Hard Work Pays Off


Part of my responsibilities at Professional Pilots of Tomorrow is to reach out to pilot applicants who are interested in enrolling with our mentorship/networking organization. Since assuming the role I’ve had the good fortune to speak with a wide array of pilots from all walks of life and experience levels. As I listen to their stories, their perspectives of the industry and of its future, for which they are hopeful, I’m reminded of the paths we all once took, in one way or another.

During these conversations, I often find myself sharing the same advice about the aviation industry. Some are basic, such as being professional, working hard to establish effective relationships and networks, and embracing the process of mentoring, even from early stages of one’s career. However, as time moves on and I experience more, I’ve learned a few other key lessons. Always know your audience. I say this because like any task worth its weight, becoming an airline pilot takes time, money and effort. The costs toward becoming a pilot are often much more than just monetary. Becoming a pilot requires a great deal of sacrifice and perseverance, for which the prospect of seeing any return on investment isn’t due for a very long time. It is exactly those hurdles, however, that make the triumphs so sweet.

Like many of us, passion for aviation started at an early age for Sean. Images Provided By PPOT.

While not all our paths are the same, it is important that we keep our own experiences in perspective and appreciate the victories and successes we’ve achieved. The process of storytelling provides insight into the paths others have taken, their wins and woes, to offers us an opportunity to learn more about the industry, collectively.

Sean Henry was one of the first students I had as a flight instructor, and to this day, is a good friend and fellow aviator. Sean grew up in Queens, NY, and flew for the first time as a young boy on a family trip to Jamaica. Like many of us, Sean knew immediately that aviation was more than a means of transportation, it was a passion and a dream. After having served two deployments in Iraq as a United States Marine, Sean returned home to become a Maryland State Police Officer. During this time, he met his wife and the two began building a life together. All the while, Sean never lost his passion for aviation and in 2011, moved to Daytona Beach to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot by enrolling as a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Shortly after completing his Instrument rating, the military cut spending for flight training and with his first-born right around the corner, Sean had to decide: Balance the cost of supporting a family and flight training, or pursue a new career.

Through perseverance and the support of family and friends, Sean pushed on, and while it took longer than others, and required working a wide array of jobs, Sean landed his first flying job as a pilot for a Part 135 operation in PA. As a means of building not only flight time but experience, Part 135 carriers provide an opportunity to hone several airmanship skills. Never having flown cargo myself, I am often intrigued by the stories I hear and Sean’s experience is no exception. After a year of working long days and nights, countless weather related issues and even an engine failure, Sean received the call. After tirelessly working to support his family of five, Sean is in the first stages of training to become a First Officer with Envoy Airlines flying the CRJ-700/900. Not all our paths are the same however, as Sean’s story hopefully highlights: Through hard work, dedication and focus, we can accomplish great things.

Sean Henry at Sun Air Express. Images Provided By PPOT.

SOURCEAero Crew News, June 2017
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The majority of my youth was spent living overseas and through the years of constant travel I garnered a passion for aviation. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Business from Northeastern University in ’07, I pursued my dream by attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where I eventually became a flight instructor, as well as earning a Master of Business degree in Airline Management. As an instructor, I was fortunate to have met many amazing people, both colleagues and students, many with whom I am still in contact. I am eager to continue my passion for both aviation, as well as mentorship.


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