Tag Archives: SkyWest Pilots

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.

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.

Learning from the Best: Thanks, Dad!

For some, aviation runs in the family! We reached out to Chicago based First Officer Tristan Mazzu to share how her father – also a pilot – encouraged her aviation career.


To say I grew up around aviation was an understatement. An American Airlines pilot for a father and Delta Air Lines flight attendant for a mother made the aviation world an inevitable part of life.

Sometimes on Sundays, Dad would wake me up early in the morning and buckle me into the right seat of our Cessna 120 taildragger. It was important that it was a Sunday, because the FBO a few towns over had donuts on Sunday mornings. Some of my oldest memories are flying in that little Cessna to get Sunday donuts. The best flight of my whole life is in that taildragger with my dad.

When I was younger, I had a burning desire to go to a hot air balloon festival. As the day approached, I was told we couldn’t go. Naturally, I threw a tantrum and locked myself in my room. Dad came upstairs and informed me that he needed to gas up the airplane. Despite arguments that it wasn’t Sunday and that I was mad at him, I ended up buckled in the right seat of the Cessna. After a flight of silence, I saw something unusual outside of my window — a hot air balloon. The sky turned a million colors as the sun set and hundreds of balloons took flight below us. I gave the biggest smile to my dad as I realized nobody else would experience this moment in the same way. I think that was when I realized I preferred the air over the ground.

When I turned 18, I finally got enough sense to take a flight lesson. Having never pushed flying on me, Dad was ecstatic that it was something I chose to do. The hereditary aviation gene, plus a bite from the flying bug, made becoming a pilot my new dream and passion. Shortly after this epiphany, Dad swapped his trips around, and we spent a whole weekend visiting aviation colleges all across the country. I transferred to Utah Valley University within the next school year to become a full-time aviation student, and the rest is history.

There was not a single moment in pursuit of my dream without my Dad being a part of it. Every time I moved back and forth across the country for aviation, he was the one who helped me stuff my car full and drive wherever I was headed next. I was struggling with landings? Dad was there to encourage me and talk me through each step. I needed help studying for my checkride? Dad spent hours quizzing me about everything under the moon, from Airspace to Zulu time.

I’m skeptical that Dad may love his Cessna 120 more than me, so I’m quite honored to be the only one he’s allowed to solo it! Before I started my first job as a flight instructor, my dad and I took a big trip together in ‘Planey’ (original name, I know). It was my 21st birthday present to pack up the little taildragger and fly it on an epic cross-country trip to Oshkosh. We started in Texas, stopped by my first flight school, drifted up the Appalachian Mountains toward Maine, hopped over the border into Canada for the night, crossed back through the Great Lakes and then spent three nights in a tent under the wings at AirVenture.

One day at work, I received a text from my dad to look out the window. We had just parked at our gate, and I looked up to see this dorky guy in a pilot’s uniform waving at me. Dad had walked all the way from the L-gates on his sit, and picked up my favorite food on the way so we could hang out during my turn. He even took me to sit in the 787 flight deck. I don’t care how long you’ve been flying, that will always be cool.

It’s so cool to be working in the airline industry together! A jumpseat meet up has yet to be arranged, but I assure you, it will be happening soon. My goal is to fly a jet with my dad someday before he retires. If my little brother could join in on that flight, that’d be even cooler.

My dad inspires me, ‘plane’ and simple (sorry for the bad pun). He’s the kind of pilot I want next to me in an emergency, and who can grease a 787 on the runway like nobody’s business. If you met him or flew with him, I’d bet you’d agree with me. Not only does he inspire me as a pilot, but also as a person. I admire his pursuit of passion and his tenacious work ethic. He taught me how important hard work is and to never give up on my dreams. He has never failed to encourage me in whatever I pursue and is my biggest advocate. I know I would not be the person I am today without his endless motivational speeches, constant love and undying support. I am so proud and blessed to be his daughter and to be following in his footsteps.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads out there, and especially to you Padre! I love you!


Happy Father’s Day to our SkyWest people helping to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals! We’re grateful to fathers like Tristan’s for inspiring her to join the SkyWest family of aviators.

My SkyWest Journey: SAN and BOI Pilots Return Home with New Bases


Today, two new SkyWest domiciles opened: San Diego (SAN) and Boise, Idaho (BOI). With the addition of SAN and BOI, SkyWest now has 17 domiciles in operation across the country. To hear about how having more domicile options improved their quality of life, we reached out to two captains who are returning to their hometowns. Read below to hear how their SkyWest Journey has brought them home!


BOI-SAN-1024x684whiteCaptain Mark Valentine was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. When SkyWest announced it would be opening a Boise domicile (BOI), Captain Valentine was among the first to apply for a transfer. While he didn’t expect to hold the base right away, he was thrilled when it got awarded.

“I can now drive 10 minutes to work!” Captain Valentine said. “It is so much more convenient than the two-hour commute I had before.”

Boise is where Captain Valentine was first introduced to his love of flight. When he accompanied his father on a trip to a business meeting, 6-year-old Mark stayed awake for the entire flight while his father fell asleep. The family friend who was flying the aircraft noticed the young boy attentively awake and offered to have him come into the cockpit.

“What 6-year-old is going to turn down an offer to fly a plane?” Captain Valentine said. “I remember sitting in the cockpit for probably half an hour, amazed that I was flying the plane.”

That was all it took for Captain Valentine to establish his new dream.

After serving in the military for a few years, Captain Valentine returned home to Idaho and enrolled in a flight school to pursue his childhood dream.

In June of 2012, Captain Valentine upgraded from a smaller airplane to SkyWest. He says that once he was hired, he has never looked back!

“The people at SkyWest are what make this place so unique,” Captain Valentine said. “The culture here is much more like a family than anything else.”


IMG_0286Captain Rick Salvador has been living in San Diego since being hired at SkyWest over 16 years ago, though until today he’s been commuting to his LAX base. When he heard he was awarded the new San Diego (SAN) domicile, he responded like a true Californian:

“There’s no more traffic and driving up the 405 to get to LAX. The quality of life just got so much better!”

Captain Salvador started his career as a SkyWest pilot in 2001. When SkyWest retired the Brasilia in 2014, he took the next available CRJ class and spent two years based out of SkyWest’s Denver (DEN) hub before transferring to LAX.

Captain Salvador looks forward to being based back in his hometown after three years of commuting. He is excited for the opportunities the base presents, and the chance to mentor new pilots.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie with the people at SkyWest, especially at the smaller domiciles,” said Captain Salvador. “It truly makes for a pleasant place to work.”


SkyWest flies in partnership with four major airlines including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. These partnerships give our pilots more opportunity and exposure than any other regional airline pilot. Check out our pilot career guide for more information, and Take Control of your Career with SkyWest.

 

SkyWest Provides CTP Course for Pilots

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest pilots have more opportunity, exposure and access than any other regional pilot. With over a dozen domiciles, a fleet of over 360 airplanes, and flying agreements with four mainline partners – United, Delta, American and Alaska, SkyWest has excellent quality of life for every First Officer. And in addition, SkyWest has the best training in the industry.

SGU Dedication_0046-2From the moment an aspiring pilot completes an application and passes a pilot interview, they start to experience this unmatched training first hand; staring with the SkyWest Certification Training Program (CTP).

“CTP was both hard work and a lot of fun,” SkyWest First Officer Cory Schenker said. “It’s very easy for this wealth of new knowledge to become overwhelming but SkyWest utilizes just the right people with just the right enthusiasm to keep it fun, engaging and highly informative.”

PilotQuote1Once a pilot’s application and interview have been accepted, SkyWest will provide the means to complete a SkyWest approved CTP course, which introduces pilots to SkyWest’s rigorous training, while also preparing them to have a smooth transition into ground school.

“I thought [CTP] was great, especially for people like me coming straight from general aviation,” SkyWest First Officer Adam Crismon said. “It was nice to have an introduction into jet aviation and a basic understanding of what to expect before training. I really enjoyed the classroom information and how it directly related to SkyWest instead of a generic example.”

Part of what sets the SkyWest CTP course apart is that the instructors are all current SkyWest pilots.

“For me, the real benefit of CTP is that the same instructors teach both CTP and the new hire classes,” Cory said. “I didn’t realize just how much the instructors were preparing me to succeed.”

Another benefit of the SkyWest CTP course is that students will be training in the aircraft you will be flying as a pilot at SkyWest. The 10 hours of simulation time will also count toward your total hours.

“I really liked the fact that we were in the same type simulator as what we were going to be flying and training in,” Adam said. “I found that as a huge step up and boost in training efficiency.”

“The 10 hours you get in the sim during CTP is extremely valuable,” Cory said. “Becoming familiar with SkyWest procedures, callouts and the airplane itself takes time. When I began sim training I was able to hit the ground running as opposed just get familiar.”

PilotQuote2Travel and hotel accommodations, a 65 hour monthly training guarantee, and a CTP study partner are just a few of the other benefits pilots who go through SkyWest’s CTP have.

“Overall I was very happy with the CTP program and would highly recommend it to anyone entering the commercial airlines aviation industry,” Adam said.

From day one, SkyWest Airlines gives pilots industry leading training. It’s just one of the many reasons SkyWest pilots have more opportunities than any other regional pilot and are sought after by every major airline. Take Control of Your Career. Apply online today.

Why First Class Pilots Choose SkyWest

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Put it all together and it’s clear that SkyWest pilots have more opportunity, exposure and access than any other regional pilot in the industry!

Today, SkyWest’s nearly 4,000 pilots operate more than 1,800 flights each day to more than 200 destinations throughout North America. But it doesn’t stop there – SkyWest is currently hiring new pilots to support the company’s continuing growth and new aircraft. The application process is streamlined, making it easy to take control of your career today. Find out more information about our pilot careers, or simply complete the application on skywest.com and a pilot recruiter will reach out to set up a convenient time for your interview. Take Control of Your Career. Apply at SkyWest Airlines today.

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Doolittle_RaiderNearly 75 years after the historic Doolittle Raider mission as part of WWII, SkyWest was honored to fly the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole (age – 101), to attend the funeral service of a fellow Doolittle Raider. With a World War II hero on their flight, the SkyWest crew (CA Mike Spencer, FO Jeff Blaylock and FA Hayley Neves) ensured Lt. Col. Cole received the hero’s welcome he deserved.

“The entire crew went above and beyond to make this a special day for Lt. Col. Cole,” said Tracy Gallo – VP of Flight Ops. “That he was going to bury the last remaining member of his squad made the service even more meaningful.”

Left to Right, Front Row: Lt. Col. D.H. Doolittle; Lt. R.E. Cole. Back row: Lt. H.A. Potter; SSgt. F.A. Braemer; SSgt. P.J. Leonard

Lt. Col. Cole was part of one of  the most famous missions in U.S. military history when, on April 18, 1942,  he and 79 other brave members of the U.S. Air Force set out aboard 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers as part of  the United States’ response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their mission, to bomb Japanese forces in Tokyo, was highly dangerous as their bombers were unable to land on the aircraft carrier they took off from.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 15 of the bombers landed in China after carrying out there mission, where eight crewmembers were captured by Japanese soldiers. The other bomber landed in the Soviet Union, where the crew was interned for more than a year before being returned to the U.S. In total, the Doolittle Raiders lost 11 men on their mission. The remaining 69 heroes returned home to the U.S. With the passing of his friend, Lt. Col. Cole is the last living Doolittle Raider.

Doolittle RaidUpon learning that he would captain the flight carrying this special passenger, Captain Spencer made a quick trip to the local grocery store to pick up nine dozen donuts. The crew then met Lt. Col. Cole in the boarding area and escorted him to the aircraft and arranged for him to sit in row one. After boarding was complete, the donuts were passed out to passengers as Captain Spencer read the story of the Doolittle Raiders over the intercom. The cabin was quick to give Lt. Col. Cole a huge round of applause.

Lt. Col. Cole continued to receive the VIP treatment throughout the duration of his flight to MSO, where he was again escorted by the crew. As we celebrate the birth of the United States this Independence Day weekend, a special thanks to Lt. Col. Cole and all those who have served and continue to preserve our freedoms. At SkyWest, we proudly support more than 1,000 active or retired military members across our operation.

Our crew Mike, Jeff and Hayley are another great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,600+ employees are continually going out of their way to make a difference for their passengers. To learn more about working at SkyWest, visit www.skywest.com/careers .

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

Take Control: 360° Takeoff Video


Ready to take control of your career? Picture yourself doing just that in our 360 degree takeoff video! See what it’s like to sit at the controls and takeoff from the flight deck of one of our E175 aircraft in Boise, Idaho.

SkyWest pilots have more opportunities and exposure than any other regional pilots – flying for four major airlines, in more new jets of any regional and with over a dozen domiciles around the country. Why limit yourself? Take control of your career today by applying at skywest.com!

 

 

 

SkyWest Captain Praised for Little Act of Kindness

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest people are the best in the industry! Just check out this story that was shared on Facebook after one SkyWest CRJ captain helped a young family with their sleepy toddler.

We landed at midnight and both kids were fast asleep. We waited until we we were the last ones on the plane and woke up…

Posted by Jennifer Braithwaite Cowley on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Interested in working with incredible people like this captain? Find out more about flying with SkyWest here!

Check out more stories about SkyWest people making a difference!