I am a second generation flight instructor. My father gave me my first flight lesson when I was 12 years old. l will never forget the advice he gave to me during that lesson as it is advice I have now passed on to all of my students: “small changes, small mistakes”. I have always prided myself on having a very strong work ethic. It all started on my tenth birthday when I received a hammer from my father so I could help build an addition on our house. This addition was only the beginning. When other kids my age were sleeping in, I was working alongside my father. It was this work ethic which empowered me to work seven days a week to finance my flight training, often flying early in the morning before work. I demonstrate the same dedication to my students. In the spirit of the age old philosophical question, “How do you know you exist?” My response is “I teach, therefore I am”.
I have always been an extremely determined and motivated individual with a great amount of belief in myself. When I was nine years old, I climbed Mt. Katahdin located at the end of the Appalachian Trail with an elevation of 5,267 feet. I canoed over 100 miles in seven days on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway from Maine to Canada, and this included Chase Rapids with a rating of a class II+. But none of these physical challenges compares to that of motherhood and the joy I have of raising our son, Zachary. As a mom, I am enthralled with watching him learn and grow. I bring this same enthusiasm to our flight school, and I look forward to supporting each you as you earn your wings.
My first flight in a GA aircraft was up over the wilderness of Alaska. I was flying up to a tiny town above the arctic circle, and the pilot who took me there in a Cessna twin let me sit right seat. Flying (relatively) low and slow, the view of the vast expanses of Alaska from the cockpit was incredible, and the sense of freedom was exhilarating. That’s when I decided I had to learn to fly. We pilots of “little” airplanes get to experience the world in a way quite unlike any other.
I’m a recovering academic. I taught at the university level for 10 years. So learning and teaching is in my blood. One of the great things about flying is that, whether you intend to pursue it as a career or simply as a lifelong avocation, there is always something new to learn, something new to master, new ratings to pursue, new airplanes to fly, new places to go. It’s a constant challenge, and never gets boring. It’s a lifelong pursuit, a lifetime of learning. As an instructor, nothing gives me more pleasure than to share my passion for flying and see my students succeed.
Tom was my instructor. He taught me how to fly, and took me through the subsequent Instrument and Commercial ratings. I know first hand how hard he works for his students. So, I jumped at the opportunity when he asked me to come teach for his school. We want all of our students to become skilled, knowledgeable, and above all, safe pilots. That is our goal, and we work hard to make sure each of our students gets there. Whatever your goals are–a private pilot or a career in aviation–we will work hard with you to make them a reality. And we will have a lot of fun along the way.
I have been a pilot for over 30 years, and a flight instructor for over 20 years. My first flights were at a very small airport in New Jersey where my father and several other family members kept their planes. I eventually learned to fly at Teterboro Airport because I wanted to train in a more active environment. I also learned to fly several classic/vintage tail-wheel and aerobatic planes, flying out of grass field airports. I am a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 73, and I am an active participant in the B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor Air Tours as well as the Young Eagles Program. In addition to General Aviation flying, I have been a software engineer, working in the defense and medical device industries. These jobs have provided me with the opportunity to work on a number of advanced avionics projects, currently on military aircraft.
My love for aviation began at the age of 11 when I took an airplane ride out of a small airport in New Jersey. I was instantly motivated to read all of the aeronautical books I could obtain, and I started to work on a flight simulator. I took my first flight lesson at the age of 16 and soloed on November 15,2001. I fly old airplanes like Piper Tri-Pacers and a spectrum of experimental aircraft. I have additionally acquired a tail wheel rating so that I can pursue my love for aerobatics. My passion for aviation is shared with each and every student while we work to pursue any aviation license or rating.
It all began on November 9, 1931, or maybe it was March 15, 1903, the day of my mother’s birth. I have always felt that my mom’s arrival at this “significant” time in aviation had something to do with my early interest in flying. My dad, a man who would never go near an airplane, bought me model airplanes for Christmas on his meager income when I was very young. He must have foreseen something. I remember I received a Catalina PBY model airplane for Christmas in 1941. At that time, this was the type of plane that was heavily involved in war operations in the South Pacific.
When I was about seven years old, I had my first encounter with a real airplane. On a Sunday summer drive with my family, we stopped at a grass field where a barnstormer was giving rides in a bi-plane. Three years later we were in World War II, and that is when I really began to focus on airplanes. I did not know how I would be able to do it, but I knew that someday I had to fly. As the war progressed, my dad and my older sister went to work for Eastern Aviation (GM) in Tarrytown, New York. They built wings for the Grumman TBM Avenger. That’s when I really got close to an airplane, and I actually got to sit in the cockpit. That was a real blast for a 13 year old boy.
During these war years, there were formations of bombers and fighters who flew low over WestchesterCounty on training flights, especially during War Bond Drives. I could not wait to get into the military. Two years later, at the end of the war and at age 15 I joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). My first flight in a real airplane occurred in the winter. I remember it was a very cold and windswept day in February on top of a hill in Somers, New York. It eventually became a ski area. At an encampment at Stewart Army Air Base that summer, got a ride in a B25 Mitchel.
I left the CAP when I turned 17 years old, and I started flight training. In order to pay for my lessons, I got jobs mowing lawns and rolling tennis courts. The pay was exceptional for that period of time. I believe the people I worked for were trying to help me achieve my goal. God bless them. I spent a total of $80.00 out of my pocket to get my Private Pilot License. That’s 1950 year dollars. On June 26, 1950 I graduated from high school. It was the beginning of the Korean War. On July 19, 1950 I received my Private Pilot License.
On March 5, 1951 I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I attended a military electronics technical school at Lowery Air Force Base. The completion of that training qualified me to be an armament fire control systems technician servicing radar systems and machine guns on F94 all-weather fighters. In November 1951, I was then assigned to the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Larson AFB in Moses Lake, Washington. In February of 1952 we received orders for the whole squadron to pack up and move to K13 Air Base in Suwon, Korea. After 11 months, I returned from Korea and spent another 6 months in school for the F86D Fighter. I was then sent to Perrin AFB in ShermanTexas. While there I had the biggest thrill I would have in the US Air Force. I flew back seat in a T33 Jet Trainer on a chase mission for an F86D during rocket firing practice on a sleeve towed behind a B29. This was the summer of 1954.
The following March I received my discharge from the service. I found employment in New York, and continued working as a radar system technician at the same company for 41 years. During that time, I also proceeded with my flight training, and I have acquired the following certificates and ratings: ATP/CFI/CII/MEI/SEL. I have been a pilot now for 63 years, and I have 11,100 hours of total flight time. Of that total, 9,400 of those hours have been dedicated to flight instruction for the past 29 years. In June of 2012, I was honored with the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” award.
As a young boy, my uncle introduced me to aviation. He had already been a pilot for years, so he decided to show me more about it. We went flying around New Jersey a few times, and after that I knew aviation was going to be a permanent part of my life. I realized that flying has a very rewarding feeling to it. This led me to go further into aviation.
I started learning to fly in a Cessna 172 back in 2013. Since then I’ve been in different models of Pipers Warriors, Archers, and Seminoles. I’ve flown to many different states in the country and I’ve met many different people along the way. All of these different experiences showed me that the aviation community has a lot to offer!
I can not recall a time when I was not infatuated with aviation. Ever since receiving a book about metal birds that could travel faster than the speed of sound I was hooked on learning more and more about this foreign concept. I began my flight training when I was 16 here at Fischer Aviation with the goal of starting a career in aviation. I now hope to study Aerospace Engineering in college whilst also participating in Air Force ROTC and upon graduating, serving as an officer in the United States Air Force.
There is no feeling like taking the controls of a plane in flight for the first time and there is no better place to do it then at Fischer Aviation! Tom, Jodi, and the rest of the team are extremely knowledgable, welcoming, and make sure that you are learning to fly safely during every step […]
Fischer Aviation, Inc. 165 Passaic Avenue Fairfield New Jersey 07004
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