LIFT Academy takes the most pride in watching students takeoff from LIFT Academy and land at Republic Airways. After all, LIFT Academy was founded on the desire to throw the hangar doors open to a world of possibilities for individuals who thought becoming a pilot was not within reach. Each time a student makes the transition from LIFT student to First Officer at Republic, we are reminded why we do it. Brandon Frizzo recently completed his time at LIFT Academy and is starting his new journey at Republic Airways.
Brandon has always loved aviation. For his 8th birthday, his mom gave him a Microsoft Flight Simulator 98. Wanting to become a commercial pilot but not knowing how to afford flight training, Brandon went “the responsible route” and got a degree in healthcare management. But after working in healthcare for some time, Brandon still felt driven to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a pilot. There were two pivotal moments that made him finally decide to change his career path. When he and his wife took a vacation, his wife pointed out that he had taken more pictures of planes during their layover at DFW than he had during their entire week of vacation in the Bahamas. Then after taking a discovery flight, the rest was history!
Brandon began his time at LIFT as a student in March 2020 before becoming an instructor in November 2021. His primary instructor had a defining impact on him and his training. When it was his time to become an instructor, Brandon shared that it was his opportunity to return the favor and help students on their way to success. He shared, “As both a student and as an instructor, I felt fully supported and prepared to succeed because of the team at LIFT.” To Brandon, instructing was more than just part of the program. He said, “I always found so much joy in watching light bulbs go off and confidence levels increase as students progressed through their training. Like most flight instructors, I will never forget the feeling of watching my students solo for the first time, knowing I played a small but pivotal role in that.
Brandon also appreciated the friendships he made when he started his flight training at LIFT, studying together and because of that, progressing together. Of the three of them, one accepted a role as Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, and Brandon and the other completed their final check ride and transitioned to Republic on the same day together. “It’s always a good feeling to see your friends succeed and it’s even better when you get to be a part of it.”
His advice? “To be successful in flight training, by dynamic, you have to be confident, and persistent. No one path is going to work for everyone. Sometimes you have to take different paths and make them work. When a lesson doesn’t go as you would have hoped, take responsibility for the mistakes and build on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are pilots. It takes thousands of hours of studying and flying to make it to the airlines. I firmly believe there is a seat at the table for everyone in aviation, but it is a seat that is definitely earned.
While there are ups and downs, just like you would experience in any career, the ups have grossly outweighed the downs. There is nothing like the view of cruising past the Manhattan skyline at night or seeing sun set over the mountains in Vermont. I would encourage anyone considering a career in aviation to explore it. I would much rather take a chance than spend the rest of my life wondering, ‘What if?’ You just might end up with a career that you love!”
We wish Brandon nothing but blue skies and tailwinds as the end of his time at LIFT Academy is only the beginning. There’s no better time than now to get started on your track to the skies; apply today!