Demand for pilots sparks desire in Adams County native

Matthew Goertz, an Adams County native who currently resides in Texas, is enrolled in the AeroGuard Flight School.

“This is an accelerated program,” Goertz said. “It all comes at you fast.”

Goertz has always been interested in planes and aircraft, but when he heard about the pilot shortage, he soon realized that his profession would be in high demand.

“Getting to visit new places is always a plus, Goertz said. “While there is hard work and getting started might seem difficult, putting in the time will show to be worth it.”

The process of working toward his private pilot’s license began in November with online classes and flying alongside an instructor.

“I am currently working on my private pilot license,” Goertz said. “Then, I’ll go into ratings, which would be instrument and commercial. After that, that’s when you are able to become an instructor to build your flight hours. In order to fly for airlines, you have to have 1,500 flight hours as well as the ratings.”

There are four AeroGuard flight school locations across the United States. Spanning coast to coast, they offer several accelerated and degree-based programs, one of which takes you from zero flight experience to being airline ready in nearly two years.

“It’s kind of like a two-way learning program,” Goertz said. “I have an online classroom with homework, then I have flying with my instructor, which is day-to-day learning. They assign their own homework to help you learn the day-to-day flying and things to memorize for better understanding the aircraft.”

“Studying hard, having those situations show up and being able to correctly demonstrate how to perform the maneuver is satisfying,” Goertz said enthusiastically. “It’s also definitely a cool thing to be able to navigate and control an airplane.”

Matthew Goertz behind the instrument panel.

So why is there a pilot shortage?

Well, having a beautiful aerial view and performing a skilled craft doesn’t always outweigh the hardships.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, this comes partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aircrafts have been forced to be grounded, routes have been cut and wages dropped.

The restriction of travel and some too afraid to continue with their regularly scheduled airlines in close quarters have been an issue as well.

But the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only factor in the equation. The shortage also stems from fewer pilots departing from the military.

“It’s a very interesting line of work,” Goertz expressed. “I enjoy the process.”

If you’re looking to take flight into your own career, Quincy University offers an aviation program.

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