Richard Bennett “R. B.” Hirsch, III, CFII, MEI:
10+ years with BPT; Type Rated in a CE-560XL;
BPT: How did you get your start in aviation?
HIRSCH: For me, aviation was a bit of a different story than for most people. I went to a boys’ Catholic high school. During my junior year, I had a little discussion with my guidance counselor. We tried to figure out what it is in life I needed to be doing that would keep out of trouble.
She asked me, “What would you like to do?”
Typical high school answer, “I don’t know.”
“Well, what do you like?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what do you want out of life?”
“I’d like a job where it was not a 9-to-5; it involves a lot of traveling;
I don’t have to work very much; and I can get paid a lot of money.”
She thought for a second and said, “Pilot!”
That sounded good to me, so I decided to give it a shot.
From there, I applied to Florida Institute of Technology and got accepted on the Early Acceptance program. I spent the four years there earning my degree, licenses and certifications. I graduated as a flight instructor with a degree in aviation management.
BPT: How did you get involved with BPT?
HIRSCH: I got involved in BPT back in 2005 when I graduated from college. I moved to Houston to manage the flying club where my uncle, Jack Hirsch, was a part-owner.
Jack was also the president of BPPP at that time — and that’s how I became affiliated with the group. They got to know me and my experience in Bonanzas and Barons. In 2007, I was accepted as one of the new instructor pilots.
BPT: What value do you believe BPT brings to pilots?
HIRSCH: Value-wise, there’s no question that the camaraderie in a total-immersion clinic – and having like-minded individuals “nerd out” on aviation is something you don’t come across every day. So when there’s an available slot for you, you should take advantage of it.
The advancements you get for yourself personally – in terms of learning something you haven’t yet learned about your aircraft, or aviation in general – are invaluable. In my opinion, that is the best part of BPT.
BPT: What do you think has been the most significant personal gain that you’ve had in your affiliation with BPT?
HIRSCH: I have gained a wealth of knowledge from both the instructors and also the clients that come to the clinics. I’ve made lifelong friendships. I’ve got people all around the country I can call and rely on if need be. They’re just an amazing group of great people. That’s what I’m thankful for: being involved in BPT and having the opportunity to know these guys.