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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chris Findley

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 

Chris Findley

Aviator glasses in place. Throttle in. Accelerate. Rotate.
At nine-years old Chris Findley was hooked! Another pilot was released to the world, thanks to friends who opened the door to the sky.

1982 Chris Findley

At fourteen Chris joined the Civil Air Patrol and when he was sixteen he took his firs solo flight. What did it feel like to solo? "Adrenaline pumping... heart racing... excitement..."

Chris earned his private license in Texas, and furthered his aviation education at Auburn University where he majored in Aviation Management. It was here where he earned his instrument, commercial, and flight instructor licenses. 5 years in the Army and he was free to return to his passion--- flight.

When you love something as much as Chris loves flying you need to share it. It wasn't long until Chris pulled that instructor license out of his pocket and began teaching at Gallatin-Sumner County Regional Airport north of Nashville. He's now teaching at Wings of Eagles School of Flight

Happily married to Sheryl for fifteen years in June, they are raising two kids -- Aidan (9) and Evan (6).  Evan loves to fly!  Aidan isn't so wild about it, but he'll find his own passion. 

Chris, Evan, Sheryl  and Aidan
First Officer Evan

Chris also partakes in "Pinch Hitting" where he teaches non-flying partners of pilots the skills to know what to do in a "pinch."  But when his wife's friend, Melissa, was afraid to fly, and her husband had just purchased a 172, Chris took her up to help overcome her anxiety. It worked! She may be taking more lessons. 

Pinch Hitter
A secret about most general aviation instructors... most are on a mission to build hours. But when you can find an instructor like Chris, who is there because he love to teach, you've found yourself someone special. They're more than an instructor, they're a mentor. They have a passion for what they do, and will do anything they can to help you reach your goals.

Why I fly?

"I was nine years old when I first went flying. A friend of our family had an old and tired Piper Warrior. I don't remember much about the flight, other than being almost too small to see over the instrument panel. But I know that my love of flying began that day. That short flight was all it took for me to realize I loved the air. I loved the planes. I knew I wanted to be a pilot."  

Chris Findley, You Can Be a Pilot, pg. 17.

Born a pilot, he became a pilot, he now teaches and inspires pilots. I recently finished Chris's book and I loved it. Not only does he provide a step by step outline of what you'll do during the journey to your license, but Chris provides links to "Sites of Interest" that I'll reference. 

Do you want a copy? Sign up to follow my blog and leave Chris a comment below. Tell him why you want to be a pilot--- you're entered. I'm giving a book away in a drawing, March 31st to one lucky winner. 

Chris' generosity keeps growing. He's just DONATED 10 of his books to WOMEN OF AVIATION Worldwide Week

Chris is one of those outstanding people building pilots. He's making dreams come true one flight at a time. Thank you Chris for sharing your gift with the world, and for your generous donation!

You can find Chris, and his book via the links below.
Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. He is my favorite kind of flight instructor: passionate, caring and loves what they do!!

  2. What a terrific person! You can see it in his smile. Great post, Karlene, thanks. I'm going to check out that book!!

  3. You find the most amazing and generous people Karlene! I love how you put that, when you love something this much you have to share it. And I love that Chris does that!

  4. Thanks Vic... He is. And he writes a good book too! Thanks for the comment.

  5. Thanks Linda, You need this book if you're going to fly. You're going in the drawing!

  6. Thank you Heather. The aviation industry is full of them. As is the writing world. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Karlene san,
    Thanks for shaing story of Mr.Chris.
    I can guess his passion of flying is very strong.As for me,I have never flown in real.But before flying in flight sim,My adrenaline that I want to fly is very strong.If I don't fly in sim,I got stress.haha!

    I will get book and read his book when I am in US in the near future.
    thanks again

  8. Thanks for sharing his story Karlene, another success story, sure hope Lauren finds someone like him to teach her to fly, I'm getting really excited now the time is approaching for more flying lessons xx

  9. Hi Joanne, I'm getting really excited to get some nice weather too. She will find someone. The most important thing... if the instructor doesn't "click" with her don't waste any time with them. Find someone that she instantly likes and knows she can work with.

  10. How do you consistently find such fabulous people, with genuine intentions and passion that radiates?

    Should I win this book, I'll march right down to my local city high school in Baltimore and donate it to the school library!
    I can't think of any better recipient than some young person in search of their own passion.

  11. Christian... what a great thing to do! You are entered in the contest. Best of luck. Something everyone can share! Chris donated books to the women of aviation worldwide event too. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Uh, Chris lives in the Nashville area?!? That's where I live! I've been wanting to explore the possibility of flying lessons for years--it's something I'd love to learn before I die (or get too old!)--just didn't know where to go or who to trust. Sounds like Chris is the man! Even if I don't win the book, I'm going to buy a copy. Thanks for telling us about Chris, Karlene. This could be the step toward learning to fly that I've been looking for!

  13. Brad, This is great!!! Find Chris. You are never too old until you die. Chris is the man!!!
    I'm excited for you. Keep me posted!

  14. Hi , I want to be a pilot because I love to fly, I would love to win this book as I am starting my flying lessons in June/July this year, and would be a great reference book to have to hand :) It is my passion and I cannot see myself in any other career.

    -Lauren Martino

  15. Hi Lauren, You will become a pilot! I know it. Your enthusiasm and commitment are amazing. You inspire me!

  16. Hi Karlene, wanted to follow up by letting you know that I did connect with Chris, I had a "discovery flight" on Monday and my first actual lesson is this Sunday! So excited to start the journey. Thanks for the inspiration and for introducing me to Chris. You rock! :)

  17. Brad, I am so happy. This is fantastic! Keep me posted on your progress. You made my day, and writing worthwhile. Thank you!!!


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