A day in the life of a LIFT flight instructor is a busy one! Amanda Martinez describes what it’s like to be a flight instructor as well as what she loves about her job and LIFT.
Q: Where did you do your flight training before coming to instruct at LIFT?
A: I completed my flight training at Purdue University majoring in Professional Flight Technology.
Q: How did you find LIFT, and why did you decide to instruct our students?
A: I actually found out about LIFT through a sponsored post on social media and thought that it was such a unique program that I wanted to be part of.
Q: What is different about LIFT from where you trained?
A: LIFT is different because it’s not a college. You don’t have to take all the boring classes and can spend all of your time learning about flying! You are also guaranteed a job at a regional airline after graduation, which is something not many other flight schools offer.
Q: What is your day-to-day on the job?
A: It’s nonstop! I have students waiting for me from the second I get in to work to the second I leave. It starts in the morning with a preflight briefing with my first student. We go over what we’ll be working on that day and what I’m looking for during the flight. Next, we do the preflight inspection on the plane; if it’s good to go we hop in and take off, flying around Indianapolis practicing maneuvers. After the flight, I talk with my student about what they did well and where they can improve. After that, I do the same thing again with my next student. Each student gets a minimum of two hours to train, but it feels like 30 minutes when we get to fly. It can get pretty busy, so I make sure to bring a little snack to eat at lunchtime so my stomach isn’t grumbling all day.
Q: What is your favorite thing about flight instructing?
A: My favorite thing is watching my students progress in their training. It’s amazing for both the student and me to see where they started in the beginning of the course compared to where they are currently and how much they have learned along the way. I love being able to help the students succeed,
Q: How do you help a student who is having trouble grasping a flight maneuver or skill?
A: When I was going through my flight training, I realized I’m a visual learner. If I see something performed first, like a maneuver, then I can usually understand how to do it. Sometimes if a student is having trouble grasping a skill, I’ll demonstrate the skill first and then have them do the same thing. Not every person is a visual learner, though, so I try to read the student’s personality to find ways to explain things that will work for them. If the student is still not progressing, then I’ll seek advice from other CFIs.
Q: What do you like to do outside of flying?
A: I love spending time outdoors and with family. If the sun is out and the weather is nice, you will most likely find me running down the street or laying out by the pool! My family lives a few hours away, so whenever I get a free weekend, I like to travel up north and visit them.
Q: Fun fact about yourself?
A: I’ve never played Monopoly. Usually my fun fact is that I’m a pilot, but that’s pretty obvious here!
Q: What do you like most about LIFT?
A: I started working here about five months after LIFT first opened its doors, and I love seeing how fast it has grown. There are so many more planes and so many more eager students, it’s been so much fun getting to meet all of them!
Q: What’s next for your career?
A: Hopefully, I will get the hours that I need within the next year and will be able to continue on my aviation journey at Republic!