Whether on the ground or in the air, John Anderson says his students had better be paying attention to what happened in San Francisco.
"It's a very tragic teaching tool, but a teaching tool none the less,” said Anderson, the Flight Department Director at Hap’s Air Service in Ames.
Anderson and fellow instructors currently work with about a dozen aspiring pilots.
Some students want to fly small, single engine planes. Others want to fly big commercial jets like the Boeing 777 that went down Saturday.
"Some of our more apt students are going to ask questions when it comes to San Francisco,” Anderson told Channel 13 News.
Anderson and Tracey Klauer, a fellow instructor, say the crash reinforces what students have learned since day one.
"It shows them you need to fly by your air speeds and you're making small adjustments to power or pitch to correct what is wrong,” said Klauer.
They also say a pilot should never get too comfortable in case something does go wrong.
"We need to make sure we're paying attention every single minute and not let ourselves get behind an airplane. We call it getting behind an airplane because things can happen in a hurry and it snowballs into something tragic,” said Anderson.