Certified Flight Instructor John Thompson Takes Off To Republic

Having reached the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required flight hours, LIFT Academy Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) John Thompson is now headed to Republic Airways but not for the first time. John came to LIFT Academy after working as a Flight Attendant at Republic. If you know John, then you would know he is a teacher and friend, nicknamed “Mr. Congeniality” by his colleagues. 

In 1993, John joined the Army and served for 24 years as a paratrooper, where he parachuted from airplanes. Later he became a jumpmaster, training and teaching the techniques for a jump. After retiring from the Army in 2017, John says he went looking for something that would keep the grass from growing under his feet. A job fair led John to Republic Airways, where he became a Flight Attendant in April 2018. He refers to his time as a Flight Attendant as his “aviation candy bar” not just because he got to travel and see what pilots do, but also because he picked the pilots’ brains and observed them.  

It became John’s dream to one day sit in the front seat of the flight deck, so he came to LIFT to make that dream come true. Throughout his time at LIFT, he had an impact on many, forming comradery among students and instructors and making sure students could walk into the hangar and know they could approach him with any question. “I get to teach people how to fly and chase their dreams. Now Republic has asked me to come fly their jets. Could it get any better?” he grinned.  

John’s best piece of advice for our students and anyone considering a career in aviation is to ask themselves, “What is my why?” He said, “Everybody knows the how and the what. The real question is why you’re doing it. Start with your why. In orientation, aspiring pilots think about the money and how hard it is going to be, but if they understand why they are doing what they are doing, those things become afterthoughts.”  

You might ask, what is our why at LIFT Academy? It’s providing the skills you need to succeed and a defined pathway to a career at Republic Airways. LIFT celebrates John and all who have made what was once a dream a reality. If you’re ready to fly with LIFT, get in touch with us.