For More Information:
Jean's Flight Training 1950
Joe Crosson Dr. El Cajon, Ca.
92020 (619) 449-9234


and National Association of
Flight Instructors:
Instructor Pilot

Hello, my name is Jean Runner and I am a pilot.  I founded “Jean’s Flight
Training” at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California.  My husband and I live in
Lakeside, California with our cat “Cherokee”.  She is four years old and was
named for our airplane – a
Piper Cherokee.

I first started thinking about airplanes and flying when I was about 12. We
lived next door to an airline pilot and I thought that his job was really cool.  
My sister became a pilot first and she convinced me that I should also learn
to fly.  After she became an instructor she helped me earn my instrument
rating and eventually I too became an instructor. I now hold Single and Multi-
engine, Instrument, Certificated Flight Instructor, Advanced Ground
Instructor ratings, and a Master Instructor accreditation.

At first I was instructing at the flight school at Gillespie where I learned to
fly.  I have always loved to teach and I really love flying so it was natural for
me to combine the two.  After several years working for someone else, a
friend of mine – my first flight student – convinced me that I could start my
own flight school.  So, I did.  It was scary at first because I was not sure that
I would have enough clients to keep busy.  I should not have worried
because a number of my clients followed me to Jean’s Flight Training and
kept flying with me.  I was busy 6 days a week and if I would have allowed it,
I could have been busy on Sunday as well.  But it is important to allow family-
time and to get away once in a while to keep everything in perspective.  My
husband, Bill has always been 100% supportive of my flying and was very,
very, helpful at the flight school. We sold the school in 2006 but I still “help-
out” and still fly with a number of clients. My husband is very proud of what I
do and loves to brag. Whenever we land somewhere and a fuel truck driver
asks him how much fuel we want, he just points to me and says, “I don’t
know, ask the pilot!”

Over the years I have flown more than 55 different general aviation single
and multi-engine airplanes and now have more than 11,000 flight hours. As
new airplanes are developed with more and more modern gadgets to help the
pilot, I have been fortunate to be able to learn and teach using the greatest
equipment available including all kinds of Global Positioning Systems and the
new “Glass Panels” including Avidyne and Garmin G1000. In any career you
must keep up with technology to remain successful. Several years ago I
worked a bit for a local charter company flying a Partinavia – a high wing,
fixed gear twin - for several different contract jobs.  This was a nice diversion
from teaching and provided me another look at what you can do as a pilot.

Currently, Jean’s Flight Training, Inc. is the school of choice by San Diego
Christian College and provides training for all ratings for a Bachelor’s Degree
in Aviation Science.  The college flight team participates in the Pacific Coast
Intercollegiate Flying Association (PCIFA) and has three times qualified to go
to the national competition at Salina, Kansas, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio.
During the PCIFA Regional competition I act as a Judge for the Instrument
Competition event.

As a member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (S.A.F.E.) I have
had the opportunity to participate in some of their surveys and have my
input published.  I have written several articles for their on-line library. I am
also a member of WAI, Inc., (Women in Aviation International) and one of my
articles will be published in the Women in Aviation Magazine this year – 2011.

One time I had to fly to Porterville, Ca. and took a non-flying friend of mine
along for the trip.  When we were ready to fly home I checked in with the
local Flight Service Station for an update on the weather.  It was obvious that
my friend did not understand much of what the briefer was saying to me and
as we were leaving to walk to the airplane she said, “Jean, I have a question.”
I said, “What?”  She replied with, “how many languages to you have to know
to be a pilot?”  I laughed and said; “only English but you do learn a lot of new
phrases and meanings.  Anyone can do it.”  I do not have a college education
– not because I didn’t want one, but things were just too difficult in my life at
the time.  But, I feel that I have been extremely blessed and very successful.  
Education is very important so stay in school, do your best, go to college if
at all possible and reach for the stars because you too can be a pilot.  Good
speaking and writing skills and at least basic algebra will serve you well in
reaching your goal in aviation.

While you are waiting for that first flight lesson you can prepare yourself with
some fun things that will be helpful in developing your understanding of how
airplanes fly.  There are several good workbooks available that let you make
good quality paper airplanes and learn about their parts. Anytime you have
an opportunity to fly with a friend, Uncle, Mom, Dad, Brother, or Sister who
is a pilot – do it.  If they offer you the flight controls –take them - then you
can brag to your friends that you “flew” an airplane.

In our area we have a new program called Soaring Eagles Outreach, Inc. that
several times a year offers aviation related events and a flight for each
participant.  This is at the middle school level and is open by application and
recommendation to any interested student.  Also, our airport has “Gillespie
Field Young Eagles” where young boys and girls can fly for very low cost and
instructors volunteer their time to instruct.

I started flying more than 30 years ago and it has been a huge part of my
life.  At first there were some interruptions to my flying but since 1982 it has
been a constant hobby and then - since 1993 - my career.  I would
recommend this life for any young woman.  A career in aviation can be
extremely rewarding.  You get to meet great people who are interested in
what you do.  You can have a career in instructing – as I do – and be
rewarded each time one of your students reaches a milestone.  Several of
my former students now fly for the major airlines, are in the military breaking
the sound barrier or involved in Missionary Aviation and it makes me very
proud to see their success.  I would not trade my career choice for anything.  
If I had it to do over, I would start flying as soon as I could reach the
controls.  So, young ladies, reach for the stars and learn to fly.
Jean recently
renewed her Master
CFI accreditation.
Read Press Release.
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Email Jean!
Your name:
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I just volunteered to be
a presenter at a local
airport for a Girl Scout
Camp where the girls
earned their Aviation
Badges (I am standing
behind the left prop
This is a picture
taken after a student
graduated with his
rating in a baron.
Jean in the cockpit of a
vintage 1956 Cessna 182