Summer Interning at the Airport

By Gabriel R. 
High School Student in Fullerton, CA

Working with FunOutside this summer has been one of the best decisions I have made so far.
Currently, I am completing a 150-hour internship under the mentorship of Garrett, and so far it
has been an incredible learning experience. From the moment I emailed him he was very
enthusiastic about allowing me to intern there. From the first response, I could tell he was
excited to have me as an intern, even though I had little experience with airplanes. Over the first
couple of weeks, I became very familiar with the FunOutside fleet and I also learned quite a bit
about airplanes. Initially, I learned a lot about maintaining the airplanes, such as changing oil,
replacing radios, and even washing planes. Throughout my internship, I have learned more
about different plane models and what it’s like to repair and maintain airplanes. Another big part
about working at an airplane is also isn’t directly involved with the airplanes themselves, so a lot
of what I learned was also about airport procedures and how an airport functions. One day we
were allowed to visit the tower at the Fullerton airport and that really gave me a new perspective
of flying that I hadn’t thought of before. Although I have learned a lot about airplanes, I believe I
have learned just as much about other factors related and unrelated to working in aviation. On
one of my very first days working for Garrett, I was tasked with replacing a fuel pump in his
Volkswagen Beetle. It seemed like a daunting task at first, but after he explained it to me it
seemed very simple. In many ways, everyone at FunOutside makes every part of flying (or in
my case fixing a fuel pump) simple and easy to digest. Another incredible part of my internship
was being allowed to fly with my fellow interns and an instructor. I remember my very first flight
was incredible, and there is something about looking out the window during takeoff and seeing
the ground fall beneath you that you can’t experience to the fullest on a commercial plane. I was
even given the chance to fly myself, even with no prior experience aside from a short ground
lesson. The instructor who flew with us, Lucas was very helpful and let me take control of the
aircraft for most of my leg of the flight. Although it was pretty nerve-racking the first time around,
I quickly got comfortable and I was finally able to experience the fun of flying, even though I was
still very nervous. A couple of weeks later I had the pleasure of flying to Catalina, and with a
little experience under my belt flying really became magical. Especially over the ocean, every
second of flying was memorable to me and easily the best part of my internship. Overall, the
company was a pleasure to work with, and Garrett and his team did just as much for me (if not
more) than I did for them. Everyone working there is very passionate about aviation, and the
atmosphere is very friendly to beginners or people coming to test the waters of flying. Would
highly recommend lessons here or working here as an instructor.