We extend a warm LTF welcome to Ermin Javier who recently joined the team as a Grade 1 Multi-Engine IFR Flight Instructor.
The early days of Ermin’s pilot training career first saw him embracing family tradition along with fulfilling his need for action-figure inspired adventure. He zeroed in on the likes of fast yet stable aircraft like the OV-10 Bronco planes and joined the Philippines Air Force.
“I come from a military family. Not my parents, but my grandparents. It was a great influence. I followed the footsteps of my grandfather and uncle and went to the same academy they did”.
Did you enjoy being in the air force?
Yeah, I really did. Looking back at it now I am glad I did it because otherwise, I wouldn’t have done anything that special. It gave my life direction.
How do you find the contrast of flying these planes compared to flying air force aircraft?
I like to fly faster aircraft, but as I have grown older and I have a family, that desire and ambition to fly fast has become less and less. Being a Grade 1 Flight Instructor, I find it easier to balance my family life. At the moment, that is where I am. I’ve got the flexibility to fly.
I like imparting my knowledge. However, I think that with instructing, what is essential is not just the trade, but empathy. It has helped me learn how to communicate better. It’s nice to see how your flexibility improves when you are relating to people. Teaching A, then B and C, with our students from diverse backgrounds.
So being the teacher has made you the student again?
Of course. I am always learning new ways to teach information to students because they are all different. Plus flying different kinds of aircraft. We have some new ones here at LTF and that ticks a box for me.
Tell us more about your journey from the Air Force to joining LTF.
After my air force graduation, I got asked which stream I wanted to take. I chose the 15th Strike Wing – the busiest! The bread and butter was air-to-ground attack. We did a lot of close air support. A little bit of maritime patrol. It had diversity, so I didn’t get bored. Enough action to fill me up in a way I was looking for.
During this time, I also got married young and had kids, which eventually shifted my attention and priorities. Then in 2005, migrating to Australia became an opportunity for me. Because I had a Commercial Pilot Licence, I used that for the skilled migrant visa to Australia. It was a skill that was in demand. I didn’t want to let it pass. So that year, I resigned from the air force, and we migrated to Australia.
In 2011, I joined the Royal Australian Navy. I still had an itch to scratch and serving in the navy did that. It was tougher this time around. While everything was familiar in terms of military training, I was older. At 37 I definitely felt that running alongside 22-year-olds.
I left the Navy in 2014 and got back into instructing. During this time, there was a big transition taking place for aviation training rules and regulations, so I helped out with that while assisting the operations and management side of things.
It was there we set up Australian Pilot Training Alliance. The purpose was to help out the smaller schools who were struggling with the CASA changes and help them get certified. Learn To Fly was and still is obviously still part of that. I remember when Kai (our CEO) started LTF.
When did you start instructing?
I started teaching here in Australia in 2007 with Melbourne Flight Training. Initially, when I moved from the Philippines, I was in a different field; pneumatics, engineering. I was selling stuff and building stuff. Then I thought of flying again.
So I bit the bullet. I took out a loan so I could get my instructor rating. It was a bit to take on financially, and that’s not for everyone. It wasn’t easy at first. Then I progressed from Grade 3, 2 and up to 1 with Melbourne Flight Training.
Do you have any unique or memorable experiences in your career that stand out?
Well, of course, there were so many memories and experiences in the air force. But memorable for me right now is the more recent privilege to lead again in a different way, for the pilot training industry in Australia. To be trusted to lead and help flying schools be granted 142 Syllabus approval by CASA has been exciting and worthwhile.
Being a pilot has allowed me to travel and move to another country. Really though, I hope that through this work, I have positively influenced people. I’m still collecting memories!
Do you have a favourite aircraft you like to fly?
At the moment I think it’s the Super Decathlon by American Champion. It’s an aerobatic aircraft. It’s not a super-advanced aircraft. It’s quite basic and it’s just fun to fly. It has a tailwheel. It’s light enough and designed to do a bit of fundamental to semi-advanced aerobatics. I like doing all that stuff. It’s so much fun! I’d love to get an aerobatic endorsement here at Learn To Fly and teach that.
If you could fly any aircraft in the world, what would it by and why?
(After a long pause) I have not thought of that before. (Another long pause).
I really don’t know. I might have to get back to you on that one.
(Thinking some more). It would probably be a jet of some sort (laughs). Half of me wants to go warbird, like a P 51 Mustang, because they are old school cool. The other half also wants to fly something newer. Like one of the latest jets. But when you talk warbirds, for me, there are a few that stand out. The P 51 I mentioned, and perhaps an F86 Sabre Jet. I know they are old, but they are so cool.