Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

SkyWest is proud to have many different cultures represented throughout our workforce. This month we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by catching up with SkyWest team members across our system to learn how their heritage plays a role in what they do every day at SkyWest and their local communities.

Maintenance 

Melissa Serrano, Maintenance Controller, HDQ
After earning her A&P, Melissa Serrano went on to work at an aircraft maintenance provider where she learned invaluable lessons about asserting yourself and being confident in your abilities. Melissa began working at our ORD hangar in 2015 and later became SkyWest’s first female maintenance controller.

“The first time I smelled jet fuel, I knew what I wanted to do,” said Serrano.

Flight Ops

Jessica Montiel, ERJ Captain, Chicago, IL
Using her platform as a Latina pilot, Captain Jessica Montiel hopes to bring awareness and to inspire the next generation of female pilots.

“As a Latina pilot, I want to change that stereotype that flying is only for men. That’s why it’s important for me to share my story, especially with young girls. In doing so, I’m changing perceptions of what a Latina woman is capable of, and hopefully, inspiring other girls to choose this path for themselves too. When I walk through the terminal, I hope people – especially young Latina girls – see me and realize that it’s possible for them to chase their dreams. I hope I can inspire them to say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’”

Captain Montiel became the first person in her family to graduate college and completed flight training at Embry-Riddle University. A native of California, she tries to come home once a month and enjoys the big family reunion each time she visits her family.

Victor Vazquez, CRJ Captain, Houston, TX
On his 14th birthday, Captain Victor Vazquez’s mother gifted him with an intro flight. He was hooked and wanted to keep flying through his high school years. He made a deal with his parents to work at the family restaurant to help pay for flight lessons. Upon graduation, Captain Vazquez had obtained his Private Pilot and Instrument Rating. This put him ahead when he enrolled in college and allowed him to complete his degree sooner than expected.

“I am a first-generation American, first to finish college in my family, and a first-generation pilot. My goal is to share my story to inspire those with a similar beginning,” said Vasquez.

Captain Vasquez came to SkyWest from another regional because he knew SkyWest would have more opportunities to grow as a professional pilot. When he is not flying for SkyWest he enjoys volunteering with the Latino Pilots Association and the Professional Pilots of Tomorrow in hopes of mentoring the next generation of pilots.

Melissa Montiel Jimenez, ERJ First Officer, Sand Diego, CA
While First Officer Melissa Montiel was studying marketing in college, the aviation bug started to pull her towards flying. She joined an introductory aviation class to learn more about operating an airplane. After extensive research, she decided to begin flight training in San Diego. Her grandmother helped inspire her passion for flight, taking her family to airshows in San Diego anytime the show came to town.

Montiel has embraced being a role model and representing her community. Pilots often tell her she is the first woman and Mexican they have flown with.

“I want to hold the standard of the Latina pilot very high,” Montiel says. “We are known as hard workers, and have an amazing culture.”

InFlight

Melinda Lopez, Flight Attendant, Detroit, MI
Flight Attendant Melinda Lopez dreamed of being a flight attendant since she was a little girl. She encourages other Hispanic people interested in a career in aviation to follow their dreams and work hard. She has seen the aviation industry become a more diverse career field.

“I choose to fly with SkyWest because I used to travel on SkyWest quite a bit in and out of Fresno. I would observe the flight attendants and admire what a great job they did,” said Lopez. “I always kept SkyWest in mind as a company that I would like to work for one day and finally that day came for me.”

For Lopez, Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of U.S. Hispanic communities and celebrate the influence and contributions of Latinx people.

Lopez’s family keeps up some traditions like making tamales at Christmas time and fresh tortillas and salsa on special occasions. She attributes her heritage with influencing her to become the strong, proud Hispanic woman she is today.

Vanet Ortega-Garcia, Flight Attendant, Boise, ID
For Boise Flight Attendant Vanet Ortega-Garcia,  familia is everything! With a deep Hispanic heritage, Vanet is grateful for her experiences and continues to instill the Mexican traditions and culture of hard work and passion to her kids and future generations.

“Being Mexican is togetherness, helping out one another, and always being there,” she added. “Being Mexican is my superpower!”

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Flight Attendants Celebrate Family

Melinda Lopez
Detroit-based flight attendant Melinda Lopez and her parents were born in California, but her grandparents came to the United States from Spain and Mexico.

“They came for a new experience and the rest is history,” said Lopez. “Being part of a Hispanic heritage is like being part of a big family. Everyone coming together with a lot of culture and traditions from different backgrounds is amazing and something I value.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of U.S. Hispanic communities and celebrate the influence and contributions of Latinx people.

Lopez’s family keeps up some traditions like making tamales at Christmas and fresh tortillas and salsa on special occasions. She attributes her heritage with influencing her to become the strong, proud Hispanic woman she is today.

Working at SkyWest has also given her opportunities to connect even more deeply with her family’s roots.

“Once I became a flight attendant, I was able to enjoy the perk of traveling abroad,” said Lopez. “I’ve traveled throughout Mexico and have gotten to see and know more of my heritage. I am grateful for this opportunity – next stop Spain!”

Lopez dreamed of being a flight attendant since she was a little girl. She encourages other Hispanic people interested in a career in aviation to follow their dreams and work hard. She has seen the aviation industry become a more diverse career field.

“I choose to fly with SkyWest because I used to travel on SkyWest quite a bit in and out of Fresno. I would observe the flight attendants and admire what a great job they did” said Lopez. “I always kept SkyWest in mind as a company that I would like to work for one day and finally that day came for me.”

Vanet Ortega-Garcia
For Boise Flight Attendant Vanet Ortega-Garcia, familia is everything! With a deep Hispanic heritage, Vanet is grateful for her experiences and continues to instill the Mexican traditions and culture of hard work and passion to her kids and future generations.

“For me, Mexican culture is about our strength, courage, loyalty and familia she said. “We are united, fierce, bold, colorful, hardworking and unstoppable loving warriors!”

The unity and strength of Vanet’s family and ancestors fills her with pride as she reflects on everything her family has accomplished.

“When I think of my culture I get filled with pride,” said Vanet. “I think of my abuelitas (grandmother) and abuelos (grandfather), my mami (mom) and my papi (dad) who broke their backs day in and day out to give my family a bigger and better tomorrow.”

Although Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year, Vanet and her family, make sure they celebrate their heritage each and every day.

“Being Mexican is walking into a full house and being greeted by your primos (cousins) your tias (aunts) and tíos (uncles), “she said. “There’s also that random tío who isn’t really your uncle  but he’s been part of the family for so long that he is family.”

With great food and Mexican music – which is so full of life – Vanet can’t help but start dancing to the rhythm and beat of the music.

“Being Mexican is togetherness, helping out one another, and always being there,” she added. “Being Mexican is my superpower!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Friendship Built from Adversity 

           Santana & Patrick

It all started somewhere in the air between Helena, MT (HLN) and Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) when flight attendant Michael Gray saw that Santana, a 14-year-old onboard, was noticeably ill. The young passenger went from looking fine to suddenly appearing pale and in obvious pain.

Michael notified forward flight attendant Julia Jarratt, who began providing updates to the pilots in the flight deck. As they offered assistance and support, Santana’s condition worsened until he spiraled into a seizure.

Upon landing, the crew did everything they could to get the plane and emergency medical technicians to the gate quickly. The crew helped lift Santana from the back to the front of the plane so EMTs could reach him quicker. Michael, along with Santana’s 19-year-old brother on the flight, was able to call the boys’ mother to let her know what was going on.

     Michael Gray

The crew says Santana’s brother was remarkably calm. He knew his younger brother’s health history and was able to help provide care for his brother while keeping his mother informed of what was happening, recalls Michael.

“It was truly a team effort in providing care,” he said.

“Every passenger deserves the best we have to offer because we are there to serve them,” said Julia. “I would want someone to care for and treat my brothers the same way.”

For many emergencies, this is where the story ends: medical personnel take over, and everyone goes on their way. For this SkyWest crew, it was only the beginning.

Santana’s mother (Sarah) would later send SkyWest a message thanking the crew, “Throughout the ordeal, Captain Carroll called me numerous times on his personal cell phone, keeping me up-to-date despite being done with his shift. He took the boys under his wing, giving them Dutch Bros gift cards, water and sharing experiences about a youth group that he’s involved in for my youngest. When I wasn’t on the phone with him, he texted me, literally keeping me from hysteria.”

    Julia Jarratt

After Santana was cleared by EMTs to continue traveling home, the boys had four hours before their final flight. Airport Operations Supervisor Rebekah Hales and Capt. Carroll walked them to their departure gate.

“They were not unaccompanied minors but helping them was the right thing to do,” Rebekah said matter-of-factly.

Rebekah then waited with the boys and informed the gate agent of the event to ensure any extra assistance would be available. At the same time, Capt. Carroll made arrangements for another SkyWest pilot — who happened to be heading home as a passenger on the same flight as the boys — to be seated near them as additional support.

“This arrangement provided a lot of comfort in knowing someone could watch the boys and help if

     Rebekah Hales

needed,” said Capt. Carroll. Once the flight took off, he also called Sarah to give her an update and provided her with a link to track the flight. Capt. Carroll continued providing text updates to Santana’s mother until they departed.

When asked why the SkyWest team went above and beyond to help the family, First Officer Dave Sagunsky said, “I don’t consider what we did going above and beyond. It’s what we do — we take care of our passengers.”

“I am so privileged and honored to have flown with Pat, Dave, and Julia,” said Michael. “We all came together as a team to help a young man. It truly makes me proud to work with SkyWest and work with an amazing team of individuals.”

    Dave Sagunsky

“I’d like to say I’m special, but so many at SkyWest would do the same thing,” said Capt. Carroll.

Santana has since recovered and was able to travel again a month after this event. Capt. Carroll later arranged his schedule to meet Santana at the Salt Lake City International Airport so that he could give Santana a tour of the flight deck.

Thank you to Capt. Carroll, First Officer Sagunsky, Michael, Julia and Rebekah for the incredible compassion and care you provided. It made an unforgettable impression on this family and is a great example of the exceptional service the SkyWest team is known for.

                                  Santana

Celebrating the U.S. Air Force’s Birthday

SkyWest is home to more than 3,000 Veterans and active-duty servicemen and woman, including hundreds who served in the U.S. Air Force. As we celebrate the Air Force’s 73rd birthday today, we asked a few of our MSP-based pilots to share how their experiences from the Air Force prepared them for working at SkyWest.

Adam Galloway, CRJ Captain, MSP
Galloway is a Major and is a C-130 pilot. When he is not flying for SkyWest or the Air Force, he enjoys working on his Stinson.

Adam Galloway

Adam Galloway

Galloway joined the Air Force after being inspired by his grandfather’s stories as a bomber pilot in WWII. He meet his wife his wife when they both were deployed.

Galloway started as a maintainer, and says this background makes it easier to draw the entire picture of what’s going on inside the airplane.

Although Galloway spends a lot of time flying, he says the differences in military flying and commercial flying keep him balanced.

“Military flying involves more stick and rudder, while commercial flying is almost completely instrument flying,” said Galloway.

Joining SkyWest in 2013, Galloway said he has enjoyed learning about the inner workings of an airport and all pieces that must be put together for successful commercial flying.

“Flying commercially allows me to meet a lot of new people and visit a lot of places I’ve never seen before,” said Galloway.

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson, CRJ Captain, MSP
Nelson was a crew chief on the F-16 from 1994-97, flight engineer on the C-130H3 from 1997-03, and a flight engineer on the E-4B (747-238) from 2003-16.

Nelson always loved being around planes while he was growing up and took every opportunity to learn about them. He acquired his PVT, COM, INST, CFI, CFI-ME in 1992 and joined the Air Force in 1994, with aspirations of becoming a fighter pilot.

“Before I knew it, I was 21 and was too old to be commissioned to go through undergraduate pilot training. I decided to take another road to get onto the flight deck…flight engineer,” said Nelson jokingly.

When it came to transitioning from the military to a civilian career, Nelson says that SkyWest was the only airline he interviewed with because he was knew it was the place for him. Four years later he continues to be extremely grateful to be a “SkyWester.”

Nelson doesn’t feel his status as a Veteran makes him stand out more than any other employee, but he does wear his Air Force tie tack with great pride and dignity. He loves working with crewmembers who are also Veterans and enjoys the comradery and friendly banter between the different branches of service.

“When another one of my crewmembers is a Veteran, the flight is like hosting a family reunion, regardless of which branch of service,” said Nelson. “For the most part, coming from the military to SkyWest was a seamless transition.”

Adam Bixler CRJ First Officer MSP
“I am a third-generation military member,” said Bixler. “I joined the Air Force to do my part in serving and protecting our country.”

Adam Bixler (right) and his brother

Adam Bixler (right) and his brother

Bixler started his career as a Maintainer with the Air Force and noted that having a maintenance background gives him a unique perspective to the larger operations at SkyWest. In addition to flying at SkyWest, he is also a crew chief on the C-130 Hercules.

“There is an old saying, ‘without mechanics, pilots are just people with cool sunglasses,’” laughs Bixler, who then points to the entire team who makes up a successful flight.

“SkyWest is a family,” said Bixler, “They care about their employees. I have seen this proven many times over, and I intend to continue to do my part to ensure this tradition of excellence continues.”

“I have two of the greatest jobs that I can imagine.” stated Bixler, “SkyWest and the Air Force have each given me many opportunities and experiences for which I am eternally grateful.”

Thank you to Captain Galloway, Captain Nelson, and First Officer Bixler, along with all those who have or are presently serving in our military. We appreciate your service and are glad to have you as part of the SkyWest team. And Happy Birthday to the United States Air Force!

 

 

Melissa Montiel Jimenez – A Latina Role Model

SkyWest is known for its exceptional group of diverse people whose common goal is the pursuit of excellence. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize one of our own pilots whose heritage has played a key role in her career as a pilot.

SkyWest ERJ First Officer Melissa Montiel Jimenez was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. Her grandmother’s interest in aviation sparked a passion in Montiel.

My grandmother owns a local radio station and hosted a show that featured people who worked in aviation. I was fascinated by her stories.”

Montiel’s grandmother would often take the whole family to nearby San Diego to watch the Blue Angels and other air shows. From an early age, Montiel was inspired by those pilots and knew she could do the same thing.

While Montiel was studying marketing in college, the aviation bug started to pull her towards flying. She joined an introductory aviation class to learn more about operating an airplane. After extensive research, she decided to begin flight training in San Diego.

While studying aviation, Montiel learned that women make up a small percentage of pilots across the industry. “As a Latina female, that was enough motivation for me to know it could be done,” said Montiel.

“My family thought this passion was nothing more than an expensive hobby,” she recalls. Others outside her family doubted her motivation. Some even asked her if the reason she joined flight school was to find a husband. Montiel ignored the skeptics and continued to work toward making her childhood dream a reality.

Montiel began her career flying with a company in Mexico, overcoming many obstacles on her path. She recalls passengers refusing to fly with her because she is a female.

“Even when I think I am not as experienced as other people, I know I can be a role model for myself and others.”

She never looked back and joined the SkyWest team in 2017.

When asked about her decision to come to SkyWest, Montiel stated, “I wanted to make sure I was joining the best airline; one that would give me the possibility of growth and be able to provide a good quality of life while still providing time to be with my family. I could not be happier about my decision to join SkyWest.”

Montiel has embraced being a role model and representing her community. Pilots often tell her she is the first woman and Mexican they have flown with.

“I want to hold the standard of the Latina pilot very high,” she says. “We are known as hard workers, and have an amazing culture.”

Montiel says the best part of being a Latina in aviation is opening potentially closed doors for others and showing what is possible. “Dreams can be accomplished, and I am proof,” she says.

 

 

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Pilots Complete Heroic Rescue Mission in California

From right to left: SGT Cameron Powell, SGT George Esquivel,W5 Joseph Rosamond, CW2 Brady HlebainSkyWest people are known for going above and beyond and it’s not just limited to our flights. Brady Hlebain, a SkyWest first officer, and Joseph Rosamond, a member of SkyWest’s pilot cadet program, who are part of the California National Guard, flew a CH-47 Chinook helicopter that helped rescue more than 200 people trapped near Mammoth Lakes California.

The call for assistance came in on Saturday, September 5. Hlebain and Rosamon, along with their flight engineers, Sgt. Cameron Powell and Sgt. George Esquivel, knew that the night flight would not be an easy one. A view from the flight deck

“I have done search and rescue missions, hundreds of combat hours overseas, as well as aerial firefighting, but this mission was very complex and dynamic to say the least,” said Hlebain. “Our team was an experienced group of guys who are all experienced in missions of this nature. We constantly train with night vision goggles, mountain flying, high-elevation, limited power margin, multi-ship flight, navigation in unfamiliar areas, dust landings, low visibility flight, firefighting, unimproved landing zones and first aid. However, it is rare that we do all of those things at the same time.”

The team was given coordinates of the location of those needing to be rescued, but had no idea how many people would need their help. As they were flying, they soon realized the coordinates they were given were not as accurate as they had hoped. Even as visibility dropped due to high flames and smoke, the team did not give up and were able to get Night Vision new coordinates. They flew from ridge to ridge, avoiding the clouds and smoke as best they could, before finally landing in the wee hours of the morning at the Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest.

Flying the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Rosamond and Hlebain made multiple trips to save more than 200 people from the fast-moving forest fire. They were assisted by another team flying a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. With so many unique challenges on top of tough conditions, this mission was one of the most difficult of their careers.

“The only word I can use to describe it is Apocalyptic,” added Rosamond. “It was extremely difficult to see the terrain and what was in front of us. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but our crew worked perfectly together, which allowed us to accomplish our task.”

Hlebain said the team didn’t want to be made out as heroes and noted that they are tremendously grateful to their families for their sacrifice and for allowing them to do these kinds of missions.

“The recent media coverage has made us out to be heroes, but our team agreed that we didn’t do Mammoth Lakeanything that any other aircrews wouldn’t have done had they been in the same situation,” said Hlebain. “We were only one piece of the operation and couldn’t have done it without the help of local EMTs, police, firefighters and many other agencies.”

“The bravery from each and every crew member on board both the CH-47 and the UH-60 were amazing and I could not have done it without them,” added Rosamond. “They each made a personal choice to continue into the worst of conditions.”

When he’s not fighting fires and participating in search and rescue missions, Hlebain can often be found onboard one of SkyWest’s nearly 500 jets flying passengers to destinations across North America.

While balancing two jobs at once is a challenge for anyone – especially in the aviation industry – Those recused during part of the operation Hlebain added that he is grateful for SkyWest and the support he has received which has allowed him to do both.

“Knowing two different aircraft, two sets of rules, and especially balancing two schedules can be difficult,” he said. “That being said, SkyWest has been incredibly supportive and provides me the opportunity to do both. When there is a conflict of schedules, SkyWest has been nothing short of perfect for my work/work/life balance.”

Thank you, Brady, Joseph, and the rest of your team for your efforts, bravery, dedication and sacrifice to save the lives of so many.

SkyWest CEO Named a Utah Business CEO of the Year Honoree

SkyWest congratulates CEO Chip Childs, who was selected as a Utah Business CEO of the Year Honoree for 2020.

Selected from over 200 nominees of top Chief Executives across the state, Childs’ leadership contributions in the state were recognized in March and officially announced in June for being a leader in the airline industry and for his work across organizations.

Chip has been known as a leader in the aviation industry for years, but this award recognizes the importance of his leadership in the state of Utah, with SkyWest is a key part of the national transportation system through its four major airline partnerships.

Part of his nomination for the award read, “Chip’s vision and strategy continue to drive success and helps support vibrant economies with air service in small to medium-sized communities connecting them to the broader national airspace. Under his leadership, SkyWest continues to set the standard for excellence in the regional industry.”

Chip was also recognized for his unique approach and transformative leadership, and for implementing a significant fleet transition plan for improved profitability and efficiency while continuing to enhance a culture of respect, teamwork and communication across the organization.

CFO Rob Simmons, stated, “he does an amazing job running the company with the numbers, but also with the heart.”

 Chip’s focus has always been the people of SkyWest. He said, “I’m just a lucky guy to represent the amazing professionals at SkyWest. It’s an amazing responsibility to “hire the best, train the best and treat them the best, and that philosophy is the backbone of what SkyWest accomplishes each day.”

Congratulations Chip, and thank you for your leadership! 

A Surprise Retirement Flight

Flying is in the DNA of Evan and Lee Broadbent. The brothers came to SkyWest over three years ago and are both based in MSP. Evan is a CRJ captain and Lee is a first officer on the CRJ.

Their father, Lance, was a Marine pilot flying RF-4s. After his time in the military, he was hired by American Airlines and finished his career as a check airmen and FAA designee on the A320.

“Growing up around aviation and seeing what a cool job he [Lance] had, it was a pretty easy decision to follow in his footsteps,” said Lee.

“My dad is the reason why I chose this career,” said Evan. “He is my biggest role model.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decrease in passenger demand, Lance decided to take early retirement from American. As a result of this early departure, he never got the opportunity to enjoy a celebratory final flight. Evan and Lee decided they might be able to help recognize their dad and put together a surprise that none of them will soon forget.

“It was by far the coolest day in my aviation career,” said Lee. 

After finding a flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Bemidji, Minnesota (BJI), Evan and Lee coordinated with ATC and the team on the ground in BJI to help recognize their father. Then, they invited their dad to fly with them in the jumpseat. It was something the trio had attempted in the past, but last-minute schedule changes prevented it from happening.

“[A few months ago] he had told all of his friends he was about to ride with us. When it didn’t work out, he was fairly upset,” said Evan. “To say the least he was absolutely stoked to ride with his sons.”

The flight started routinely, and Lance had no idea what was planned. However, as they took off, he began to learn this was no ordinary flight.

“When we first took off, before the tower handed us off to departure, the tower congratulated him on his retirement,” said Evan. “At that moment, he knew something more was happening.”

Throughout the flight, ATC passed along their congratulations to Lance as they checked in with each facility. When they arrived in BJI, the flight was greeted with a water cannon salute and the airport team presented Lance with a congratulatory bottle of Champagne as he deplaned.

“To have my brother as the captain and our dad in the jumpseat – I can’t put into words how special this was,” said Lee

“He was in shock and borderline in tears,” said Evan.

Both brothers reflected that this unique flight was an amazing experience and a special day for their entire family.

“It was just very cool we were able to make this day happen,” said Lee. “To see the smile on his face meant the world to me.”

“I looked back at him just before pulling into the gate and I could see all of the emotion in his eyes. That was a special and heavy moment,” said Evan.

Thank you to all the dads like Lance for being such great role models and inspiring the aviators in their family to follow their dreams!

 

Mother Son Flying

Mother and Son Take Flight Together

Family Flying Together“Mom, secure the cabin.”

Trenton Crull’s announcement from the flight deck was a moment a lifetime in the making and a thrill for both him and his mom.

“I’ve had the privilege to fly both my mom and dad while they were passengers on my flight before, but being able to work with my mom as the flight attendant was pretty special,” said Trenton. “Being able to say, ‘Mom secure the cabin’ just made it all that more meaningful.”

Trenton is a SkyWest CRJ captain based in Colorado Springs, Colorado (COS) and Melodee Crull is a flight attendant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota (MSP), so the opportunity to work flight 4037 between Minneapolis and Bismarck, North Dakota together earlier this year was a rare treat.

“I told my passengers they were part of a very unique flight, as my son was one of the pilots and we were working our first flight together. ‘Mom, secure the cabin’ definitely brought laughter from the passengers,” said Melodee. “As I sat in the jumpseat upon takeoff, it was hard not to tear up thinking about my son flying the plane that I was working as a flight attendant. It’s not often that so many dreams come true in one day!”

Mother and son have crossed paths a few times since Trenton’s early days at SkyWest when he was stationed in Detroit, Michigan (DTW). Once Trenton moved to COS, their schedules got more difficult to coordinate.

“I have wanted to do this since I found out Trenton was joining me at SkyWest in November of 2017. Believe me, we’ve tried several times to get things to work out,” said Melodee.

“Luckily I had three weeks off waiting for my captain Initial Operating Experience and I found a trip to pick up in MSP,” added Trenton. “There was already a flight attendant on it, but my mom messaged her and worked it out to get on that trip.”

Melodee attributes her love of airplanes to her father, who worked at Cessna and Boeing in Wichita, Kansas when she was young. Being a flight attendant was always her dream, but for several years she filled her life with caring for a family. In 2017, the perfect opportunity came for Melodee to revive Mother and Son Flighther childhood dream and she interviewed with SkyWest.

“I love my crews. I have made so many great friends and anyone who has flown with me knows, I am a bit of a comedian and love to joke around and have fun. I also love interacting with my passengers! I have so much fun kidding around with them,” said Melodee. “I love that SkyWest has provided the opportunity to visit places I would otherwise never have got to visit.”

Her happiness at SkyWest influenced Trenton’s decision to come to SkyWest as well.

Melodee remembers her son aspired to be a pilot as early as the 2nd grade. A local pilot in the Crull’s hometown would take kids up on a flight as a reward for completing a school reading program every year and Trenton got to fly with him a few times.

“After that first flight I was hooked. I loved flying, but I didn’t know how to make it a career,” said Trenton. “It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I started looking at how to pursue aviation as a career.”

Trenton completed flight training at the University of Central Missouri. He taught there for about a year after earning his certifications and then took a job flying private jets in St. Louis. When he earned the flight hours and experience to move to a regional airline, and with some urging from his mom, he applied at SkyWest.

“I remember texting him and saying, ‘YOU HAVE TO APPLY WITH SKYWEST! This company is amazing,’” recalled Melodee.

“She talked highly of SkyWest as a company and how fun the crews were and it was then that I started looking more in-depth at it,” said Trenton. “She was a big factor in my decision to come to SkyWest.”

“Trenton has recently finished his upgrade to captain and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Melodee. “He is a great person, with compassion for people and he truly loves his career, that’s what makes him a great pilot. I would be honored to fly with this captain any day.”

Thank you to all the moms like Melodee who inspire us to pursue our dreams in the aviation industry.