In this video Susie Sathianathan, a student here at Princeton Flying School, describes her journey from Zimbabwe to Princeton New Jersey.
Susie started flying at a young age in Zimbabwe. When she moved to New Jersey she needed to get re-certified and fortunately found Princeton Flying School. She is now close to earning her Flight Instructor certification.
Good luck, Susie. We look forward to the day you will become a Princeton Flying School Certified Flight Instructor.
I started flying back into Zimbabwe many, many moons ago. I was 19. I always wanted to fly. It wasn’t easy getting there. A lot of people told me I couldn’t do it, which made me want to do it even more. I was lucky enough to have a very supportive mother who said, go for it. And that was it.
I had a very tough and encouraging instructor back home. I flew the Piper Navajo for charter companies, did medical air rescues, and I had a commercial multi engine instrument rating there. And then I moved to the US which meant I had to start again only because the Zimbabwe license expires. So, I was looking around for schools and went to another school up north and I started training with them.
As time went by, I was still looking for schools and someone mentioned Princeton, which was like 20 minutes away from where I live. So I came here and I instantly fell in love with the place only because you’re greeted with a big smile and people here truly go out of the way to help you.
Having a foreign license, I needed to get recertified in the US otherwise I would have to fly home to Zimbabwe every six months because commercial pilot licenses are valid only six months and that would be expensive. So, I decided I’ll just go for my private, my instrument and my commercial, which I did get this year so I can fly in the US.
excellent. All right, so let’s, so let’s talk about, uh, your instructors. Maybe you could tell me a little bit about who you studied with it.
When I first got my private, I had a bunch of instructors, but I finished up with Pete Rafle, an excellent instructor. Pete told me a lot of stories from back in the days when he flew. And that was awesome. Listening to all of those stories.
I finished my commercial with Jeff Slutsky, another awesome instructor here. He worked with me to get me back because I hadn’t flown for like five years. Life happened and I stopped flying. But once I got back he encouraged me to get back.
Advice I would give to prospective student pilots… I would say go for it. I mean give it a first intro flight. If it is right for you, the true aviator in you will come. It’s all about the feeling. You know, we have the machine that tells us what to do. Aviation has come a long way, but if you look deep down and you love soaring above the clouds, which for me is just the best feeling ever. I feel at home when I’m up there. And for people who are considering flying, come give it a try. You never know. You know, you could get the bug and you will never want to be on the ground ever again. And for women considering flying, I say just go for it. It’s an even playing field now and whatever obstacles you have, you can go over it. ~ Susie Sathianathan