Tag Archives: SkyWest Pilots

Leading Team SkyWest in the Fight Against Parkinson’s

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Patrick Altree, a San Francisco-based SkyWest captain, first noticed that something was amiss when his right hand would tremble slightly as he was trying to hold something steady, like pouring a can of soda into a glass. He dismissed it as stress or caffeine since it would come and go. But as the problem began to occur more frequently over the next year, he and his girlfriend (now his wife) started a voyage of self-diagnosis. While all the signs pointed to Parkinson ’s disease, Patrick continued to dismiss the idea.

Patrick went through a series of tests he refers to as the “Parkinson’s Field Sobriety” where a patient is asked to walk, open and close their hands, recite the months of the year backwards, touch their fingers to their nose, etc. Based on the results, Patrick was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s at the age of 38. Since being diagnosed six and a half years ago, he has refused to sit on the sidelines and has taken an active role in learning more about the disease and is raising funds to bring awareness to and find a cure for Parkinson’s.

532702_439701839389631_1001382797_n

Every April during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Patrick heads up Team SkyWest in the Paws for Parkinson’s 5k in San Diego. To date, Patrick’s SkyWest team has raised nearly $20,000 for Parkinson’s related research and has become one of the top 10 teams in terms of total money donated.

“The majority of these donations were from individual employees, many whom I’ve never met,” says Patrick. “These are some of the best examples of what the spirit of SkyWest is all about. The generosity and compassion from perfect strangers has been particularly humbling.”

Parkinsons_Altree

Parkinson’s patients are often diagnosed when they’re in their 60s. Patrick’s battle with Parkinson’s began when he was in his 30s and illustrates how the disease can affect anyone. Fortunately for Patrick, he responds well to the only FAA-approved treatment using a drug called L-DOPA. This medication, coupled with running and a good diet, has kept Patrick relatively stable.

“Parkinson’s is relentless. It is degenerative, progressive and there is no cure,” says Patrick. “It is all of those things and so much more. Parkinson’s has been a blessing to me. It has taught me the importance of the here and now, the relevance and finite nature of time and that there are things in this world much bigger than myself. It has taught me patience and gratitude, and just how valuable simple kindness is.”

538400_439702179389597_446060309_n

Patrick’s fundraising efforts support Parkinson’s research, including determining what causes Parkinson’s and how to prevent the disease, developing new treatments and eventually finding a cure.

The next Paws for Parkinson’s 5K will be held on Saturday, April 16 at Liberty Station Park in San Diego, right next to San Diego Lindbergh Field. You can also learn more by visiting Patrick’s team page here.

Love is in the Air

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing love. So we asked some of our pilots to share why they love to fly for SkyWest.

09-04_DEN_AppreciationWeek_FirstOfficerWalkAroundSmiling

I love flying in the most beautiful area in the country for the best people in the business.

– Joe Becker – CRJ Captain, PDX

I do what I love for a living every day surrounded by people who genuinely love their jobs.

-Ryan Fisher – ERJ Captain, ORD

I can honestly say I work with the best in the industry and absolutely love going to work. The people at SkyWest really do care about what they do and have fun doing it. You are able to learn and gain experience from some of the best in the industry. 

-Brandon Falzon – CRJ First Officer, SFO

Maybe this…12466215_930116230391170_4698473916389768435_o

-Roy Madewell – CRJ First Officer, PSP

It’s wonderful being able to say that I truly love going to “work”! We have such wonderful people! 

-Sarah Bliesath – CRJ Captain, SEA

I love that when I sit down in the flight deck, it is assumed that the guy or girl next to me is already a friend whether I have met them before or not. That is the SkyWest culture.

 -Matthew S. Schroeder – CRJ Captain, SLC

These are my top two reasons that I enjoy flying for SkyWest:

1) The People-
Despite SkyWest’s rapid growth, each base still has the feel of a small family. We all take care of one another and genuinely care about each other’s lives outside the company, and it’s really a great feeling.

2) The Flying-   
SkyWest has an awesome and varied mix of flying all throughout the country. Whether you enjoy flying in the mountains of Colorado, the exotic cities in Mexico or the busy airspace in New York, there’s a diverse and exciting mix of flying and destinations!  

-Mike Edmonds – CRJ First Officer, PHX

09-04_ORD_AppreciationWeek_Captain

SkyWest is home to more than 11,300 aviation professionals who love what they do! And now is the perfect time to become a part of our team!

SkyWest Movember Mustaches

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

There have been a few more mustaches than usual among SkyWest employees this past month. No, the trend does not signal a change in uniform requirements. The increase in facial hair was part of Movember, a health initiative designed to bring more awareness to men’s health throughout the month of November.

Movember1

Salt Lake City CRJ Captain Jon Warner

Nick Pearson, a Los Angeles-based CRJ captain, led Team SkyWest in supporting Movember, rallying other employees to also participate in improving awareness and encouraging conversations surrounding men’s health.

“When I heard about this cause, I thought it’d be great to contribute,” said Nick. “I also used to be very fond of growing a winter beard but the mustache is the only facial hair we’re allowed to have as pilots, so I looked on this as the next best thing!”

Movember2

Los Angeles CRJ Captain Nick Pearson

Movember challenges men to alter their appearance by growing a mustache for 30 days to raise awareness and educate about men’s health issues. SkyWest employees were encouraged throughout the month to look into their own health, including screening and preventative care visits.

Thanks to Nick’s efforts, along with several dozen other SkyWest employees on his team, thousands of dollars will be donated to the Movember Foundation this year!