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Aim Hire: Taking Flight

If you’re a former military pilot, have spent time as a civilian flight instructor, or are simply curious about the many roles civilians play in Air Force aviation, your future is certainly looking up. During April’s Aim Hire: “Taking Flight,” we spotlighted the numerous opportunities civilian pilots can pass on their knowledge and skill to the Air Force’s next generation of pilots as AFCS civilian pilot instructors.

Watch as host Ryan Schneider and special guests David M. Loftus, Lead Civilian Simulator Instructor for the 47th Operations Group’s 47th Flying Training Wing in Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and Drew, call-sign “Sheriff,” Taylor, 25-year Air Force Veteran and Civilian T-38 Simulator Instructor, as they provide a high-level overview of this rewarding career field.

You won’t want to miss a minute, but if you’re in a hurry or you’ve got a flight to catch, feel free to jump straight to the highlights we’ve compiled in the checklist below:

10:21 ~ Sheriff walks you through what a day in the life of an AFCS simulator instructor looks like.

11:54 ~ Sheriff details the seven different syllabi AFCS simulator pilot instructors follow in the course of their instruction.

16:30 ~ David shares what he finds most fulfilling about his career.

18:00 ~ Sheriff describes Randolph Air Force Base’s unique mission when it comes to flight instruction.

19:59 ~ Sheriff tells what he finds most rewarding about his role instructing students to be instructors.

21:10 ~ David shares the personal satisfaction that comes from hearing from former students about how his instruction helped them in real-world situations, including a recent reunion at an airshow with a C-130 pilot whom he had instructed.

22:39 ~ David contrasts working as a public servant as an AFCS simulator instructor pilot to similar careers in the private sector as an airline pilot.

25:22 ~ Sheriff weighs in on why he chose an AFCS career over the airlines.

26:42 Getting to debrief every flight is one of the rewards AFCS instructor pilots enjoy that airline pilots just can’t relate to, and Sheriff missed while flying with the airlines.

27:36 ~ Sheriff explains the importance of being able to place students into life-threatening scenarios in a simulator so that, should they encounter them in real life, they’d be pre-equipped with the muscle memory and emergency procedures to properly address them, perhaps saving lives.

34:46 ~ David goes over the specific job requirements for landing a job as a civilian simulator flight instructor.

37:24 ~ David answers an audience question as to whether civilian simulator pilot instructors are held to the same medical requirements as active-duty pilots.

39:56 ~ Sheriff describes the wide variety and diversity of the students they train at Randolph Air Force Base, including some “4-stars” and the importance of leaning hard on your “soft skills.”

41:48 ~ Sheriff shares a particularly memorable story of his experiences instructing pilots from Japan and how understanding cultural differences was key to success, as was being adaptive and being a problem solver.

45:11 ~ Sheriff and David offer their advice on things applicants should know before applying for one of the open civilian pilot simulator instructor positions.

48:37 ~ David and Sheriff answer audience questions ranging from how long it takes to become an instructor after being hired to whether there’s an age limit to becoming an instructor.