Dear Hang Gliding Instructor Applicant:
Those of us in the hang gliding department at Kitty Hawk Kites would like to thank you for your interest in the Instructor Training Academy (ITA). The Academy is the only program of its kind in the United States. Since 1974, we have taken people with little or no flight experience and brought them through our training programs. Within these programs new instructors work hard on both their teaching skills, and on their own personal flying skills. Instructors are able to do these things while earning money teaching beginning hang gliding in Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Those instructors who return for a second season, or remain through the off-season, are sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kites to attend a United States Hang Gliding Association, Instructor Certification Program. Instructors who earn their certification are eligible to teach, and issue ratings anywhere in the U.S. Most are offered positions as Lead Instructors, and remain at Kitty Hawk Kites to assume a greater role in the school and in the Academy’s training programs.
We are proud of our instructor training program. Each year it continues to grow, and the quality and dedication of our instructor corps grows with it. The opportunities that exist within the program are immense. However, there are some things you need to understand before you apply to the Instructor Training Academy. This program, and this job, are for people who are here to learn how to fly and to develop their skills as a teacher. You will make enough money to live and enjoy life on the Outer Banks, but probably won’t save much. We require a full-time commitment from new instructors, and the days can be long. If you plan on getting a second job it will probably have to be on your days off to avoid scheduling conflicts. As your flying and teaching skills progress, you will be given the opportunity to make more money. There will be various training clinics throughout the summer that are neither paid, nor mandatory. However, they are excellent learning opportunities to increase your skills as a pilot and instructor. Completion of these clinics makes you more valuable as an instructor, and therefore participation in some of these will result in pay raises. Nevertheless, we are looking for the kind of people who will take such opportunities out of a desire to learn.
The work is physically demanding. The typical work day is about seven hours long, most of which will be spent actually teaching out on the dune. During the summer months you will be expected to run down the training hill with students and carry the glider back up. Temperatures in the summer average in the nineties and the humidity is generally high. Remember that you are in a teaching situation. This requires that you always maintain your responsibilities as an instructor, despite sometimes exhausting conditions. You will leave here in probably the best shape of your life.
Despite all of this, if you are hired, this will be the best job you’ve ever had. Nearly everyone dreams of flying, and everyday you get to make those dreams come true. However, the rewards of this job extend far outside of teaching. We believe that better pilots will make better instructors. Therefore, our commitment to developing your skills as a pilot extend far beyond just what it takes to make you a competent instructor on the dune.
Kitty Hawk Kites utilizes an aerotug as a major part of the advanced portions of our instructor training. This ultralight allows us to tow people up tandem in a hang glider with an instructor to teach high altitude flying skills. Once instructors have mastered towing and landing approaches they are able to go to the tow site on days off to gain airtime through solo flying. Furthermore we run mountain trips throughout the summer where groups of instructors travel to the mountains of Virginia, and North Carolina, for weekend camping and flying trips. New instructors arriving in April and May can expect to begin going on these trips by the end of July. Beware, this requires a commitment from you to put in the effort necessary to develop your flying skills by this time.
The Outer Banks itself is an exciting place to spend your summer. The people who live and work here are typically students, and seasonal employees who spend their winters out west, at ski resorts, or down south, in the islands. Most are between the ages of twenty and thirty. Kitty Hawk Kites hires the brightest, most outgoing, and social of these people as we are a company that is based around outdoor recreation and customer service. Our recreation department also includes a kiteboarding site, sea kayaking eco-tours, sport climbing, and biking. All of these facilities and equipment are available for our staff, and they are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these things in their free time.
Please consider the contents of this letter carefully. If you believe that you can meet the challenges of this job, and are dedicated to your desire to learn about teaching hang gliding, we can guarantee the most fun and fulfilling summer of your life. We will look forward to receiving your application. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Bruce Weaver at (252) 441-2426 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Hang Gliding Management Kitty Hawk Kites