San Diego Flight Training International

why choose sdfti?

SDFTI Graduates

SDFTI Graduates

These people, and many others before them, came to SDFTI with the dream of flying professionally ... you can be next!


Scott McLaughlin





Scott McLaughlin Hired


Horizon Air

Date Hired:

December 2006

Hours Logged at Interview:


1,000, 100 multiengine


May 1981

Entered Academy:

December 2004

Began Instructing:

January 2006

Scott has two professional passions; playing baseball

and flying heavy iron.  He went to the University of Hawaii on a full scholarship thanks to his baseball skills.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in May 2004.  After weighing his options he selected professional flight training and joined the newly named Airline Direct® Academy center at SDFTI as our first student under that banner. 

“Learning how to fly was fun,” said Scott.  Like almost all pilots he found some areas more challenging than others and some things that took a special effort to master.  “For me, the 'wall' was my CFI course.  There was something about typing out all those lesson plans and then presenting them that was my special challenge.” 

Scott made it through his CFI and then quickly went on to earned a CFII and MEI.  This is when Scott found his new passion.  “I loved instructing here most.  My students were often older than me but that didn’t matter.  It was great to watch their progress!”


Horizon Air Q400 Turbo Prop

He is now looking forward to promoting through the ranks at Horizon Air to First Officer, where the education process continues, and then on, perhaps, to Chief Pilot.  “I’m in this for the long haul and will take it to the limit, or until the FAA is worried that I might break a hip.”

“I look forward to earning enough to retire comfortably in Hawaii and being able to fly some jets now and then!”

For now Scott will be assigned to flying the Bombardier DASH8 Q400 Turbo Prop* for Horizon Air out of SEATAC and covering routes throughout the Northwest including Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Canada, and occasionally down to LAX in California. 


*Bombardier Q400 (DH4)

Passenger Capacity:

74 Coach


107 ft, 9 in (32.9 m)


93 ft, 3 in (28.4 m)

Range: 1,610 miles (2,591 km)
Typical Cruise Speed: 414 mph (667 km/h)
Max. Cruising Altitude: 25,000 ft. (7,620 m)



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