SkyWest Crews Volunteer for Wings for Autism Event in Boise

The airport is fast-paced, loud and can be overwhelming for almost anyone. For those with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, it can be unfamiliar and even scary. It is easy to understand why families who have children with such disabilities shy away from the airport.

That’s why SkyWest Airlines teamed up with Boise Airport, The Arc of Boise, TSA and Delta Air Lines, to offer Wings for Autism for some very special passengers.

According to The Arc, “Wings for Autism is designed to alleviate some of the stress that is experienced when traveling by air, the program provides families and individuals the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane.”

SkyWest has participated in several events helping families with children who have special needs understand and get familiar with airport and aircraft procedures. Time and time again SkyWest crews have gone above and beyond to volunteer their time and resources to help these families.

This past weekend in Boise, Idaho (BOI), that same story rang true as volunteer after volunteer poured into BOI to help The Arc of Boise with their Wings for Autism event.

Whether it was Savanna Son, BOI InFlight Supervisor, talking to each family individually and making them feel welcomed and comfortable as they awaited their flight or ERJ Captain Patrick Persson hosting each child in the cockpit and taking several minutes with each of them to show them the insides and outs of the plane, our SkyWest crew made this a special day for all involved.

The children boarded a SkyWest E175, complete with a special sendoff from crews lined up on each side of the jetbridge. After a full safety demonstration from the flight attendants, they “taxied” around the airport while enjoying snacks and beverages. They were welcomed back to the gate with high fives and plenty of smiles.

Read more about SkyWest’s partnership with Wings for Autism events.

Many thanks to the SkyWest people who volunteered countless hours of coordination and expertise to share their love of flying and provide these families with memories that will last a lifetime! Interested in joining the SkyWest team? Learn more.

SkyWest Celebrates OKC Hangar Opening

SkyWest was pleased to host a ribbon cutting ceremony and recruiting event at our new Oklahoma City Airport (OKC) hangar on Thursday, marking the latest addition to our impressive maintenance footprint! The ceremony was attended by local dignitaries including Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Chair Rhonda Hooper.

This new SkyWest maintenance base will support SkyWest’s flying for every partner and every aircraft type in our fleet. At 135,000 square feet, the new space will be able to accommodate up to nine overnight aircraft and will eventually be the workplace for 100 Maintenance team members.

The OKC base will be a pivotal piece to maintaining SkyWest’s unmatched reliability as its geographical location supports the entire SkyWest route system and will also support future growth.

This new hangar required much planning and execution from a number of SkyWest team members. Thank you to everyone on the SkyWest team who put in tireless work to prepare this beautiful new facility for operation. And, thank you to our OKC team (and a warm welcome to our newest SkyWest team members) for your daily commitment to safety and reliability as you work on the SkyWest fleet.

Interested in joining the SkyWest team? Click here for open positions in OKC and throughout the SkyWest system.

A True Blue SkyWest Appreciation Week

Appreciation Week 2018 is officially in the books and it was a week to remember! From pancake breakfasts to BBQs to photo booths and shoe shining, teams across the system went all out to show appreciation for each other.

It is that appreciation and respect for one another that continues to make SkyWest the Partner, Employer and Investment of Choice. Together, we are more than 13,000 strong and it takes every last one of us to make SkyWest Airlines the best in the industry!

Check out photos from celebrations across the system!

Learn more about joining the SkyWest team.

Learning From the Best: Inspired by Mom to Take Flight

For most of us in aviation, we distinctly remember always having a fascination with the miracle of flight. And this is no different for Detroit based First Officer – Brooke Patterson. Inspired by her mother’s successful flying career and love of aviation, Brooke embarked on her own path to becoming a pilot. Read her story below!


My mother had been a pilot for United since before I was born, and because of that I was exposed to aviation at a young age. I was fortunate to have parents who wanted me to find my own path in life and encouraged me to explore all of my career options. I graduated high school and went to college with an undeclared major.  Although I love travelling, I didn’t know I wanted to be a pilot until after I was well into college. There was something so exciting about showing up to the airport and looking at all of the “heavies” behind the glass windows. Boarding the airplanes, I always stopped by the cockpit to see the controls, panels and lights. I loved getting the window seat and listening to the pilots talk on the ATC radio option. (Remember when you could plug headphones into the armrest and listen in on the pilots talking on Channel 9?) I was the kid on the airplane with her faced pressed against the window staring at the ground below, hoping for a turbulent flight as it was “more fun”. knew I loved flying, but I never considered becoming a pilot because that was my mother’s career.

While I was still in college, my mother would occasionally bring me along on her trips. I got to see some really cool places, and my favorites were Beijing and Hawaii. Not only did I get to see the world, I got a behind-the-scenes view of the life of an airline pilot. I got to see flight ops, where the pilots meet before flights to go over their flight plans. I watched my mom go through her flows and set everything up in the cockpit before I went back to my seat. I loved watching her interact with passengers and hand out wings to kids who boarded the aircraft. This is when it finally clicked for me that this is what I wanted to do. I was actually on the beach in Hawaii while out with my mother and her crew when I decided I wanted to take an intro flight. I really admired my mom’s hard work, dedication and passion for her job. She was an amazing role model for me, and I learned that with hard work and dedication I could achieve anything I wanted. Flying wasn’t just my mom’s career: now it could be mine, too.

It wasn’t a surprise that after my first intro flight I was absolutely hooked on flying. With the support of both of my parents, I enrolled in ATP Flight School in Denver to get my ratings. In seven months, I went from zero flight hours to CFI, CFII and MEI. It was a seven day a week program to which I dedicated all of my time. I had amazing instructors who mentored and encouraged me all of the way. I loved how much I was learning and improving with each flight, and it only fueled my passion to get to the airlines. To build my flight time, I was a flight instructor based in Scottsdale, Arizona. It increased my knowledge base and put me in scenarios that allowed me to make pilot in command decisions. The experience that I gained during that time was invaluable.

As I got closer to reaching 1,500 hours of flight time, I began interviewing with different regional airlines. I received a couple of job offers, but I knew SkyWest was where I wanted to fly. I love the crews I fly with and the sense of community I feel at work. I met some amazing people during new hire training who have become life-long friends. I absolutely love what I do for a living. I’m so thankful for my supportive family, friends, instructors and co-workers who have encouraged and mentored me through my aviation journey. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.


For more information on becoming a SkyWest pilot, visit skywest.com/pilot.

 

SkyWest Scholarship Program Awards Over 100 Outstanding Students

Congratulations to this year’s SkyWest Airlines Scholarship recipients! SkyWest is home to the best and brightest in the industry and that fact was emphasized by the caliber of employees and dependents vying for this year’s scholarships.

Scholarship Recipient Andrew York

We received more than 150 applications from students across the SkyWest system, all with pursuits of higher education. In the end, a total of 105 scholarships were awarded for $115,000, the highest in the history of the program. The scholarship funds are raised through generous donations from SkyWest employees as well as through donations by partners and vendors during events surrounding SkyWest’s annual Mini Indy charity event.

The recipients had a diverse range of academic ambitions to enhance their lives and those around them. The two winners of SkyWest Presidential Scholarship are current SkyWest team members who are pursuing their aviation goals. Denver First Officer Andrew York is pursuing a master’s degree in Aviation from the University of Central Missouri, while Salt Lake City Customer Service Agent Connyr Bennett is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science from Utah Valley University with the hopes of reaching his goal to become a professional commercial pilot.

Scholarship Recipient Connyr Bennett

Recipients are selected by a SkyWest Scholarship Committee, made up of representatives from each of the SkyWest employee groups, who volunteer countless hours to evaluate applications. Each application was scored on a variety of criteria, including GPA, ACT/SAT scores, career interests, future goals extracurricular activities and unique challenges. With so many bright and goal-driven applicants, the committee was charged with the difficult task of identifying the cream of the crop!

From graduate students to college freshmen, each of the recipients exemplifies what sets SkyWest apart: dedication and hard work to achieve big dreams. Congratulations to each of this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! We look forward to watching you soar in your academic and professional pursuits!

The SkyWest Scholarship Program is just another example of how SkyWest continues to set itself apart as the Partner, Employer and Investor of Choice! To find out more about joining our team, click here.

My SkyWest Journey: Father and Son Take To The Skies

Doug and Alec Wheeler’s shared love of flight led them to follow their dreams to become pilots. Their SkyWest journeys were each different, but this father and son duo pushed their way to become CRJ first officers for SkyWest Airlines and fulfill their goal to become pilots.

When the market crashed in 2008, Doug Wheeler’s RV repair business in Salem, Oregon took a devastating hit.

He had a decision to make; and after seeing his eldest son, Alec Wheeler, enroll in flight school, he decided to continue what he started 30 years prior and pursue his pilot’s license.

“I was first introduced to flight by a family friend at age 13 in his C172,” said Doug. “When we first took off, I was amazed by all of the trees and buildings…I was hooked on flight. Three years later, at age 16 I started flight lessons.”

Doug accrued a total of 23 flight hours before ultimately ending his pursuit of becoming a pilot. He opened his RV repair business in 1994 but flying still remained on his mind.

“Flying was always in the back of my mind. I couldn’t shake it,” explained Doug. “When I had time, I would take the family to air shows in the local area. Alec was my only kid that seemed to be as interested in them as me.”

Doug arranged for Alec to take a flight in a C172, just as he did as a young boy, and Alec too was hooked.

It was this shared love of flight that ultimately led to the pair enrolling in flight school together many years later.

Doug and Alec completed their flight training and together were hired by SkyWest Airlines.

“We chose SkyWest because it’s the best regional airline,” said Alec.

Today, Doug is a CRJ first officer based out of Seattle and Alec is a CRJ first officer based out of Minneapolis. Their hope is to one day fly a trip together.

“Flying side-by-side with my dad would be the culmination of more than a decade of hard work between the two of us and it would be a very cool way to commemorate how well we work together,” added Alec.

“I’m not sure our paths are going to cross, but if they do, it would be so awesome,” said Doug. “We started this adventure together in 2010, and it would be quite the exclamation point to that adventure. We would be sharing our passion flying high and fast.”

Find out what makes SkyWest Airlines the “best regional airline”! Visit www.skywest.com/careers.

Now Boarding Special Passengers: OAJ to “FUN”

Few things bring as much wonderment and awe to children as the miracle of flight. For kids with autism though, experiencing this miracle is often difficult due to their sensitivities to noise, large groups and the unknown. That’s where a SkyWest crew recently stepped in to help a group of these children have the opportunity to experience flight in safe, non-stressful environment in Jacksonville, North Carolina (OAJ). The event was one that all those involved with will not soon forget.

Together with Delta Global Services (DGS), OAJ Airport and the Exceptional Family Member Program, SkyWest crewmembers welcomed children with autism from military families on board a CRJ200, allowing these children an opportunity to participate in a flight rehearsal. While never actually leaving the ground, the crew pulled out all the stops to ensure it was a day the kids would remember forever.

Prior to boarding, the children were given wings and boarding passes with airport code “FUN” being their final destination. With a sense of eagerness mixed with nervousness, the children boarded the aircraft with family members. They were met on board by the captain of the flight, Atlanta CRJ Captain Princy Lala – a former Marine who jumped at the chance to be part of the event. After making the standard opening announcements, Captain Lala told the children they would be flying into “FUN” at an altitude of sea-level.

After his remarks came the safety briefing from Flight Attendant Stephanie Clausel, and then full-service drinks and snacks were provided, including a pizza provided by the crew. During this time, Captain Lala and First Officer Sam Anderson were busy playing the children’s favorite songs from the intercom.

One by one, each child was called into the flight deck to be an honorary pilot, sit in the right-seat, take pictures and, of course, page their parents on the intercom.

“It was an amazing, amazing, amazing thing,” said Captain Lala, who heard child after child say they now wanted to be a pilot just like him.

“It was my honor and pleasure to be a part of this event,” he continued. “Thank you, SkyWest, for providing me the opportunity to be in a position to bring smiles to the kids and Marine Corps families and to our company, in line with our guiding principles.”

Thank you to the crew who volunteered their time and expertise to share their love of flying and provide these families with memories that will last a lifetime! Learn more about joining the SkyWest team.

SkyWest Welcomes Industry Leading Aircraft Maintenance Log

For more than four and half decades, SkyWest Airlines has led the way for operational and safety advancements in the regional airline industry. Today, after years of preparation and led by cross-departmental collaboration, each of SkyWest’s 443 aircraft is fully equipped with an Electronic Maintenance Log (eAML). SkyWest is the first commercial airline in the United States to equip and operate its entire fleet with the new FAA-approved technology.

“The eAML provides a significant boost to our already-robust maintenance program,” said SkyWest Chief Operating Officer Mike Thompson. “The elimination of paper streamlines processes from the flight deck to maintenance technicians and our operations control center teams, resulting in improved reliability that benefits employees and customers alike.”

Enhancing our teams’ ability to track and manage aircraft airworthiness, the eAML will provide real-time maintenance data for each aircraft. Not only does this reduce the risk of human error, it also improves response time for repairs, meaning fewer maintenance-related delays for passengers.

Thank you to the numerous individuals and teams at SkyWest who spent countless hours over the last two years to develop and implement this new technology. The eAML demonstrates SkyWest’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, reliable flights for our more than 36 million passengers.

 

Flight Attendant Impresses Passenger with Helpfulness and Courtesy

SkyWest people are constantly looking for ways to provide outstanding service, even outside of their normal daily work responsibilities. Recently, customer Maurice Griffin was connecting to a SkyWest flight in Atlanta and experienced this hallmark service for himself after Maddie Dougherty, an Atlanta-based flight attendant supervisor, went out of her way to help him get to his flight. Mr. Griffin wrote the following heartwarming letter thanking Maddie for her extra care and compassion.


Dear Sir or Madam,  

On May 16, 2018, I was in Atlanta making a change to SkyWest Airlines to fly to Charleston, Virginia, having left Miami on Delta earlier that day.

I am 75 years old and was hospitalized in Miami for 10 days. I encountered a young lady who helped me with such courtesy and helpfulness that I feel compelled to bring her to your attention. Her name is Maddie Dougherty. You have a special person in your employment! So helpful — I was very impressed. She even asked the flight attendant to keep an eye on me.

I hope you have the opportunity to tell Ms. Dougherty and the friendly onboard attendant that I sincerely appreciated their concern and I hold SkyWest Airlines in high esteem!

Sincerely, Maurice Griffin    


Thank you, Maddie, for your care and kindness in helping Mr. Griffin and the countless other customers you help on a daily basis.

Maddie is just one of the many awesome examples of SkyWest people making a positive difference. Read more stories of our incredible people here.

Interested in joining the SkyWest team? Find out more information at www.skywest.com/careers.