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Setting the Highest Standard in Flight Training

Barry F. Jeffries, MD – Diagnostic Radiologist

I have been taking advanced pilot ground and flight proficiency instruction at American Air for the past several years. I appreciate their thorough and all inclusive approach to training. I took my initial checkout training in my Columbia 400 with Steve Shaner and I continue to take monthly emergency proficiency training with him. I chose Steve for his expertise in the Columbia and for his excellent training and testing standards. The ground school was very thorough and he introduced me to the G1000 glass cockpit panel and covered every detail of its use, including practicing in the plane on the ground with electrical power plugged into the panel. During the flight training, I was exposed to virtually every type of potential event that could occur with training in handling emergencies and learning to use the G1000 in special ways not covered in the manuals. During one of our flights in my airplane, we experienced an actual complete engine failure due to the loss of a turbocharger induction hose while at 17,000 feet. While I flew the plane, Steve immediately analyzed the problem and with careful mixture adjustment was able to restart the engine and regain a safe level of power. This became a non-event and we safely flew back to PDK for repairs.

After completing my initial training with Steve in my Columbia 400, I have chosen to continue training at American Air for re-currency, Flight Reviews and instrument proficiency. A recent article in AOPA Pilot magazine stressed that in flight training, the primary reason for the lack of good flight instructors is low pay combined with high workload and responsibility. The article also stated that if you found a great instructor, you should stick with that instructor and be willing to pay more.

I have many years of flying experience. Before coming to American Air, I trained with other instructors who were good. In spite of that, I picked up a lot of bad habits that were either not caught or ignored. After training with Steve at American Air, I can honestly say that I am a much smoother, more precise, more competent, more confident and much safer pilot. There are too many flight instructors who merrily pass along a student, even though that student might have a few serious deficiencies. The ultimate example of this is when a flight instructor seeks out an FAA pilot examiner to send his or her student to who has a reputation for passing almost everybody on the flight test to get more applicants and make more money. That is not what a safety-conscious pilot should want. I have received excellent training from American Air to a much higher degree than with any other form of instruction I have ever had. That is due to the instructor. For students who want to be as proficient and safe as they can be, I can guarantee that Steve Shaner at American Air Flight Training would be their best choice by far


Barry F. Jeffries, MD – 2014