For years, Charlie Bravo President Curt Banglesdorf has tried to convince his daughter, Brooke, to train to be a private pilot. After years of writing it off, she finally said yes. We’ll follow Brooke through the pilot training process and her personal experiences to be chronicled on the Charlie Bravo blog.
A combination of Brooke’s own curiosity, which began during her Physics Through Aviation class at Georgetown High School, and her father’s persistence finally convinced her to take her first “discovery flight,” which piqued her interest enough to dive head-first into pilot training. She was hooked as soon as she realized flying isn’t as difficult as it may seem from the outside looking in.
“You know how convincing my dad is,” Brooke said. “After I hopped in the plane and did the discovery flight, I realized how easy it is. That’s not to put it down, because learning everything is challenging, but it’s pretty easy. Anybody who wanted to do it really could. It just takes practice.”
Following her discovery flight in a Cessna Skyhawk, it was time for Brooke to choose an instructor from Genesis Flight Academy in Georgetown. She had heard from a number of her peers that choosing the right instructor is “the most important thing,” when it comes to flight school.
“Everybody put so much weight on that decision, so as a Christian I just said, ‘Ok God, you pick,’” she said.
Her decision has proven to be a successful one, so far. According to Brooke, the most important characteristic for an instructor to have is an enthusiasm for both teaching and flying, both of which her instructor possesses.
“He’s somebody who thoroughly enjoys his job,” she said. “You can tell at any job. If you walk into a pizza parlor and they’re just interested in making their money, it’s not going to be as fun as an experience. You can tell he still gets that rush from flying. He’s got that ‘yippee ki-yay’ mentality, but is also super safe.”
Brooke also knew she needed somebody who was patient, considering the fact that she tends to ask a lot of questions. For her, an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time on the ground with her instructor, asking all of the questions that pop into her head in the air, means the world, and her instructor wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think his calling in life is to be a teacher and share his knowledge,” Brooke said. “He really enjoys it, and he’s very patient.”
Brooke has also noticed that his timing with both compliments and discipline is impeccable, which is something that’s necessary for her to be 100 percent locked in mentally.
“Whenever I need a compliment or a stern, ‘Hey, don’t do that,’ he’s there to get me all collected and moving again,” she said.
Another aspect of her trainer’s personality that Brooke knows is necessary is his attention to safety and the little details that go along with it.
“Safety is a huge thing for me,” she said. “As a pilot, that’s the number one thing you have to learn. You’re going up there and risking your life. One mistake or one error in the airplane, you know? It’s a huge thing. Every time we’re doing a pre-flight, he’s like ‘I’m going to check the gas.’ He just makes sure I go through every single step. It’s very cool to see how meticulous he is about safety. That’s a quality I would suggest for everyone to pick.”