have been around planes for most of my life, so it was a welcomed transition.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a pilot?
A: I grew up with pictures of planes taped to my bedroom walls and made model airplanes with my dad growing up, so I think I always had a secret desire to fly. I’m glad I finally took the plunge!

Q: What do you think is important when choosing a flight school?
A: There’s lots to consider when choosing a flight school: affordability, availability of instructors and planes, scope of programs offered, and the quality of instruction given. I like to think Sterling is a great mix of it all.

Q: What do you like most about being an instructor?
A: I’m a people person so I really like making solid connections with my students. It’s interesting to see how many people from different walks of life decide to begin flight training. It’s part of my job to connect with them the right way to make training as productive and enjoyable as possible. As long as you walk away having learned something new or having tightened up a skill (and having fun), I’m doing my job!

Q: What is your most memorable flying experience?
A: My favorite flights have been fun little cross countries with friends to get lunch or dinner (mostly BBQ in St. Simon’s Island) or skimming the beach to look for sharks.

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: My advice to incoming flight students is to always ask “why” when learning something new, remember what motivated you to want to fly in the first place, and don’t let learning plateaus discourage you too much. Everyone gets them; feel free to ask plenty of questions and your instructor will help you through it.

Q: What advice would you give fellow instructors?
A: For instructors; you’ll learn more teaching than you did during your time in flight school. Don’t expect to know it all, but don’t lose your motivation to ask questions about things you’re unfamiliar with. Aviation is lifelong education. Have fun with it.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’m planning to begin a career in the airlines with a regional carrier once I’ve flown the necessary hours (but will always have a special spot in my heart for Sterling!)

Q: If you could fly anywhere, where would it be?
A: I’d love to fly somewhere exotic – the Bahamas would be a great trip.

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