Date: 9 August 2018
Hello, my name is Cody Helton and I’m 20 years old. I am currently a Flight Instructor / Check Instructor at the L3 Airline Academy in Sanford, Florida, and a former graduate of the Professional Pilot Program (PPP).
I knew at the early age of three that I wanted to be an airline pilot. Growing up with a father in the industry, I had the privilege of watching the process and the steps it took to achieve such a monumental career. I have been flying since I was six years old. It is every bit as much a part of my life as breathing or talking. As soon as I was legally old enough, I started flight training. I obtained my private pilot license at the age of seventeen. Unhappy with the flight school I was at, I started looking around for different options. After months of research and discussions with my parents, I decided on L3.
As soon as I graduated high school, I enrolled in the Professional Pilot Program and began my journey. In addition to the excitement of being accepted into the academy, I was awarded the $35,000 L3 Airline Academy High School Senior Merit Scholarship. Every applicant, including myself had to go through an extensive selection process, competing against individuals nationwide!
The reason why I chose L3 Airline Academy over other academies was because of the structured environment, quality of instruction, and the airline-oriented training. Although these factors made for a great program, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The program requires 110% dedication. Being able to achieve anything great requires motivation and hard work, all of which is expected of you from day one. After graduating from the program and going through a rigorous hiring process, I was offered a position as a flight instructor.
Working as a flight instructor has been a very rewarding way to build my required flight time. I feel grateful each day I get to wake up and do something I love. If I can give one piece of advice to future students, it’s to treat your training like a job at the airlines. Show up to each lesson in a professional manner and put yourself in the mindset of a commercial pilot. Put in the work and you will achieve success.
Regardless of what your goals are in life, never say you can’t do it. As my father always said, “Can’t never did anything.” Strive for success and never accept anything but that.