Eugene (Gene) Hudson - Flight Instructor

Trade Winds Aviation San Jose

Flight Instructor: CFI, CFII, MEI, Mountain
Certificates Held: Commercial Single Engine Land, Commercial Multi Engine Land, Instrument Rated
Education: Santa Clara University: BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Golden Gate University: Business Administration, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Aerospace/Aviation Safety Systems, United States Army

Mr. Hudson has been a pilot since 1977, and an instructor since 1987. He has logged over 22,000 flight hours, in over 100 aircraft types. His education includes an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science, and extensive graduate work in aerospace safety systems/safety management. He serves as a Senior Representative in the FAA Safety Program (FAAST team), and has delivered over 1000 lectures in the safety program. He is a FAA-designated Remedial Instruction Program instructor (FAA version of traffic school for pilots). He has expertise in aviation human factors, the psychology of pilot error and error prevention, and the human factors of cockpit automation. He also has expertise in organizational safety culture: its analysis, creation, promotion, and maintenance. He is a published aviation author. He has delivered lectures at various industry venues, including the national conventions of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Experimental Aircraft Association (Oshkosh). He has developed and demonstrated skills related to creating success among students who were previously “stuck” or “failing” in their flight training. He also teaches in the aviation program at San Jose State University. His hobbies include gourmet cooking, and wine tasting.

5 useful questions to ask an instructor:

Why did you become a flight instructor?
Regardless of the answer, the way an instructor talks about why they fly is what is important. Look for someone that is excited by teaching. They should have a genuine interest in giving others the gift of flight.

How long have you been flight instructing?
Some Instructors have thousands of hours under their belts and have been flight instructing for their entire careers. Others have a few hundred and are just beginning. A seasoned instructor will have a lot of experience but may have a set teaching style. A freshly minted instructor has less aircraft time but is able to relate to common learning obstacles, having undergone their own flight training in the not too distant past. There are advantages to both types of instructor.

How do you keep track of your student’s progress?
Using a syllabus is essential so that both student and instructor can track progress and milestones so make sure your instructor uses one. Talk to other students and ask them what kind of reading their doing, what books they’re using and the type of homework they’re getting. There should ALWAYS have some type of “homework” assignment at the end of each lesson.

What is your availability?
Some instructors are part-time and work separate jobs during the week. Others are full-time, but may want to have personal and family time on the weekends. Find an instructor with compatible availability. Flying at least twice a week is the best way to progress quickly through accomplishments with less effort and less overall costs. Choosing an instructor that is able to fly on the same schedule helps to keep flight training on a consistent path.

I’ve heard people talk about “stalling an airplane.” Can you tell me what it means?
This is a classic question. Regardless of knowing what an “aircraft stall” is or not, how an instructor explains this concept will give great insight into how they can explain concepts. Are they patient? Do they use simple terminology that is easy to understand? Do they ask questions to make sure their student understands, or do they over simplify to brush off the question? Find an instructor whose instructing style is a good match.