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Daniel Courtright
Name: Daniel Courtright
Company: US Air Force
Position: Instructor
Current Aircraft: C-130H1
Age 41 years old
Country USA

Airline experience: no
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: no
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: yes

Mentor profile:
I started my interest in aviation as a member of a ground search and rescue team in Civil Air Patrol. This earned me a scholarship to a short flight school designed to get the student their first solo. This led to my decision to join the Air Force. I graduated from the USAF Academy in May 2000 and immediately entered the pilot training pipeline. I started in the Cessna Skyhawk for introductory flight training (IFT) where I got my private ticket. I then moved to the T-37 in UPT and then on the the C-12 (the Navy's King Air 200)for advanced training. I earned my wings following this training as well as my instrument and multi-engine commercial ratings and a type rating in the B-200. Following pilot training I was assigned to fly the Herk as a co-pilot out of Dyess AFB TX. Since then I have deployed six times to OEF and OIF as well as flown all over the US, Europe, Canada, the Mid-east, and Central Asia.

Favorite thing about flying:
The biggest appeal to me is the novelty of seeing new places and the associated challenges of safely and effectively getting the airplane there.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
The military has its own rules that while they stay in compliance with FAR/AIM, we tend to study our own regs and thus its harder to keep up on what civil pilots must know.

What you would have done different:
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Stay in the books at all times, know regs, systems, and emergency procedures cold. This is so much easier said than done so the only solution is to keep hitting the books and tell yourself you don't really know as much as you think you do.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Training is the biggest problem, once you're out in the world, you don't really have a formal instructor. If you want to keep learning and progress, it seems like its critical to find a mentor (Aircraft Commander, IP, Evaluator) There really is no established program to help this happen. Find someone you respect and don't be afraid to ask them for advice, instruction and help.

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