The Federal Aviation Administration’s Certified Flight Instructor – Airplane Single Engine test is, understandably, a difficult one. Two recently accredited instructors, however, say they felt prepared for the challenge, thanks to Cypress College.
Anond Thai and Eric Felix passed the FAA test after studying aviation under Capt. Ed Valdez at Cypress. Valdez confirms the exam’s difficulty.
“It’s no easy feat to pass the test,” Valdez said.
Long Beach native Felix’s instructing career took off after he passed the exam. He currently works for two flight schools as a flight instructor and describes his schedule as being hectic but rewarding.
“I enjoy instructing,” he said. “I love this career from the bottom of my heart.”
This job path fulfills Felix’s lifelong dream. He says he’s always been excited by planes and air travel but that flight training can be costly, running into the $80,000 to $100,000 range. Cypress allowed him to achieve his dreams within his means.
“If I didn’t do the program with Ed at Cypress, I wouldn’t have had the same results. I would have not accomplished the exams with the same amount of training — my training would have been much longer.”
Thai received his certificate in May and has been busy teaching as well, after passing the tough exam. The Thailand-born Orange County resident says he wishes “it was an easy test but it’s not,” and is grateful to Valdez for facilitating his success.
“Without Cypress, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I went from no flying knowledge at all to being a pilot in about two years. Cypress aviation program helped a lot. Got to give it credit.”
Thai originally attended Cal Poly Pomona; although he had high grades in high school, he says he entered the university having trouble with English. He eventually left after his GPA got too low and he was disqualified.
“I went to Cal Poly and didn’t know what college life was like,” Thai said. “Cypress College taught me a lot about college life.”
Thai will continue his college education at Cal State Dominquez Hills, to earn his bachelor’s degree in math. He will keep teaching while there; he currently has eight students, working with two to three students a day for about three hours each lesson.
Both Felix and Thai work out of the Long Beach and Santa Ana airports, where they share the lessons they’ve learned during their time at Cypress.