I’ve dedicated the majority of my life to flying largely because of the encouragement and mentorship of Dave Coffman. He was my first instructor in jet aircraft, and a primary factor for my success and career progression as a pilot. When I lost confidence in my flying skills, he reassured me. When I became overconfident, he challenged me, and when he felt I was right on track, he quietly let me proceed. Bottom line, Dave knew where I was in the training process and what was needed to insure my success long before I knew, and he always guided me in the direction of success.
Dave encouraged me to push myself to be the best pilot I could be both in the cockpit and on the ground. His reassuring demeanor, exceptional patience, and sense of humor were always welcomed when it seemed the tasks in the cockpit were on the verge of overwhelming me, and his after action instruction was always concise and specific. Safety was always paramount in his instruction process. We prebriefed safety before flight and we practiced safety in the aircraft, there was never a doubt when we were in the air.
Over the 6 months that I flew with Dave, we developed not only an excellent student/instructor relationship, but also a friendship that has lasted over 20 years. I’m very proud to say that Dave Coffman taught me to be a pilot, not just the hand-eye skills needed to successfully take off, travel from Point A to Point B, and safely land, but also the mental and emotional skills needed to be a successful aircraft commander.
I know of no one that I would recommend more highly as an aircraft instructor and mentor pilot than Dave Coffman. Dave knows his aircraft down to the last nut and bolt, and his knowledge of aviation rules and regulations is as thorough as anyone I’ve ever known. Dave’s character is beyond reproach, he is the man that takes the road of honesty and integrity, no matter how difficult the path. If you’re looking for a pilot in whose hands you can trust your life, you’ve found him in Dave Coffman.
D.M. Colorado Springs, CO