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James 'Ron' Jones
Name: James 'Ron' Jones
Position: Flight Instructor
Current Aircraft: M20M/J/K/C C172/152 PA28/38/24
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
The path I followed to get to where I am today was quite atypical. I began flying in 1999 at Texas State Technical College/Baylor University in Waco, TX. I had never flown before and never, previously, had any aspirations to fly, especially as a career. I received my Private Pilots license in Waco (part 141) and over the course of the next year received my instrument rating and commercial license, and shortly thereafter, my CFI/CFII (all part 61). I have been an instructor now for about two years and it has been an extremely rewarding experience. As an instructor, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to fly over 20-30 different makes and models of aircraft ranging from the Mooney Mite to the Piper Meridian. The reward has been great, and the road long and challenging, but it's been worth it.

Favorite thing about flying:
My favorite part of flying is being able to travel many different places across the country in all types of aircraft. I especially like the challenge of instrument flying and complex airspace (and fast-talking controllers!).
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
In my opinion, the biggest disadvantage to choosing flight instructing as a career in the aviation field is that if you work for a company, your pay is not commensurate to hours worked. It is possible to put in 12 hours a day in the summer, six days a week, and make the same amount of money that you would during an eight hour workday 4-5 days a week flipping burgers.

What you would have done different:
If I could do one thing differently, I would probably have given a college degree/education a higher priority rather than the flying.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Research, focus, investigate, study, set goals, be confident and determined, seek advice, be optimistic.
Problems encounterd along the way:
The biggest problem I've had to face, as with most people, is the financial aspect of getting to the point to be able to fly for a living. I would suggest doing tons of research on affordable schools like Texas State Technical College or some other college oriented program and let Uncle Sam pay for as much of the training as possible. Don't think or believe that you have to be rich to be able to fly as a career, but be willing to accept help along the way.

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