Mitri Garib is the flight training instructor at Marine Military Academy in Harlingen. The South Texas native started flying in 1991 and received his pilot certification in 1994 from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Okla. Mr. Garib has been teaching people how to fly since 1998. For the past 14 years, he has been training the cadets of MMA … and he still loves his job! Take a moment to meet this flight instructor pilot and learn more about his career.
Q&A with Flight Instructor Mitri Garib
Q: When did you first take an interest in flying?
A: I’ve wanted to fly ever since I can remember. My dad also flies. I got the interest from him.
Q: What is the best part about flying?
A: The best part is being in control of the plane and experience a sense of freedom. I also love the serenity of it. It’s very peaceful most of the time when you’re flying.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about flying?
A: Most people say it’s landing, but once you get used to it, I think the most difficult thing is transitioning from one plane to another in emergency situations. Flight characteristics and emergency procedures are different in every plane. When you fly one plane for a long time, you have to quickly remember and follow all the proper procedures when you need to fly another.
Q: You have been teaching teenage boys how to fly since March 2000. Is it more challenging to teach teens than adults?
A: Yes it is. Because of their age, I have to make sure they always understand there is a level of danger that could exist if they don’t do things properly. When I teach people that are 40 or 50 years old, for example, they tend to be more cautious and less impulsive. It is good that the boys are fearless, but I always make sure they never get complacent and always perform everything the correct way.
Q: Do you still keep in contact with any of your students?
A: Oh, yes. I’ve got them on Facebook, and many of them still call me. There are several students that I’ll never forget for different reasons.
Q: If a boy or a girl really wants to pursue aviation after high school, what advice would you give them?
A: You want to try your best and excel at subjects like math and science. Everything in aviation revolves around science and math. You don’t have to be a genius in those subjects to learn how to fly, but if you can excel in those subjects, that will give you a true advantage. Once you are ready to start flying, usually someone from your local airport you can give you further guidance.
Q: When you travel as an airplane passenger, do you feel out of control?
A: I really don’t. I actually enjoy it. I’m not working. I’m leaving the work to somebody else!
Watch Mitri Garib in the cockpit of a Redhawk Cessna 172 with his Marine Military Academy student pilot. They take-off from Harlingen International Airport and proceed to Cameron Country Airport for touch and go practice.
Marine Military Academy is an all boys private college preparatory military boarding school. For more information about MMA’s Flight Training Program visit our website: http://www.mma-tx.org