Colleen La Plata

by Colleen La Plata on April 4, 2022

Colleen La Plata

Colleen La Plata

SAFE #: S0008105

Hometown: Geneva IL, United States

Home Airport: 3CK

Occupation: Flight Instructor

Education: Bachelors of Science

Pilot Certificates: ATP

Airplanes Flying/Flown: PA28151/161, Cessna 172

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: The excitement and adventure of flying. I love the beauty of visual flying and the complexity of instrument flying.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: 24 years

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I really enjoy making clear, well thought out lessons. I want to make a student's learning experience to be organized well and fully developed.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: The responsibility. It can be a lot of pressure to be responsible for someone's safety and to teach good decision making.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Three years ago I finally fulfilled a dream I've had since I began flying at 16 years old. I flew to The Bahamas from Florida, overnighting in three different destinations. It was gorgeous flying!

Why did you join SAFE?: Initially to be eligible to buy the instructor insurance, but now I hope to gain more from my membership.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: In regards to flight training, more structure.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Most flight schools in my area have gone away from training with commercial handbooks and are using the FAA books. I agree with this migration and I use the FAA books myself. However, there is not a training syllabus to support the FAA books. I created a training syllabus for our flight school to complement the FAA books, but I was surprised there was not a syllabus already out there. It wasn't my desire to create our own syllabus, but I did out of necessity. It would be great if there was a syllabus out there, that's supported by the FAA. Just a thought.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Anyone who inspires me to pursue more in aviation. I come across or read about so many amazing people in aviation that drive me to want to do more. Some examples would be people involved in EAA and their motivating stories about aircraft building, YouTube bloggers and their exciting adventures, early aviators and their run to be the first and best at what they do, pushing themselves and their airplanes to the limits, and local organizers of aviation events; they inspire me to get more involved.

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