Summer internship for a young pilot

I’m looking to hire a high school or college student as a summer intern.  The main thing that this young person would get out of the deal is some flight training (otherwise fairly expensive) and an introduction to the world of aviation in and around Hanscom Field.  I’ve drafted an advertisement in and would appreciate comments on the ad and how to make the internship more attractive.  Basically I would treat the person as an apprentice and try to teach him or her whatever I know that he or she wants to learn as well.


  1. Chris S

    April 13, 2006 @ 9:40 pm


    Dear Phil,

    If you want, you can feel free to make a mention on the Flying Club email list.

    – Chris

  2. 32 Papa

    April 14, 2006 @ 9:58 am


    How about letting the kid ride in the back observing some lessons (with the student’s consent I suppose). Just hearing the radio calls and hearing you describe things a few times would make him/her (lets face it probably him) pick it up more quickly.

  3. Jean

    April 14, 2006 @ 11:12 am


    That is very generous of you Phil!!!
    Hope that the chosen one is someone who will truly benifit… oh if I was young again…

  4. Atilla

    April 14, 2006 @ 3:32 pm


    What are the tax consequences of this? It seems like there’d have to be if you give the bonus…and for the personal assistant, how does that work? Don’t you have to pay payroll taxes? What if the person is in India (or wherever)?

  5. Hack

    April 14, 2006 @ 8:06 pm


    Do you provide health insurance and 401K?

  6. Atilla

    April 14, 2006 @ 11:19 pm


    Phil, what do you do for house-keeping services? I assume, if you’re getting someone to do your driving (a la Tony Soprano) and read your e-mail, you must have someone who will do your cleaning, too, right? Do you use a service or do you just use a solo cleaner?

  7. EDZ

    April 15, 2006 @ 10:15 pm


    Imagining myself at that age, I might have jumped at an opportunity like this, but only if the position were a little more oriented toward a professional apprenticeship. The “personal valet” duties would probably have been a big turn-off. I assume you want to find someone independent-minded and ambitious: advertising for someone to play with your dog while you go fly might not be the best way to find that person.

  8. Philip Greenspun

    April 15, 2006 @ 10:51 pm


    Michael: I have not thought about the tax issues.

    Hack: Massachusetts is now requiring everyone to buy health insurance. I guess my apprentice will buy it (if he is not already covered by a parent’s policy).

    Michael: A bunch of us in Cambridge all use the same cleaners over the years. They tend to be individuals, though sometimes they bring friends or relatives to help.

    EDZ: Thanks for the idea, but I can’t get rid of the dog care and the driving. What would be the point of having an apprentice if he didn’t do anything useful for me? It is a lot of work training a young person and there has to be some return (not to mention the cash outlays).

  9. Anon

    April 16, 2006 @ 8:56 am


    If I could turn back the clock I’d do it. Probably less for flying and more for learning computer/web development skills.

    Driving the minivan/assistant thing == not a big deal unless it’s a “Devil Wears Prada” scenario.

  10. Atilla

    April 16, 2006 @ 4:23 pm


    Cand you do HeliSkiing trips? I guess this is irrelevant where you live, but if you were based in Alaska or Utah, etc., would you with your helicopters and license be able to drop people from the helicopter to the mountain?

  11. Bill

    April 16, 2006 @ 4:55 pm


    I’m a 29-year-old, PhDed, aero/parallel computing researcher, can I apply? This sounds like a great summer job! Heck, I might even get some papers written in between playing with the dog(s).

  12. Paul

    April 16, 2006 @ 6:23 pm


    Wow! What an offer you’re making there!

    I truly wish I was in the States as I would have jumped at the chance to learn to fly (I am hoping to get my PPL in the UK where I live when I can afford it and would love to move on to CPL eventually when time/money permits).

    I must say you are making an offer that could make the right person, and the other stuff like looking after the dogs, sounds fine too. Where’s the downside?!

    I hope the person you find truly appreciates what you are giving them.

    Goods luck to you and your ‘apprentice’.

  13. K

    April 17, 2006 @ 9:53 am



    You sound like the kind of Trust Fund Baby who frequently mouths “illegal immigrants only take jobs Americans don’t want.” I have enthusiastically recommend this to one suburban middle-class high-school aged friend. While he thought it was a really cool offer, he may not be able to give up the extra cash that his previously-planned summer construction job would provide.

  14. Chris

    April 17, 2006 @ 3:27 pm


    I am no lawyer, but are you sure it is legal to post a want ad, where you discriminate against people based on weight. I know it is a legitimate concern (for flying and all), but just wondering.

  15. K

    April 17, 2006 @ 4:51 pm



    A web search on the achronym “BFOQ” might be instructive.

  16. Philip Greenspun

    April 19, 2006 @ 1:26 am


    Michael: A Heliskiing service would require an FAA Part 135 certificate because you’re dropping people off in a different place than where you took off. It is not enough to have a commercial pilot’s license; the operation also must be approved by the FAA (training program, random drug screening, equipment, etc.).

    Chris: Certainly only a hardhearted employer would discriminate against 400 lb. guys who dream of piloting cheap helicopters. When you do get your law degree, you can sue hospitals like this one: (200 lb. weight limit in full flight gear for everyone who flies in their massive twin-jet-engine-powered helicopters). There are not too many lawyers who are brave enough to fight the laws of physics…

  17. John Valenti

    April 20, 2006 @ 3:05 pm


    Just to be clear: the intern would need to cover their own housing, right? Any idea on what that might cost for the summer?

    I would apply, but am about 30 years too old. Will try to pass it along to others…

  18. Adam

    April 25, 2006 @ 2:57 pm


    Fantastic offer. If I lived in the states instead of Ontario I would jump at that opportunity. Currently I’m 32 and work installing ski lifts. It would be alot more intresting flying one then chasing one down a mountain with a heavy load under it. Thought about it for years but the cost up here makes it difficult. Good luck

  19. Adam

    April 25, 2006 @ 2:57 pm


    Fantastic offer. If I lived in the states instead of Ontario I would jump at that opportunity. Currently I’m 32 and work installing ski lifts. It would be alot more intresting flying one then chasing one down a mountain with a heavy load under it. Thought about it for years but the cost up here makes it difficult. Good luck

  20. Ken Shackelford

    May 3, 2006 @ 12:21 pm


    Hi, just wondering??? I’m a 45 year old firefighter looking to change careers. I have a private helciopter rateing. Have around 110 hours in R22, 1hr in R44, 2hrs in C172. Needing to build time. What exactley are you offering?? and would I be considered considering my devotion to getting my rateing and continue my training to CPL, CFI, CFII. Any imput would be appreciated. Thnaky you for your time.

  21. Calvin DeVault

    February 27, 2007 @ 3:07 pm


    I see that the last post was on May 3rd, 2006 and you probably havnt checked the website in awhile, however i was wondering if this internship was open for summer 2007?

  22. Ralph Brynard

    October 10, 2008 @ 11:29 am



    I read your ad and actually sent you an e-mail requesting to be considered for the 2009 summer. I think what the apprentice gets in return, (40 loggable hours towards a rating/certificate) is worth some of the extra, and possibly unrelated work that you would have them do.

    I personally would jump at an opportunity like this, and do whatever I can to get the hours. I say I would jump because having hours can AT LEAST open up opportunities for other internships/ apprenticeships.

    As you said as well, the internship is designed for a college student or high school student. Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the experience.

    Just my two cents,

    Ralph Brynard

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