News: Instructor pilot of the year receives award
Story by Lance Cpl. Rebecca Eller
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - More than 40 pilots competed to be the instructor pilot of the year with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101. Capt. Scott Symons, a Rochester, Mich., native, was that pilot.
Symons received a Navy Achievement Medal for his period of instruction from September 2010 - October 2011.
“He’s well respected by the other instructors,” said Capt. Matt Roberts, an assistant operations officer with VMFAT-101 and a Windsor, Va., native. “Obviously the students excel when they fly or [fly] a simulator with him. He’s the type of guy who is always available to answer questions off-line; he’s always willing to go the extra mile to help out the students.”
The students and instructors had a meeting and each voted who they felt was deserving of the instructor pilot of the year.
“It was very humbling, very surprising,” said Symons. “We have a tremendous amount of experience and very good instructors who have a great knowledge base, so it was overwhelming and definitely unexpected to be voted by peers.”
Symons was a student at VMFAT-101 in 2005-2006 and has wanted to return to be an instructor due to his experience.
“I had a lot of instructors who were very inspiring and they really cared about you learning,” said Symons. “They wanted you to do better and they went above and beyond to do that.”
Symons has been an instructor with VMFAT-101 for more than two years and enjoys instructing and helping the student pilots excel.
“Any time a student succeeds is the best part about being an instructor,” said Symons. “There’s nothing better than that, to be able to relay and teach someone and actually physically see them succeed in the aircraft.”
Even though Symons was not expecting to win the award, he was voted the instructor pilot of the year because of his approachable demeanor and his ability to relay to the students how to prioritize in the aircraft and how to succeed.
“He’s very deservingly awarded,” said Robert. “There’s not a person in the ready room who is surprised that he got it.”