Many Air Force pilots transition to a career as an airline pilot. Some have successful careers as a general aviation pilot. Dave Coffman is an accomplished pilot who has taken his experience as an Air Force fighter pilot flying for the Thunderbirds and has built a successful general aviation business.
Dave describes how he made the transition from flying fighters for the military to his current general aviation business. Dave is a contract pilot, flight instructor, and mentor pilot. Dave specializes in assisting pilots fly solo in complex aircraft by using his many years as a single seat fighter pilot.
Dave and I Discuss:
- How he developed a passion for aviation.
- His Air Force career.
- Flying For The U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds.
- Why he chose general aviation over the airlines.
- How he built a successful business as a contract pilot.
- How being an F-16 and T-37 Instructor helped him with his current career.
- Preparing for a job as a civilian after a military career.
- Advice on seeking a job flying with the military.
- How a military career prepares you for a job in the civilian world.
- The challenges of transitioning from the military to the civilian career.
Daves Awards and Achievements Include:
- Top Graduate, USAF Pilot Instructor Training
- USAF Distinguished Flying Cross, Aerial Achievement
- USAF Pilot of Distinction Award for safe recovery of an F-16 during an airshow after a catastrophic afterburner explosion.
Questions From Todd:
Todd has a few questions for Tom Wachowski but since both of us are on the road Tom recorded his responses to your questions Todd and I will play his response after reading your questions.
Questions For Tom:
- What is the the most important quality that a corporate flight department looks for in a prospective pilot candidate?
- How does he feel about paying for your first type rating when that becomes a limiting factor in getting hired?
- I hear a lot of people frowning upon that but we all have to pay for our flight training to that point anyway, so why not a type rating?
- Is it best to fly regionals before getting a corporate job?
Questions for Carl:
- You mentioned you knew a pilot who also was a practicing dentist.How in the world did he have the time to do both?
- Any way to have him on your show?
- Could I potentially have the time to be a practicing veterinarian and be a regional airline pilot?
Questions From Swayne:
Swayne is a high school student considering aviation as a career
- What should I think when I get responses from online forums or people who tell me to "run?"
- After years of flying, do you still look forward to it like you did when you first began?
- How did you get to where you are?
- What do you think the future of the industry is looking like?
- Do you see a brighter future compared to the last 11 years?
Links Mentioned In This Show:
Dave’s Interview on The Stuck Mic Avcast Episode 30
Wisdom Meets Passion: When Generations Collide and Collaborate