CFI Close-Ups: Flight Instructor Q&A with Josh Riley

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

Q: How did you get into flying?
A: I attended a high school that offered aviation classes with the opportunity to take flying lessons about midway through your senior year.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a pilot?
A: I grew up near an airport with an Air National Guard base that flew F-4’s. I remember watching them flyover when I was a kid and all I could think was that I want to be a pilot one day.

Q: What do you think is important when choosing a flight school?
A: I think the atmosphere plays a big part.  You must be comfortable where you learn.

Q: What do you like most about being an instructor?
A: I like being able to share flying with others and see them succeed.  Plus, I have the best office view in town.

Q: What is your most memorable flying experience?
A: I have so many memories that revolve around flying that it makes it tough to answer.   I’ll say that one commonality among pilots is that you’ll never forget your first time solo through the pattern.  Flights with friends and family will also make for lasting memories, my wife and I have enjoyed our “$100 hamburger” flights for dinner dates!

Q: What advice would you give students?
A: Work hard, learn everything you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Always remember that your flight instructor is on your side and wants to see you be successful.  

Q: What advice would you give individuals interested in instructing?
A: Be accepting and understanding of your students.  Look back on your experiences and remember what it was like when you were at the stage they are.    

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I only have a few credit hours left to complete a bachelor’s degree through the Liberty University School of Aeronautics.  Once that is complete, I hope to continue instructing and build my hours so that I can move up to a regional airline.  

Q: If you could fly anywhere, where would it be?
A: I’d love to be able to fly into St. Barts!   

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