Many aviators aspire to hold the role of Pilot-In-Command because it is the highest rank they can serve while flying the line. GoJet First Officers can upgrade to Captain as soon as they meet FAA minimums. Captain Tyler Parham seamlessly transitioned from First Officer to Captain after two years. Read more below to learn about Captain Parham’s upgrade experience and why he encourages GoJet First Officers to follow in his footsteps.
- How easy was the transition from First Officer to Captain for you?
Switching from the right seat to the left seat was a seamless transition, even though the training was challenging at times. Preparation plays an integral role in the training, because the more prepared you are, the better understanding you’ll gain. Becoming a Captain is a huge commitment and responsibility, which should be taken seriously. I think the best thing First Officers can do when they consider becoming a Captain is to pay close attention to the decision-making process.
- What has been the most exciting part about becoming a Captain?
The most exciting part about becoming a Captain is being in command of the airplane. Like most pilots, my lifelong goal in my career was always to become Captain of aircraft that I fly. I respect the responsibilities that come along with the job and take pride in providing the best customer service to each passenger on the airplane.
- How different is it flying in the left seat?
The main difference I noticed between flying in the left seat versus the right seat is that it’s more of a supervisory role. Maintaining the safety of everyone on the plane is one of my biggest responsibilities as a Captain. It’s my job to ensure that passengers leave with a pleasant travel experience.
- What would you say to GoJet First Officers considering their upgrade?
I’d encourage them to keep in mind that your life, your First Officer and the passengers’ lives are in your hands. Take the time in the right seat to make your own decisions and compare them to your Captain’s decisions. Decide whether you would have taken that same approach or would have done something different. If you come prepared, it can be the easiest and most rewarding experience you can ever have.
- What are the perks and benefits to becoming a Captain?
There are many benefits that come with becoming a Captain. The most obvious would be the pay increase. Another perk would be when my crew and I still arrive on time to our desired destination after experiencing a challenging flight. Our passengers don’t seem to notice anything different, because our customer service skills are so superb. A successful flight to your passengers is an uneventful and comfortable flight and for me, that is very rewarding.
- What tips would you give upgrading pilots on how to best prepare for the oral exam?
Prepare for your oral exam the same way as you do for your initial intake. In initial, we receive a PIC type rating and are already rated to the airplane. You are required to have basic knowledge and apply it to real world situations. Instructors want to see if you have the best decision-making skills that it takes to be the Captain of your aircraft. The oral is essentially the same, but from the vantage point of seeing the bigger picture.
- What are some best practices that helped you succeed in your upgrade process?
The best advice I can give is to prepare as you would for any checking event, but more importantly, pay attention to what your Captain is doing when you are in the right seat. Ask questions and involve yourself in what is happening. Most importantly, enjoy the process. Upgrading is a challenging, but very rewarding process!