What’s your HondaJet story?

The fist plane I ever flew was a Jet. In August of 2004, I did a one hour flight in an L-39 at Tropical Jet Fighters in Key Largo (they have since closed). Immediately after that incredible experience, I told my wife that I had to get my pilot’s license.

The day after hurricane Charlie ravaged Central Florida, I took my first student flight in a 172 from Air Orlando Flight Training at the Executive Airport. Six weeks later, I had my private; eight weeks after that, I had my instrument.

I spent the next 14 years enjoying the wonders of flight, building 900 hours flying multiple SR22s that I bought or leased over the years.

In 2017, I decided that it was finally time to fulfill the dream of owning a Jet. I took a serious look at the Vision Jet (I had position number 6) and the Eclipse. After really thinking about my long term needs, I decided to go up a class (or two). I looked at the M2, and flew the Phenom 100 which is a very nice aircraft. Then Mike O’keefe from Banyan called me to offer a flight in a HondaJet (which I did not even know existed). After .5 in that plane, my choice was made – no question about it.

I bought my first HondaJet in November of 2017 and immediately hired an instructor from Honda Aircraft. None of their regular instructors were available, so I got Mr. Fugino’s pilot, Tim Frazier. What a stroke of luck! I flew 50 hours with the most experienced HondaJet pilot in the world; and he wasn’t just an experienced pilot, he was a fabulous instructor. At the end of those 50 hours, according to Tim, I was more than ready for my Type Rating.

However, I was fully aware of the enormous leap I was making, so when Tim had to return to his regular duties, I hired Edward Covington, another fabulous instructor, for an additional 50 hours of flying before going to FlightSafety.

With 15 years of flying, 100 hours left-seat in-type experience, and exactly 1,000 logged hours, I qualified to take my HA-420 Type Rating as PIC. I have no doubt that the course and simulator would have absolutely devoured me if I did not take the time to get prepared. Instead, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience in which I was helping fellow classmates, retired airline pilots, learn the G3000. I learned so much from sitting beside those guys for 3 weeks. However, with 100 hours of experience with Honda’s implementation of the G3000, I was able to return the favor, at least in part.

Since my check-ride in March of 2018, I have attended 3 Upset Recognition and Recovery courses and aerobatic training in military training jets, added a 737 rating, and obtained my ATP. At over 1,000 hours flying the HondaJet, (2,000 total time) I am now one of the higher time in-type pilots in the world. I realize that is not saying much given that there are only a few hundred HondaJets in the world, but it sure feels good to say.

According to my friends in Greensboro, I believe I also have the distinction of having the most in-sim hours of any pilot that does not work for Honda Aircraft or FlightSafety. I attend FlightSafety at least 4 times a year. I do recurrents every 6 months and do free-style training in between my recurrents in which I train only advanced, difficult, and near impossible scenarios.

Over the years, I have mentored several people into aviation. In doing so, I discovered that I don’t just love to fly, I love to teach too. I am especially passionate about the fundamentals that are skipped by traditional training such as flight dynamics and energy management.

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  1. Pingback: How difficult is the Type Rating for Pilots stepping up to Jets? – Fly Before Buy

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