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Aviation Training Consultants: 800-874-5346

Fast Track from CFI to Captain: What is Dave’s Secret to Success?

News > Fast Track from CFI to Captain: What is Dave’s Secret to Success?
Dave on the flight deck in a Spirit Airlines A320. Image courtesy Dave Greenway.

David Greenway went from being a charter pilot and Chief Flight Instructor at a local FBO to Cargo Captain, First Officer, and finally to Captain at a major commercial passenger airline in less than three years. We were awed and astounded by his quick rise to success and thrilled that he chose Gleim Aviation for his training. We got in touch with Dave to learn his secrets to success so we could share them with you.

Q: What is your current role?

I am currently a Captain with Spirit Airlines flying the Airbus A320 series aircraft.

Q: Describe how you got where you are today.

I started in aviation at University Air Center (UAC) in Gainesville, FL back in 2006. I joined the company the week after graduating high school and was a lineman servicing various types of aircraft that came to Gainesville. UAC had a flight school, so I did all of my training with the company and was hired as a flight instructor as soon as I finished my training. After that, I moved up the ranks to teach more advanced topics, flew as a Captain on a Cessna Caravan doing cargo work, and eventually became a Part 135 Cessna Citation Captain.

Dave and the Citation. Image courtesy Dave Greenway.

Q: What are the three biggest factors that led to your rapid success?

  • Being able to keep the big picture in mind helped me get through all of the smaller challenges along the way.
  • Working smart.
  • Working hard.

Q: How did you become interested in aviation?

My dad flew recreationally and my uncle flew professionally, so I was exposed to aviation from an early age. My parents were both big fans of the space race and NASA in general, so aviation was always around. During my senior year in high school, my dad suggested I go to the airport and see if I could get a job at the FBO. I was fortunate to get hired and was off to the races from there.

Q: Which Gleim materials helped you most with your training?

The FAA Test Prep was the most useful to me. I used the prep services to study for and pass numerous FAA written exams.

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring pilot?

Use the three biggest factors I discussed above: Keep the big picture in mind, work smart, and work hard.

Don’t risk your life or your license for a job. Neither are worth it. There are plenty of jobs out there.

The road to flying for the airlines is getting shorter every day, but this is a cyclical industry and downturns have always happened in aviation, so pay attention to what is happening industry-wide and to the economy as a whole.

Start building your network early and always try to expand it. I am still talking to the folks I started with in the industry and I have even helped some of them get hired at the airline a decade after we first met.

Have fun along the way. Aviation is a fantastic career full of great people!

Q: What was the biggest hurdle you overcame and how did you achieve that?

Pushing through all of the day-to-day challenges was tough at times. This is where keeping the big picture in mind really helped. It allowed me to see why the work I had to do that day was going to help me get to where I wanted to be.

View from the Citation. Image courtesy Dave Greenway.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you?

Shortly after upgrading to Captain, I was hired to become an instructor for the airline, so back to the books to get ready for flight instructor training.

Dave is currently living in Tampa, Florida and assists Gleim Aviation as an Editor and Consultant. We appreciate him sharing his story. Thanks, Dave!

To use Gleim Aviation to fulfill your unique training needs, visit Gleim Aviation online or contact our team of Aviation Training Consultants at 800.874.5346, ext. 471.

About Gleim Aviation

Since 1980, Gleim Aviation’s team of pilots, instructors, writers, designers, and programmers has helped aviators pass millions of FAA knowledge and practical tests using the unique Gleim Knowledge Transfer System. Gleim is an environmentally-friendly company headquartered in Gainesville, FL.

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