My personal story and

by Mark Robidoux on July 13, 2010

For those who have been receiving our weekly pilot tips, you may recognize my name from the bottom of the emails. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and thank you for being part of our online community.

I founded in May of 2005. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but it has been an incredible journey so far and really has just begun in many ways. More on that in a moment.

I live north of Boston on a small lake in New Hampshire with my wife, Jackie and two sons. Jackie is a registered nurse and an avid naturalist and nature photographer. I could not have built this company without her support. She saw the spark in my eye when I conceived of this company years ago and encouraged me to pursue my dream.

In addition to running PilotWorkshops, I am an active commercial pilot and work and fly out of the Nashua Airport (KASH) in Nashua, NH. My office is located right on the field…how convenient when the urge to go flying hits!

I got hooked on flying in 1995. My friend Adam had a brand new private pilot license and asked me to join him on a flight from Hampton, NH to Bar Harbor, Maine where we would get lunch and return later that day. The flight to Bar Harbor was amazing – we flew low along the Maine coastline in brilliant morning sunshine and the 90 minute flight seemed way too short. The return flight was even more spectacular as the sun set just prior to touching down back in Hampton. I took my introductory flight lesson the next morning! Soon after I got my private pilot license, bought an airplane with Adam and a few years later earned my instrument rating.

A strange thing happened when I got my instrument rating. Although I had a good instructor, met all the requirements and passed my checkride…I didn’t feel like I was fully prepared to fly in the system! Did any of you have a similar experience? It was during this time that I started searching for online training programs that focused on IFR proficiency. Unfortunately, I found very little. There were plenty of good video training courses that could help you pass the test, but I was looking for practical tips and techniques I could use in the cockpit to make me a better IFR pilot. It was then that I conceived of the website that would later become

Building has been a thrill for me. As many of you know, starting a new business in this market (or any market for that matter) is quite a challenge. I left the security of a 20 year career in high tech to pursue my passion. Many people thought I was crazy. Maybe I was, but I was determined to build a world class website dedicated to pilot proficiency and general aviation safety.

The first few years were rough. We had developed some excellent training products that were getting good reviews, but we didn’t have the capital to market them on a large scale. Although our growth was slow, we always focused on delivering the highest quality training programs we could and kept working at it, hoping our message would take hold. It seemed that any time I thought about packing it in, I’d get an email from a pilot telling me how much our programs helped them…this fueled my desire to keep going.

We continued to solicit feedback on how we could improve our products and pursued innovative marketing programs and partnerships to stimulate our growth. Over time, we started to turn the corner and the business began to show the potential we hoped it could. We now have over 100,000 subscribers to our weekly pilot tips and over 12,000 customers around the world who have purchased our programs. We are delivering game changing online programs and apps for pilots and will continue to look for new ways to help pilots develop proficiency and improve safety.

Throughout this journey, I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people that have helped me build the company. Our group of contributing experts are the real stars of I encourage you to read their bios which are available on every pilot tip we send out. They are amazing pilots who have reached the top of their profession and are passionate and committed to helping us all become better pilots.

My partners, Jeff Mulligan and Marilyn Jones are the absolute best! Jeff runs our marketing and website technology and started several successful internet marketing companies prior to joining us. Although he is not a pilot, he has been around so much pilot talk over the years that you would swear he is a seasoned aviator.  Marilyn oversees our workshop production and has had a long and successful career as an instructional designer. She ran her own multimedia development company for many years and is a highly accomplished pilot and owns a beautiful Cessna P210.

The best part about starting this company is being part of the general aviation community. Let’s face it; pilots are a great group of people! I enjoy the responsibility that comes with reaching so many pilots with our weekly tips and remain committed to providing content that you will find value in. I appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to build this online community with you for years to come.


Mark Robidoux

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{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisamuel August 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Your story is wonderful, I’m persuading the dream to fly, in fact tomorrow I’m going to start a first class as a Private Pilot.
I just wanted to tell you I enjoyed your story and I saw me reflected in your story. Also I’m a Computer Engineer and I’m not sure if I’m going be able to change my career to fly every day, Also I have other plans other projects and I’ve realized that the life is very short, but I’m sure that we at least try it, try it.

Thank you very much for sharing your personal story.
Kind regards,

Gilberto Vaz November 1, 2010 at 11:16 am

Hi, Mark.
You’ve been doing a bang-up job! Congrats! Everybody from your online community has gained insight into how aviation really works in several aspects. You and all your support personnel have been a landmark to all of us air traffic controllers, pilots and teachers of aviation English. I’ve recommended your Pilot’s Tip to lots of pilots (friends of mine) and also air traffic controllers. On behalf of all of us, thank you very much for your help and support.
Gilberto Vaz

Martin October 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Nicely done. Got my PPL-SEL 3 years ago and I’m a happy owner of a Grumman Tiger in NorCal. Got my IR 2 years ago and loving it 🙂 keep up the good work.

Harshal Bakrecha August 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

hi sir,
well i just got my 13th tip of the week. You really doing great, thanks for sharing your tips keep up the great work !
I´m still a student pilot and just 20yrs old. I love to fly and love to learn more and more about aviation, and the best thing is the aviation is the most beautiful profession.

but i’m a lil bit confused bout the aviation business now days and not only in my country its all over the world. if u search for anything about aviation u’ll see one thing at first is the companies are removing the pilots. why is that??? the population of the world is growing simultaneously and the aviation business is going in loss… i don’t know what will happen to the newly grads os the student pilots same as me.. will we be able to get a good professional life or maybe not according to the situation now… hope to get ur reply soon sir…

The story your life is very nice, And I really believe that the secret of success is doing what you enjoy more in life,

best of luck!

Warm regards,
Harshal Bakrecha

Joel Hidalgo August 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm

OHH Men,

what you’ve done, is something great and beautiful, you really do not know how many people have saved themselves with all these stories.
Prevention is the best thing that a pilots can find before an accident happens.
You have become our Thomas Jefferson.
I wish you the best,

elizabeth larsen July 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I am getting too old, blind and deaf to fly, but I love to read your tips and pretend. I have a commercial license and don’t use it. Maybe I can fly up in Heaven. Thanks.

muhoro Wangai July 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

Hi Mark,
Thanx sooo much for your informative materials. You’ll be suprise that your articles are
read far and wide by all enthusiasts who long/ defy ‘G’. Am an M/s fs9 simmer, and the
Piper Chieftain (from Fsd-International) is my forever favourites. Every few days i have to take off from Seattle-tacoma to either Boeing/king (KBFI), Olympia, etc to safe my Lycoming cylinders from
water condensation and corrosion from sitting down long. I have had tried to apply your advice and its good. Especially navigation management. I also came to learn how to avoid cooking cylinders from overleaning, and shock cooling from fast descends without power and so much more. My PA31 ( 5Y-KFI) flies nice and fewer nav mishapps.
keep them coming.
Into the wild-blue yonder.
muhoro Wangai
Nairobi Kenya.

Ivan Lee July 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thanks mark
I really appriciate for your tips, it helps me a lot.
I am a F.O. from China, and welcome to china,it will be a lot of fan except you can not fly here.
Thank you, and best wishes

Mark Robidoux July 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Way to go Elaine Davis! Your story is very inspirational to all of us. Thanks for sharing!

Elaine Davis July 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

Hi Mark, I noted your advice to make sure we have an instructor who really knows how to program the GPS or any other SIM programmable software: a couple of years ago, I bought a dozen hours of regulation flight SIM time at a distant airport. My instructor was a well-qualified pilot instructor in realtime, but did not really know how to access the set ups on the SIM for what I needed to do (ie. safely practice the aerobatic manoeuvres which are called emergency procedures here in Canada since aerobatics are illegal to use in training!) so a lot of time was wasted with him trying to figure it out. I needed the advantage of the SIM training for this because when I started in realtime I was frozen with fear and my youthful instructor wanted to wash me out. I knew I could beat my fear with a persistent de-sensitization program, but several possible instructors around here were not interested in helping me work through it–even at my own expense–so that’s why I commuted to the distant airport that has a regulation SIM. My program was successful in conquering my fear–thanks to my own stubborn perseverence!–and by now, my son has built my own personal cockpit SIM for me in my basement with parts and programs from the U.K. and I’m now specializing in becoming an expert with the glass cockpit and any other related high tech accessories in addition to realtime flying–even old warplanes like the Harvard and the spitfire.
Anecdotally, I could go on twice as long with my story of how my local aviation medical doctor tried so hard to disqualify me from flying (because I’m a young senior–although in perfect health!) that he unnecessarily put me through the most stringent cardio stress tests, which I passed, and then ordered an echocardiogram which I had to pull strings over six months to get because here in Canada OHIP–Ontario Health Insurance is mandatory (private payment is not allowed) and OHIP does not normally pay for medical tests on a healthy person to prove you’re healthy. After all those stupid hoops, the doctor “lost” my entire file and I had a further four months run-around from the hospital that did the echocardiograph refusing to forward my test results to CAA “because the hospital can only give the results to the doctor who ordered the test”!!! Finally, I reported the whole sorry nonsense to the CAA and they ordered the local hospital to forward my results directly to them. In my mid-sixties I can qualify for the type 1 med. certificate; I’ve only let it lapse to the type 3 to avoid having to do the medical every 6 months at my age and the medical appointment and results take almost 6 months in process!! So much for the compulsory monopoly on social healthcare; Americans, beware!
The reason I’m bothering to tell you about all this is a) because I want to encourage aviation enthusiasts to fight the red tape and self-styled gate-keepers: don’t just roll over and play dead for their amusement! and b) because I still am and always will be right-royally pissed off by the many individuals who have tried hard to send me “home to bake cookies” when I want to fly! Suffice it to say, my having to look further afield for practical help and instruction in pursuing my dominent passion has led me to many aviation-connected indivduals and resources who are encouraging and supporting my Quest. My profuse thanks to all of your kind, and God bless the internet. Elaine Davis

Pedro León July 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hi Mark,

I´m glad to have found your page about a year ago. You really doing well, thanks for sharing your tips keep up the good work !
I´m not a pilot. I follow aviation because I´m air traffic controller and my profession concerns with safety, I thing aviation is the most beautiful profession .
Nice story your life, I believe that the secret of sucess is doing what you enjoy more in life, best luck!

Pedro León , Colombia, S. America
Air traffic Controller- Barranquilla-co

Richard J. Schwartz July 22, 2010 at 5:42 am

Mark, I love your passion for what you are doing, your timely and informative articles and all the positive comments that attest to your success. So, with your permission, I am taking precious time out to write about some enlightening SIMILAR- experiences.

Flying has been such an integral part of the my last 30 years that I am constantly blogging about outstanding historic aviation personalities such as Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, Robert ‘Rosie’ Rosenthal, John Gillespie Mcgee, Jr., Jackie Cochran, Harold I. June, Johnny Moore and too many others to enumerate . So, please read on.

Likewise, I discovered flying while living in the most beautiful areas of California, Chico/Paradise. What turned me on was the positive energy and excitement about aviation from my wife , herself a pilot, and her family who were involved in aviation insurance in the Portland, Oregon market.

Before long I earned my wings from Sugarpine Aviators, up in the Sierras at Quincy Airport in Plumas County. from Johnny Moore, himself a crop duster and ATP rated (author of I Must Fly and Breaking into Agricultural Aviation) and Tom Rahn– who both still run the school some 30 years later; both introduced me to the love of flying that includes a respect for mountain flying since Quincy and its airport are situated in a natural bowl, surrounded by mountains at about 3,000 MSL ; the airport is beautiful in winter creating a natural snow bowl and is about and is a 40 minute flight to Lake Tahoe. See by blog on this subject: My website is

I purchased a slightly used Archer II (this is 1981 and the plane cost me less than $30,000, equipped) from my neighbors in Paradise (who ran Horizon Aviation in Auburn) and went on to fly my Archer II, fully equipped with dual Navs and Coms. She was hangared first at Oroville Airport in the Sacramento Valley (where I took further instruction with Orville and his assistant David) and then at Mahlon Sweet in Eugene, Oregon where I was fortunate to do lots of instrument flying in the morning fog with 6,000 hour airline pilot Al Stockstead, and lots of under- the- hood training up and down Washington/Oregon coast.

My best memories are of: getting up at 4AM in Paradise, driving down to the Valley and doing lots of touch’n go’s and night flying in the Sacramento Valley– which is awesome flying in the calm under the stars before morning sunrise.

A few month later I did a long cross country from Eugene, Ore. to Charles Lindbergh Airport in San Diego landing 29’erHotel just as the fog cleared. The flight over the Tehachapis from Bakersfield south in early morning is magnificent.

I particularly enjoyed doing lots of touch and go’s at Kneeland Airport, with its 2250 foot long runway. It’s an unattended mountain airport at 2700 feet above sea level, 10 miles southeast of Eureka, California, along the coastal range. Eureka is fogged in so much of the time, local pilots must land at Kneeland.

Finally, nothing can match flying, with clearance, in Glacier National Park in the winter with lots of mountain photographs of the awesome experience. Look for a forthcoming blog with a special slideshow from my experience in Kalispel, Montana.

One of the saddest days of my life was selling back 29H to the original owners 300 hours and two years later. It was like losing a long lasting friend.

Flying has been such a positive experience for me that I have maintained my AOPA affiliation all these 30 years, have flown intermittently out in Glacier National Park Area and from Danbury Airport, here in Southern Connecticut and blog constantly about aviation.

i would love to fly up in New Hampshire–especially from the small airports (e.g. Hawthorne Feather) near Bennington, NH in Hillsborough County. I look forward each summer to spend vacations in the Francestown area with awesome views of the Monadnocks.

Have an inspired day, all!

Keep your articles flowing.

P.S. I write a daily blog on all sorts of subjects, many of which include my passion for aviation and instructing/mentoring/counseling. My website is and my blog is Enjoy my breath of experience both in the skies and down here.

vincent July 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Hey mark thanks a lot for the great work. Im from Africa, However residing in Toronto, Ontario and at some point in the future, I would like to bring you to my continent as we do have a major problem in the African avaition sector, I like your story and it’s very encouraging

patricio espinel July 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

Hi Mark
you have an excellent personal story and I’m grateful because you do a great job sending us very important tips about the background of pilots. keep doing the same….

Bob Thompson July 21, 2010 at 1:19 am


As a very low time p[lot who achieved a lifetime ambition of getting licensed as a pilot three years ago at the age of 59, I thoroughly appreciate your e-mails and thoughtful, kind approach to teaching us all real world “best practices”.

Bless you, your colleagues, and your family for the great work!

George Paris July 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm


I am old and tired of being retired. I truly enjoy Pilot Tips. It enables me to relive all the great thrils and chills of my flying days as an Air Corps flight instructor, Crop duster, Skywriter and Airline Pilot. Hopefully the LSA’s will come to town and I will be able to rejoin you in the air. In the meantime keep writing those great tips. I may need them again some time.


Viv (Mr) July 20, 2010 at 5:22 am

Hi Mark,
I probably have started my flying career at the wrong end of my life. Since i was a kid i have had a facination with flight. My uncle was a radio operator on Sunderlands and before going to war he gave me a book “Our Air Force” and that was the start of a love affair.
I guess over the years i have flown in most commercial aircraft including most of the Douglas DC series, Boeings, Air Busses not to mention De Haviland Herons, Bell Rangers & Squirrel choppers and enjoyed every flight.
It was not long ago my kids gave me a training flight on a Piper Warrior and followed that up with a flight on a CJ-6 aerobatic fighter, i was hooked.
Now i have undertaken training at Lilydale Melbourne in Jabirus and now back to Warriors.
I wish to fill my lifes ambition and become a pilot, a position which i hold in great esteem. Flying is my ultimate goal and i hope i can achieve it.


Viv Wilkinson

Jenell Tasby July 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Hi Mark
Thanks for all the tips I really enjoy them all and they have helped me so much. I would like to see more tips with helicopters in mind. But I still enjoy reading all the tips Thanks for all your hard work

andres July 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

Hi Mark.

I enjoy your information at all the time and I like your weekly tips very much.
I want to wish you the best in your company.
Continued good luck!

Eric K. Mbugi July 19, 2010 at 2:07 am

Hello mark,
Fascinating bio and inspiring too. I hope your materials will help me reach the limits I am hoping too.

Claus Weisemann July 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I like your weekly tips very much. Just the right amount to think 5 minutes about flying and stay mentally current. Continued good luck!

luis rose July 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hello Mark :

Great start and succesful one for you and your family , I am overseas , but I enjoy your information at all the time , I want to wish you the best in your company , this will be a great idea in Spanish for many colleagues , regards , Luis !

isa Isık July 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Hi Mark;
Thank you for sharing your tips.You are doing a great job for the aviation.İn the mean time I will learn as much as I can.

Best Regards.

İsa Işık

Josh Whyte July 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your intro, and all the highly informative tips you take the trouble to send. I really enjoy learning from them.

Michael Teiger, MD, Senior AME July 18, 2010 at 3:01 am

I read every one of the tips religiously

Jason July 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Gday Mark,
Thankyou for sharing your story and a big Thankyou to you and also your wife, (for her support in you developing this site) and for your ongoing dedication to Pilot Workshop. I am only new to your site and look forward to many years of Correspondence.
You are right also in saying that Pilots are a great bunch of People.
Thanks again Mate and Happy Flying
Jason Searle

taher July 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm

hi mark
I’m taher from libya atc & ojti at tripoli int airport.
I’d like to thank you for the best & the hard effort you’re doing , it’s really amazing of what you’re doing , when i ever think of any subject concerning aviation i found it in your tips & improves my knowldge so farther . I wish all the best & your family too. Tks

Lawrie July 17, 2010 at 9:40 am

Dear Mark,
I have been enjoying your pilot tips for several weeks now and find them to be informative and helpful.


Dp July 17, 2010 at 5:18 am

As an instructor and pilot for my agency, I can’t tell you how helpful your workshops have been in helping me to both be a better pilot and prepare my fellow coworkers to be better pilots. Keep up the good work.

Nuhaid July 17, 2010 at 3:43 am

Hi Mark,

Thank you for everything and wish you best of luck from the bottom of my heart.

Best regards,
Nuhaid Ameer

Riccardo Filippi July 17, 2010 at 2:19 am

I enjoy your tips every time, Mark. As a firefighting pilot I fly Bombardier (Canadair) CL-415 twin turboprop aircraft here in Italy. I hold an ATPL, but as you may understand, because of the nature of this job there’s little time to practice actual IFR flying. Your workshops help me a lot in keeping my knowledge current. Keep it up.


Alex July 17, 2010 at 1:46 am

Hi Mark, I am near to give the ppl exam and I would than prepare the IFR, I have left a wonderful career in Italy to migrate Downunder, Based in Melbourne I am looking for your best material about IFR. I wondering if you can also provide me info about TYPE rating of Airbus and Boeing as I am planning to be a Commercial pilot in 6 months and I would jump as a coopilot for one of the Asian Airliners such as Singapore or Cathay.

Wish you all the best and please keep going you are faboulus!!!!!

Vijay Siddagoni July 17, 2010 at 1:13 am

Dear Mr.Mark,

I am a Commercial Pilot License holder . your Pilot tips are highly useful and i would like to thank you and your team wholeheartedly for doing such great job thanks a lot bro i really appreciate it.

Heartily regards,
Vijay Siddagoni.

Paula Johansen July 16, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Thanks so much for all the helpful hints. I just got my Private SEL – only took me 47 years! Started flying as a teenager, then didn’t fly for about 45 years – got my Private 2 days before my 66th birthday. Bought the 1948 Navion that used to belong to my parents – what a joy to fly in that beautiful plane that carried my folks, my sister and me all over.
Your hints and tips and training are very much appreciatedl. I am not inclined to go for an IFR rating now – but maybe in the future. Thanks for all you do – keep up the good work, and may you always have tailwinds!
Paula Johansen
Sonora, CA
Paula Johansen

barry williams July 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Earlier today (july 16) I made comments about the controller/pilot interaction. I mistakenly gave the incorrect e-mail address. If you wish to get in touch the above one is correct. BW.

Silvia July 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Hi Mark. I am a teacher of English who prepares pilots for the Icao operational exam. As you can imagine, your workshops are terrific for me, really useful. Thank you VERY much.

Chuck Cawthon July 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Honestly,I am a general aviation pilot now 38 years. I’ve been flying Ultralights, now E-LSA aircraft nearly ten years and even though I don’t mingle that much with the intensely busy airspace anymore, it’s still no excuse not to be aware and proficient in aviation communication and airmanship. That’s what I like about your website, it’s ground school and practical usable and relevant insight from accomplished CFI’s that are clear, detailed and accurate communicators.

Barry Williams July 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

AS a VFR pilot and ex-Air traffic controller I have met many VFR pilots (especially students ) who have expressed a fear or nervousness about talking to Controllers either feeling that controllers will not want to be bothered with them because they are inexperienced or some such thing. One pilot told me that he would “never, never” go near a controlled airport and another said he would be a “controllers worst nightmare.” If you’ re one who thinks you fit this description “listen up” because I’m here to tell you that controllers are here to PROVIDE YOU WITH A SERVICE.
There are many ways you can become familiar with ATC jargon. The internet is one, or perhaps you can obtain VHF reciever some place. When flying one can fly around a control zone (Remaining clear of course) and listen in to the conversations from other pilots and the control tower. Quite soon you will pick it up and you will start to recognise standard phrases that controllers use. Moreover, you will start to know what the controller is going to say to you even before he says it. Controllers will bend over backwards to help particularly if they know you’re a student or inexperienced. For example, lets say you have just landed at a strange airport, have turned off the runway and have contacted the ground controller who rapidly barks a list of taxi instructions at you, most of which you missed. There are a miriad of taxiways around you. Let’s face it. You are a little confused. Say to the controller that you are (a) a student or (b) a stranger at this airport and you would like “Progressive taxi instructions” slowly please. Or You could simply say “I’m new here would you keep an eye on me please.” Once he knows this, believe me, he’ll do just that. If you feel you’re adding to his work load or imposing on him…..Don’t. In fact you are helping him because he would rather do this for you than have you get lost and cause an incident or worse. I have done this many times (even with Airlines) and it has always been a pleasure. When you’re finished a polite “Thank you” is not necessary but always appreciated. What will have taken place will have been a small example of that wonderful and vital interaction between pilot and controller that keeps our excellent system so safe. Soon, you will actually enjoy that interaction with controllers as I did so much with pilots. In fact that is what I miss the most about the job. Eventually, you’ll find that talking to controllers will be just like talking to your neighbour across the backyard fence. They will enjoy talking to you and you will enjoy talking to them.

Thank you Mark for a wonderful and educating website. Good luck.

Said Akhrass July 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Hi Mark,
gr8 work you and your team are doing. I am a safety pilot in the aeroclub of Lebanon.
Keep up the good work.
Beirut , Lebanon.

Adrián Dundich July 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hi, Mark
I´m a flight instuctor from Argentina. I started flying in 1993.
I enjoy listening the tips every week .
They´re very useful and interesting.
I felt the same as you every time when a pilot obtain his/her IFR license. I agree with the idea that we need as a pilots to be prepared in different ways for the real flight in real instrumental conditions.
All the best wishes for you and the team of this website !

Happy flights !

Jeff July 16, 2010 at 10:06 am

Thanks for the info…. I look forward to the tips every week.

William B. Ashley July 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm


I enjoyed your comments of your early days of IFR flying.

To keep proficient I always look for an opportunity to fly
an instrument approach. Usually the most difficult one available.
I try not to disrupt traffic, or make it expensive by flying a big
pattern. And, of course, I keep tower and unicom informed and
follow the rules of safe flying.

My VFR is from minimums to the runway. Two birds one stone.


bob July 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Thank you for your openness. Will you be exhibiting at AirVenture?

Gary Kling July 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Hi Mark, Thanks for the info on yourself. Keep up the good work and enjoy your family and flying.

Brian Johnson July 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

Mark: Allow me to join the legions of those who have benefited from your programs and tips and thank you and your team for all you do! We all want to to be better safer pilots and you help us raise the bar each week. Good to get to know you a bit more through your bio. Congratulations on creating a successful business that advocates pilot safety!

David Hall July 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

Greetings Mark,

Thanks for the informative and interesting bio. I even have a face to put with the website now. Thanks for having the courage to follow your dreams and make the website a reality that many aviators enjoy and read. I’ll be flying to Boston via Airtran on Sept. 24th for a week of vacation and R&R in Worcester, Mass.

Keep up the good work and keep your eyes on the prize.

Kindest regards,


Tom Dougherty - one of 37 pilots for Wings of Hope July 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

Use your pilot skills to help others.

Wings of Hope is a humanitarian group of aviators that has been active since 1963. In the USA Wings of Hope operates a FREE ambulance service for those that are in need and cannot afford that service. It is a volenteer group of 500 people that supports the USA ambulance service and 151 locations through out the world. Wings of Hope helps the poorest of the poor. Our aviation mission supports many charities and tribes. Doctors with out borders, World Health Organization and many other charitable agencies.

I am one of 38 pilots that donates time from our world headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

I have been a pilot for 44 years with a Commercial and Instrument ticket for single and multi engine land aircraft. If you are in the St Louis area and are a commercial pilot, you might want to donate time at Wings of Hope. You will feel better about yourself and be helping others.

Sara Seward July 15, 2010 at 7:49 am

Hi Mark,
I got my private pilot’s license at age 64, and recently got a tail dragger endorsement. I fly a Luscombe 8A, a sweet little plane. I still get nervous talking to ATC (most are fast talkers) and still am reluctant to fly into airports I don’t know. Thanks for your tips and keep up the good work.
Sara Seward

Vishwas Bhisey July 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

Hi Mark,
I’m from India and just got my Private Pilot’s certificate. Took my first flight in a Glider in 1980 and was hooked ever since! Lack of finances did not allow me to achieve what I have wanted for a long time and the proverbial Indian Red Tape did its best to frustrate my attempt to get my licence when I did start flying three years ago. It’s been worth every minute of it, and I eagerly look forward to your tips every week. Keep up the good work.

Patrick Owusu July 15, 2010 at 5:52 am

Hi Mark,

I have a PPL and currently preparing for my IFR when i get time off work soon.Your articles have been amazing and always looking forward to learning more from your weekly tips.Keep up the good work Mark.



JUAN CARLOS ALMIRON July 15, 2010 at 2:40 am


Ed Shreffler July 15, 2010 at 1:24 am

Hi Mark, I got my private ticket in a C-152 when I was 49 and still enjoy VFR flying in my Mooney 20 years later. I am so glad to read that your family is the cornerstone your life!

When my PPL SEL was issued, just like you, I didn’t feel like I was fully prepared to fly in the system, or at all for that matter. I may have memorized a paragraph in a book, but I did not really understand density altitude on that day. Working smoothly and comfortably with ‘Flight Following’ also came with later flights.

There is a lifetime’s worth of work ahead of you. For example, you have no idea how nervous I was the first time I called FSS for a standard weather briefing. And you can do tips on communication with ATC until the cows come home. And please, over and over, talk about fuel exhaustion. This paragraph could go on for 100,000 words.

And about your statement ‘I thought about packing it in’, I write about my flight seeing with my stories at and my reply rate is so low, that I have the same thoughts about packing it in. Then I get that one email that makes it all worthwhile.

So let this be that one feedback that helps you go forward for us today.

William Shaw July 15, 2010 at 1:01 am

Very informative website! Can’t believe I’ve been online all these years and haven’t found you until now! Altho I’m a very inexperienced pilot, I’m a seasoned A&P of 40 yrs. If anyone wants any information from my experience as a mechanic I will be happy to answer any questions regarding their specific airplane. Will be honored to contribute to your valuable aviatiors website. We aviators are fortunate to have you.

saarah ahmed July 15, 2010 at 12:52 am

Hey Mark,

I sincerely read all your tips as Im still waiting for an airline interview.
Figured out how even The most minute details can be easily forgotten if not taken heed.
Its a great help for me!!
Good job:)



Art Troutman (AKA rocketperson393) July 15, 2010 at 12:28 am

Congrats Mark on filling a need in the GA world. I can identify with your partner Jeff, because I too am not a pilot. Spent 37 years as an avionics engineer with (then) Lockheed Aircraft, involved with just about every one of their flying machines – from QP-80 (drones), T-33, F-104A/B/C/D/G, C-130, Connies/Super Connies [749/1049/1649, (E)C-121C/D/H, WV-2/3, R7V], Electra, U-2, YF-12, SR-71, F-117, etc. From LF Range, M/B’s, ADF, Loran, VOR, TACAN, VORTAC, to GPS, etc.

Used to ride shotgun in the right seat of a fellow engineer’s flying club C-172 all over So. Calif. Used to take flights in a Salmon Air twin Piper out of SLC to visit my grandson in Moab UT. One time, only one seat left – and it was the right seat! Another choice ‘right-seat’ adventure – on a trip to New Zealand, in Christchurch, tried to get others in the group to go on a charter flight over the ‘Southern Alps’ – got no takers – so paid the min-for-2 to have the greatest flight of my life in a ‘182’. The pilot obliged me by making a ‘360’ around Mt. Moran, at around FL120 (NZ’s highest), to enable me to get some great photos!

warloot24k July 15, 2010 at 12:24 am

Thanks! You’re the man! Salamat sa iyo kapatid!

Nasiba July 15, 2010 at 12:01 am

Hi Mark. I would like to thank you and the people who helped you to create the PilotWorkshops and especially your family. This is a wonderful job. I really benefit from this site very very much. Keep the ball rolling. Best wishes to you and your family and your friends and once again many thanks.

With very best wishes
Yours sincerely,


GHALEB ALZUBI July 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm



Charles A. Smith July 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Hi Mark,
I enjoy the articles in “Pilot Workshops” and am always interested in gaining more knowledge. I, like yourself, went through the IFR training and got my rating without any problems but never felt confident in my ability to use the system. Forty two hours of IFR training and not once in actual IMC conditions. Once when the weather was not accommodating for my commercial training, my CFII asked if he could file an IFR plan and we could go for a flight to introduce me to IFR conditions. He coached me through the entire flight and it was exciting as we came down out of the clouds. at about 800 feet, during our approach to landing.
I feel strongly that training in actual IMC conditions is a necesssry element in building ones confidence to an acceptable level. If I had it to do over again, I would insist that at least one half of my training be in actual Instrument meteorological conditions.
Good for you for starting your new venture ! I know the feelings and anxiety you experienced during the initial phase of the venture. Like you, I left the budding computer industry forty years ago to go into business for myself. Although I have scaled it back a few notches, I am yet at it. Forty years ago is also when I first sarted flying. I had a memorable aeronautical experience like yourself. I visited my brother and his wife who lived in Alaska. They had flown an Aeronica Sedan from Meridian Mississippi to Tanana Alaska in 1969…no radios, no VOR, …just a wet compass and sectionals. We used his airplane an entire week to cover about one quarter of the state, sleeping in sleeping bags under the wings at remote gravel strip. That experience hooked me on flying.
I have a Commercial Licence, Instrument rating, single engine, land and sea. My wife and I own a a Grumman Tiger which is IFR equipped but we only fly VFR. WE divide our time between Natick, MA and Meridian, MS. My wife has some of the same attributes as your wife; she is a supporter and encourages my interest in aviation. In fact she is the one who encouraged me to purchase the Grumman Tiger.

God’s blessings
Charles A. Smith

marilla van beuren July 14, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Mark; Thanks for sharing your story. Always nice to have a mental image of the person
behind a successful, & much needed, venture such as you embarked on. At this writing
I am still very much a student pilot. Am blessed with a wonderful private instructor &
recently invested in a beautiful Cirrus SR20. Definitely a switch from the 172 which suffered
the worst from me but slowly I am getting fully comfortable with the Cirrus. Despite that
they are mainly directed to IFR flying, I look forward to & avidly read, even print out,
all of your Tips. As someone else already mentioned, there is a lot there which applies to
all of us. It has been a long time since I have been in the Classroom & trying to learn
calculations of many types. Not much is available which addresses the type of “figuring”
I am alluding to, of course all the Internet courses for the Private Pilot do cover it but
finding some means to get extra help is proving difficult. You have been most
kind in the recent past to write to me personally addressing some questions which found
their way into your hands. I am most appreciative. From your story, there is no doubt
you are a very busy man, aside from your many accomplishments.
regards, marilla

Victor Diaz July 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Hello Mark,
Definitely you are the arrow point that enlights many professionals and novices thaks for all your suppor knowledge shared, and consistence.
I am pleased with all the things I have learned from you.
Keep it on.
Best Regards

Jesse Allred July 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm


Thank you for sharing your story. It’s folks like you that make the American Dream come true. I do enjoy reading the tips each week. I got my private ticket in 2005 and have about 250 hours. I wish that I could fly more, but work and other things get in the way. Please keep the tips coming and I look forward to any new products your company produces.


Jesse Allred

Rod Wheeler July 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm


Thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to the weekly tips! I find most of the tips useful and timely. I passed my private checkride over 3 years ago, then flew as often as possible for a year. I passed my instrument checkride with around 250 hours in the logbook. I joined AngelFlight soon thereafter, flying medical patients to their appointments (and logging flight time in the process). What a great way to give back to the community and it is a great excuse to go flying 🙂

Best Regards,

Rod Wheeler

J.Franz July 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Mark, thanks for your persistence. At present I`m just an arm chair pilot. Started lessons in 1994, passed the written logged 30+ hours then have been on hold for various reasons. Still trying to keep the dream alive. Keep up the great work. J.Franz

Dave July 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Nice story, I used to fly scenic tours out of Bar Harbor, Maine and I can see how you could get the flying bug after flying along the scenic coast of Maine. Thank you for your contributions to aviation.

Bryan Beecher July 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Hi Mark
I am not a pilot in real life I fly Flightsim 2004 and x I am severly disabled following a motor vehicle accident 25 years ago and may never get a pilot’s license however you real life tips have really helped me get to grips with flight sim.
One outstanding post I use every flight is in Landing preperation where you should be all set uo 20 miles from the airport. following this instruction had resulted in almost perfect landing on every flight.
Onec again Thank you and your team

Andrew Shearer July 14, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Dear Mark
Thanks for your great program and your personal story.
It appears, from your emails, that many people have been infected with the aviation bug. Unfortunately, I believe the disease is incurable.
Thanks for helping relieve the symptoms.
Best regards and all future success

Patrick July 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hello, I’m from brazil.. and i really like receiving your weekly tips..
they are very useful…

Thnx a lot ..
hugs from a New brazilian pilot from Poços de Caldas – Minas Gerias

Colin Knight July 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Hi Mark! Found your site purely by accident here in South Africa – and have greatly enjoyed the cleverly crafted tips from your panel. I’m a aviation enthusiast living on the approach path to Cape Town International (CPT) – you either loath watching and seeing A300’s and 737’s or you love them.. keep up the great work!

Jerry McCoy July 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hi Mark, It’s good to hear from you and your history, I enjoy listening to the lesson on the computer! I am retired from flying but I still enjoy hearing about the storys you bring out. I have my private, inst., float plane rating, helicopter rating and small helicopter company for rides and taking photographers to take pictures and all kinds of stuff. I turned 80 yrs old 6 months ago and figured it was time to hang it up, but am going to Oshkosh again this year.

David Baker July 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Gday Mark

I enjoyed your “bio” and as a low time pilot who hasn’t flown for some time due to health reasons I enjoy your weekly tips and hope that in the future I will be able to put most of them into pratice. Keep up the good work.


Jack Voss July 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

A 72 year old student pilot here. Close to getting complete on training, and getting the license to continue learning. I try to soak up all the knowledge and wisdom that I can. Learning along behind others is easier – and safer – than doing it on my own. Thanks for your help.

Pilot of the Ruptured Duck.
“A man should spend his time flying and paddling, or resting up from flying and paddling.”

Mark Robidoux July 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I am humbled by the number of accomplished aviators that are part of our online community. It’s equally satisfying to hear from those folks who are new to aviation or coming back after a long layoff. This alone makes it all worth it!

Thanks everyone for your generous comments and insights. I truly appreciate it!


Rudi Burg July 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hi, Mark,
it was wonderful getting to know a little bit of the man behind the Pilot’s tip of the week. I appreciate your generosity letting me participate in your various insights into the matter.

I am amazed about the astonishing number of people offering their feed back, which I read with inerest. Particularily humbling were the contribution of pre WW II still active pilots who are equally praising your work.

Thanks again and please hang in there


John Schubert July 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I wish every pilot understood that his license is “a license to keep learning,” and that every pilot, no matter what he trained, understood that vital information got left out of his training. That should increase the pilot’s motivation to keep learning and keep questioning one’s own abilities. You certainly help with that!
I’m not flying these days. I hope to resume so when other aspects of life quiet down, and I much appreciate refresher tips to keep me in a pilot mentality, so when I go back after a long layoff, the re-entry isn’t quite as bad. Thanks for helping.

jerry turchin July 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

i ama private pilot eel@glider.ilove to do aerobatics in gliders.i love your tips.after flying for40 years i feel i should pass on abit of advise .i think every pilot should get glider training it may save your but some day.keep up the good work

ROBERT R. CLAYPOOL July 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Mark – I just got through scanning all of the above responses. One, in particular, caught my eye. It was from A Texan named Harry Gresham and he stated that he was 85 yrs old. There were a few more “older” pilots writing to you. They may not know about the UNITED FLYING OCTOGENARIANS (UFO). The UFO website is: One may join if they act as PIC after their 80th birthday. Joining details are on the website.

I joined up with this great group just a few days after my 80th b’day over 3 yrs ago and have been active in their activities – currently serving as VP of Area Directors. We have over 640 members worldwide and are looking for more over 80 pilots to join us and enjoy the camaraderie.

Keep up the good work, Bob Claypool

Doug Allen July 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Mark, a noble effort on your part to positively impact the general aviation community. I earned the 1998 National CFI of the Year, Central Region. I also earned that year the FAA Safety Counselor of the Year. I fly as a corporate pilot, and love flying. Keep up the good work and I shall continue to look forward to anything I can receive from you and impart on students.

Reggie Sellers July 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Great job. I appreciate a weekly perspective from other pilots/instructors.

kamal dini chanfi July 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Hi mark thanks your tips are helpful

bob mcdonald July 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm


Ilya R. Kybensky July 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hi Mark!
My name is Ilya, i’m from Russia and I enjoy your Tips during several month! Unfortunately i’m not a pilot and don’t have an opportunitu to become yet. I study to be an engineer of the applyed physics. But anyway, aviation is my biggest passion and your letters make me more and more clever about it! So thank you for everything you do for this project! Maintain your direction! You do it very well! 🙂
P.S. Sorry for my possible mistakes 🙂

Best wishes!

Fran Laabs July 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I read and enjoy your tips. They are short and concise. They match my attention span.
I fly for pure enjoyment. After a tough day at work I can think on nothing as relaxing
as doing some lazy eights or some other flying activity that requires a little more attention.
Fran Laabs

ALEX ESCALONA July 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm



Hadi Rahimi July 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Dear Mark

Thanks …….. Thanks ………………..


Harry Gresham July 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Mark I enjoy Pilot Workshops very much; I am no novice at the aviating game> I solo’d a J3 Cub in September 1942 at the Lou Foote Airport just south of Dallas, TX. In April 1943 I was accepted into the Army Air Corps and became a pilot trainee. That resulted in Troop Carrier Command at Bergstrom Field, Austin, TX flying Curtiss C-46 cargo, glider tow and troop carrier configurations. I was aimed at the assault on the Japanese homeland pretty soon, when the war ended. I never did anything to win it, but I sure got an excellent aviation education. Since solo, I have never stopped flying. My pilot license number is the original six number job issued in 1942. I have never earned my living by flying, instead using airplanes for business and pleasure travel – mostly business – all these sixty nine years. I am 85 years old and still at it. I own a Beech C-35 “Sierra”. I have somewhere between 8,500 and possibly 9,500 total flight hours – lost too many log books along the way to really know for sure. Commercial, instrument and multi. I have flown just about all of the popular singles and light twins that have existed during my career.
I no longer fly around 300 hours a year, so I keep up to date and current with your “pilot Workshops”. Very enjoyable way to do it.
P.S.: I have had several opportunities to do so, but I have never put a scratch on an airplane and one has never put a scratch one me! (Please excuse the brag…after all I am a netive Texan!)

Raoul Meunier July 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

Congratulations for the good work. I read every and each mail I get from you… lots of good information and a never ending learning experience.
Thanks for sharing your story!
Best regards,
Raoul Meunier

Ivan Reddington July 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

Hi Mark,

I learned to fly at Parks College via an Air Force ROTC program. After graduating in Dec 1957, I worked at McDonnell Aircraft Corp until being called to USAF Active duty in 1958. Got my USAF Wings in 1959 and then flew Boeing B-47 for five years, then the Martin B-57 for nearlyn two years before going with American Airlines in 1966. Retired from American in 1995 on the Boeing 767/& 757.

I enjoy reading your comments re flying as we never stop learning and the system is always changing in some respects. I still have my license and a medical and as recently as two years back flew in Cessna Citations with a local company.

keep up the good work and I would like to learn more about general aviation airplanes and flying them as I get older.


Hans Werner Mueller July 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hi Mark,
thanks a lot for your tip of the week that I read and enjoy since more than 1 year! I fly since 12 years a small Cessna, mostly “IFR”, and beside the rules and techniques teached during school, planning, safety, weather and ATC communication are my biggest concerns. I appreciate very much the combination of real professionalism and quiet, friendly approach, no place for “….uuh, no fuzz, push the buttons and go….”
I just bought the IFR proficiency workshop, great stuff, my compliments. Frankly speaken, one reason was to pass the “language proficiency exam/LPE” due here in Europe, so I listened to the audio sessions during long journeys in the car. Beside the language effect, very usefull information! Mark, this could be a market for you, every pilot has to pass the LPE!
By the way, I just sold the CESSNA and bought a small company after 22 years in the industry, so, your CV sounded familiar. Flying will continue with friends, the 1st million will buy a new plane…
All the best for you and and your family – God bless you!
Kind regards

John Chirtea July 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hi Mark:
I am a low time private pilot, but have had my license for 55 years. My flying time was delayed for many years because of family, career, etc. etc. After retirement about 7 years I got serious about flying again and now enjoy everyone of your “Tips”. Thank you for doing this, as it really helps an “old timer” like me.
Best regards,

elie rassi July 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

Dear Mark
Although i am recently registered,but i find it delightful to read your tips .So thank you for your valuable efforts ang good luck.

John Carter July 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

G’day Mark,
I suppose when you deal with so many email address’s its hard to put a face to them but they no doubt belong to people, who like yourself have an association with aviation, and all have an identity and a story they could tell. What a book that would be?
It was just by chance that I came across your web page, what luck! The information you and your speakers tell is most informative and I take great delight in reading them first before opening any other emails.
The flying school that I did my training with so many years ago had a picture of a “tiger moth” crashed into the top of a tree with a quote ” Maintain thy airspeed lest the ground come up and smite thee”. That has been my principle of flight since reading that. Thank you for your efforts in promoting “safe flying”.
All the very best for now and in the future.
John Carter (Australia)

Hovannes Sarkissian July 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

It is so nice to get to know the people you’re communicating with, I’m a pilot too (Instrument rated) since 1992 and now 67 years old, retired and i thank God for my health and the privilage of flying and i get a lot from your Pilot Tips specially The IFR Proficiency Series that i bought, thank you, I own a 77 C-182. I noticed your comment about your wife how she encouraged you. I’m also fortunate to have a wife that encourages me all the time in fact back 18 years ago when i attended a Community College for my Ground School and had missed a few sessions and decided not to go and have my final Written Test, she encouraged me to take the test anyways and I passed it and here I am. Keep up the good works and blessings to you and your family. If you come by Los Angeles area give me a buz and we’ll go flying out of EMT.

Hovannes Sarkissian

Richard Williams July 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

Congratulations Mark, I don’t fly GA but an ultralight (Powered Parachute) I read your hints and hope to gleam some info that may be beneficial in flying something that I have enjoyed since 1984. Keep up the good hints and info that benefit all aviators.

John Wilson July 14, 2010 at 10:49 am


Great to learn about you. Your tip and programs you offer are great. Currently I am training for my IFR cert., your website has been a great help. Keep up the good work

Tks again

David Green July 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

I just read your intro letter and it is an honor to begin to know you more through your writing. I am in Friendswood Texas, a city founded by the Quakers over 100 years ago.
Thanks for letting me subscribe.

Manyuman Mitra July 14, 2010 at 10:36 am

Hi Mark, yors is an inspirational story; I used to wonder who is the ‘man behind the machine’ of ‘pilotworkshop’. I like the workshop…it gives me practical, useful and valuable guidelines and many things which I have experienced as a pilot but not analysed it. I always look forward for the workshop mail. Thanking You and wishing u the very best. Regards
Manyuman Mitra

Marty Kennett July 14, 2010 at 10:36 am

Hi Mark,

It is great to meet you and I hope that one day you will come to our neck of the woods in Calgary Canada. I really enjoy the tips each week and have the VFR Airmanship course on my computer and now the iPOD. I really enjoy using the course to get my head back in the game when I can’t fly. Keep up the good work.
Best regards to you, your family and all the good folks at Pilot Workshops!

Dave Donnelly July 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

Nice to meet the people behind the scene & I do enjoy reading your tips.

Capt. David B. Fields July 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

Hi Mark,

Thanks for putting out your pilot tips. I read them every time they hit my Inbox. And congratulations for making a go of your business. That’s a great feeling.

I took early retirement from American Airlines 3 1/2 years ago at age 55 and had a constant reminder throughout my 30 year airline career of the necessity of not just regular recurrent training, but the need to review various subjects in between, so your Pilot Tips are very beneficial.

I’m about to buy my 16th light airplane (my third King Air) and now that I’m out of the airline training cycle I find it necessary to review and train on a very regular basis in order to keep the rust out and keep current on regs, etc. Thanks for doing your part in helping me stay sharp.

Best wishes,

Martin capriles July 14, 2010 at 10:14 am

Thank you for sharing your story and bio.

Great initiative and all the best in this flight of Pilotworkshop.


Mark Robidoux July 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

To those that asked, I unfortunately will not be attending AirVenture this year. We are wrapped up in a few critical projects that need my full attention here. We will have a few folks from the company attending, but we will not have a booth this year.

To those who are attending – have a great time!

Fred Tulloss July 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

Appreicate you sharing your story and enjoy tips provided by the best experience pilots in the world. Keep up the great work as we all look forward to our tips every week. Fred Tulloss

Shmuel Anderman, M.D July 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

Wonderful work !
I read/hear your pilot tips/tricks very time I get it!
Very interesting and useful.
Continue making this wonderful job!

Chuck Osborn July 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

I am a retired Airline pilot and at 80 years my only aviaton activity is teaching the last son of my old hanger partner to fly. I live in Arizona but lived in Deerfield, NH in the 70’s, just by chance I am visiting my son in Epsom, NH. I enjoy your tips even though flying very little. I think you are offering a good service to the Aviation community. Keep up the good work!


Richard Akin July 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

Dear Mark:
I enjoy your website and it gives me little insights that I find very interesting. It is always a pleasure to keep learning through your hard work.
I am 65 and a left leg AK amputee. Got my private in 2008 and working on my instrument rating. It has been a slow process because of time problems and confidence. In fact confidence is my bigest problem. I am reluctant to go on solo flights, preferring to always have an instructor. When I am actually solo I always do just fine but can’t seem to get over the reluctance. I have the feeling that I am not alone in that regard.
If you have any amputee subscribers I would be happy to communicate with them.
Keep up the good work. Much appreciated.

Domingo Vergara July 14, 2010 at 9:06 am

Hi; even I am a retired ATP pilot, I enjoy your tips and find it very useful for active aviators.

Mark Robidoux July 14, 2010 at 9:04 am

Stephen Hertz – we are planning wings certification with our next product. Good input, thanks.

Andres Darvasi July 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

Congratulations Mark, that was a great initiative to tell your story.
I look forward to receiving your tips every week, and I have sent a few pilots in Mexico to get them as well.
Congratulations on your will power to go from an idea to a successful company. I believe that the secret is to do what you like and enjoy, it is a great feeling.
Great Job Mark, many years of success for you and your partners.
From very rainy Mexico!

Mark Robidoux July 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

Thank you all for your comments! I’m reading through them all and really appreciate your support!

Jerry Ward July 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

Great story – just a quick thought – I work at a local Flight School/FBO and am getting lots of people that want to switch over to Sport Pilot from Private. You may want to capitalize on this huge market. There are going to be lots of folks that want to know all of the things that they need to do to make the switch safely. Flying with just a Driver’s licenses is going to cause lots of people to feel unqualified to really get up there with the big boys. If you think you were unprepared to jump into an IFR environment just imagine the feeling of going flying with only 20 hrs of instruction and no medical. The sky’s are about to get pretty crowded. You may be able to help. Jerry

Mark Robidoux July 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

Michael McGrath – interesting that we have similar backgrounds, in business and flying. We are working on a next generation program that we will be announcing soon. Good luck with your business!

Tom Barefoot July 14, 2010 at 8:58 am


You are prividing a terriffic service to the aviation community. I enjoy reading each and every tip published.

While reading your story this mornbing and the comments it generated from other aviators I noticed the following question from Barry…”Anything in the works to help CFI, CFII’s increase our skill set?”

This question sounds as if Barry may not be aware of the website and what it has to offer…specifically for the CFI is the CFI Workshop Modules conducted quarterly in every region.

Tom Barefoot

Jim Stack July 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

Great content in your pilot tip’s.

Jim Stack

L. R. (Red) Stokes July 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

I want to thank you for the great job you are doing with your company.

I am a Sport Pilot and fly a Challenger 2 Long Wing I completed in early 2004. I did not learn to fly until I was 58 years old and the plane I learned to fly in is my Challenger.

Even though I am a Sport Pilot I feel the need to be the safest pilot I can be. I save all of your Pilot Tips to my computer so I can review periodically. I have also joined the so I can learn from the people there too and attend the seminars when they are available in my area.

I am now 63 years old and want to again say thank you. Your tips help me even if I do fly low and slow.


“Red” Stokes (BTW – I kept the hair but the color fell out)

Eliud Morales July 14, 2010 at 8:44 am

I’m fortunate to have this tips. I appreciate your support in General Aviation. (Safety First)
Thank you Mark Robidox.
Sincerely; Eliud Morales González.

Chumphol Sirinavin July 14, 2010 at 8:43 am

As a retired service pilot who will fly VFR only, reading your tips is like seeing old friends. You do not expect to get anything from your old friends but warm feeling and fond memories.

Thank you, Mark.

Kris L. July 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

Hey Mark, great note, and it’s great ‘meeting’ you after enjoying your pilot tips each week. I’m about to finish up my instrument rating, and I very much agree with your comment about being licensed but not necessarily proficient to work within the system! I read anything and everything to try to become that much more effective, and your tips always help in that regard. Hats off to you for being successful in your passion and for delivering products and services that make us all safer in the skies! Thanks again.

Michael McGrath July 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

I too left a successful career in the hightech world to start my own internet company back in 2006, sounds like your last few years have been similar to mine. Although the genesis of our flying careers are a little different, I think you have hit the nail on the head regarding IFR flying and proficiency. My instrumnet traing was also very good (here’s a plug for GATTS in Manhattan, KS), and I learned a ton about instrument flying and felt well prepared for my check ride. However, real-world IFR is not something that comes out of books, it comes from experience and learnig from your mistakes. After a year of flying since getting my rating, I am just now feeling like I am somewhat getting the hang of it, and re-listening to the CD’s (I burned after the download) was a huge help along the way. When I encountered a “real-world nuance” of the system that is not in the books, invariably your panel had touched on it or something similar and I was able to play it back and then apply it the next time up.
I hope there will be a next version of the program (maybe with some Midwest pilots/controllers??) I can get access to and keep moving forward with the learning process.

Jay Lamos July 14, 2010 at 8:34 am

Great success story Mark. I believe it is very helpful to share a good success as there is so much negative out there today for our younger generation to relate to. I have enjoyed your tips over the last few months. I am not a pilot but went through ground school many years ago. I am now retired but very active with my Flight Simulator software and take it very seriously. (as well as I can with a simulation) I try to keep up my navigation skills as well as pilotege skills up to-date with the many scenarios offered with FS2004. Best of wishes for your future endeavors and thanks for allowing all of us to see behind the scenes.

Jay Lamos

Raymond Berglund July 14, 2010 at 8:32 am

Mark… thanks for the great content. Direct, to the point, and useful… always a pleasure getting the weekly email.

Keep up the great work!

Frank Irby July 14, 2010 at 8:31 am



Kevin Smith July 14, 2010 at 8:30 am

Hi Mark – well done on doing so much in such a short time.
I always look forward to receiving your interesting information – even though I have been flying for 50 years last month (started learning in 90 horsepower Piper Super Cubs in June 1960 in Auckland, New Zealand)
Best wishes from Melbourne, Australia.

CPT Judy Sheldon USA, Ret'd July 14, 2010 at 8:29 am

1988 an arrogant, immature 42-year-old student pilot took my Cessna 150 up to shoot touch-and-goes in the traffic pattern after “tipping a few” at the Ft Hood Officer’s Club, and crashed on the fourth approach-to-landing (my plane was on leaseback, three weeks from being moved down to Georgetown where I’d moved). Financial circumstances forced me to move back to Amarillo, where I’m grounded due to fuel prices and inability to find a medical examiner who would not take my money for a flight physical, then pronounce me medically unfit to fly. Fuel prices still keep me grounded, in addition to almost $100/hr to rent a 152, nor can I afford to fly if I attained a Sport pilot license, as there’d still be plane rent; I cry everytime a plane passes over my house, I so miss the freedom of the skies! I fly vicariously, so keep ’em coming!

Tom Walsh July 14, 2010 at 8:23 am

Your IFR Proficiency product has been very helpful to me. I review it frequently. I recently invited Bob Martens to speak at a QB meeting of the Boston Hangar in Andover, MA. He spoke of the New Years day crash at Hanover, NH. I’ve had many positive comments from various QBs.
RNs and schoolteachers are excellent partners. It is great fun building a company around your interests. My company and my interests were both adhesives and my school teacher wife was great encouragement and her organizational skills saved me many times over. She flies with me often and is as good as the Morse code in terms of letting me know if I’ve tuned the wrong NAV frequency.

David Law July 14, 2010 at 8:20 am

It’s nice to meet the man behind I really enjoy, and benefit from, the weekly pilot tips. Thanks so much! Best wishes for continued success in the future.

David Law

Dr. Edward Mugwanya July 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

Mark Robidoux,

It is nice to read about your profile, it is amazing the way you took-off, climbed and now you have reached great heights! You could be cruising at FL 300…………………….. endless. Your tips have been very educative to us.

My early childhood dream was to become a professional pilot and trot the friendly skies, am not yet there. I do my trials on a flight stimulator X without an instructor; I have downloaded lots of educative manuals from the internet which I read and then have my flying lessons on a simulator. I have no instructor unfortunately.

I haven’t got a sponsor for my aviation training. Is it possible to get me one?

Bravo! Bravo!


Aarmin Banaji July 14, 2010 at 8:18 am

Hi Mark,
Appreciated your mail today which gave a brief peek into your life. Congratulations on achieving your dream to serve the general aviation community, which you are doing admirably.
I would like to submit one correction. In the mail to me you mention my signing up for the Tip of the Week today, i.e., 14th July 2010, whereas I am sure that I signed up in June 2009.
I would be happy to share how aviation has been such a joy in my life, if you would care to receive a personal communication regarding that.

Good wishes and kind regards,

Micheal Brady July 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

Mark, I have received and read your pilot tips for approx 1 year now. I am a private pilot rated in fixed wing single engine land and rotorcraft. I reside in The Hudson Valley of NY and enjoy reading your tips on all forms of flight safety. I have passed your website on to a friend who very recently received his fixed wing rating. Thank you for the continued safety briefs and reminders.
Respectfully submitted, Micheal Brady.

Jean-Claude Ganeau July 14, 2010 at 8:02 am

Hi, Mark,
Nice to hear from you with plenty of details. I wish to congratulate you for the entrepreneur spirit you demonstrated when creating this site which I rate as top notch. I truly appreciate each and every one of the tips you send over the web.

I am not familiar at all with general aviation matters, since I enlisted as an aviation cadet in 1952 (Cold war era) and earned my USAF fighter pilot wings in June 1953. I had a complete fighter pilot and officer in the French Air Force and I keep regularly in touch with some of my (old!) class mates, all of us being now somewhere between 70 and 80 years of age.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that the flying spirit is still high and offers opportunities for people of all origins to share their experience and souvenirs.

Take care

Best regards


James Parker July 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

Hang in there Mark.
AOPA # 00467385

ibrahim Busolo Namunaba July 14, 2010 at 7:57 am

This profile is quite encouraging. I have young son aged 7 years and is so much thrilled with the of an aircraft. He wants to be a pilot and or aeronautric engineer. Could you please advice on the kind of friendly materials for this tender age and interest? I have used soem of the information you have posted on the website but there alot that I cannot answer and explain. Thanks from Ibrahim.

Ahmed July 14, 2010 at 7:57 am

What can I say about the bio but it is inspiring to the max.
Thank you Mark for all the effort being undertaken for the advantage of pilots allover the world

Emmett Shaffer July 14, 2010 at 7:56 am

Mark, congratulations on your your success on both your family and your company. I enjoy the tips, and just recently returned to flying after a 22 year flight career in the Army.

Ann July 14, 2010 at 7:47 am

Will you be at EAA?

John Aspinall July 14, 2010 at 7:47 am

Hi Mark,
I first became a pilot in 1953. Got trained to Commercial Licence at a flying club in Montreal. Then, in 1955 I joined the Airforce and took the whole airforce pilot training as if I’d never been in the air before. Ended up in T-33’s.

I thought I’d just mention, with respect to your comments about “…I didn’t feel like I was fully prepared to fly in the system”. After completing the airforce training I realized that flying club training is pretty minimal. Of course, this is because of the ‘bottom line’, they simply can’t afford to use highly operational aircraft, and they are always affraid of scaring-off potential customers. That’s why they invented the “incipient spin” instead of the real thing.

I think you are doing a great job, and there are a lot of pilots out there who need your help – even highly trained ones need reminding occasionally.

Keep up the good work.

John Aspinall

Jim Rostad July 14, 2010 at 7:44 am

Dear Mark, I receive emails about flying since I started flying 11 months ago. Most of them I skim and delete. Except yours. Even if it take a few days to get to it, I never delete yours without reading and listening along. Even at this relatively rookie stage of my flying experience, I’ve found many helpful tips and ideas I had never thought about and probably wouldn’t have on my own. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Jim Rostad, Minot, North Dakota

Tim Darmody July 14, 2010 at 7:41 am

Like it, its so refreshing reading.

Keep it up

James Igoe July 14, 2010 at 7:40 am

I would like to share an experience with high amount of carbon monoxide in my cockpit one evening last winter. It was night and I was not able to see the tan dot on by CO indicator go completely dark. It is amazing what CO can do with respect to removing all common sense and logic in your mind. I highly recommend a system an audible alarm for obvious reasons. Let me know if you want me to share my story in more detail.


Vic Tomlinson,MD July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

You are doing a great job!!I especially need all the help I can get since my flying time is limited.Maybe you can contact the Flying Physicians Association and offer a special program to keep doctors safe in the air.I was also a mechanical engineer ,so I never say I,m a doctor at the airport!!Keep up the excellent work. Vic

Conrad Krug July 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

…good job, keep on!

Paul-André Larose, Ph.D. July 14, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thank God for people like you Mark.

You are doing an amazing contribution.


Michel Mathieu July 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

Now that I know a bit more on you here some of my own story. As a retired young men after 30 years of an exiting job in sport in Montréal region, my wife and I create a foundation for the people of Mali in west africa. For info and pictures

I stil fly in Canada and I appreciate and share every Ints you send me !

Thanks again

Michel Mathieu

Ed Broughton July 14, 2010 at 7:11 am

Although I have retired from both work and flying I have never lost
my love of flying. I enjoy reading the tips and wish you the most
sucess possible.

Ed Broughton

Patricio Silva July 14, 2010 at 7:11 am

Dear Mark,
Many thanks for this brilliant note. I read and learn from your mailings each time they arrive to my mailbox in Chile, although at 400 hrs I have not yet decided to go IFR.
Congratulations for your courage and I wish you, your collaborators and your family all the success and many happy years of flight ahead.

Sean Russo July 14, 2010 at 7:08 am

Mark Robidoux

Thanks for all the information and videos short and and full of info to think about that is great.

Gerald Garrison July 14, 2010 at 7:00 am

Hi, Mark,

Although I am closer to the end of my flying career than the beginning, I very much appreciate and enjoy PilotWorkshops’ Tips. I am currently flying LSA only, with no need for serious cross country or IFR. I follow the Tips, however, with the hope they will make me a better, safer pilot.

Best of luck with your company.


Jose Luis da Rocha Junior July 14, 2010 at 6:54 am

Hi Mr. Mark Robidoux,

I found very interesting the way you started Pilotworkshops and I would like to congratulate for the idea. The pilot tips are very interesting and are helping me to develop my skills and meanly they are helping me to develop my proficiency in english.
I lived in the U.S for 4 years but now I am back in Brazil (5 years already) and I work as a first officer in the second biggest airline in Brazil. I fly 737 NGs and also I got my licences to fly 767.
Just to give you a clue, the biggest problem for pilots that are non native english spoken, is to get ready for the ICAO test of english proficiency. If you have any material on this subject I believe you will get several more readers. Vocabulary, words used in the aviation system are the worst problem for those pilots. How to act and what to speak in several situations are also very intersting.

Well, once more congratulations for PilotWorkshops website.

Best Regard,


Jeff Smith July 14, 2010 at 6:44 am


Thanks for the insight. I appreciate your candor.

I’m a CFI, CFII, MEI, IGI, ATP with lots of hours and experience. I still get excited when I get to fly or instruct in smaller GA airplanes. I don’t get to do that as much any more as I would like, but I like to keep abreast of what’s happening within the community. I live in North Carolina, Cary, and still like to go up occasionally with friend or associates. I stay as active as time will permit.

If you ever need assistance from a fellow pilot, just let me know.

Paolo Salati July 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

I truly enjoy your weekly tips.
Thank you for founding this useful company, providing a service to General Aviation.

Magdi Shalash July 14, 2010 at 6:41 am

The Admirable thing about you American is about this dedication to self introduction when reaching out to humans @ large with the content of your heart & soul
By Trade I am an Egyptologist which is a mix of all disciplines that make of Egypt a pretentiously open Book over its millenia of documented & anthropologically as well as archaeologically stacked along the Lower Nile & the environning deserts
Loved aviation & aviatorship since age 16 till I finally took to the bate & I got my PP ticket flying only Weight shift (trikes) night rated though.I even got to Light Sport Repairman maintenance to get the whole stretch
I don’t remember ,when is it that I subscribed to your Tip of the week , probably since 2007/8
even though in our world of weight shift IFR isn’t a probability your tip of the week has so ingeniously kept me Going during those lapses of time where I couldn’t keep up in the Air,or even stay in touch with aviation library updates
This is a Website that will make history ,you can take my word for it….one day very soon you’ll see that there is a Mark Roubidoux society just like a Peberezny for EAA or a John & Martha King or Lawrence Burke for LAMA
thank you for sharing a bit of your personal life with us,it is much appreciated
Magdi Shalash

chris Davis July 14, 2010 at 6:39 am

Mark I am not an IFR pilot I am disabled and have earned a p;rivate license in Gliders and have 492 hrs in a fat ultralight that I built before I was disabled in a crash of a LSA . I am building another ultralight a Kolb Firefly. I apreaciate your email Hints and as I am always trying to learn it fits my lifestyle, Thank you.
I have applied for a scholarship from Ableflight who specializes in Sport Licenses for disabled people , Hope I get it as they supply ,Travel, Lodging and flight instruction!
Chris Davis

Jim July 14, 2010 at 6:38 am

I am not a pilot. I follow aviation because of its hardwired concern with safety, which is a model for my own healthcare profession. I have several relatives who are part of the profession of aviation as well.

Your words about not feeling completely prepared for IFR operation despite your recent certification, and your efforts to continue your education, resonated with me. I wish everyone entrusted with complex tasks felt that way! The more you learn, the more there is to know. While most settle for maintaining skills, the excellent, to whom your work is addressed, seek nothing less than mastery. Even if that rigorous goal is never achieved, a practitioner of any discipline is much better for having sustained the effort.

Even if you didn’t found to help your own learning, I’m sure you discovered early in the evolution of the business that teaching others is one of the best ways to enhance your own learning. With that in mind, I exhort you never to stop learning. We who are watching and reading over your shoulder will continue to learn from you.

Jim Carroll

Bill Connelly July 14, 2010 at 6:35 am

I just read your introduction after getting pilot tips for a year or two. I do enjoy them quite a bit. They are short and it keeps me in the game. I am a private without an IFR rating. I can’t seem to find the money to get it strated. I do fly regularly although it is mostly weekends and never too far from home base (IZG). I too still play hockey (down to once a week this past year) and softball and family is very important to me. How about tips (how to’s) for pilots who don’t usually do approaches. I love to be more versed in things like this to make the IFR transition more smooth. My plane is a ’57’ 182. I fly with a Garmin but I only use a fraction of what it can do.

Barry July 14, 2010 at 6:25 am

Anything in the works to help CFI, CFII’s increase our skill set?

J. C. Rodrigues July 14, 2010 at 6:18 am

Just to thank you for the persistence on this venture and the support you and your guests are giving, Iam sure, not only in US but all over the world, like for me in Brazil.
Keep goind and success.

Ron Jenkins July 14, 2010 at 6:17 am

Thanks Mark

It is lovely to hear all about yourself and your great supporting team and family.
I wish you all every success at the growing business.
I was actively flying for over 40 years on and off, most of it military flying all over the world with NATO forces. More recently I have worked for 17 years as a flight training standards inspector for the UK Civil Aviation Authority and then 2 years with the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) in Europe and now I do consultancy work and teach various aviation courses including flight examining courses for the JAA. I also audit National Aviation Authorities around the world mostly Europe.
I shall pass on your web details to the pilots in the classes which I teach; I am quite sure they will find the site to be most beneficial, we don’t live long enough to assimilate all the tips and learn the lessons of those many pilots that have gone before us.

Good Luck and best wishes

Ron Jenkins

Rick Rief July 14, 2010 at 6:15 am

Mark, keep up the good work. I just passed my written exam, and will fly my first solo cross country later today, weather permitting. I too started my company about 4 years ago, and know how hard it can be. But thankfully, we are finding success too with a lot of hard work. I also am fortunate to have a wonderful wife and four wonderful children, all young, between the ages of 11 and 1. So life too is very busy here in St. Louis. Anyway, I am enjoying and learning a lot from you and PilotWorkshops, so thank you and keep it coming.

Rick J. Rief

Bill Myers July 14, 2010 at 6:13 am

Well done ! Bill

peter Walker July 14, 2010 at 6:12 am

Thanks for sharing your story with us makes for enjoyable reading.
Nice to understand the “being” behind the button.

Best wishes to you and yours, Pete

Rich Stammer July 14, 2010 at 6:11 am

I am a student pilot. I enjoy your tips and particularily enjoyed your bio since I live in Hampton and my daughter lives in Windham (which I assume is near where you live) with her family. I am taking my lessons at KLWM.


Jeff Long July 14, 2010 at 6:05 am

Will PilotWorkshops be attending OshKosh?

Barbara July 14, 2010 at 6:05 am

Hi Mark

Thank you for sharing your tips. I am not a pilot, don’t own a plane but do love flying and one day I may get the chance to do so. In the mean time I will learn as much as I can.


Richard Pouch July 14, 2010 at 5:58 am

Nice story. Glad to hear it has all worked out. I came to Bar Harbor to visit about 7 years ago and stayed. Great place. Good luck as your company grows.

Andrew Metcalf July 14, 2010 at 5:58 am


Good to “meet” you and keep up the good work. I look forward to your weekly email and find your Pilotworkshops very informative, helpfull and to the point. Thanks again to you and your team.

Andrew Metcalf

Mark Kaassamani July 14, 2010 at 5:58 am

Thanx Mark for your email it’s been a great pleasure to do business with as the workshop was very helpful learned a lot from it and easy to understand and also open our eyes more on things we use to ignore,once again thanx

Berne July 14, 2010 at 5:56 am

Hi Mark,
Yes its always good to read of hard work gaining momentum, and I look forward to reading more pilot tips from your company.

Blue Skies,


E. den Hollander July 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

Mr. Robidoux,

Keep up the good work !

Thanks for doing this and enjoy your life to the fullest while doing what you like best !

Ed. den Hollander

Nelson Wolfe July 14, 2010 at 5:49 am

A great read! Thanks for sharing My personal story and
by MARK ROBIDOUX on JULY 13, 2010 with us!


Sandridge Airpark/OK94

P.S. Unfortunately there were two separate GA fatal crashes in the Tulsa area this weekend. A total of 6 folks are no longer with us. Probably both were fuel management or pilot errors – a Cardinal & twin Cessna.

Rick Lawrence July 14, 2010 at 5:48 am

Thanks for the great story Mark. I am 55 years old and a one year PPL. I read an “need” your tips each week. I feel like there is so much I do not know. You help me keep learning.

Stephen Hertz July 14, 2010 at 5:45 am

Any chance of working to get your courses WINGS qualified?


joginder singh wazir July 14, 2010 at 5:43 am

You are doing a great job for the aviation. Keep it up.

Nikola July 14, 2010 at 5:42 am

Hey, just to leave comment,
I like your week tips, and other great material.

Thank you, and best wishes from
Nikola Jovanovic,
Belgrade, Serbia

John Lawler July 14, 2010 at 5:40 am

Thanks, Mark. Getting to “know” you through your story was a nice way to personalize the website. I understand and appreciate your dedication and passion. Although I’m now officially retired, I got my CFI in 1970 and instructed for a couple of years before starting a career as a Naval Flight Officer (in F-4’s and F-14’s). After retiring from the Navy in early 1991, I rejoined the CFI world as an assistant chief instructor with FlightSafety and retired again from there four years ago. I still remain current as a CFI and help folks who need specialized instrument training. The most fun and reward I’ve had in life is to see somebody in my left seat “get it!” Thanks for your fine website – it helps keep the spark alive.

Mike Pitt July 14, 2010 at 5:39 am

Hi Mark,

Great story, I enjoyed reading here in Australia.

I too am looking forward to recreational aviation and pursue flying just for “fun”.

No doubt it will lead to other things eg. friendships etc.

Wish me luck as my first instructional flight is tomorrow Thursday 15th July 2 @ 1.00pm.

Regards Mike Pitt

Marc Santacroce July 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

Mark, thank you for sharing your inspirational story. I can only add to the praise for the the help you’ve been to improving my own pilot knowledge and skills, that I shamelessly pass on to my students.

On a personal note, if you’d please email me at “fly@astound.Net”, I’d like to correspond with you on possibly posting an article about the effects of a new law in California that threatens to put many flight schools out of business. My purpose would be to briefly inform pilots, and ask that they contact their State representatives concerning this legislation.

My apologies if you do not think this is appropriate for this forum.


Marc Santacroce

Nicholas Bartzelai July 14, 2010 at 5:32 am

Nice story Mark…I envy you just a bit, although I began flying gliders since 1966 (!) when 15 yrs old!
Happy landings and blue skies!

Tim Miller July 14, 2010 at 5:20 am


Good job with your business and pursuing your entrepreneurial dream! We can never learn enough from the experiences (and mistakes!) of others. Good luck on your journey.


Tim Miller
Columbus, IN

joe grimes July 14, 2010 at 5:15 am

Congratulations on your success. Starting a new business is a trip (I did it almost 30 years ago, but I remember it well). I wish you the best.


Allan Denham July 14, 2010 at 5:11 am


It was wonderful to hear your story and share your enthusiasm. Over here in the UK we are struggling with rule changes as we are moving from UK leislation to European. Our IR is very expensive and demanding (probably four times the cost of a US IR) but we have a get out of goal IMC rating that allows VHF pilots caught in IFR conditions to fly and land safely. Unfortunately there is a risk we may lose this with the new european legislation because it is unique to Britain. The fight goes on.

Best regards

Drew Barlow July 14, 2010 at 5:10 am

Hi Mark, Many thanks for your Pilot’s Tips of the Week. I edit the monthly newsletter for our small local flying club here in New Zealand (see website) and usually try to include one of your tips – always with credit to PilotWorkshops ! I did ask your permission before starting this habit, and I hope it has helped some people here. I also purchased your Airmanship Audio Workshops series in March this year for our club evening classes. Oh! and we run an accommodation business and B&B if you have a spare moment to browse at . Many thanks again. Drew P.S. Your email is sending out the CURRENT date where you say “I’ve been sending you our Tip of the Week since you signed up on mm dd, year” !

James A Lloyd July 14, 2010 at 5:10 am

Dear mark well done. It is wonderful to still find people like yourself and the team you have formed around you. Your articles are well researched and great advice to all levels of aviation.
My wife and I fly to gether and our little company is Buzz Aviation My wife put a little motto on the bottom of our cards saying, “The Sky is Limitless”
I hope I get your tips for many years to come
James and Linda Lloyd
Johannesburg South Africa

Don Arseneau July 14, 2010 at 4:58 am

Hi Mark,
Great sight and Bio. I’m grounded because of medical reasons and hope to get it back,some day.
Still read all your tips.
Don Arseneau

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