Interview with Dillon Sutherlin

Q: How did you know that you wanted to be a pilot?

A: I always loved flying in the single engine plane that our family friend had. I always looked up into the sky and wondered where the plane I saw was going, and I thought that it would be a cool job to be a pilot. I knew that I would be able to travel the world, and I love to travel.

Q: What were you doing before you came to LIFT?

A: Before LIFT, I was in high school showing sheep at the local, state and national level in 4H. I loved it. I had great experiences getting to travel and meet new people around the country and showing animals with new people every day. I loved working with the animals and getting to show different animals and learn to take their cues and make sure I was successful in showing them.


Q: How did you first get involved with 4-H?

A: I have been showing animals since I was little. My older siblings showed them, and I was around them a lot of my life. My parents also used to raise hogs on our farm at home, so even at home I was around pigs and sheep. I decided to start showing in 4-H just like my older siblings.

Q: Can you expand on all of your 4-H activities?

A: The sheep always kept me busy. I would raise them from the day they were born. I had to keep the barn clean, had to walk the sheep and I fed them morning and night. The pigs I showed were bought, but I had to walk and feed them as well. My metal craft project was made from copper that had designs punched into it. In the years I did the metal craft project, I created 2 lamps, a sign, a metal tray, and a base and lamp shade for an oil lamp. I was also co-president of Journey leaders for three years.

Q: How do you think 4-H helped prepare you for Flight Training?

A: I never did have the best animals, so I was always middle to the bottom of my classes and placing but just because I loved it so much. I learned to never give up. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll never give up and that’s how I feel about flight training!

Q: What drew you to LIFT specifically for flight school?

A: I didn’t think a four-year college was the right fit for me. I never really did well learning in a classroom setting, so I love the 1-on-1 learning with my instructor and I loved the concept of LIFT being a career path program. I felt that LIFT was the best fit for me.


Q: What has your training been like so far here at LIFT?

A: I just started at LIFT! August 10, 2020 to be exact. Training is fast paced and can be difficult. Some lessons are harder than others, and I have felt some lessons were tough but excelled at others and that’s something I can be proud of.  I am in stage two of my private course right now for my private pilot license and am loving it. I love flying most days of the week when weather is great, and I love meeting new people here. The  1-on-1 learning time with my instructor is awesome and valuable.


Q: Can you tell me about the award you recently won from 4-H?

A: The award I won is given to a 4-H member that is a senior who gives a lot of their time to the program. They need to focus on helping younger kids in 4-H, to invest their time and not just be on their own. Recipients are always encouraging others to do their best and looking for additional ways to help. The Spirit of 4-H Award can be given annually but if the chapter doesn’t feel like there is someone who embodies the award, they’ll forgo choosing a recipient. I feel honored to have won it and am happy to work with the Putnam County 4-H Program.

Q: What do you see in your future as a pilot?

A: I would love to travel the world and learn about new places I’ve never been to. I think being a pilot will be a challenging job, which I love and embrace.

Q: What is advice you’d give to others who want to be pilots?

A: Flight training can be hard. It’s fast-paced. Study your material and checklists and don’t give up!