My 14-Day Private Pilot Training Course


My background had been 45 years as Captain of my Crab Boats in the Bering Sea, wherein I faced many challenges of weather, and incidents of many kinds. But strapping myself in a small aluminum plane with a motor in front of me and having to keep it in the air; was quite a different challenge.

Mike is likely the most knowledgable instructor a student could ever have. Not only did Mike teach me the flying skills that were necessary, but all other necessary elements to be a safe Pilot. I thought I knew a lot about weather after 45 years at sea, but after Mike’s tutoring I think I could be a Meteorologist giving the daily weather report on the local TV station. And to re-train me from old habits, initially Mike had to keep saying to me: “the Rudder is what you change course with on your boat; now it’s Ailerons to keep yourself on course”, lol.

Seriously though, I do believe that you couldn’t find a better flight training program than AFIT, and especially with an instructor like Mike. In talking with the other instructors there, they were all professionals as well. Anyway, not only did we become friends, Mike truly cared about your safety, and making¬†absolutely¬†sure you had the skills and knowledge to fly. And I felt that this wasn’t just a job to Mike, because he really had his heart in it. Thanks Mike!


Kevin Suydam

Kodiak, Alaska