How come you became a pilot?
Inspiration struck when I was 9-years-old, and was playing a board game called careers. Actually, it was more stubbornness, than inspiration. The career options of this game were: Stewardess, Librarian, Teacher, Nurse, or Model. At the time I didn't have a desire to become a model but as life would have it, I got to fly some Victoria Secret Models with Captain Dave.
My friends all wanted to become stewardesses, and they all landed on the spot to achieve that dream...During the board game at least. One of my friends actually did end up becoming a Flight Attendant for Northwest Airlines. But that's not the point. Or is it?
Back to the story I call my life. I couldn’t get so lucky and missed the stewardess dream spot. I said, “I don’t want to be a stewardess, I’m going to be the pilot!” My girlfriend responded, “You can’t be a pilot. My dad’s a pilot, and girls can’t do that.” We had a little argument and I took that challenge to the next level. I had a career plan, and all because I was told I couldn't.
Six years later I took my introductory flight, and the moment I took to the sky I thought, ‘Wow! They’re going to pay me to do this?’ I was hooked. I loved it. I felt a sense of freedom in the sky. Quiet. Calm. Controlled. Peaceful. I belonged. The rest is history.
What courses did you take?
In college I earned a business degree. Then later I earned a M.H.S. with a counseling emphasis, and a M.B.A. with a marketing emphasis. This is one of the most common questions I get... “What should I take in school?” I say, "take what you love."
Airlines just want to see the degree. I say—give yourself a backup plan for an alternate career. You never know if the flying job will end prematurely. Besides, if you study something you love you’ll do better in school because you'll have a passion for your subject.
What was your biggest flying challenge?
Wow, this is a tough one. I think the biggest flying challenge of the past was having a family, and flying—Trying to "do it all" creates a tough and exhausting life. Today the biggest challenge is staying proficient while on reserve. Then there is the other side of that equation—Being away from home for 16 days in a row is also a challenge.
No matter what you do in life there will always be challenges. Your goal is to face those challenges head on and use them to make you stronger. Find a dream and fly toward it. You may shift your course along the way, and that's okay. Nothing in life stays the same, not even your dreams. Today it's a Cessna, tomorrow its the space shuttle. Or something may happen in life beyond your control. Then one day you may be writing about it all. Having a passion for something you love will keep you motivated and flying strong in the right direction if and when the wind shifts.Why did you become a Pilot...Author... Teacher... Flight Attendant... Model...?
Why do you do what you do?
Alex is sixteen years old and would love "pilot followers" to connect with him on Twitter. You can find him @CenterAviation
Thanks for the great questions Alex.
~Enjoy the Journey!