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Reade, Gordon

Instructor Name: Reade, Gordon

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General Information
 Base Airport   PAO
 Teaches At   PAO, SQL
 Accepts New Students   Yes
 Payment Types Accepted   PayPal
  (650) 388-0177
 Website   n/a
 Hourly Rate   $60
 Ratings Held   See Below
 AC Instructs In

 About the Instructor

Ratings Held:

Why are you a Certified Flight Instructor?
I have done many different things in my life but I have yet to find any other activity as enjoyable, satisfying and challenging as flight instruction. I love it. The most wonderful thing about being a flight instructor is the people who I have the privilege of working with. After so many years of teaching I am still learning from my students. It's not unusual for a primary student to phrase a question or answer in such a way that I develop a fresh and more profound insight into the art of flight.

How long have you been instructing?
I earned my private pilots license flying out of Palo Alto in 1978. After college and some "real life" experiences I received my CFI in 1987. I have been a full time instructor since 1988. I have been flying for 28% the total history of powered flight. YIKES!!! 

How would you describe your availability in general?
I live only a few miles from the Palo Alto airport and so my commute is less than ten minuets. Therefore my availability is excellent. I can fly early mornings, late evens and weekends. I have flown with students on Christmas day and New Years day. What better way could there be to start the new year?

What is your favorite aircraft to instruct in?
My favorite aircraft for primary instruction is, by far and away, the Cessna 172 SP. It's a good solid flying machine with excellent handing. Over the years I have found it to be extremely rugged and wonderfully reliable. I particularly like the fact that - unlike some other aircraft - it has not one but two doors, one for the student and one for the instructor. It also has windows that open! That you will find Cessna 172s all over the world is an added benefit of learning to fly in this fine aircraft.

What percentage of your students pass their checkride on the first try?
My goal is to produce good safe pilots who have the problem solving skills to deal with real world challenges, not simply pilots who tests well when flying with an examiner. Having said that let’s be honest about pass rates. Any examiner who says he passes 80% or more of the applicants he sees on their first attempt is called a Santa Claus. That is not a complement. Yet there are few instructors who claim to have a pass rate of under 80%. What’s going on? Since there is no readily available paper trail any instructor can claim any pass rate he likes. Even a gold seal instructor had to meet the 80% rate only once in his career and that might have been forty years ago. Since most examiners don’t make a log book entry for an unsatisfactory practical exam it’s easy for a pilot to forget he ever had to do a flight over again. A disqualification does not follow a pilot. It is not tattooed on his foreheads. I approach each and every one of my students as a fresh challenge. If I have a student who feels he or she just has to pass the practical exam on the first try I’m happy to do an additional twenty hours of instruction to improve his or her odds. But keep in mind, there is such a thing as being over prepared. It should also be remembered that, on occasion, even the most talented pilot might come up short on a check ride. If you are the sort of person who can not tolerate losing you should not be in aviation. There is nothing more dangerous than a “Got-To-Win” pilot. 

"I spent four and a half years working in the Silicon Valley as an Optical Development Engineer. I worked mostly with acoustic optic and electro optic devices. These are products that are used in or with lasers.

I also did a stint with NASA as a biological test subject. An unsung hero of the space age, I have ridden the centrifuge, done bed rest and lower body negative pressure studies and have scarfed down vast amounts of astro-aid, all in an attempt to free up time for the real astronauts to do more important things. Have you ever read news accounts of such strange activities and wondered who would be crazy enough to volunteer for such treatment? Well wonder no more!

My interests are physics, astronomy, astrophotography and spaceflight. I imagine my high school English teacher must be spinning in his grave as I am a published writer. One of my more recent articles appeared in the November 2005 issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine. It dealt-in part-with the phase of the moon being a contributing factor in the JFK Jr. accident and so I was able to combine Astronomy and flight safety all in the same piece. My writing has yet to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize but I have received fan mail from Science Fiction Grand Master Arthur C. Clarke and I consider that just as good."