From Cabin to Cockpit – My Adventures in Flight Training #6

I AM OFFICIALLY A PRIVATE PILOT!!!!  After days and hours of studying, I earned my private pilot license on August 15th!

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I was extremely busy between my solo flight and my private pilot check ride.  After completing my solo flight, I went on to complete solo cross country flights.  I flew from DuPage, IL to Janesville, WI to Whiteside, IL and then back to DuPage.  I flew this route two times for my cross country solos.  Because the DuPage airport is located so close to O’Hare, I was flying underneath the jets that were going in to land at ORD.  The solo cross country flights were a blast, and I even was able to hear ExpressJet on the radio frequencies!  Once I completed these flights, I then moved onto my check ride preparations.  I worked on flying fundamentals such as steep turns, slow flight, stalls, emergency procedures, There were quite a few days I would arrive at the training center early in the morning and stay as late as ten o’clock at night to make sure I knew everything there was to know about the airplane’s systems, the types of airspace, weather, and anything else I could have been asked on my test.

 

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To say I was nervous for my check ride was a huge understatement.  My check ride was completed in Gary, Indiana.  I arrived to DuPage early in the morning to prepare a few last minute things such as getting the weather for my flight, and asking other students many last minute questions before CFI Paul Zapotoczny and I flew out for my check ride to Gary.  Once we arrived, we met my examiner (DPE) and began with the oral portion of the exam.  I thought I was prepared, but I did not realize just how much information I knew!  It was such a great feeling to know I was so well prepared for this big day. After passing the oral, I then went for the flying portion of the exam, and completed a cross country flight, stalls, steep turns, emergency procedures, and then finished with a few landings at Gary.  It was probably by far the most nervous I have ever been flying, and my legs would not stop shaking the entire flight, but I passed, and did very well!  The flight back to DuPage was much more relaxing and enjoyable as I was not nearly as nervous and much more excited!  The great day ended with a big celebration with my family.  It will be a day I remember forever!

Since earning my pilot’s license, I have been checked out to rent a plane.  My mother was the first person other than an instructor to fly with me!  I took my mom flying to Rochelle, IL for her birthday, where we had dinner and watched skydivers for the evening.  It was a lot of fun to show my mom just how much I have learned in such a short amount of time!  I can not wait to be able to take the rest of my family flying in the near future!

 

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I still can not believe how quickly I am completing the ATP program.  I earned my private pilot’s license in two months and about a week!  I have a lot more great news to share with all of you in my upcoming blogs.  Thank you again to everyone that has been following along, and especially my family and instructors at ATP for all of your support!

My training does not stop at my private, it is now time to learn how to fly in the clouds!!

From Cabin to Cockpit – My Adventures in Flight Training #5

Eight weeks and fifty three flight hours later, I DID IT!!! I completed my first solo flight! I am so excited to share my first solo experience with all of you!

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I completed my solo evaluation flight Monday, and was able to fly my first solo flight the following day.  I woke up around three in the morning for my first solo.  The winds had to be perfect; no more than ten knots of wind and no more than a five knot crosswind.

Before sending me off, my instructor Maks Surowka, and I performed three take offs and landings in the traffic pattern to make sure I was ready.  I then dropped him off, and went on my way as a student pilot first solo flight in the traffic pattern!  I do not think I have ever had more emotions going through my mind until I was lined up on the runway by myself.  I was ready to go, excited, nervous, and knew there was no going back once I took off!  Once airborne, I was not as nervous until it came time to land.  I knew I was ready for my solo flight, and was very confident in myself.  My landings were probably the best I have ever done, mainly because I knew my CFI would not be there to save them!

 

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I was soloing in the traffic pattern for about one hour.  Once I was finished,  returned back to our parking and we were all ready to celebrate!  Later in the day, Maks cut the back of my shirt. For those unfamiliar with the ritual, the instructor cuts the back of the pilot’s shirt into a rectangle and the pilot writes their solo dates and plane number on the back.  It means you’re “free” from your instructor and on your own!  It was a very memorable day, and I am extremely proud of myself!

 

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My week did not end there, I finished my required four hours of solo flights in the traffic pattern, and completed another cross country flight.  I now am preparing for my two solo cross country flights which I am hoping to finish in the next week.  My private pilot check ride is also quickly approaching, so I have been very busy studying and having a lot of ground school to prepare me for the big day! I am hoping to be a private pilot by mid August!

Once again, thank you to everyone for all of your positive feedback and support! I am continuing to work hard, and am rapidly making my way through my ATP program.  I am hoping my next blog entry will include my first solo cross country flight!

Stay tuned for my next adventures!!

AP3 Summer Camp Recap

 

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The ExpressJet Recruiting Team hosted eleven flight students enrolled in our AP3 program for our August AP3 Camp this week in Atlanta. The camp provides select students in our AP3 program the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at a live airline operation. Over the course of three days they learn about professionalism and career planning, pilot training and, in some cases, even complete an interview for a First Officer position.

The event kicked off Monday, July 31 with a welcome celebration (which included doughnuts!) at our A-Tech facility near Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Students were then able to meet with our Crew Resource Management teams and learned all about emergency procedures training in our CRJ cockpit trainer. A tour of the maintenance, dispatch, and operational support facilities followed, which gave students a firsthand look at the 24/7/365 operation and all that it takes to launch an airplane. After a catered lunch students dove into learning more about career pilot lifestyle, such as seniority-based career progression and met with dispatchers and crew scheduling. The evening wrapped up with another critical pilot skill – golfing! The group ventured out on the town to Top Golf in Midtown Atlanta for dinner, arcade games and a friendly golf competition.

After an early breakfast at the A-Tech, the second day of adventures began with a tour of the ATL crew room facilities in Concourse C of the airport where students got to check out the Chief Pilot and Chief Flight Attendant offices and even flight crew rest areas. Captain Darrin Greubel, ExpressJet Director of Flight Operations, spoke to our AP3 students about the state of the regional industry, some career planning considerations and all about the life of a pilot ExpressJet.

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Later that day, the students were able to fly a full motion CRJ simulator with an instructor pilot from our training department. As all the students rotated in and out of the simulator, those who met our qualifications for the AP3 early interview process were given the opportunity to complete their AP3 testing onsite. We’re very excited to announce seven of the Camp attendees were successful and went home with a conditional job offer here at ExpressJet. Once they finish school and gain some flight experience, they’ll be on their way to the front end of one of our jets! Celebrations followed at Atlanta’s new SunTrust Park for an Atlanta Braves baseball game.

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On the third and final day, the group spent the morning touring the Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) air traffic control facility, located south of the airport in Peachtree City. They got an in-depth look at one of the busiest radar approach control facilities in the country. In addition to funneling all air traffic in and out of ATL, the Atlanta TRACON also covers the numerous satellite airports in the entire metro Atlanta area.

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After a farewell lunch with recruiters, the students headed home with new memories, knowledge, and connections that we hope they will carry with them throughout their flying careers.

AP3 Summer Camp Recap

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Our Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) Camp has officially concluded today! The inaugural camp was developed as an effort to continue to educate, engage and empower future aviators across the country during the summer months when school is out of session. This aviation summer camp was tailored to students within our AP3 program that were senior level students or certified flight instructors.

Students applied by submitting an application, resume and letter of reference, and were chosen for a spot in the all-expenses-paid, three-day camp. AP3 Camp provided an opportunity for student pilots to explore, grow, develop new skills and form lasting relationships in a friendly, career-focused environment.

We hosted multiple sessions in both our Atlanta and Houston facilities in June, July and August. In total we had 42 students join us from 21 flight schools and universities across the country. Students attended from the following schools:

  • Aerosim Flight Academy
  • Auburn University
  • Aviator College
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Central Washington University
  • Delaware State University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Falcon Aviation Academy
  • Henderson State University
  • Jacksonville University
  • Kansas State University , Salina
  • Kent State University
  • Liberty University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Utah Valley University
  • University of Dubuque
  • University of North Dakota
  • Western Michigan University

Campers participated in a number of fun and nurturing activities. Here are a few of the camp activities they got to participate in:

  • Behind-the-scenes tour of ExpressJet’s facilities including our airport crew lounge, Flight Ops training center, maintenance hangar and Operation Support Center (Atlanta)
  • Tour of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Attend Delta Flight Museum (Atlanta) and 1940 Air Terminal Museum (Houston)
  • Meet with ExpressJet leadership
  • Sessions in our flight simulators
  • Pilot shadow experience
  • Professional development opportunities (headshots, mock interviews, resume critiques)
  • Aviation Think Tank (campers present ideas to solve industry concerns)
  • Bonding activities including Keemah Boardwalk, Painted Pin and Top Golf
  • First officer interviews for eligible candidates

Check out some of the amazing moments from the camp below.

AP3 Camp 7 AP3 Camp 6 AP3 Camp 5 AP3 Camp 4 AP3 Camp 3 AP3 Camp 2 AP3 Camp 1 AP3 Camp 8

 

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ExpressJet offers CJOs $1,000 referral bonus

 

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We are excited to announce that we are now offering our $1,000 post-tax pilot referral bonus to AP3 and PSP students! All students enrolled in our Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) or our new Preferred School Program (PSP) who have completed testing and earned a conditional job offer (CJO) are eligible.

Here’s how it works:

  • You (a CJO) recommend ExpressJet to a pilot
  • That pilot lists you as their referrer in their interview and first day at ExpressJet
  • Once the referred pilot successfully completes training, $1,000 is put into a “bank” under your name
  • When you (the CJO) complete training at ExpressJet, you will receive all banked referral bonuses

There is no limit to the number of referrals a student can make, and all referral bonuses are worth $1,000 each with no additional tax taken out. That means that if you recommend 10 pilots who all successfully complete ExpressJet’s training, you’ll receive a check for $10,000 once you’re here! That’s it. There’s no catch!

What is a CJO?
A CJO is an AP3 or PSP student who has completed testing and has been given a conditional job offer (CJO) for a first officer position at ExpressJet. A CJO is an opportunity, not a commitment, to work for ExpressJet upon reaching ATP required hours (minus those you’ll earn in training!).

How can I get a CJO?
Students must be enrolled in AP3 or PSP at a partner school and have their instrument rating to complete AP3/PSP testing (our early interview). Upon successful completion of the testing, you’ll be offered a guaranteed position as a first officer at ExpressJet pending completion of all other requirements (including earning your hours, serving as a CFI and maintaining a clean record). To see if your school has an AP3/PSP partnership, visit expressjet.com/ap3 and expressjet.com/psp. Contact Captain Joey Cook (joey.cook@expressjet.com) with questions.

What do I have to do to recommend a pilot?
If you have a friend, family member, instructor or other pilot you’re close with and you recommend ExpressJet to them, we want to thank you with a $1,000 bonus. Once you’ve told that pilot about ExpressJet and they apply and interview, ask them to share your name at the interview as the referrer. The applicant will also have to share your name as the referrer during new hire orientation – their first day at ExpressJet.

When do I get the bonus?
All referral bonuses you earn will be put into a bank with your name for when you start at ExpressJet. Once you successfully complete training, you’ll be issued a check for every referral bonus you’ve earned. There is no limit on the number of referral bonuses you can earn! Refer 10 pilots, get $10,000.

Can I refer myself?
While we appreciate your ingenuity in trying to earn extra cash, no, you cannot refer yourself.

Can the person I refer then refer me?
Yep! That is one we do allow. If you refer John Doe while you’re still in school, you’ll earn a $1,000 bonus when you start for that referral. When you start at ExpressJet, John Doe can refer you and earn the bonus for himself!

What if I refer someone but don’t come to fly for ExpressJet?
If you choose not to fly for ExpressJet or you do not successfully complete training, you will forfeit any accumulated referral bonuses.

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