Friday, January 24, 2014
Share Your Story: Trevor Smith, Private Pilot - Piedmont NC
Welcome to the 30th "Share Your Story" post. Pilots from around the world write in featuring their flight experiences, promoting their blogs, websites, social media, novels, etc. These posts show students the diverse range of experiences/careers available to them in aviation. More details + how to participate can be found via the following: Click Here and Get Involved
I feel like I’ve wanted to be a pilot since the day I was born. My mom started as a flight attendant for USAir in 1986. She flew on the Boeing 727s out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shortly after I was born in September of 1994, my mom left the airlines to be a full-time stay-at-home mom and we moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and are still in the same house today! The flying didn’t stop there! She received some sort of severance package from USAir, which consisted of a bunch of buddy passes and free flights for her and immediate family for the next 6 years. At the time, her parents and siblings still lived in their hometown of Severna Park, Maryland, right outside of Baltimore. So all those free flights were used on Greensboro to Baltimore flights (when they still had the direct service) on the US Airways Dash-8. It was the Dash-8 that was the first commercial aircraft I ever flew on and the aircraft that changed my life forever. Before the tragedy of 9/11, I was able to get the behind the scene access and ride up front with the pilots.
For every birthday and Christmas, I wanted everything and anything involved with aviation. All of this led up until Christmas 2009, when I received a gift certificate from my Dad for a discovery flight at Piedmont Flight Training at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem. I knew after that flight, that I was destined to be a pilot for the rest of my life. Though I had a choice of a Piper Archer and a Cessna 172, I started with the Cessna, and have stuck with the Cessna ever since.
Flight training for me was on and off to start. I was so inconsistent with coming in to the flight school; it just took me forever to complete my training. I even took a 1-year break during my junior year of high school because my grades started to slip, and schooling was my top priority at that moment. June 19th, 2011, was my first milestone, my first solo flight! The feeling when you look over to see your instructor not there is like no other feeling in this world.
Next were my short cross-country and long cross-country flights. All the training, studying, takeoffs and landings, and countless hours of flying all led up to July 29th, 2013. It was on that day that all my dreams became reality. It was the day that I passed my private pilot check ride.
To read more of Tom's "Share Your Story" article, click below. (If you're already on the full article, ignore this)
All my training has taken place and continues to take place at KINT (Winston-Salem Smith Reynolds Airport) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the birthplace of Piedmont Airlines. I still continue to fly the same Cessna 172, but am going to do the majority of the instrument training in the Piper Archer. One of the most memorable experiences in recent time during my flight training was flying over to Raleigh-Durham and landing with a bunch of big jets around. I felt like one of the “big boys!”
Some of my other favorite experiences are just hanging around the airport and having the Dallas Mavericks roll up in their private Boeing 757-200 and getting a tour of the airplane. Or probably one of the greatest memories not directly involved with training was having the opportunity to go down to Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC and fly on a fueling mission with a KC-135 crew!
My dream is still to be an airline pilot, or really, just be paid to fly! You never know, my flight instructor all the sudden got talking to somebody and now he is flying a private jet. Currently right now I am a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, but next year, I am transferring to Jacksonville University to study Aviation Business Management with flight at the Aerosim Flight Academy. People ask me all the time, what is it about flying that you love? My answer, “It’s truly an indescribably feeling! It’s the view, the feeling of soaring high above the clouds, and the fact that I’m doing what so few have done before me that makes the experience and the journey even sweeter!
Thanks so much Trevor for writing in and sharing your story. It's awesome to connect with newly minted Private Pilot that's not too far away from myself. Hopefully we can find a time to meet up and fly around to some cool airports in Virginia and North Carolina.
Thanks again for writing in and participating in the Share Your Story section of the blog,
Martins Aviation / From Private to Professional Pilot