Nathaniel Sanchez - Flight Instructor

Aspen Flying Club

Flight Instructor: CFI
Certificates Held: Commercial Single Engine Land, Commercial Multi Engine Land, Instrument Rated
Education: United States Air Force
Nathaniel was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. From an early age, he was intrigued by airplanes watching as they flew over his home arriving and departing Honolulu International Airport. Sparking a passion in aviation and a desire to travel the world, he joined the United States Air Force and became a Flying Crew Chief on the KC-135 Strato-Tanker. During his time on the KC-135, Nathaniel had the privilege of traveling to almost every state and multiple destinations overseas all while refueling transport, bombers, and fighters in air. With the experience he gained as a crew chief, Nathaniel obtained his A&P license and went on to work as an Aeromedical Aircraft Maintenance Technician working primarily on Beechcraft King Air C90’s leading him to later obtain his Private Pilot certificate. After many years of having his private pilot  while working as an A&P he made the dive and pursued flying full time, leading him to Colorado. Once in Colorado, Nathaniel obtained all his core ratings at Centennial Airport and his CFI certification at Aspen Flying Club. Nathaniel has a passion for all things aviation and is enthusiastic to share his aviation experiences and knowledge while teaching the next generation of pilots. In his free time Nathaniel enjoys reading, fishing, camping and most of all spending time with his wife and son.

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.