Gordon Alvord

Gordon Alvord



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Gordon Alvord Bio

Like most kids, I wanted to be a pilot the first time I heard the roar of an airplane overhead, defying gravity as if by magic.

My first flight was a birthday gift from my grandfather in an Aeronca Champ. After that flight, it was clear my future belonged in the sky.

In 1999, I graduated from the University of North Dakota with a BS in Aeronautics. With the ink still wet on my CFII, I began teaching at a small airport in Puget Sound, while also developing the Emergency Response program for a major airline. Next, I moved to St. Louis, where I worked my way through the ranks to become Chief Instructor of a flight school with 30 aircraft and a dozen instructors.

Commercial aviation brought me back to Puget Sound in 2001, flying for a regional airline. I flew turbo-prop aircraft around the Pacific Northwest, becoming an airline captain in 2007. In 2008, I began working with a major airline, flying jets from the Arctic Circle to the Hawaiian Islands, and everywhere in between.

In 2009, my passion for teaching led to the creation of Rainier Flight Service. The future of general aviation depends on the next generation of pilots that are learning and becoming involved in the aviation community. Here at Rainier Flight Service, I hope to provide an opportunity for people to learn in a safe, affordable and fun environment.

Certificates and Ratings

Airline Transport Pilot: Airplane Multi Engine Land
Commercial: Airplane Single Engine Land, Single Engine Sea
Flight Instructor (Gold Seal): Single Engine, Multi Engine, Instrument
Ground Instructor: Advanced, Instrument


Testimonials for Gordon Alvord

I was fortunate to have Gordon as my private pilot CFI last summer (2011), and recieved my Pilot Certificate in September of 2011.  Gordon was great, introducing new tasks and situations to each training flight.  Even if we were just practicing touch and go's he would add elements to test my skill and knowledge as my training progressed.  I really enjoyed how relaxed he was in the cockpit during flights and detailed during pre and post-flight debriefs.  His teaching style fit very well with how I like to learn.  Any questions I had were answered in a down to earth way that was easy to understand and most times he would apply the answer to a situation where that knowledge would be important.

I had a great time learning to fly with Gordon and would recommend him highly to anyone looking to get their certificate or taking that next step to IFR or beyond. 

After researching lots of possible training options, I chose Rainier Flight Service as a clear cut above the rest for many reasons. First, the quality of the instructors. I felt very safe knowing I was flying with ATP rated pilots, who were able to teach me not just the numbers and facts, but the ideas and concepts behind them. They were very flexible, and accommodated my schedule and needs. We were able to work around my busy school schedule (as a 17 year old), and I had my license after 6 months with RFS.

The instructors have created a curriculum that is practical, flexible, informative, and very enjoyable. RFS also has excellent aircraft. I flew the C152 during the later part of my training, and on my solo cross-countries. The VFR GPS and well-maintained aircraft gave me peace of mind and made getting my license much more enjoyable.

The rental prices for RFS are very reasonable, and correspond to the high quality of maintenance and upkeep in the aircraft. Overall, I would recommend RFS to anybody as their flight training provider.

I received instruction from Rainier Flight Service to get my Private Pilot license.  I was already excited about flying but Gordon made it even more so. Despite having a busy schedule, Gordon was very accommodating to my needs. He was patient and supportive when I made mistakes, and helpful in getting me to understand how to improve.

Gordon does not teach to the FAA test just so I can pass, he emphasizes concepts that help me be a safe pilot. I would recommend Rainier Flight Service to anyone who is looking to learn how to fly, and have a good time in the process.

I have been around aviation my whole life. In pursuit of my Initial CFI rating I didn’t want to just go to a “school” and get the standard run through. I was looking for something that would be better tailored to what I needed to get the CFI rating done right. I found that with Gordon Alvord. The professionalism and depth of knowledge was incredible. He was able to get me ready for probably one of the toughest check rides I will ever have to take and in a very reasonable amount of time. I had a confidence going into that Initial CFI check ride that I had the knowledge and training I needed to make it a success.

With a current average failure rate for the Initial CFI rating, here in the Seattle area of 80 – 90% failure on the first attempt, we got it done the first try. That says a lot for the Instructor signing you off. I would absolutely recommend the guys at Rainer Flight Service for any level of flight training.

Gordon and Brad gave me a practice panel interview once I was called by Alaska Airlines. As a military pilot I had no prior experience with this type of interview process.

They did a great job of reviewing strategies for best answering the HR type questions that were the emphasis of my interview. As Alaska Airlines pilots themselves, they had very relevant and up to date questions and process information.

The confidence I gained from their preparation helped me relax and be successful at landing my dream job as an Alaska Airlines First Officer.

Rainier Flight Service enabled me to achieve one my major life goals of becoming a licensed private pilot in 2010.

After researching many options in the Seattle area and visiting a number of facilities, I knew immediately upon meeting Gordon, that RFS was the right choice for me. Their friendly welcome, professional experience, personal treatment, scheduling flexibility and training style make a winning combination for safe and fun flying.

After my introductory flight, it was time to sit down and make a plan. Luckily, their extensive background in aviation training and professional piloting made this part easy. RFS provided me with a clear curriculum, multiple aircraft and a growing team of CFIs to schedule time with. In addition, I was able to attend a well-structured ground school covering the fundamentals of flight to kick it all off.

Gordon and his team's focus is to provide a safe environment to learn in. This was instilled throughout all phases of my flight training and can be best summarized as risk assessment and management. I appreciate their level of detail as well as their confidence in me as a student pilot. It's also a plus to enjoy spending time with my instructors. Each brought to me their unique teaching style I was able to build my skills upon.

I highly recommend Rainier Flight Service for anyone interested in experiencing the thrill of flight at any level. I'm excited to continue my training with the team and look forward to developing new skills as well as honing those I’ve gained with RFS.

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