Pocatello, Idaho – Something to Smile About

Jodi Drake
Corporate Communications Specialist

Pocatello, Idaho is known as the U.S. Smile Capital thanks to a 1948 ordinance that made it illegal not to smile in Pocatello. While the law was a tongue-in-cheek comment on an exceptionally severe winter, it remains on the books, and the following are just some of the activities that are available in Pocatello that will help keep every visitor smiling!

Snow

Snowmobile trails put Pocatello on the maps. And while it may not be on the typical list of vacation ideas, snowmobiling is a fun, easy way to explore new country. The looming mountains and ice-frosted pine trees are perfect scenery for new or seasoned riders. Here’s a list of trail descriptions near Pocatello, including several trails that are less than 20 minutes from the city.

dance

Just a few miles north of Pocatello, the Fort Hall Indian Reservation provides a rich cultural experience. Native American culture is beautifully depicted here each August in the Shoshone-Bannock Festival. This year, the 52nd Annual festival will be held Aug. 6-9 at the Fort Hall Pow Wow Grounds. Typically, the festival draws more than 2,500 dancers who arrive from all over North America. The dancing. The drums. The crafted bead-work. The comradery. It’s a unique experience that is incredible to be a part of and to celebrate.

climb

Pocatello also hosts what it calls America’s oldest and most fun rock climbing competition, the Pocatello Pump. The event is coordinated by Idaho State University and raises money for scholarships to the university and for a national, non-profit rock climbing organization, Access Fund. This year, the event will be held Sept. 19-20 at the basalt crags of Ross Park’s Sunny Side and Shady Side. Besides the competition, visitors can enjoy spectacular climbing throughout the year thanks to basalt and limestone conglomerate climbs that are only five minutes from downtown.

Along with all of the great things to do within Pocatello itself, there are several nearby destinations that visitors will want to explore while in the area. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are just a short drive from Pocatello, and world-recognized ski resorts such as Sun Valley, Idaho and Jackson Hole, Wyoming are nearby, too.

There’s no time like the present to book a trip! Daily, Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, are available between Pocatello Regional Airport (PIH) and Salt Lake City (SLC) year-round. The best fares can be found at delta.com.

How I Became a SkyWest Pilot: Julie Hafen

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Julie Hafen – a CRJ first officer for SkyWest Airlines, discovered aviation as a teenager and has been hooked ever since. Check out how she got started as a pilot and what a typical day is like for her at SkyWest.IMG_1158

As a teenager, I always thought I would enjoy flying and traveling for my career, but it never occurred to me that I could actually be the pilot until I was 17 years old. I took an intro to aviation class at my local college and fell in love with aviation. Problem was, however, that I had never even set foot on an airplane, let alone flown one. So for my 18th birthday, my parents flew me to Texas, where my grandfather, who had his private pilot’s license, took me flying.

When I got home from that trip I immediately registered for the aviation degree at Utah Valley University and started my training in the fall of 2003. A few years after I started my schooling and flight training, I earned my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). I instructed for five years because I got hooked – hooked on the feeling of being able to help others earn their wings…giving others their dreams. For me, it was by far the best way to build time toward becoming a commercial pilot.

I decided to apply at SkyWest Airlines after attending the Women in Aviation conference in 2012. I was happy fight instructing, but after speaking to the numerous pilots at the SkyWest booth, I decided I wanted to take the next step and become a SkyWest pilot. There were many airlines I spoke to at this conference, but the pilots at SkyWest were the most friendly and easy to talk to, and it was clear that they enjoyed their careers. After months of studying I felt ready for an interview and submitted my application. IMG_2212.JPG

SkyWest interviewed me shortly after, and I was officially hired only days after my interview. Once hired, I had two weeks to get all my documents ready and to prepare for ground school. Training was a whirlwind of more learning than I even knew possible, but it was worth it. It took me a few months after training to feel completely comfortable as a first officer, but I knew I made the best decision by changing my career from a flight instructor to an airline pilot.

Here is a tiny glimpse of a day in my life at SkyWest:

I show up for work at least 45 minutes prior to our first departure and spend a few minutes meeting the crew; I have had the opportunity to fly with some pretty great captains and flight attendants at SkyWest. Together we look at any deferred items on the aircraft (inoperative items that are not required to be fixed immediately), the weather and any other pertinent information for the flight.

Once we head out to the aircraft we each have our duties that need to be completed before we depart. Typically the first officer is the one to do the walkaround/preflight inspection while the captain completes some checklist items.

After the passengers and baggage are on the plane, we complete a weight and balance (it’s not just something for general aviation), and figure out our speeds for takeoff and cruise. On the plus side, we don’t always have to do it by hand.

Before we start the engines for the first flight each day – we might fly one to six legs in a day – the captain and I decide who will fly which legs. Some captains like to alternate each leg, some like to always fly first… it doesn’t really matter, but know that you will generally be flying as much as the captain is – they don’t get to have all the fun. And whoever is flying will do a briefing before each flight including the current weather, expected taxi route, departure procedure, pertinent NOTAMs, etc.

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Julie with her all-female flight crew on the recently retired EMB120

If we are done with our day early enough, we will usually get together as a crew to do something fun. There are such great people at SkyWest, it is great being able to hang out outside of work and to get to know each other a bit better.

My quality of life at SkyWest has been so much better than it was as a flight instructor. As an instructor I worked 10-14 hour days for five or six days a week. It was rewarding work, but it was a lot of work. At SkyWest, I usually work four days a week and get paid for more hours than I did when I was teaching. I am also able to be home much more and spend time with the people that matter most to me. Quality of life is very important to me, which is one of the reasons I chose SkyWest over the other regional airlines out there.

Flying isn’t really work for me; it’s more like a hobby that I get paid for! Of course there are frustrating days that get interrupted with weather or maintenance delays, but for me those days seem few and far between. I am happy with the career I chose. I have been at SkyWest for almost three years, flying the EMB 120 Brasilia and now the CRJ, and have never regretted my decision to work for such a great company.

Six Cities for Unique Fourth of July Fun!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

The Fourth of July is here and those looking for something outside the Metropolis (or outside the normal) should think about heading to one of these six cities for the holiday. With fun traditions and a break from the bustle, here are some interesting options to celebrate the Fourth of July!

Alpena, MI

cardboard-boat-900pxAlpena is home to just over 10,000 people in northern Michigan, but that doesn’t stop them from having a great Fourth of July celebration! Some of the unique activities these Michiganders take part in each year include a sandcastle building contest, a rubber ducky race and a cardboard boat regatta. The town also boasts great waterfront fireworks.

Rock Springs, WY

http_www_visitpinedale_org_cache_made_images_events_369_mudd_volleyball_tournament_pinedale_wy__large_800_533_88auto_c1_hvtiwn_gqmyk2Rock Springs claims to have Wyoming’s largest firework display to end its festivities, but there are plenty of other events during the day that will make for an unforgettable celebration, including a 4-on-4 mud volleyball tournament. Plus “Wyoming’s Big Show” festival moves into town bringing a carnival and fair events that are the largest in Western Wyoming.

Redmond, OR

Redmond boasts a full-fledged traditional Fourth of July, from their “Baseball, Hot Dogs & Apple Pie” parade to the “Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration.” Events include pony rides, train rides, bouncy houses, archery, petting zoo, a water obstacle course and more! Redmond knows how to plan a holiday for old-timey fun for the whole family.

Elko, NV

581662_10151570661988246_1758120217_nFor something a little more off-beat this Fourth of July, check out Elko, Nevada’s annual Basque Festival. The event is held over the Fourth of July weekend and in correspondence with their Independence Day festivities. The town celebrates with Basque dancing, Basque sport exhibitions like weightlifting and wood chopping, and plenty of Basque food!

West Yellowstone, MT

p1110721In this town on the doorsteps of Yellowstone National Park, the Fourth of July is a Wild West Adventure. Throughout the weekend the town is hosting the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo, which provides entertainment throughout the day. They also have a Buffalo Chip Chuck, where participants have the chance to fling buffalo poop…competitively.

Eau Claire, WI 

Eau Claire brings folktale heroes and old fashion fun to their Fourth of July celebration. On the Fourth of July, visitors can attend “Paul Bunyan Camp” to step back in time. There are also “Old-Fashioned Family 4th” events throughout the town which includes train rides, football and baseball games, fireworks and more. Plus Eau Claire hosts the Chippewa Valley Air Show over the holiday!

SkyWest Team Welcomes Special Passengers

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest’s team in Arcata, California (ACV) recently welcomed a very special group of passengers onboard. Twelve children with autism or down syndrome had the chance to experience the miracle of flight, even though they never actually left the ground!

SkyWest ACV Team

The eager passengers arrived at the airport, checked in at the counter with their bags, went through security and then boarded a 50-seat CRJ200. Once on the plane, the VIPs (Very Important Passengers) listened to the flight attendant’s announcements before receiving a snack and drink. A few even got to sit in the flight deck and make announcements! The group then deplaned and headed to baggage claim to pick up their checked luggage.

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“I’m not sure who had more fun: us or the kids!” said Angeline Vandenplas, SkyWest’s ACV general manager. “We all had such a great time.”

SkyWest ACV VIPs

The effort of the Arcata team, along with Captain Katie Overdick, First Officer Marko Miliceric and Flight Attendant Elle Eguchi who spent an extra two hours at the airport to participate, is a great example of SkyWest’s commitment to give back to the community. And for these passengers, it makes for a fun experience that they’ll remember for a lifetime.

SkyWest Celebrates 43 Years!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

On this day, 43 years ago, SkyWest Airlines took off on its first scheduled flight – from St. George to Salt Lake City, Utah, with a stop in Cedar City on the way! Since that first flight, what was a small, local airline has grown into one of the largest regional airlines in the country.

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Six-seat Piper Seneca used by SkyWest

Then and Now (10)

Check out even more about SkyWest’s history at www.skywest.com.

SkyWestBlueTailTakeoff

So how exactly is a 43rd anniversary celebrated? According to several lists of modern anniversary gifts, the 43rd year should be celebrated with travel! So join in the celebration, and fly a SkyWest Airlines flight today.

 

Q&A with a SkyWest Crew Scheduler

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Coordinating the schedules of more than 5,000 crewmembers on a daily basis and helping to keep 1,800 flights on schedule are just a few of the responsibilities of people like Tawnya Howard, a SkyWest Airlines crew scheduler.

Check out what else she had to say about this unique job.

CrewSupport

SkyWest Crew Support Team

What is your favorite part about being a crew scheduler?

I like that this job is not the same thing every day; there is always a new challenge or a new situation to deal with, so it fully engages your mind in trying to get everything pieced together.

What is something most people wouldn’t know about crew scheduling?

It is a normal office job but it doesn’t have normal office hours, which makes it ideal for travelling or just having some great family time.

Why is crew scheduling such an important part of the SkyWest operation?

While flight attendants and pilots are often the face of our operation, Crew Support is the glue behind the scenes. It is our job to make sure that the aircraft has a captain and first officer as well as flight attendants; if we don’t have those crewmembers the flight can’t depart.

We also field the calls for crewmembers who can’t come to work due to being sick or missing their commuting flight, and then it is our responsibility to find someone to take their place.

Why do you enjoy working at SkyWest on the Crew Support team?

The people that I work with are amazing! We really have a good time together.

We also have a really great schedule working four, 10-hour shifts, so we always have three days off together every week. We can also swap and trade days (within department and company policy guidelines). If you do it right you can get a nice 12-day vacation or break, which works out perfectly if you are using the flight benefits!

What would you say to someone who is interested in working in crew scheduling?

If you like to be challenged at work, do puzzles, piece together schedules and flying, then this is for you. It is also a great job if you have never worked in the airline industry before because you learn about a lot of different departments, answer all sorts of questions, work closely with Flight Operations, InFlight, Dispatch, Training, and Payroll to name a few, and you really just have a chance to dip your fingers in a little bit of everything. It makes the day go fast and it’s very fun to learn everything.

What qualities would be good for someone who is interested in being a crew scheduler?

You need to be able to multi-task and be creative in the way you problem solve. Often we are trying to cover a flight when we don’t really have any reserves available for it. Due to this, creativity is key. You also need to be willing to ask questions, as well as be willing to continue to learn no matter how long you have been here.

Cedar City: Southern Utah’s Hidden Gem

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Cedar City is a surprisingly charming town hidden away in Southern Utah. As a vibrant college town, a gateway to multiple national parks, and home to a variety of entertaining festivals, Cedar City holds something for everyone.

Cedar Breaks

Uniquely nestled between some of the most incredible national parks Utah has to offer, Cedar City is a nature lover’s destination. Only 23 miles from town is Cedar Breaks National Monument, a place anciently called “Circle of Painted Cliffs.” This enormous natural amphitheater has cliffs that climb 2,000 feet and is filled with stone spires, arches and intricate canyons that exemplify red rock landscape. The area makes for a great day trip of sightseeing, photography, hiking, picnicking and camping among world-class views.

Also nearby is Kolob Canyon, a lesser known section of Zion National Park. Kolob – which gets its name from early Mormon settlers and means “residence closest to heaven” – is off the beaten trail of Zion’s main park section, but is just as spectacular as the the canyons of main park itself.

Utah Shakespearean Festival

Those visiting Cedar City (aka Festival City USA) during the summer will find a number of opportunities to check out one of the town’s vibrant festivals. Most famously, Cedar City is known for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This Tony Award winning regional theater puts on events throughout the summer including performances of Shakespeare’s classics in their recreation of the Globe Theater and contemporary plays, as well as seminars, classes, tours and free nightly “Greenshow” performances providing entertainment from the outdoor stage. Six shows run from July 25 to October 31 each summer.

In addition to the Shakespeare Festival, it’s worth checking out other summer favorites like the Groovefest Americana Music Festival, Wildflower Festival and The Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire.

Brian Head Ski Resort

If winter travel is more appealing, Cedar City still belongs on the destination list. The town is a launching pad for southern Utah’s premiere winter playground – Brian Head Resort. Receiving more than 400 inches of powder annually, it is Utah’s highest base elevation resort at 9,600 feet. With over 650 acres, eight chairlifts and 71 runs, it has something for all skill levels. And during the summer, Brian Head transforms into a mountain biker’s paradise, offering even more adventurous options.

Historic Downtown Cedar

Fly into Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC) on one of the daily Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest Airlines, from Salt Lake City (SLC) and start enjoying this charming town today. The best fares can be found at delta.com.

Standing Quietly: A Salute to Veterans

Jodi Drake
Corporate Communications Specialist

SkyWest is home to more than 700 veterans who have or are currently serving in the United States military, and thousands of other employees have family members who proudly represent the U.S. through their military service. So it should be no surprise that these 10,000+ aviation professionals are committed to showing their support for veterans.

In fact, Jonathan Walker, a Salt Lake City-based pilot, decided last Veterans Day that he was going to do something a little different to support his fellow veterans.

Veterans Day 2014

Veterans Day 2014

“Veterans stand all around us, and I believe it is everyone’s patriotic duty to show them how appreciated they are,” Jonathan said.

And so, adorned in his uniform and equipped with the stars and stripes, Jonathan took a quiet stand on a bridge overlooking I-15 (also called the Veterans Memorial Highway) in Lehi, Utah. Passing motorists were immediately touched by his anonymous display of patriotism and respect. Many called local news stations or posted his picture on social media sites to remind others of the sacrifice so many men and women have made. His story quickly gained national attention and his identity was eventually revealed.

Jonathan has now taken that attention and is using it to expand his efforts to stand quietly on more than just Veterans Day. This Memorial Day, in fact, Jonathan, along with several additional SkyWest employees and others, will be positioned on various I-15 overpasses as a tribute to those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

Jonathan has also been working to establish similar events in other locations around the country. He has posted additional information about the initiative on standingquietly.com.

SkyWest is proud of team members like Jonathan and so many others around the country who make an incredible impact on those they live and work with.

SkyWest Flight Attendant Praised as “A God Send”

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest’s success is a direct result of the incredible aviation professionals who who regularly go above and beyond to help passengers on more than 1,700 daily flights. Recently, Mary Morgan, a Seattle-based flight attendant was commended for being “a God send…at a most difficult time” thanks to the kindness and support she provided on a flight from Ontario, California to Seattle.

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Scanned from a Xerox WorkCentre 5855 in Customer Service_02

SkyWest Airlines,

I am writing to acknowledge a flight attendant who truly “got me home” on a most difficult flight. Mary, her name, Flight 3447 Friday May 8th, Ontario to Seattle.

#1) I am claustrophobic – especially in planes #2) I had received a call while on a weeks vacation that my 89 yr old mom had become quite ill and was near death.

To sit next to my husband we had changed our seats to the only side-by-side seats left in the plane – last row on the plane. I boarded the plane in tears anticipating my anxiety flying and what awaited me at home. Mary picked up on my state of being immediately, brought me tissue and settled us in without asking any questions. As we sat side by side with Mary for “take off,” etc. my husband told her my challenges. She went beyond the call of duty to console me, work with my phobia and just over see my well being throughout the trip, all the way to our terminal good-bye. She was a God send for me at a most difficult time.

I did arrive in time to share three days with my mom before her death.

Thank you Mary for everything. Thank you SkyWest for employing such insightful, sensitive people.

Sincerely,

Donna Sheree Bullock

This letter is just one of the many compliments SkyWest’s 10,000+ employees receive each week thanks to their efforts to ensure every passenger enjoys a great travel experience.