Who are you?
My name is Jason Turner and I was a flight instructor at Inflight Pilot training from May 2016 to October 2017. I was born and raised in South Africa and moved to the United States in 2012 where I attended the University of North Dakota and obtained all of my pilot certificates and ratings. I graduated in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Business in Aviation Management and was offered a position to instruct at Inflight Pilot Training where I obtained the rest of my flight hours before moving on to the Airlines. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, hiking as well as volunteering for various humane societies in the area I live.
How did you get into aviation, what was your favorite memory from training?
I am a first-generation pilot in my family. Ever since I was a child, I was always fascinated by the thought of flying and had a large collection of model airplanes. When I was a teenager my parents would not let me start flying
lessons until I was done with high school, so the next best thing I could do was to build and fly model RC airplanes. I think the most memorable and favorite thing during my flight training were the solo cross countries. I never really believed I was flying the plane before, when I had my flight instructor sitting next to me at the controls. When I was finally flying a plane from point A to B by myself, I finally realized “it was all me”. Once I was rated as a private pilot, taking friends on flights to different cities to explore and grab lunch, was always a fun way to build up my required hours.
What were some things you enjoyed about Inflight?
As an instructor at Inflight, I really enjoyed the variety of students I got to work with. When I was instructing at a part 141 school (which is a common training program at large universities), most students had similar backgrounds or goals and the process was very repetitive. Instructing at Inflight definitely gave a more “personable” approach towards teaching students. I taught students from all different walks of life, whom all had a variety of goals that they wanted to achieve. Some were just like me, they wanted to work at an airline eventually. Others were business owners who wanted to have the freedom to fly themselves to their own meetings, and then there were students who wanted to expand their knowledge and serve in the military as airman.
I was always impressed at how well Inflight was maintained. They consistently invested in new technology and innovated the school to a level I had not seen at any other flight schools. The owner kept an open-door policy and
was always around if we needed to ask any questions or raise concerns. Of course, in this industry, safety is always the first priority. Inflight’s own maintenance facility was the best I had ever experienced. Having Elliot Aviation as a line service also was a huge advantage for us, as this meant when we arrived for our lessons the airplanes were fueled, pulled out of the hanger and ready to go!
What do you miss most about Inflight?
The thing I miss the most about Inflight is the people. That is the entire staff and students who attend the school truly were the best. I have made lifelong friends through instructing at inflight, and still keep in touch with many former students who I taught. I always thought the best thing about being an instructor was watching my students complete their first solo flight in the traffic pattern. It is even more rewarding to continue hearing stories from my past students about how they have progressed in both their training and careers. The general culture of the school provided a positive and pleasant environment to both work and train in.
Where did you go in your career after Inflight?
After I had built my required flight hours at Inflight, I accepted a job at Republic Airline flying the E170/175. This is a regional airline and we flew to cities across the United States and Canada under United Express, Delta
Connection and American Eagle. I was based out of Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and worked there for about a year before accepting a job at Sun Country Airlines. I now fly the Boeing 737, and enjoy being based at home in
The thing I like most about Sun Country is the variety of flying we get to do. Along with scheduled passenger service flights, we do many charter flights for sports teams and the U.S military. I even had the privilege of flying
the U.S National woman’s soccer team from Newark to Los Angeles over the summer after they had won the world cup!
How did Inflight help you get to where you are today?
Inflight helped me achieve my goals of becoming an airline pilot. There were always ample opportunities to fly as we had a large influx of students, so building hours was never a problem. The positive atmosphere of the school
made it the best flight school to work for and train at, and the students success proved this. Inflight made me a better pilot and instructor, the training environment gave me a lot of experience when dealing with local weather
as well as the varying backgrounds of the students I taught. This helped develop my critical thinking skills as well as problem solving, which made me a better aviator and prepared me well for my future airline career.
Any advice for new students just starting their training?
I think the best advice I can give to new students starting out, is to always be consistent in your training and have a solid plan as to what you want to achieve. Take time, as you probably are by reading this article, and really invest in researching the flight school you want to attend. Inflight became an integral part of my piloting experience and I was truly lucky to work with such a great team. Consistency is key to success in your journey to become a pilot. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep a consistent flight schedule.
Understandably the biggest thing stopping a lot of students is the cost of training itself. Thankfully there are many opportunities for new students today (scholarships, grants, loans etc.) that will help you get through the financial hurdles of training. Always remember that this is an investment in yourself and at the end of the day it will all pay itself back. If you do not have the opportunity to do the accelerated course, just make sure you “keep your head in the game”. This can be something as easy as allocating extra time daily to reading a chapter in one of your aviation books. Coming prepared for your lessons and doing your homework is the key to success and lesson retention.
Inflight has helped myself and many others to achieve our lifelong dreams of becoming professional pilots. The excellence and quality of training the school provides, helped propel my career in the direction it needed to go.
Having the opportunity to work with great people and train in Minnesota will give you a variety of different experiences, which you will use for a lifetime. The industry itself is set for explosive growth over the next few
years, so now is the time to start if you have not already done so.
Even if you are just looking to obtain your pilots license for recreational purposes, Inflight can provide you a safe and structured environment to train in. The dedication and professionalism of the staff will help you excel in your
goals. I cannot think of a better school to train and work at, other than Inflight Pilot Training.