A Leap of Faith

by Ying Liu on May 16 2019
My name is Ying Liu, I was formerly a Flight Instructor and a Check Instructor at L3 Airline Academy in Florida. I would like to briefly share my journey to help encourage all of you who aspire to become a professional pilot in the near future or are currently in pilot training to stick with it!

I was originally a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. I worked as a cabin crew member for a little over a year before I decided to take a leap of faith to pursue my dreams and attend flight school. My hope was to one day to return to American Airlines as a pilot! Today, I am a First Officer at Envoy Air, flying the Embraer 175.

So many people have inspired me throughout my entire journey, but the one who influenced me the most is now a mentor, a close friend to me, and a Boeing 767 Captain at American Airlines. I met him on a trip we had together when I was still working as a Flight Attendant at American. I briefly expressed to him that I have a strong interest in becoming a Commercial Pilot, and he immediately flooded me with advice and guidance, urging me to follow my dream! He took me under his wings and even today still gives me advice. He was the one that invited me to take my very first flight lesson in his personal Piper Cherokee; only after that flight, was I stung by the flying bug. After this flight I knew I found my passion and needed to take control and spread my wings.

Shortly after that introductory flight, I attended a flight school located in Phoenix Arizona. After a year of training, I successfully completed my flight training and went on to earn my Flight Instructor, Instrument and Multi Engine Instructor Certificates (CFI/CFII/MEI). I knew I wanted to fly for American Airlines in the future, so I was determined to start my career at Envoy Air, a subsidiary wholly owned by American Airlines Group. I decided to become an Instructor at L3 Airline Academy due to their benefits, including their relationship with Envoy Air. At L3, I was able to join the Envoy Cadet Program while still instructing, working on earning my 1500 hours of flight time, required by the FAA.

L3 Airline Academy provided me an opportunity to be a better CFI, and also a better pilot. Not only was I able to share all of my knowledge of aviation with my students, I was also able learn from L3’s more senior flight instructors at the same time. Not to mention, getting to work with a variety of single and multi-engine aircraft at the academy, from steam gauge to all glass cockpits, I truly felt like I was well prepared for my airline training.

If I could give any advice to those looking to pursue a piloting career, it would be to study hard for what you’re chasing, always ask questions, never give up, and stick to your goals. If you do all of this, your dreams will eventually come true.

- Ying