Date: 26 October 2018
Hello, I am Pablo, a 35 year old full time Flight Instructor at L3 in Sanford, and a part time Airman Trainee for Air Wisconsin. Here are a few significant numbers that detail my story to date:
5 – How old I was when my love for aviation began. My parents would take me to the local airfield to watch the daily American Eagle turboprop flight land, turn around, and take off. As I grew older, I found my favorite part of most vacations were the flights to and from the destination. There’s something about the combination of the machinery and nature coming together to catapult a person from one location of the world to another through a medium of peace and quiet, conducive to thought and reflection, that just gets me.
9 Years – The amount of time I worked at Jetblue. Over the years I have held many positions there! First, I worked as a Stations Operations Coordinator, then an Inflight Crewmember, eventually becoming an Internal Evaluator, and most recently a Senior Analyst for Fatigue Risk Management Systems. During my time with Jetblue, I maintained my Flight Attendant qualifications in order to enhance my safety credentials and contributions with subject-matter-expertise in the area of Flight (Pilot) and Inflight (Flight Attendant) Operations. My many years at Jetblue, in numerous roles, provided me the opportunity to witness and experience, first-hand, the operational rigors, tempo, and professionalism required during flight deck operations.
19 – The age I was when I decided to pursue my dream. I always knew I had an intense passion for aviation, particularly flying, but I never saw it as a career. In college I decided to major in Aerospace Engineering, but my passion for flight, made manifest by the hours upon hours I spent on Microsoft Flight Simulator, far outweighed my passion for advanced physics and mathematics. So, in the spring of 2003, I decided I would change my major to something that would provide me the ability to spend more time flying. This is why in the summer of 2003, I registered as a flight student at the Regional Airline Academy in Deland, FL, and completed all of my ratings (up to CFI).
20 + – The amount of students I have instructed throughout the years. I have also personally endorsed 7 students for their private pilot certificates! The best part about teaching is the opportunity to change lives in a multifaceted way. You don’t just teach young men and women how to fly, you simultaneously end up teaching them a bit about life too.
1110 – The amount of hours I have flown. My ultimate goal is to become an airline pilot, so reaching at least 1500 hours is the target! The best part of about flying is the wonder of it all. The way the machine works is amazing. The way humanity has come together to create a system by which we can all safely slip the surly bonds of earth. The opportunity for peace and serenity experienced while in the air is unparalleled. All that and flying is just plain cool. It’s a rare career, relatively speaking, and almost always a fascinating conversation starter.
2008 – The year of my wedding. Around 2006, I stopped training just shy of the check ride of my Commercial Pilot Certificate to accept a job working for Jetblue Airways’ Station Operations Team in Boston’s Logan Airport. I remained in that position until I met my wife. Deciding to get married prompted me to return to Florida to finish my ratings. I finished my Commercial Single and Multi-engine courses, flew up to Massachusetts to attend my own wedding in January 2008, then drove back to Florida with my new wife to finish my Instructor Certificate.
1,3,5,7 – The ages of my 4 children; Liam (boy age 7), Caleb (boy age 5), Mia (girl age 3), and Carter (boy age 1). My children, along with my wife, are my highest and most important priority. They come second only to God.
I chose L3 because they provide the organizational structures necessary for sustained flight training operations. The industry is seeing an increased demand for pilots. Because of this need, flight schools are seeing an increased demand for flight training. L3 has developed a product that meets this demand on a large scale. A keen instructor would realize that becoming part of that system would be beneficial to L3, its customers, and the instructor him/herself.
My advice to anyone wanting to become a pilot is this: always remember that no time will ever be the perfect time to start. Just go and get started! It’s never too late!