Most people know Dexter Holland as the lead singer of alternative rock band The Offspring (remember the song Pretty Fly for a White Guy?). Holland’s success in rock is matched in the air. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a CFII, and a jet type rating. If that weren’t enough, Holland is a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology and owner of the Gringo Bandito line of hot sauces.
Challenges…The first is paying for the training! Then it’s not that a jet is harder to fly, it’s that it’s faster. You have to be really quick in your response to situations. If you look down for 10 seconds in a Cessna you might go a quarter of a mile, but in a Citation you might go a couple of miles.
Ratings…I love flying and I want to know everything about it. It’s also a very serious business. Getting a CFI was about trying to be an expert in aviation.
Adventures…I did an around-the-world solo trip in about 10 days. I stopped in Magadan, Russia. It was minus 29 degrees. I was approached by Russian military. They had the full-on overcoat, rifles slung over their shoulders, Babushka caps, not speaking English. They want to see my papers. It was so cold they asked to sit in the airplane, and I can see their breath in the overhead lights of the cabin. And I realize I’m very alone. At this point I could disappear and no one would know.
Advice for students…Be consistent with your training, don’t do it in starts and stops. It’s fun, but realize flying’s an attitude you always have to have. Always keep your game face on.
- Rock or aviation groupies? I don’t think I’ve ever met any aviation groupies.
- Habanero or jalapeño? Habanero. It’s a little sweeter.
- Virus or bacteria? Viruses. My thesis is on retro viruses.
- Props or jets? I have a nostalgic love for props, but once you go jet it’s hard to go back.
- Zeppelin or the Ramones? The Ramones are the band that inspired me to start a band. They showed everyone you didn’t have to be an expert musician to start a band and it’s that kind of attitude that’s really helped me in life. It’s that kind of spirit that makes all these adventures in life so fun.