Shalini-JoinerOn June 24, 2014, I passed my Private Pilot check ride, it was one of my most memorable and significant accomplishments and I have the team at Blue Skies Flying Services to thank! At the beginning of my training, I remember trying to decide which Chicago-area school I would train at and worried about “fitting in”. I was an older female, but I simply wanted to learn to fly for the fun of it-no aspirations of working for an airline. I stopped into the flight shop and immediately felt welcomed by the team. Throughout my training, it was that supportive and family atmosphere that kept me going, as well as an instructor (Jim Fellers) who was very knowledgeable and customized his approach to my learning style and pace. I still continue to feel that I am a part of their aviation family, enjoy renting and flying a number of various aircrafts in their well-maintained and reliable fleet, have cheered on the successes of many pilot friends who fly for fun as well as professionally, and I have also been able to share my joy of flight with my family and friends. I highly recommend anyone aspiring to fly, whether for fun or career, to come join the Blue Skies family to accomplish their aviation goals.

Shalini Joiner

May 25, 2008 was my first flight ever in a small airplane, and the beginning of the realization of a lifelong dream. I will never forget that day, walking through the door of Blue Skies with my wife Susan, preparing for my Intro Flight with Jim Fellers in Piper Warrior N43020. I felt a weird combination of excited, scared, and unsure, but I knew that I was beginning a journey that would prove to be one of the most fulfilling of my life. After a scant 14.0 hours I was soloing – flying an airplane by myself! A few months later I had done it—I was a Private Pilot! As I look back after nearly 10 years, an instrument rating, and hundreds of hours, I can honestly say that flying has been one of the greatest and most challenging adventures of a blessed life filled with challenges and adventures! And I am convinced that it never would have happened without the support, encouragement and professionalism of Blue Skies! Reviewing my log book, I see that Jim Fellers CFII and I have sat side by side for about 170 hours. I have also had the privilege of flying with many other Blue Skies instructors, all of whom are best-in-class when it comes to knowledge, professionalism and teaching ability. I also want to acknowledge Mike Carzoli, the owner of Blue Skies. Mike has a passion for flying and his mission is to make flying safe and fun. The culture that he has created does just that. Flying with Blue Skies makes me truly feel part of a special family. I greatly value not only my flying experiences with Mike and his staff but, more importantly, I am grateful for friends made along the way. Thank you to the entire Blue Skies team for making it possible for my childhood dream to take flight!

Jeff Dickenson