Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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The Phone Calls and Emails I Get

Also known as: Things that annoy me.

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As my website has gotten more popular and my business cards have been dispersed far and wide, I get the strangest emails and phone calls.  I thought I'd share some of the most memorable.  This page will be updated every once in a while, but please don't call me in an attempt to add to this page.  In order to be brief, I've cut my half of the conversation out, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.  By the way, if you do call me and leave a message, be sure to include your email address as thats likely the way I'll return your call.  Why?  Because the chaotic schedule of a CFI often has me returning calls at odd times and you might already be sleeping.

And if you do call or email me, introduce yourself and state your interests -- that's just common courtesy.  I'm not going to have anonymous conversations or give out personal details to someone I don't know -- that's just common sense. 

May 2007
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 06:02:36   Name = Joe    Comments = What is your phone #
Whoever you are:  A little common courtesy goes a long way.  Introduce yourself, identify your interests, and let me determine if I have something of value to offer you. Just imagine some anonymous person knocks on your door and asks for your phone number.  What are you going to do?  Obviously I did not reply. 

April 2007
You are on the 000 degree RADIAL and want to intercept the 090 RADIAL.  What is your heading?
Note to readers:  The email goes on to ask the same kind of question 14 more times.  Obviously I'm not going to do someone's homework for them!

January 2007
Where are you? Your website gives no hint.
Whoever you areA little common courtesy goes a long way.  Introduce yourself, identify your interests, and let me determine if I have something of value to offer you. Your email is like a phone call from a voice you don't know asking, "Where are you?"  Obviously I did not reply. 

September 2006
Dear Darren,  HI! mario from the philippines can you teach me how to do a 4000ft. elavation take -0ff and landing in a beech baron 58 with six on board and half fuel in in the tanks.  meaning the procedures pls. thanks. mario

July 2006
Please send me information about flight schools.  I want to learn to be a pilot.
Reply: In the internet age, there is no such thing as "please send me..."  Have you done a web search?

February 2006.
I live about 2000 miles away from you and there is no chance I'll ever be able to use you as a flight instructor but can you call me back (long distance) and give me some counseling for my future ratings (for free of course).  I've read your web site but I want to hear you tell me the same things.

August 2006
Hi, your business card is in the wallet of a Mr MacFarlane, can you call me?  I found his wallet this morning while jogging, and I've gone through it and there is your card.  By the way, I flew helicopters in the Army.

May 2006
Can you teach me in my airplane?  Well, I want to get my commercial pilot certificate.  I already have 250 hours so I'm ready for my checkride next week if possible.  Can you do it for $20 an hour?  Well your rate is too much, there is a guy I know who will do it for $10 an hour.  [click]

November 2005
I want to fly helicopters, how much does all that cost?  No way, its too much.  I can only do it for $1500 so I'm going to shop around. 

April 2005
I want to get my privates.  Yes, I mean a private pilot certificate.  Can we do it next weekend?

December 2004
Hi, this is ___ from the FAA.  Do you know ____?  Did you ever fly with____?  Well what can you tell me about his flight?  I see, so he wouldn't buy a checklist for his twin?   And because of that you wouldn't fly with him again?  Well we're about to revoke his pilot certificate.  Well, because he isn't multi engine rated, had a passenger in an aircraft that he had no solo endorsement for, and crashed the airplane this weekend because he didn't put the gear down. 

February 2004
Hi, I want to register for your ground school.  Well, I own a Piper Cherokee and I busted Class B airspace and now the FAA wants me to take your ground school.  You'll have to sign a paper that says I attended.  No I don't have a pilot certificate but I've had 10 hours of flight training and I'm ready to get my license.  Ok I'll see you in class next week.  By the way, can you tell me why the propeller came alive and struck me in the head when I was washing the airplane last weekend?

December 2003
Hi, I'm a student pilot in Venice Florida.  I have a Piper Comanche, can you teach me how to fly it?  Yes, I already know that you're 60 miles away.  I can just fly it to you for lessons right?  No, I dont have any solo endorsement.  No, I haven't had any training.  Yes, I know how to fly, I've been flying it for the past 10 years.

April 2003
I'm a helicopter pilot.  I want to get my private pilot certificate in helicopters.  Ummm how far am I?  Well I haven't had any formal instruction but I know how to fly.  How did I learn?  Well I tied one of the skids of the helicopter to the ground with a dog leash and that's how I learned how to hover.  Can you teach me the rest?

What You Said...

Thu, 31 Aug 2006 20:11:01  Name = Marcus R   Comments = Holy Cow.  That's all I can say. Marcus R CFI-Helicopter

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