The Importance of Passion for Aviation

My passion and that of others is the fuel that propels me toward my goals


So far, in my few months of instructing, I have encountered a wide range of students. Some are only around for a short time; perhaps they need a flight review, or they do a discovery flight while they come up with the funds for training. Some, of course, stick around longer in pursuit of a certificate or rating.

I am lucky to have students with a wide range of personalities, experiences, and life lessons. It gives me the opportunity to diversify my skills and grow as a teacher in ways I would not be able to with a more homogeneous student base. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with each of them.

I learn the most from students who display the greatest passion for aviation. These students don’t yet have connections to the field and aren’t wedded to a career in it; rather, they are learning to fly simply because they want to. I find it exciting to dive deeply into topics with someone who wants to know not only what they need to know but also why it is important to learn each item.

It is these people with whom I can share my own passion for aviation – how much I love it and why I fight for it as much as I do. I cherish each opportunity to help a student deepen their fascination with flying, whether as a VFR-only private pilot or as someone driven even further by their excitement.

Maintaining and growing my deep passion for flying has been one of the most critical things I have done to advance my career thus far. The more in love I am with flying, the easier it is for me to keep pushing through training and work with my end goal in sight. It has been that much easier to endure the ups and downs of becoming a professional pilot because I had such a strong foundational love for and joy in flying.

When I realized my love for aviation and my desire to be a professional pilot, one of the first things I did was dive into learning about commercial aviation. I learned how to identify all the different types of aircraft, I kept up with the airline news of the day and got to know other people who knew more than I did. That first excursion into aviation helped me realize what I wanted to do in the industry, and subsequently how to get there.

As I began my flight training, the passion never died. Because I already loved aviation and airplanes, I now wanted to know not only everything there was to know about commercial aviation but also everything I could know about being a pilot myself; that passion I already had fueled my further desire to learn. That did not mean, of course, that I stopped feeding my love for industry news, for it was that research that helped me stay focused on moving forward with my end goal always in sight. Even when my training became difficult, I still had a target to orient myself towards as my training and career progressed.

I feel quite lucky that I am in a career field for which I care so deeply. I am even luckier that I am surrounded by people who share my love for flying and help me stay focused on my ultimate goals. I am ecstatic to keep growing my love for flying and to keep learning, seeking, and growing as a pilot.

SOURCEAero Crew News, July 2024
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John McDermott’s passion for aviation began in a Michigan bookstore when he found a story about a chance encounter between enemy pilots during World War II. Soon, after watching countless hours of fighter jets and traffic from his home near O’Hare International Airport, he was hooked forever. These days, John is a student pilot from Chicago pursuing a career in professional aviation. He works with Professional Pilots of Tomorrow’s Digital Media Team and has experience as an airline ramper and customer service agent. Though he is also pursuing a Religious Studies degree at Northwestern University, he does not plan to become a missionary pilot. Instead, he dreams of far-off destinations with warm beaches and fun adventures. With years of experience writing and editing for aviation news websites, John is ready to take the next step towards pursuing his life-long career goal of becoming flight crew.


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