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Kevin BradfordKevin Bradford

Kevin Bradford has been a CFI since 2008 and has given more than 1,400 hours dual instruction. He graduated from the University of Dubuque and is a flight instructor with the university’s aviation department, which currently has about 300 enrollees (200 in the flight program). His ground and flight training in the Part 141 program runs the gamut from private to multiengine flight instructor.

“Every time I get in the airplane, or teach on the ground, I’m always trying to keep it fun for the student,” Bradford says—a quality his students surely appreciate. He takes a variety of approaches to accomplish this—for example, for commercial students entering the dual cross-country phase, Bradford will have them fly under Chicago’s busy Class B airspace and tour the skyline and Lake Michigan.

“He has exciting new ideas for teaching, and brings laughter to difficult learning,” says one of his students. Another calls Bradford “a natural flight instructor” who is imaginative at finding ways to help struggling students. “He is very positive and there isn't a flight that I leave not inspired by him for the love of flying!”

Teaching takeaway: Bradford’s teaching go-tos are the practical test standards and the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, but he also recommends that students read Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot by Richie Lengel. The “excruciatingly detailed plain-English explanations of complicated pieces of information that he provides are great help, as he says, ‘every day in the battle to stay legal…but most importantly…alive.’” Bradford also points students to free teaching tools at “The tremendous capabilities of the online simulators alone have helped my students understand and visualize concepts about radio navigation that are difficult to understand using just my words, a model plane, and a marker board.”

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly is senior content producer for AOPA Media.

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