At NAFA we are committed to our students’ success, from the private through the CFI and CFII ratings. We are fortunate to have a great group of students at the school and would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Steven and others like him whose positive attitudes and hard work make our jobs that much more rewarding and fun. We couldn’t keep Steven away from the mountains for Christmas – he’s back in the west breathing some of that good high altitude air for now – but we look forward to seeing him again in the coming year and watching his helicopter career take off.
It’s hard for me to imagine NAFA without Steven – he’s one of those students who has really become a part of the place. He came out to New England from Montana a couple of years ago to train in our Part 141 helicopter program and it was obvious from the start that he was truly passionate and committed to becoming a professional helicopter pilot. He trained hard through the private, instrument and commercial ratings, and he worked hard, not only at learning everything he could about helicopters but also helping out around the school and generally becoming one of the family here.
Autorotations, confined area approaches… flying the helicopter was something Steven picked up quickly and he flew with skill and confidence in the left seat as well as the right. Then we stuck him in front of the white board for some practice CFI time and the REAL work began. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the urge to run out of the classroom and practice those full down autos one more time when you really should be getting your lesson plans together, but he stayed and soldiered on. He gave us lessons on all aspects of helicopter flying and answered dozens of questions from us as we played ’student’ and did our best to stump him.
When we could stump him no more and he had two phone-book sized notebooks of lesson plans, it was time for his checkride. After all of the time spent with our instructors, especially Anthony, going through the lessons, the final test was a breeze. As usual, Steven did an excellent job, and walked out a newly certified helicopter flight instructor.