About the Author

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Southport, Manitoba, Canada
Steve Pomroy is a professional flight instructor and aviation writer. He has been teaching since 1995 and holds an Airline Transport Pilot License, Class 1 Instructor and Aerobatic Instructor Ratings, military QFI, and an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. He's written and published three flight training books through his company, SkyWriters Publishing, and has several other books under development. Steve currently teaches RCAF pilot candidates on their Primary Flight Training course.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hello, World! Welcome to my Aviation Blog!

After years of flying, teaching, and writing, I've finally decided to take a run at an aviation blog. As with most bloggers, I've only got a fuzzy idea of what I want to write here, so it should be interesting to see how things evolve. I'm sure that most of what I write will fit into one of four themes: 1) Student Advice, 2) Groundschool Comments, 3) Flight Comments, and 4) Instructional Notes. My next few entries will discuss what I've got in mind for those four themes. I'm sure that I'll occasionally have something to say that doesn’t fit into those categories. But I expect those instances to be few and far between.

So I guess I'll start things off with a little about me and my motivations. The short version is that my background is primarily in aviation and flight training, and I've held training positions at several flight schools in Atlantic Canada. I also managed to get myself an Engineering degree and to spend four years in the Middle East, three of which were spent teaching engineering. Oh, and I've written and published an aviation textbook (Applied Aerodynamics for Private and Commercial Pilots), with more in the works.

I've been flying since the summer of 1992, when I learned to fly on an Air Cadet Flying Scholarship. For those of you young enough to take advantage, I would recommend the Cadet program even if you don't want to fly (but why someone wouldn't want to fly eludes me!). I'll expand more on the merits of the program in a future post. I completed my Commercial Pilot License and Class 4 Flight Instructor Rating in 1995 and got a job training pilots almost immediately in Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Over the next 2 years, I upgraded my Instructor Rating so that by the summer of 1997, I held a Class 1 Flight Instructor Rating and Pilot Examiner (PE) authority (back then, it was "Designated Flight Test Examiner" (DFTE) authority).

I then spent a year back in my hometown, St. John's, Newfoundland, as the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at the St. John's branch of the Career Academy School of Aviation, where I also served as the in-house flight test examiner. Afterward, I moved into the Chief Flight Instructor (CFI) position at the former Greenwood Flying Club (known now as the Greenwood Flight Centre) on CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia. I spent about a year in Greenwood, but the club fell on hard economic times (which they've since recovered from quite nicely, due in no small part to an employee buyout of sorts), and I had to move on. I took this as an opportunity to return to Shearwater to fly and teach on contract while I studied engineering at Saint Mary's University and Dalhousie University.

While I was in University, the aviation industry started a minor downturn, which was greatly accelerated into a major downturn by the events of 9/11/2001. I discovered then that every third-year mechanical engineering course has room for a case study on the structural collapse of a building hit by an airplane. The downturn in aviation didn't do much for my prospects of re-entering the flying trade full-time after graduation. Sure enough, when I started looking, there were no flying jobs to be found anywhere. Ultimately, I gave up on finding work as a pilot, and started looking for work as an engineer. Not long after, an opportunity came my way. I was hired for a 3 year contract teaching engineering in the Middle East for College of the North Atlantic - Qatar. The pay was decent, the time off was outstanding, and the travel opportunities were to die for!

My fourth year in Qatar was spent working with two partners in a start-up engineering firm, which ultimately didn't get very far. I also went back to school part-time for the year and studied Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University's Qatar campus.

Upon returning to Canada, I took a position in Gander, Newfoundland. Gander used to be known as the "Crossroads of the World" because trans-Atlantic aircraft always stopped there for fuel. Nowadays, however, most aircraft have enough range to skip the stop - flying from New York, Boston, or Toronto to London, Paris, or Frankfurt with no need for the delay and cost of an extra fuel stop. So Gander isn't quite as busy as it once was. Nonetheless, the airport is a great facility and the weather is good enough to fly and bad enough to present a challenge - allowing student pilots to gain an invaluable set of real-world lessons. I spent about a year in Gander. It was an, um, interesting experience. Someday, maybe I'll write a post to expand on that.

Nowadays, I'm back in my hometown, thinking about maybe (just maybe!) putting down some roots, and working on starting a couple of business ventures. These ventures show a lot of promise, but getting them going is quite a grind. Maybe I'll include a few posts in the future about the whole starting-a-business experience. Or maybe that would justify a whole separate blog!

There you have it. My bio, so far, in very broad strokes. The good news here is that future posts will be focused less on me and more on airplanes:).

Happy Flying!