Student Feature: Journey to Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

Just in time for his three-year anniversary with LIFT, former student-turned-instructor Mason LeBlanc has been promoted to Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. During his time as an instructor, Mason has been a valuable asset to the team and a natural role model to his fellow students and staff. We sat down with Mason to ask him about his aviation journey and what his new role means to him!


Question: Thanks for sitting down with us today, Mason, and congratulations on your exciting next step in your journey at LIFT! Let’s take right off—tell me, what made you interested in aviation? 

Mason: I was drawn to aviation by the opportunity to travel. There aren’t many careers that involve travel, especially as part of the job. There are no limits to where you can go with a career in aviation. 


Question: There really are no limits to where aviation can take you—you’re a true testament to that! Can you share a bit about what that journey has looked like for you?

Mason: I was fortunate enough to become friends with someone whose dad was a pilot. He would talk about how in-demand pilots were and the opportunities he had to travel. I always wanted to become a pilot, but I didn’t believe it was obtainable. It’s like how your parents tell you can be anything you want to be, but it still seems impossible. When I finally decided to pursue a career in aviation, I started looking at flight schools to see which one was the best fit. LIFT was the most economic option for me, and I started my flight training at LIFT right before COVID. I was lucky to have an awesome instructor throughout my time as a student who made my experience such a positive one. 


Question: Look how far you have come since joining LIFT Academy! Tell us when you started your flight training and when you became an instructor. 

Mason: I was a student at LIFT Academy starting in March 2020, and I became an instructor in April 2022. It will be three years from next month.  


Question: After being a student then an instructor for almost a year, you were offered the role of Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. How are you able to impact students in your new role? Why did you want to take this role?

Mason: The chance to impact students and drive their success in the LIFT Academy program is one of the things I love about my job description as Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. Anything from recommending student training to helping retrain instructors to suggesting new training ideas, these are all things I’m looking forward to doing in my new role. I’m even helping with the Safety Program here at LIFT Academy. I am excited to help create resources for students to use to get them through the program as efficiently as possible. I wanted to take this role for many different reasons. The biggest one is the people. That’s what makes LIFT special and sets it apart from the rest. I love the team we have here from the top-down. Joining the team and having the chance to mentor students the same way I was made accepting the job a no-brainer. 


Question: With everything you mentioned, you are most certainly going to make a huge impact in your new role. How exciting it must be to play such a big role in the success of those following behind you! What are you most proud of in your career so far? What are you looking forward to?

Mason: I am proud of becoming an Assistant Chief Flight Instructor. It was never something I saw being possible, so I was flattered when the Chiefs asked me. I’m looking forward to stepping into the role and becoming an asset to the team. 


Question: Well LIFT Academy is proud to have you join the crew! You’ve come a long way since starting your aviation journey. What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in aviation?

Mason: The biggest thing in aviation is once you get here, you are required to work hard. Be careful to never get to a point where you stop trying to learn or think there’s something you can’t learn from. I’m learning all the time. The minute you think you know everything is the minute you limit yourself from opportunities to learn. Even in this role, I continue to learn from the students I teach. 


Question: You’re an inspiration to all our students at LIFT Academy that with hard work comes great reward! What has been your favorite part about LIFT?

Mason: Simply put, the people are awesome, and flying planes is a big pro. I get to fly planes with my friends – kind of ridiculous! 


If you see Mason around LIFT, be sure to tell him congratulations on his new role! We are so excited to welcome him to the team.