Tom Gilmore

by Tom Gilmore on October 7, 2011

Tom Gilmore

Tom Gilmore

SAFE #: S0000198


Hometown: Stuart FL, United States

Home Airport: KSUA

Occupation: Flight & Ground Instructor

Education: Ferris State College, Northern Flying Service VA Flight Training

Pilot Certificates: Commercial, SEL, SES, MEL, Instrument, CFII&ME, AGI, IGI

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Cessna 150’s-310’s, Piper 140’s-PA 23-250, Beechcraft A36-BE58

Educational Specialty: Instrument and Simulator Training

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: In 1966 a pilot friend of mine took me flying over Detroit. I was bitten by the bug and decided to learn to fly while working as an engineer at GM. It was one of the best decisions I made as I went on to earn all my pilot ratings and to teach others the joy of flying.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I earned all my Commercial, Multiengine, Instrument and CFI ratings by 1970. The GI Bill paid 90% of the training costs. I immediately went on to purchase a Cessna 172 and start teaching students to fly. It was the golden age of both learning to fly and run a startup flight school. My business grew and I opened a flight school and air charter operation at Detroit CIty Airport. The school and charter business continued to expand with the fleet size increasing to nine aircraft. Many people during the 70’s were able to afford to learn to fly. I purchased two new Cessna 152’s fully loaded for $18,500 each! My complex aircraft was a Mooney M20C. My school eventually became VA approved and my flight schedule was full seven days a week. It was a good time to be in the aviation training business.

What’s your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I feel that the favorite part of what I do as a senior flight instructor is to provide instrument training. I witness the joy of watching my clients train on my flight simulator and apply that same knowledge to the aircraft.

What’s your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I guess the paperwork (which is now the computer IACRA system) can be somewhat of a hassle when sending an applicant for a FAA checkride.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you’d like to share?: Flying into Macinaw County Airport on an island in Northern Michigan. No cars are allowed on the island, so you have to take a horse drawn carriage into town.

Why did you join SAFE?: To interface and connect with other flight instructor professionals.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: Less government intrusion.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Stay involved as flight instructors and pilots in learning about future rules and regulations.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you’d like to mention?: I recently was awarded the Master CFI Emeritus award. There are only eleven Emeritus instructors in the world that have been presented this honor.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Bob Hoover, The Kings

Anything else you’d like to add?: I hope that the Young Eagles EAA program gives a boost to the desire of our youth in considering aviation a career.

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