Wayman Testimonies: Talking to Alumni Airline Pilots

Airlines, Flight Training, Interviews

Wayman Testimonies

Our pilots end up flying everywhere for many  airlines. From big regionals like Envoy and Republic to airlines like Miami Air and eventually ending up at the Majors. We reached out to a couple of our former instructors and asked them what they missed from their time at Wayman Aviation Academy and who knows, maybe they’ll instruct again in the future? Here is what our former instructors Andres, Leslie and Sheik had to say.

Andres flying his Embraer-145 at Envoy

  • Is it easier to fly an Embraer or Cessna?

As the saying goes, “An airplane is an airplane”. Once the autopilot comes off it is like the good old flying days, power for altitude, trim for speed. Flying is flying. The issue is that the jet has many more systems to manage, plus the critical wing is effective only at high speeds, jet engines take a few seconds to spool up, this is especially important when flying at slow speeds like an approach. It’s more than stick and rudder skills, but that adds more fun to jet flying. The more I fly the E145 the more I like it. It’s a great regional jet. In the industry it has gained the nickname “the work horse”.

  • How was the transition for you from instructor to airline pilot? Is it doable?

It’s a VERY hard transition. Not having jet time really makes the transition that much harder. As my mentors told me, your first 121 training is never easy. Not only is knowledge of systems important and overwhelming but also your airline procedures and the new set of FAA regulations, plus when the plane is going 5 times faster than what you are used, things happen quick. It is doable but you have to be invested 100% in the process, have a game plan, be open minded to different styles of study and build a network of people around you to help each other achieve the goal. It is too much information to take in by yourself, you must be a team player. There will be tough days and tough sim sessions. You have to get up, dust off and chase the dream again.


  • What do you miss from being a flight instructor?

Flight instructing is a tough job. One of the things I miss is teaching itself. Making a difference in a pilot’s career is very fulfilling.


  • Do you think you will instruct in the future too?

I do, for now I am focused on getting better at the operation I am part of. Ground instructing is something I want to do in the near future.

  • What do you miss from Wayman Aviation Academy?

You are not a number at Wayman. I miss the staff, Tuesday meetings, tower, students, nerve wrecking solos and student check rides. However, I don’t miss not having air conditioning in the plane!


Leslie in her previous job at Republic, she just made the move flying Airbus-320

  • When was the last time you flew a Cessna?

The last time I flew a Cessna was in 2015 when I left Wayman for the Regionals., however I never lost my love for GA flying. The bigger planes you fly, the adventures are greater distances, but you lose some of the visceral qualities of flight, like when you’re cruising in slowly on approach, close to the earth and have time to take it all in.

  • Will you maybe instruct again ? In the future?

Teaching is a great pillar for personal growth. They say when you become a Captain you’re also putting on an instructor hat, so I’m thankful for my instructing skill set and experience instructing because I will definitely be using them in the future.

  • What do you miss from being an instructor?

While signing students off for their initial solo is often a nerve racking time for both instructor and student, nothing beats the triumph of seeing your student completing that feat for the first time.

  • Do you love being a pilot?

I feel blessed and awed by my job on a daily basis. I always like to think about how people never had the opportunity to do this in the history of the world. We are some of the lucky few. It keeps me humble on those work days where things go awry.

  • What do you miss from Wayman Aviation Academy & being an instructor?

Hands down, the family feel and comradery. It was great to have close-nit management and a really fantastic group of coworkers.

sheik (2)

Sheik with his old love, he flies the 737 for Miami Air now

  • Is it easier to fly a Boeing or Cessna?

Each has its own challenges. It may seem easier to fly a Boeing but for me, because I just came out of instructing in Cessna’s I still feel more comfortable there than in a Boeing. But that will change in the coming months.

  • What do you miss about being a flight instructor?

When I am instructing I get to show students something they haven’t seen before. I like to open their eyes to the many different ways of completing a single task and helping them find the most comfortable way or method for them.

  • Do you think you will continue to be a flight instructor in the future?

Yeah, I don’t see anything preventing me from being an instructor. I would enjoy doing it on the side but for now my airline job comes first.

  • What do you miss from Wayman Aviation?

The ability to fly a variety of aircraft since each of them have special characteristics. And the fact that it is 5 minutes away from my house (laughs).

  • What was harder for you? Your CFI training or your part 121 training?

My CFI training was harder, because at the end of the day the amount of responsibility you have to make new pilots is huge. The 121 training was intense but it only seems that way because we packed 40 hours of training into two weeks. At the end of the day I felt like my ATP/typerating checkride was the easiest checkride I have taken in my career. Not to take it as airline training being easy, it all depends on the attitude you bring to your training.