All posts tagged 'pilot' - Page 3

New FAA Copilot Rule is Now in Effect

David W. Thornton

A new Federal Aviation Administrationrule that requires copilots on U.S. airlines to have additional training and flight experience is now in effect. The final rule, required by the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, was published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2013.

Previously, first officers on scheduled airline flights were only required to hold a commercial pilot license. The commercial license requires a total of 250 hours flight time. Under the new rule, airline first officers are required to hold an airline transport pilot license. The ATP requires 1,500 hours of flight time. Pilots must be at least 23 years old to earn an ATP.

For more information on this rule, see David Thornton’s article here

Citation X Captain Pilots For World-Renowned Fractional Operator

   On warm and sunny days here in Louisville, Kentucky, I have made a habit of going out to the field that lies due south of my father’s house. There in the field I feel at home; I lie down in the cool, soft grass, look up at the endless sky as I ponder my life. High above this planet where the vapor turns to gas, there is no such thing as hurt, there is no such thing as pain; there is no war and there is no evil. Up there, life is peaceful, beautiful and every shade of blue. It fascinates me to imagine how simple life could be; all we have to do is take the time to stop and see the world around us. Life has a funny way of twisting and turning in every direction except the one we are expecting; and once we lose our way, we are apt to miss out on something really great. There are always going to be reasons why we never did those things we wanted most, but that is so silly. Live your life, do everything you ever dreamed of doing and don’t look back.

   This time, my story is about a boy who knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a pilot. So much so that he would lie awake at night, letting his imagination carry him away as he slipped into fantasies of flight. The year was 1970, young Jeffrey Newcomb was twelve years of age and constantly on the lookout for anything aviation. Jeff would spend days with his nose in a flying magazine, any that he could find. Specifically, Jeff he recalls reading Air Progress, Private Pilot, Plane and Pilot and Flying. Jeff wasn’t quite sure why this dream had found him, be it spiritual or for the simplicity of freedom; but he supposed it didn’t matter anyway. What mattered was that he knew he was going to be a pilot someday. Unfortunately, bad news was lurking in the shadows for your young Jeff. One night over a family dinner, Jeffrey attempted to first express his passion for aviation to his parents. Needless to say, times were different then and aviation was less than safe according to Jeff’s mother and father. Jeff’s father had served time in the NAVY and although he had not piloted himself, he had a horrible fear of flight and refused to see his son put himself in such “danger.” On top of that, it has been said that the 70s and early 80s were NOT the best time to become a career pilot simply due to the large number of military pilots coming out of the Vietnam war. Ultimately, Jeff’s father had different ideas for his son and promptly began pushing him towards a career in business, sales and marketing.

   When the time came for Jeff to go away for college, he headed off to the University of New Hampshire in order to complete his undergrad degree. In 1979 Jeff graduated from UNH with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as his father had suggested. Jeff continued forward with in his education and almost immediately ventured off to Antioch New England Graduate School located in Keene, New Hampshire, where he received his master’s degree in counseling Psychology. Still unsure as to what profession he may finally end up pursuing, Jeff went off to George Mason University located in Fairfax, Virginia where he completed a second master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.

   In 1987, Jeff went to work part time with an old country medical doctor out of a private office. For the next five years the medical doctor and Jeff worked together helping each other, help others. Once a week, Jeff would take over this medical office in order to meet with his clients for their routine therapy sessions. Jeffery enjoyed helping people in any way that he could, yet, he began to notice a pattern in his work. Although Jeff met with many different types of patients over the years, he found that he primarily spoke with married couples in couple’s type therapy. Some rekindled their love while others ended harshly in divorce and misfortune. Although these relationships and occurrences all took vital importance in Jeff’s life, none affected him quite as much as the divorce of his own parents. In 1992 Jeff’s parents filed for a divorce and just like that Jeff’s life had changed. He no longer desired a career in psychology; Jeff was ready to do just exactly what his parents had always advised him not to do. Needless to say, in January of 1993, when Jeff was thirty-five years old he began taking flight lessons. Again, people in Jeff’s life discouraged him from aviation. They told him that he was too old, the lessons would cost too much money, he would never be able to make a career out of flying without military background, etc.

Jeff wasn’t listening.

   Luckily, Jeffrey had friends in the business. His old pal Lee and colleague Greg owned and ran a small FBO named Sky Bright out of Laconia, New Hampshire. There in Laconia, Jeffrey Newcomb learned to fly despite every negative thing anyone had ever told him. It took Jeff roughly one year to complete all necessary pilot training and in 1993, he became certified to instruct and began teaching student pilots at Sky Bright. At this point in Jeffrey’s career he needed to begin building his time in multi-engine aircraft so that he could begin a new job as a charter pilot and work his way up in business. Some twenty thousand dollars later, Jeff was successfully checked out to fly the Beechcraft Baron as well as the Cessna 310 and in no time at all he was began his new career as a charter pilot flying the Baron for Sky Bright.

   In the spring of 1995, Jeff jumped on board a new flying opportunity and was off to Orlando, Florida in order to pursue an offer to fly for Comair Airlines. At Comair, Jeffrey flew as first officer for several years before he was transitioned north to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became the captain on the Brasilia for one year. During these five years Jeff also flew the Canadair Regional Jet as well as the Metroliner. Newcomb absolutely loved this job and intended to stay…until a massive strike broke out in 2001. Just in the nick of time one of the largest international, fractional operator/time shares opened their door in search of a captain to fly their Cessna Citation X aircraft. Jeffrey Newcomb calls it “a spiritual thing” that he was lucky enough to be granted with such an incredible opportunity. In no time at all the cards played out and he was dealt a fantastic hand. Suddenly Jeffrey was on board and working his dream career with only 4500 hours of flight time.

   Today, twelve years later, Jeffrey has 4600+ hours in the Citation X aircraft, he has maintained his career with the same time share company and he says he could not be more thrilled! Jeffery will tell anyone he meets that he absolutely loves serving people; he enjoys making things happen and in turn, seeing people smile. “Airline flying was easy compared to private! However, flying corporate and fractional are so much more rewarding because you (as their pilot)get the opportunity to actually work one on one with your guests” Jeffrey states. “The greatest satisfaction is providing service directly to the people that you fly.” Also, Jeff thoroughly enjoys the variety of his trips. During an average week, Jeff typically flies to several different places. On any given day he may be flying a family to fabulous Bermuda for vacation, then turn around and spend the night in Aspen, Colorado that very same evening. With his current company, Jeff has also become very accustom to transcontinental flights where he may begin a trip in Teterboro, New Jersey, have dinner off the coast of southern California and be prepared for takeoff to Lakeland, Florida first thing the very next morning!

   The moral of this story is to not ever give up trying, on the things you want most out of life. Thirteen year old Jeffrey Newcomb sat at his family’s dinner table and thought very sincerely that all was lost. He thought his dreams of one day becoming a pilot were no more and he certainly would be sentenced to live a life on the ground. I’m here today folks, to tell you the good news of Jeff’s very real success story. On this very day, Jeff is a pilot working for a very successful company and living a very successful life. Against all odds, Jeffrey Newcomb did it. Currently, Jeff is living back home in small town New Hampshire with his adoring wife, Adriana and any spare time that he finds, he designates to students pilots. Jeff is excited to be back and instructing at Sky Bight, where he taught twenty years ago. Flying still excites Jeff to the nth degree. He feels excited to push the starter button on the engine of his Citation X and he still gets butterflies as he prepares for takeoff. Jeff enjoys watching the sun rise above the clouds and he states that he has the best office in the whole world; seeing the stars at night and ground below thrills him now more than ever and he wouldn’t trade for a thing.

Jim and Matt

Note from the Author: Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my article! I cannot even begin to describe how much I’ve learned in just a few short months since I started with this series. You are all such inspiring aviators and pilots, so thanks for reaching out to me with your comments and emails. I hope you enjoyed this article, and keep up the awesome thoughts, comments and on-blog conversations! -As always, please feel free to message me directly with your thoughts at - [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!

So You Think You Want To Be A Pilot: The International Corporate Pilot

    On the thirtieth day of March, in 1984, a Palestinian leader comfortably traveled from Tunis, Tunisia on to Conakry, Guinea in a private Gulfstream jet. The Palestinian leader plans to attend a funeral ceremony to pay respects to the recently deceased Guinean president, Ahmed Sekou Toure. The Gulfstream jet made its way from Tunis all the way to the Conakry Airport and was near final approach to land before ever encountering any error.

    Somewhere around five thousand feet on the decent, the captain of the Gulfstream aircraft became aware of an immensely overflowing pattern. At that point, the Gulfstream pilot had no choice but to hold in the pattern, this lasted for nearly an hour. Suddenly, the president of Nigeria entered the pattern from some thirty-five hundred feet in a 707 aircraft and he was not stopping. “Nigeria is landing, NOW” the 707 calls out! At this point, the air traffic control tower lost all control of the small runway and in mere moments the airport became amidst in utter chaos. The Pilot of the Gulfstream jet was rapidly running out of options and fuel, as he made an abrupt but necessary executive decision. The Gulfstream simply could not wade through this mess any longer; they would have to make an attempt to land and refuel elsewhere. The nearest FBO was located approximately 90 miles Southeast of Conakry, in a place called Freetown, located in Sierra Leone. The Gulfstream pilot immediately diverted his aircraft to Freetown, and upon arrival he was given the approval to land. On final approach however, his passengers demanded that he hold back and change course. “We cannot land here” said one of the Palestinian guards. His voice is stern and he was not budging, the pilot and his copilot, unsure as why they were unable to land in this town, had to come up with another plan. They MUST land somewhere or they were sure to deplete of fuel completely. The Gulfstream jet has no choice but to around, backtracking the 90 miles northwest to the Conakry airport.

    Upon returning back to the Conakry airport the pilots were less than enthused to learn that the FBO had completely sold out of fuel and the FBO would remain out of service until sometime around midnight. At this point, the Gulfstream crew had been on duty for thirty hours, they were completely exhausted and they had yet another flight to make prior to their shift ending. Once The Gulfstream was able to be refueled and serviced the crew made their way to Casablanca where the airplane was finally shut down and the crew was able to rest. “Think that sounds like fun? Because I certainly do! “

     As a small child, we all have dreams. Children are adventurous and fascinated by the world, developing new questions and ideas every single day. Unfortunately, the things we dream of most as children rarely last the entirety of our lives. The things you wanted most are likely to change with age and wisdom and what you thought you wanted to become when you were grown had a tendency to change. This however, was not the case for the strong pilot in charge of the Palestinian leader’s Gulfstream jet. The pilot in command of that particular ship was a man by the name of Gregory Hundrup. As a young boy, Greg would look up into the sky whenever he would dream of his future. As a child his very favorite television show was “Sky King” and as far back as Greg can remember he says that he knew one thing for certain and that was his love for airplanes; they fascinated him. He knew, even as a child that he was willing to do whatever it would take to become a pilot; and that is exactly what he did.

     Greg started flying while he was still in high school. Working a part time job in a machine shop, he saved every penny he made and spent them all on flying lessons. In less than one year Greg was able to successfully pass his check ride and in 1967 Greg received his private pilot’s license. Once he graduated from high school in 1970, Greg joined the military, where he worked as an air traffic controller. In 1975, Greg completed his time as an active duty soldier and began working full time as a flight instructor in Dothan, Alabama. In 1977 Greg retired from instruction and took a job flying the co-pilot’s seat of a Learjet 25 for a private charter company.

     Some three years later, Greg stumbled across an advertisement inquiring for a Gulfstream pilot in Saudi Arabia, thinking it was surely a longshot, he applied anyway. “Go big or go home, right?” Greg applied and Greg got it! He was in the big leagues now, hired on as a first officer. Greg Moved to Saudi Arabia and flew the captain’s seat for ten years, then one day, Greg decided to make a career change. He then jumped ship and began flying in Southeast Asia for a family owned flight department where he flew for yet another ten years. Finally, in 2000, Greg went to work for a company known as Franklin Templeton Investments where his job was and still is to fly the company’s international fund manager around the world in search of investment opportunities. The company caters to four individual pilots specifically, and together they make up the fund manager’s personal flight crew, trading on and off shifts every twenty-one days. This means that Greg routinely flies a Gulfstream jet around the entire world for twenty-one days; then he is sent home via airline for another twenty-one days of rest.

    Imagine taking a day trip to Switzerland, then on to dinner in Paris, France; traveling throughout Europe in a week’s time, then on to the Far East for the following weekend. Greg’s life rapidly whips and turns him all the way around the globe; frequently taking trips through multiple countries in a single day. The countries that Greg sees on a daily basis are often places that an average person could never even dream of visiting. Interesting thought; although Europe fascinates me (personally) the most, Greg stated that his favorite part of the world is the Far East. He enjoys the friendly, warm and inviting people of Thailand; the seemingly spotless and safe, international city of Singapore; the lovely and tropical countryside of the Philippines; as well as the variety, shopping and Chinese cuisine in Hong Kong.

    Living this life sounds extravagant and surreal to me; upon asking Greg how he feels about his career, I received the perfect and most ideal answer imaginable. Greg loves his career. Throughout his endeavors, aviation has brought many great things into Greg’s life, including fantastic benefits, a rewarding salary, close friendships and even a loving wife. I asked Greg if he had a “least favorite” thing about his career as an international corporate jet pilot and his answers were “Africa, Russia and India.” (I found that comical.) It is my understanding that the air traffic controllers are less than easy to communicate English with in some of these places; specifically places where Portuguese is the primary language. Fortunately, at the end of the day, all is great on Greg’s end. He had absolutely no complaints regarding his career and that was stand-out fabulous for me to hear! C’mon, how many people do you know that are excited to get up and go to work each day?

    Greg’s twenty-one days in the air are of course followed by twenty-one days on the ground. When Greg is on what he refers to as his “holiday,” he resides at home with his adoring and ever so patient wife in small-town, East Washington State. This is also the place he calls home for his personal Cessna 210 aircraft that he flies recreationally with friends and family.

    Greg’s career is mind blowing to me. Just think, he has adventured completely around the world and then back again; says his company typically travels to an average seventy countries per year and will cruise the entire world in a matter of two-hundred days. We’re not finished yet though pilots, if you’ve got the story, I’ve got the skills. Just sent me an email to email to [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!

So You Think You Want To Be A Pilot: The Commercial Cargo Pilot

    Pi•lot
  • One who operates or is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight.
  • One who guides or directs a course of action for others.
  • Serving or leading as guide.
     Pilots are people too, right? They’re people who happen to venture high in the sky in search of adrenaline, speed and worldly travels. The strange part is, less than 0.1 percent of people in the world will actually take the necessary steps of action to learn to fly an aircraft; an even smaller percentage of people will become professional pilots.

    No matter how you see it, each pilot's journey is bound to begin in generally the same way, via a single piston engine aircraft. “We must walk before we can run.”

     For young Gary Katz, one flight was all it took and he was sold. Gary was young and certainly impressionable on the day of his very first flight; nonetheless, in the back seat of that dusty old Cessna aircraft, his life was changed for the better. It was because of Gary’s father that he initially became engaged in flight and it was by his father’s suggestion that he eventually enrolled into The Civil Air Patrol.
     With years came wisdom, and as Gary grew, so did his passion for flight. After college, Gary went to work for a small, locally owned airport outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. This is where he learned to fly. Once Gary completed his pilot training, he accepted a job as a flight instructor and continued logging hours and experience while he shared his newfound talent with young, ambitious pilots that came his way. A few years later Gary Katz took on a new type of piloting job where he flew cancelled checks in twin engine Cessna airplanes for a company that provided international express mail services. This was a rather enjoyable job indeed, however, the maintenance of the aircraft was subpar and that made him feel somewhat uneasy about taking long trips. Eventually Gary continued forward with his career and began flying for an airline headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Finally, in 1989 Gary hooked the fish that sank the boat and was hired to fly cargo for UPS out of Louisville, Kentucky. This time, Gary flies primarily domestic cargo in DC-8 aircraft that are all maintained superbly and very well kept. Also, due to the UPS scheduling system, Gary receives a fairly negotiable schedule that keeps him at home with his family as much as possible.
     The more I learned about the life of a commercial cargo pilot, the more excited I became. Clearly this would be a rather lofty goal, but as far as a “dream career” goes, I would venture to say the cargo pilot has a seemingly pleasurable day at work. Unfortunately, Gary is “on the road” quite frequently, and his working hours are set up quite differently than your typical 9-5 office position. Nonetheless, Gary says that he thoroughly enjoys his work; and from a student pilot’s perspective, that is very nice to hear. According to Gary, the most difficult part about his job working as a cargo pilot is the time that he must spend apart from his family, as well as the late night shifts that throw off the natural human circadian rhythm. “If that’s the most difficult thing about being a cargo pilot, then I’m in!”

     Also, of course there are certainly perks included in the life of a professional pilot. In Gary’s spare time he has taught his son to fly, passing the talent right down his family line. On weekends he takes trips with his friends and family via his personal Cessna 182. Gary has also successfully developed a volunteer organization known as The Kentuckiana Volunteer Aviators. I’m far from the end on my road to discovering the inside scoop on the life of a professional pilot; but this was a fantastic start and I am feeling more inspired than ever! I can’t wait to meet and speak with my next professional pilot. Do you have a good story? I would love to hear from you! Just send me a quick email to [email protected] and tell me all about it! 

So You Think You Want To Be A Pilot

     I first believed in myself when I discovered my plan. Childhood came and went, as did my youthful dreams of one day becoming a Veterinarian. My teenage years brought a whole new light to the subject and before I could turn around and blink three times I was out of the veterinarian stage and driving off to fill out applications to culinary schools. Needless to say, a few years behind the swinging kitchen doors of a TGI Friday’s were more than enough for me to come to the clear realization that my days of working as a chef were limited. During my first two years of college I was waitressing tables at a local restaurant, while and attending classes part time at a local community college roughly studying Nuclear Medicine. I noticed that I no longer had the same spark of certainty that I had once possessed and I longed to rekindle the same passion that I once had to become a veterinarian. Everything changed the moment I stepped into Ron Biddle’s Diamond DA 40 XL. Suddenly I realized that every negative thing that I had ever experienced in the career world had been leading me to that very moment. I spent a long time searching and never once felt right or certain about anything until that day I experienced Ron’s Diamond for the very first time.

     One day, my boss called me into the conference area for our routine meeting. This gathering was nothing out of the ordinary, but what struck me as dissimilar was his rather new interest in my thoughts for the future. He inquires on what I plan to do with my life by asking me what I want to be when I grow up. This question required absolutely no thought on my part at all as I lucidly exclaimed that I want to be a pilot. His reaction left me puzzled; I was under the impression that everyone knew this about me already. As calmly and collected as ever he looked at me and said, “No you don’t.” His tone was gruff like, completely sincere as if he knew my best intentions. Of course, being the stubborn and fussy woman that I am, I immediately wanted to dispute this opinion; but before I could internally prepare myself for battle he offered a truce. “So write about it” he stated. The pressure was on; he was challenging me!

     Okay pilots, here is what I intend to do - I intend to create a short series about the different types of careers that can evolve from a job as a pilot. Therefore I am asking for help from my readers. If you are a professional pilot of any sort, please contact me. I would love to learn about you! Just send in a quick email to [email protected] explaining what your career is and your name. My plan is to then choose several different types of pilots to interview and write about. Everyone has a great pilot story, we want to hear yours!

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