Meet Phil!

Q: What is your name, where are you from?
A: My name is Philip Bhurke and I am from the Chicago area in Illinois and I grew up overseas in Africa, specifically in Namibia.

Q: What are three interesting things about you that no one would guess?
A: Three interesting things about me are:
-I used to be a classical singer and actor
-I’ve been to more countries than states in the U.S. I believe I have been to 17 countries.
-I have a YouTube channel following my aviation career, called Flying with Phil (linked here!)

Q: What were you doing before you came to LIFT?
A: Before coming to LIFT Academy, I started college at Indiana Wesleyan University as a music student. After a bit of time realized it wasn’t a good fit for me and around the same time I had a friend tell me about LIFT and decided to start my aviation career!

Q: What do you think helped prep you best for LIFT?
A: What prepped me best to come to LIFT, was talking to my uncle, who used to be in the military where he flew Blackhawks as well as talking to a high school friend who is now a first officer at Republic Airways.

Q: What did your journey to aviation look like?
A: I was exposed to aviation by traveling overseas a lot and when flying commercially at one point, I was invited into the cockpit of a South African Airways flight and they showed me what was on the flight deck. This really got me interested in aviation!

Q: What do you remember about your first week/day at LIFT?
A: My first day at LIFT, I remember because I had started my YouTube channel covering what the first week was like. I meant a lot of great guys and girls.

Q: What is life like as a student at LIFT?
A: Life as a LIFT student is busy but also fun. I spend a lot of time going over ground school and studying with friends to make sure that I’m keeping up to date with everything. I get to do lots of flying. I fly almost every day of the week, which is a lot of fun and helpful in making sure that I don’t get rusty in anything.

Q: Why has LIFT been a good fit for you?
A: LIFT has been a good fit for me because it’s not like a traditional school. I am just able to focus on one thing at a time which is helpful to how I learn best. I am working on my private pilot license right now, and it is a very hands-on approach which also is helpful to the way I learn.

Q: Why do you want to be a commercial airline pilot? What are you looking forward to after you become one?
A: I want to become a pilot because I love being in the air and all the places that aviation can take you. Plus you can’t beat the view! I’m looking forward to exposing other people to aviation and helping people experience other places. My goal is to eventually become a pilot on long haul flights and take passengers to new places, or old ones. When you’re flying passengers you never know what brought them there, but it brings me joy knowing that I’ve been a part of their journey.

Q: How would you describe the LIFT atmosphere?
A: LIFT is very welcoming. I know that wherever I go I can ask questions and there’s a lot of other people who have higher ratings than me that are always willing to do mock orals or study. I have made a lot of friends and we always keep in touch in group chats and try to hang out when we can. It’s also a good way to study and just talk about other things in aviation that might not be directly related to LIFT.

Q: Advice to yourself?
A: If I could give myself any advice it would that you can never study enough.

Q: What do you do for fun outside of training?
A: Outside of LIFT, I like to hang out with friends and play video games like Starcraft 2, Hearts of Iron 4: World War 2 Grand strategy and Kerbal Space Program. I also enjoy running, hanging out with family and singing when I can.