SkyWest Pilots Give Back To Aviation Community

Whether its search and rescue missions to finding missing hikers, or coming to the rescue when natural disasters strike (Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.), the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), with its 60,000 members, continues to support communities across the country by donating their time and aviation expertise to provide essential services for those in need.

Photo by Robert Bowden

SkyWest pilots Kyle Curtiss and Matt Creed are among the many volunteers that donate their time to help with the different programs that CAP has to offer. From providing emergency services both on the ground and in the air, to its award-winning aerospace education and cadet programs, CAP – an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force – is providing paths for youth to become aviation leaders.

“I just love watching their eyes light up,” said SkyWest pilot and Flight Operations Supervisor, Kyle Curtiss.

“It’s an experience unlike any other” added SkyWest Assistant Chief Pilot, Matt Creed.

When they are not in the air flying one of SkyWest’s 2200+ daily departures across North America, you can find Kyle and Matt helping out their local CAP units which they help oversee.

“I got started in 2013 and I just love it,” said Curtiss who is now the Central Michigan Group Commander in the CAP program. “I love my job, I love flying and I just wanted to give back and get involved in the aviation community.”

Photo by Robert Bowden

For Matt, who has been involved with CAP for more than two decades and is now the Great Lakes Region Commander, it was love at first flight.

“I got involved with CAP when I was 10 years old. I later became a cadet and I’ll never forget my first lesson. I had great CAP instructors and to be able to pass that on to the younger generation is something that I really enjoy and love to do. They are our future leaders and their excitement is contagious.”

Photo by Robert Bowden

Together, the SkyWest pilots give tours of the facilities and different aircraft. The tours have quickly caught on with units doing so across the state.

“It’s great to show the kids how the operation is run and all the different aspects that go into flying,” said Curtiss. “Their eyes light up when we’ve taken them to the airport to see air traffic control tower. How many people can say they have been able to do that?!”

“We love giving tours and giving the kids that opportunity to experience sitting in the front seat of an airplane and seeing the control tower,” added Creed. “Most kids don’t get to see the operation up close like that, but CAP has allowed us to give them those experiences. It’s awesome!”

Many thanks to Matt and Kyle, as well as all the SkyWest people who volunteer countless hours across the country to make a difference in the lives of others! You are excellent representatives of SkyWest and we thank you for all that you do and for sharing your love of flying.

For those interested in joining SkyWest, you can learn more here.

Photo by Robert Bowden

SkyWest Cadets Enjoy Night at the Ballpark

SkyWest cadets in the Phoenix area were treated to a night at the ballpark last week, as more than 40 joined SkyWest Airlines to watch the Diamondbacks win on a walk-off home run over the Dodgers at Chase Field. The event was sponsored by SkyWest and gave cadets the chance to interact with pilot recruiters and Tracy Gallo, SkyWest’s VP of Flight Operations, while also enjoying dinner, and a great baseball game!

“It’s a great opportunity for SkyWest cadets to gather, network and learn from pilot recruiters, and in this special case, from the VP of Flight Operations at SkyWest,” said Deanna Konopka, a SkyWest Recruitment Specialist who attended the event. “It was such a fun night to be able to gather CFIs from several surrounding schools and start showing them what the SkyWest culture is all about.”

SkyWest’s evening at the ballpark is just one of several cadet-focused events that have taken place throughout the year. Barbeques, meet and greets, golf tournaments and more complement the opportunities for regular connection with SkyWest mentors SkyWest cadets receive throughout their aviation journey.

The Pilot Pathway Program provides a defined path for those desiring to take control of their aviation careers. Company seniority activates upon becoming a cadet, and pilots earn increased seniority within SkyWest’s ground class. Upon completion of the program, cadets have a guaranteed final interview for a SkyWest first officer position and may become one of SkyWest’s more than 4,000 pilots. Learn more about the Pilot Pathway Program.


SkyWest ORD Team Puts Their Strength to the Test for a Good Cause

On Saturday, Sept. 22, SkyWest Airlines participated in the 10th Annual Special Olympics Plane Pull hosted by United Airlines and UPS in Chicago. The Plane Pull event is the ultimate tug-of-war competition as teams of 20 battle to pull a UPS Airbus A300 or United Airlines 737, weighing more than 180,000 lbs over 12 feet as fast as they can.

The event took place on the cargo ramp at Chicago O’Hare where SkyWest Airlines fielded two teams which included over 40 employees! SkyWest believes in supporting the causes our people are passionate about through the Spirit of SkyWest: Our People in Action program, which is set up to allow SkyWest to contribute fundraising dollars for any SkyWest team member participating in an eligible charitable cause. All proceeds collected from the Plane Pull benefit over 22,000 adult athletes and over 20,000 young athletes (ages 2-7) whom compete in the Illinois Special Olympics.This year the event raised nearly $190,000 to provide life-changing opportunities for thousands of Special Olympics athletes.

Beyond this event raising funds for a good cause and participating in some friendly competition, the SkyWest teams and their friends and family enjoyed entertainment, music and food at the event. It’s just another example of SkyWest people giving back and having a great time while doing so! Learn more about SkyWest’s people making a difference. 

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 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.

2018-IAFS-SkyWest CEO Chip Childs

SkyWest CEO Chip Childs Presents At International Aviation Forecast Summit

Nearly 400 airline executives, aircraft manufacturers and industry leaders gathered together in Denver for the 23rd Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit (IAFS) this week to talk about the future of aviation.

The topics discussed included new industry trends, aircraft orders, deliveries and ways to enhance the customer service experience. The four-day event consisted of presentations and discussions from top aviation professionals and senior executives throughout the world, including SkyWest, Inc. President, and Chief Executive Officer, Chip Childs.

Speaking to a large crowd, Childs talked about the success of the company now in its 46th year and how it has become one of the largest regional airlines in the world. With over 17,000 employees operating more nearly 3,000 daily flights, SkyWest Inc., continues to soar to new heights.


One of the key points in Childs’ presentation was how SkyWest Inc., sits on a solid foundation thanks to its employees as the company attracts and retains some of the top talent in the industry. Combined with a growing fleet and partnerships, pilot pathway programs and being able to adapt and evolve has helped the company continues to deliver what our passengers want, and what our partners need.

So far this year, SkyWest Inc., has signed new and extended flying agreements with several of our mainline partners (American, Delta and United), as well as opening up new domiciles and facilities across the United States. In 2018 alone, SkyWest has seen its fleet grow dramatically with 30 new aircraft — and growing every day. To date, SkyWest has taken delivery of 19 new jets, with 20 more deliveries expected by the end of the year.

Not only is the company the largest regional airline operator in the world, but Pilots coming to SkyWest can expect to fly more new planes than any other regional carrier. This past month, the company received the first-ever CRJ 900 jet with its new state-of-the-art ATMOSPHERE cabin. The aircraft comes equipped with all the latest technology improvements to give passengers a comfortable flight, including the first use of mood lighting on a regional jet.

What makes SkyWest so great is its people, team culture to go along with its guiding principles of respect, teamwork, service, fairness and consistency. This has helped the company evolve and grow despite some challenging times in the aviation industry. Operating over 2,200 flights each day to nearly 250 destinations throughout North America, the company’s growth continues to soar thanks to its 17,000 aviation professionals.

2018-IAFS-SkyWest CEO Chip Childs