Ryan Bertsche - Flight Instructor

Bay Area Flying Club

Flight Instructor: CFI
Certificates Held: Commercial Single Engine Land, Commercial Multi Engine Land, Instrument Rated
Education: B.S. of Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle
For the past 20 years I’ve been pursuing aviation and I never get sick of it.  I have had some of the best experiences in this pursuit.  For me, it started with a discovery flight and it led me to enroll in one of the premier aviation Universities, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  While in attendance I was able to obtain my ratings (Commercial, Instrument, Multi, CFI), and obtain an internship with Continental Airlines.  I went through the simulator training while an intern for Continental Airlines in an MD-88 full motion simulator, and learned what it takes to get through an airline training program.  For a period of time I served as a San Francisco Bay tour pilot flying over some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.  I’ve been actively instructing since 2006.
Instructing has allowed me to keep my skills sharp and to pass along my knowledge and skills.  The most rewarding aspect of flying for me is attracting new pilots to follow their own path and to give the tools to these pilots to be proficient, competent and safe. Flying should be something you work very hard at, also it provides an opportunity to learn and grow.  I’d be happy to fly with anyone, whether it’s your first flight or you’ve been flying for years.  My experience is unique and would be glad to share that knowledge with anyone.

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.