The story of Learn 2 Fly CT dates back to a young boy who had a dream to fly…
Always having loved aviation and having served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Structural Mechanic, the journey of Learn 2 Fly CT began when Phil ran into a high school friend while working at Bradley International Airport after his military duty.
It was that chance encounter that convinced Phil he needed to pursue his passion for flying. He went home that night, changing colleges to pursue a degree in Aeronautics and beginning flight training at nearby Simsbury Airport shortly after – earning his Private Pilot Certificate within 3 months and a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide.
Today, Phil is a certificated Commercial Single Engine Land/Sea and Multi Engine Land Instrument pilot and has achieved his Certificated Flight Instructor certificates for Single Engine, Multi-Engine and Instrument (CFI, MEI, CFI-I). He also spent the summer of 2016 teaching students in a 1946 Piper Cub on straight EDO 1400 floats.
After his own journey to become a certificated pilot, Phil noticed the region lacked affordable flight schools where students could get quality training and learn how to safely fly an aircraft. His goal was to start a flight school where based on quality instruction, a constant focus on safety – while maintaining affordability, and thinking “outside the box” for bringing the Flight Training industry into the 21st century.
Our philosophy is that the key to eliminating aircraft related incidents and accidents is staying current on training and maintaining proficiency with all aspects of the aircraft and flight procedures. Our mission is to ensure you enjoy your time in the air – and return home safely to your loved one’s after every flight.
Learn 2 Fly CT, LLC. operates out of multiple locations in Connecticut.
We are proud to be a veteran-owned and operated small business.
Phillip Smith – CFI, MEI, CFI-I, A&P
Phil Smith has turned his life-long passion for flying and turned it into his career. As an Aviation Structural Mechanic, he worked on P-3 aircraft on the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station located in Washington state. It was there Phil learned aircraft inside and out during his 4 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy.
After completing his assignment, Phil returned home to Connecticut where he worked at Bradley International Airport (KBDL) servicing aircraft. This provides Phil with a unique perspective having worked on both civilian and military aircraft.
In addition to his hands-on experience, Phil received formal training from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he received his B.S. in Aeronautics. Phil has also achieved certification as a Commercial Single Engine Land/Sea (CASEL/S), Commercial Multiengine Land (CAMEL), Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI), Multi Engine Instructor (MEI) and Certificated Flight Instructor Instrument (CFI-I).
During the day, Phil works in Operations at Gama Aviation in Shelton, CT in addition to his role as Chief Flight Instructor at Learn 2 Fly CT.
Jet has always been passionate about flying and was fortunate to obtain his private pilot’s license at a young age. He completed his flight training at a part 141 school and began his career as a flight instructor, holding certifications as both a CFI and CFII. With his experience, Jet is able to teach both private pilot and instrument students. He feels grateful for the opportunity to share his knowledge and expertise with his students and takes pride in seeing them succeed. Jet’s ultimate goal is to return to Thailand and build a flight school promoting general aviation. He hopes to inspire and educate others about the joy of flying and let people know that flying is not just a job or a hobby, but a way of life.
Starting at a young age, Kevin began flight training at Northampton Airport MA. Bagging groceries while attending highschool to afford 1 flight lesson every week. In 2016 Kevin earned his private pilot certificate. What he thought was the end of his training, turned out to be the beginning of much more.
Unsure how to move up the ladder Kevin got a job at a local airport BAF as a Line Service Technician to become more familiar with the aviation industry. In 2018 Kevin decided aviation could be his lifetime career. He was accepted as a full time student at Airline Transport Professionals (ATP) right here in Hartford where he earned his IRA, CSEL, CMEL, CFI, CFII, and MEI. After graduating he was hired to instruct and soon promoted to the Lead Flight Instructor.
Kevin spent the next 13 months instructing, building time to advance his career as well as train the next generation of pilots. Shortly after New Years in 2020 Kevin became a First Officer at Republic Airways. Achieving a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot Certificate due to his young age. (It is never too soon, or too late to achieve your dreams!)
Now, after 2 and a half years at the regionals Kevin has already moved on to the majors. Still wanting to continue instruction to help those who want to follow the same or a much different path. Whether you are wanting to fly the big iron at the airlines, achieve a commercial pilot certificate, or just fly for fun with a Private/ Sport pilot certificate Kevin can help lead the way. Off duty Kevin enjoys Photography, traveling and automotive.
David has always had a passion for aviation. All of his careers are involved in some form of aviation from fueler and deicer at Corporate Air based at Bradley International, at Space and Sea Systems working on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle to now working as an engineer at Pratt and Whitney designing turbine airfoils.
Additionally, David is an avid hockey player and coach. He has coached hockey for over 30 years in the USA, Canada, Scandinavia and Europe. He has instructed at all levels from learn to skate to junior hockey.
David was not able to pursue his love of flight until later in life. In 2012 he decided to pursue his dreams and took a discovery flight. Since then he has never looked back and obtained his Instrument, Commercial, and Multi Engine. In 2019 David wanted to combine his passion of coaching and flying. Later that year he obtained his Certified Flight Instructor rating.
In David’s free time he enjoys sailing, hiking, and archery. He lives in Ellington with his wife and 2 daughters.
Ashley Yarnell – MEI, CFI, CFI-I
Ashley is thrilled to be joining the team at Learn 2 Fly CT in the Accelerated Multi-Engine program. Ashley is a life-long educator, having previously founded and operated a successful music school in her home state of Massachusetts. Discovering a love for aviation later in life, Ashley quickly pursued all of her ratings and thoroughly enjoys helping to bring future pilots’ dreams into fruition.
Wooram Lee – CFI, CFI-I, MEI
Wooram is from S, Korea. He moved to the U.S. to achieve his dream to be a pilot. He graduated from Utah Valley University School of aviation science. He received B.S and magna cum laude in Professional Pilot. He served in the military in S, Korea. He was in charge of the air defense team. N, Korea has a lot of AN-2 airplanes. Those are covered by fabric and fly lower to avoid radar. His duty was monitoring those airplanes in the air and prohibited airspace. He was also a squad leader and firearm training instructor. His background leads him to be a flight instructor now in aviation.
His dream is to fly internationally between S, Korea, and the United States so that he and his wife can live in both countries where they come from.