WHO ARE YOU?
I am Peter Makredes and I am the president and co-founder of Sol Aerial Surveys. I found aviation after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Rather than boring myself to death studying for the CPA exams I decided to go do something cool and I went and got my private pilot’s license. I had fully intended on taking the CPA exams after getting my private, but after my first flight I knew I was never going back, I was hooked. I got my private, instrument, and commercial single-engine in seven months. After finishing my commercial single-engine license I flew skydivers in a Cessna 206 and started looking for a twin-engine to do my multi-engine commercial. I was fortunate enough that Inflight had just purchased a Cessna 310G and had started offering multi-engine training. After a summer of flying skydivers I went and started my training at Inflight.
WHAT WERE SOME THINGS YOU ENJOYED ABOUT INFLIGHT AND WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
I really enjoyed that from the moment I stepped into Inflight’s doors back in 2014 I felt like a valued customer. Flight training is expensive and when you pay for a service you expect to be taken care of and I was blown away by Inflight’s customer service. I was provided with great learning environment, knowledgeable instructors, and a very well maintained airplane. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I couldn’t have found a better flight school to do my training at. I didn’t know it at the time, but Inflight gave me so much more than just the skills to fly a multi-engine airplane. Inflight set me on a path that I couldn’t have ever imagined.
I am currently the president and co-founder of Sol Aerial Surveys and we operate a fleet of four Cessna 310’s. We have seven pilots and fly 365 days a year throughout the continental US and Canada. It is the best job I have ever had. I owe a great deal to Inflight because after completing my commercial multi-engine license, I got a job flying aerial survey in Cessna 206’s and Cessna 310’s. I wouldn’t have gotten that job without the relevant experience. I worked there for a little over a year, flying over 900 hours during my tenure. I then went on to get my ATP and my first type rating at SkyWest Airlines. Driving the school bus was fun for a little while and the benefits were awesome, but I knew I had to go back to my roots. While I was at SkyWest I bought my first airplane and as soon as I could pay the bills I left the airline life and haven’t looked back since. Sol has expanded rapidly over the past several years and has had the honor and privilege to continue to do business with Inflight. Whether that is flight training, IPCs, bi-annuals, or aircraft maintenance, I continue to feel like a valued customer of Inflight.
ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS JUST STARTING THEIR TRAINING?
My advice is to move fast and with purpose. If you want to become a pilot, go do your research and once you start your training stay focused and work your ass off. Your dream is out there waiting for you, what are you waiting for?
I have had the opportunity to work with countless businesses during my time in the aviation industry and I can say hands down that Inflight is the real deal. Whether that’s referring to customer service, professional instructors, industry knowledge, maintenance practices, company culture, or management. Inflight is the place to go and I am grateful I had the opportunity to train at Inflight and call myself an Inflight Alumni.