Craig Reitan (Lifetime Membership)

by Craig Reitan (Lifetime Membership) on January 20, 2021

SAFE #: S0005836

Hometown: Covington WA, United States

Home Airport: KRNT

Occupation: Aviation Consultant

Education: Washington State University & Oregon State University

Pilot Certificates: CFII, CSEL

Airplanes Flying/Flown: C172/RG; 177RG; 182/RG; PA-28-181

Educational Specialty: Private Pilot & Instrument Rating; Ground School

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Best friend in elementary school lived at a small private airport. Father served in the Navy as an electrician and I learned science from his training books as a kid. Programmed Flight Simulators on my Home PC and built custom aircraft.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: Earned my AGI and IGI in 2018 after leaving Corporate IT, and have added the CFI and CFII during COVID lockdowns.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Teaching others to reach their personal goals, and always helping them improve their flying. Seeing that same happy moment when a student gets the concepts and enjoys the learning process.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Administration… paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

Disciplining a learner pilot who is not meeting expectations.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: First time in a helicopter was at age 10 flying a tourist ride around Oahu island.

Rode in a test flight on a 787-8 from India to Seattle, WA passing over the countries in the middle of Asia and over the North Pole during daytime.

Why did you join SAFE?: To be part of broader community of like minded people in flight instruction and make it easier for potential students to find me.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Costs of flight training needs to get back under control.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Go back to some old school stick and rudder on some Gen 1 glass panels. Do not immediately thrust the student into the EFB world until they are ready for it. Good Ground School classes to give the systems background into how these newer Glass Panels developed.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: Worked in Flight Test Engineering for 13 years before becoming an instructor. Teach with running start programs and the Civil Air Patrol to get youth engaged with aviation at an early age.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Tex Johnson / James Gannt / Bell Whitehead Jr. – The original 707 test pilots. My original flight instructor who was an Air Force Rescue Pilot and tremendously professional person in the airplane and the classroom. Capt. Randy Neville – F.O. on the 787 First Flight who modeled that having humility in everything that you do matters when working with others.

Anything else you'd like to add?: Earning a pilot's certificate was my original life goal, it was only later that friends recommended to I consider Flight Instructing. Sometimes we need a nudge out the door to get started in new opportunities.

I like to work with learners who are wanting to accomplish a pilot certificate as a life goal.

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