Robert “Bob” K. Windham

by Robert "Bob" K. Windham on August 5, 2020

SAFE #: S0004883


Hometown: Saint Augustine FL, United States

Occupation: Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI)

Education: B.A. – Interpersonal / Organizational Communication

Pilot Certificates: PPL | IRA | CSE | CME | CFI | SUAV

Airplanes Flying/Flown: C-172SP/P, SR-20G2, PA-44-180.

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: Aviation is where my heart has always called "home". My mother is a recently-retired, 46-year career Flight Attendant with a major legacy air carrier. I have been blessed with the opportunity to grow up around Part 121 operations, and develop a very unique vision for the future. From the early years to the present day, I have always found myself excited by, and committed to the aviation world. These days, my focus is primarily on providing quality flight instruction to those who share my passion for the craft. Flying high and fast, or low and slow – In either scenario, the problems of the world remain at the surface, and the gift of flight provides a level of excitement, peace, joy, and freedom that is otherwise unattainable.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I was blessed with the opportunity to log my first "Dual (Instruction) Received" flight hours during high school (2006-07). I'll never forget them – Interestingly enough, the two Discovery Flights (in a PA-44) had originated at the very flight school that I would complete my training, and ultimately begin my CFI career at many years later. After several fun career twists, turns and barrel rolls, I found myself enrolled as a student, and passionately pursuing my FAA licenses and certificates from 12/2017-11/2019 – After which time, I applied, interviewed for, and completed a rigorous Standardization process and check evaluation leading to a position as a Flight Instructor with that institution. I am undoubtedly grateful for the six months that I served in that capacity, and am always seeking opportunities for growth and continued development as an aviation education professional. I look forward to celebrating my one-year anniversary (as a Certificated Flight Instructor) in November, 2020.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I love seeing the smiles. The charge of providing and facilitating the safest, highest quality flight instruction for men and women thirsty for the thrill of flight is both immensely serious, and equally rewarding. I have been recently introduced to the heartwarming feeling of watching young student pilots grow through experience, and witnessing that growth firsthand is what I love the most. We have all been there – Experiencing the many long days, short nights, and various stresses associated with flight training is oddly enough, a significant and important component of the process. I find happiness through the recognition of the stresses and demands placed upon the student, and the subsequent opportunity to witness the successful negotiation of those challenges – That is where the smiles on the student's faces originate, and that is without question, my favorite part of being an instructor.

Anything else you'd like to add?: During my high school years, I ascended the ranks of the Air Force Junior ROTC Cadet Wing, ultimately graduating as a Cadet Lt. Colonel, and having served in numerous leadership billets, including one that was specifically created, and charged with the development and initial implementation of a Cadet-led aviation ground school (aimed at providing an introduction to aviation and powered flight principles). I am proud to have been appointed as the (Cadet) Officer-in-Charge of this program. Skipping forward – Following conferral of my undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida ('13), I had completed a rigorous application process, was selected for, and ordered to training at Navy Officer Candidate School with a 1390 (Officer Candidate – Student Naval Aviator [Select]) contract. After a knee injury sustained early in training resulted in a subsequent Honorable Discharge, I remained committed and steadfast in my vision for realizing my dream of flight. After placing life in a holding pattern for several years as I pursued any opportunity to return to naval service, I elected to close that chapter of my life, and execute a course change – I made the decision to begin a full-time, accelerated, FAA Part 141-compliant civilian flight training program…And here we are!

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