Flight Training - July 2020 - 45

ADVANCED PILOT CAREER SPOTLIGHT

BY IAN J. TWOMBLY

Max Trescott shares tips for IFR flying
at the Carbondale, Illinois, AOPA Fly-In
in 2018.

A NOBLE CALLING
TEACH FOR A LIVING

MIKE COLLINS

IMAGINE A CAREER where you could set your own hours, work com-

pletely for yourself, create lifelong friendships, and get paid to fly. It
seems impossible, but for professional flight instructors it's the norm.
While most pilots consider flight instruction a necessary evil on the
way to bigger and better things, modern professional flight instructors
have shown it is a job fully worthy of being its own career. California-based Max Trescott has made instructing into a career, and he
couldn't be happier. A former sales and marketing professional for a
tech firm, Trescott now instructs primarily locally in the Cirrus SR22
and SF50 Vision Jet.
Since starting to instruct full-time, Trescott has written books on
advanced avionics such as the Garmin G1000. It's part of his successful strategy of specializing in a specific area. "Very early on I decided
to specialize in glass cockpits," he said. "Specialization has worked
extremely well for me." About three years ago he became a Cirrus
Standardized Instructor Pilot, or CSIP. You would think going from any
airplane to only one would limit your market, but for Trescott it turned
out to be a great decision. "I instantly got much busier and had to raise
my rates."
About 18 months later he paid for a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet type
rating, and he now has about 200 hours of instruction and mentoring in
the aircraft. When not flying he's continuing to write books (one on the
Garmin G3000 will be out this summer), and he hosts and produces the
popular Aviation News Talk podcast.
To be a great instructor Trescott says you must be knowledgeable,
but willing to admit when you don't know the answer. You also need
to put your client's needs ahead of your own, and most important, be
patient. "You're going to say, 'more right rudder' 100 times to the same
person," he said. "I joke that I can say it in 12 languages."
For his previous career in tech Trescott traveled extensively and he
wasn't interested in doing more, so the airlines were never a goal. He's

QUALIFICATIONS
Commercial and flight instructor certificate;
third class medical or BasicMed; in most
cases, 250 hours of total flight time. CSIP
certification requires 500 hours total time
and 250 hours of dual given. Insurance
companies will require jet instructors to be
more experienced.
BENEFITS
Self employment, with flexible schedule
and travel schedule. Basically, you create
the life you want.
DRAWBACKS
Trescott says he sits a lot, so maintaining
a healthy lifestyle is challenging. Also, no
pension or employer-provided health care
benefits.
PAY
Many instructors start at about $20 an
hour, but professionals with a strong specialization can make six figures.

found that he loves helping people achieve their goals.
"I'm always having fun when I'm in an airplane," he
said. "We're joking, we're laughing, we're learning. I
get to watch the world go by below me." FT
ian.twombly@aopa.org
AOPA.ORG/FT  45


http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2020

Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - 2
Flight Training - July 2020 - 3
Flight Training - July 2020 - 4
Flight Training - July 2020 - 5
Flight Training - July 2020 - 6
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Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover4
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