GoJet Crew Scheduler is Making a Name for Himself in the Music Industry

Dylan Smith
GoJet Crew Scheduler Dylan Smith

Everyone dreams of making it in show business.  But GoJet Crew Scheduler Dylan Smith is well on his way to doing just that.

A musician since the age of 8, Dylan started out playing drums, and later learned to play bass and keyboards.  Like young many musicians, he dreamed of playing in a rock band.  “I guess that’s every musician’s dream at some point,” he admits, “but I did play in a progressive rock band for a time, so I can say that I achieved that goal!”

Dylan eventually left the band when be became bored with writing short, individual songs.  “I wanted to write these long, narrative story arcs through music, but it just didn’t work for my band at the time,” he recalls.  This desire to tell longer stories through music eventually led Dylan to begin composing film scores, where he could write music to enhance the narrative taking place on the screen.

Dylan’s ultimate career goal is to compose music for television and film full-time.  Recently, Dylan collaborated with Los Angeles-based writer and director Braden Barton on his film Unconditional.  Barton recruited Dylan, as well as Dylan’s friend and fellow composer Alex Whalen, to help complete the film score for a film he was working on, a drama called Unconditional.  “We were asked to write thematic material and apply it to an orchestral ensemble,” Dylan explained.  “Our contributions were added to the original compositions, and we were all very happy with the resulting score.”  Preliminary screenings of Unconditional have generated positive feedback, and the film has received favorable reviews in the Los Angeles press.

Dylan is currently working on other film projects, while also composing music for Telepictures Productions, a television subsidiary of Warner Bros.  So far, Telepictures Productions has featured Dylan’s work during episodes of Crime Watch and Teen Titans Go!.  Dylan is currently exploring the possibility of working on an upcoming Scooby Doo project.

GoJet Flight Attendant Portrays Rosie the Riveter in Carhartt Commercial

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GoJet flight attendant Haley Sellers (left) and other Rosies on the set of Carhartt’s “All Hail Mom” commercial shoot.

Detroit-based Flight Attendant Haley Sellers has been fascinated with aviation since she was a child.  “My first flight was a trip to Disney World with my family when I was seven years old,” she recalls.  “The flight attendant was so nice.  She gave me a pair of wings and took me to meet the Captain.  Ever since then, I knew I wanted to work in the air.”

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GoJet Flight Attendant Haley Sellers

After graduating from high school, Haley studied to become a pilot, and then changed her focus to Aviation Management.  However, it wasn’t long before she decided that she had to get back in the air.  As a GoJet Flight Attendant, she’s found a career that indulges her passion for aviation, while providing the perfect outlet for her infectious personality.  “I’m a chatterbox,” she laughs.  “I love meeting and talking to all different kinds of people, and immersing myself in other cultures.

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WWII-era Rosie the Riveter image

When Haley’s not flying, she can be found volunteering at the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she takes part in the Rosie the Riveter tribute program.  This one-of-a-kind program honors the millions of women who contributed to the WWII war effort by working in factories and shipyards, producing munitions and other war supplies.  These women, who took over manufacturing jobs from men who had been called to war, were called “Rosie the Riveters.”

Program volunteers dress as the now iconic Rosie the Riveter image and educate visitors about women’s contributions to WWII, including their work at the Willow Run Bombing plant, where Rosie the Riveters built B-24 bombers.  Recently, volunteer Rosies were also part of a large-scale campaign to save the Willow Run Bombing Plant from demolition.  The campaign was successful, and the plant will soon be the new home of the Yankee Air Museum.

Haley has been involved in the Rosie the Riveter program since 2014.  “It piqued my interest because it was a culmination of several things that I’ve always been passionate about, first and foremost being aviation,” she remarked.  “I’ve also done ROTC my whole life, and I worked on cars with my dad growing up.”

Earlier this year, Haley and other fellow Rosies were invited to be a part of a commercial for Carhartt’s “All Hail Mom” Mother’s Day tribute.

Haley describes the shoot as both an exciting and eye-opening experience. “It turns out,” she recalls, “that the production company in charge of the shoot also works on Game of Thrones. They used real dirt and effects when they shot us pulling planes at different times throughout the day.”

Best of all, original Rosies came to the shoot to meet the tribute Rosies who are educating others about their legacy generations later.

 

 

 

Wingman Internship Puts Pilot’s Dreams Within Reach

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Future GoJet pilot, Mario Otchere

The path to flying commercially can be daunting, especially for student pilots who are just starting to earn their hours.  That’s why GoJet offers collegiate aviators a streamlined pathway to a First Officer position at GoJet.  Our Wingman internship program identifies promising pilots while they’re still in flight school and gives them a behind the scenes look at what to expect when they land their first commercial airline job.  Plus, our pilot mentors walk participants through the process of becoming a GoJet pilot upon completion of ATP minimums.

Other benefits include tuition reimbursement, referral bonuses, flight benefits, and advance training opportunities, including simulator time.

One of the student pilots currently benefiting from the program is Mario Otchere. The son of Ghanaian immigrants , Mario is currently a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and working on a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety at Saint Louis University.  Mario’s aviation aspirations began at a very early age, and his parents were very supportive of his goal to become a pilot.  “My dad especially loved the idea,” he remarked.  “He shared the same dream, but he never had the opportunity to fulfill it himself.”

Being the first pilot in his family, his parents had no airline or flight training connections to start him on the right path. “We basically just kind of shot in the dark,” Mario recalls.  After training in Dubuque, Iowa, Mario and his family quickly learned how expensive it could be to become a pilot.  Mario learned about the Wingman program when researching programs that offset the cost of flight training.  “At the time,” he confessed, “all I knew about GoJet was that it was a small airline in St. Louis. It stood out because it wasn’t one of the major airlines that are often pushed onto students when they’re beginning to formulate their career goals.”

Since beginning the program in 2016, Mario has taken full advantage of everything it has to offer, including pass travel benefits and advance training opportunities.  “I’ve had the opportunity to view and experience some of the same things as line pilots, and have even spent some time in the simulator.”  Now that he’s had a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a GoJet pilot, he’s ready to become one.

“My goal is the be in the right seat of a GoJet CRJ in 12 to 20 months. I look forward to the pay, as well as the quick upgrade time.  Both will really help me pay off my student loans.”

Mario is confident that his experience as a Wingman will pay off down the road in his aviation career.  “The Wingman program has given me an in-depth feel as to how an airline operates,” he remarked.  I already have a strong foot in the door with GoJet, and with everything I’ve learned, I’ll be fully prepared for training.”

If you’re an ambitious, career-minded student pilot looking to get a head start on your commercial aviation career, then this program is for you.  Click here to get started.  

Crew Scheduler’s Photography Catches the Attention of National Geographic

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“Pray for the Bees” was taken by GoJet’s own Nicholas Huber, and was featured on National Geographic’s website.

When he’s not on the job, GoJet Crew Scheduler Nicholas Huber is perfecting his photography skills.  “I picked it up as a hobby about a year and a half ago,” he explains. “I’m saving money to upgrade my equipment, but I got a digital camera and a couple of lenses to start with.”  Although he’s a relative newbie to the photography world, Nick’s work has already made waves among fellow enthusiasts, and has even been shared on National Geographic’s website.

So far on his photography journey, Nick has most enjoyed capturing nature photos, and it was a nature shot of a friend’s beehive that caught the attention of National Geographic. After showing the image to friends and receiving positive feedback, he decided to submit it to National Geographic’s YourShot program, which gives amateur and professional photographers alike the opportunity to share their photographs with National Geographic editors.  The best images are chosen to appear on National Geographic’s website and in National Geographic magazine.  To Nick’s astonishment, his photo was selected as one of National Geographic’s “Daily Dozen,” a daily showcase of the editors’ 12 favorite YourShot submissions.

“When they reached out to me and told me that my photo was selected, I was pretty amazed,” Nick recalled.  “It was the first time I’d ever submitted any of my work into a contest of any kind!”

Regarding Nick’s photo, National Geographic editor Matt Williams commented,

“Such an interesting frame, and I love the idea of you photographing this scene from the back. A great and creative idea when it comes to photographing a beekeeper and a bee hive. The light is excellent and I love how it reflects off of the beekeeper headgear and the honeycombs.”

In the future, Nick plans to put his employee travel benefits to good use so that he can photograph more unique and interesting places.  “I’m planning backpacking trips with friends to help familiarize me with more nature shots,” he remarked, “and I really want to photograph up and down the Washington and Oregon coastlines.”

GoJet Flight Attendant is a Winner on The Price is Right

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GoJet Flight Attendant Betty Griggs is all smiles after her appearance on The Price is Right earlier this spring.

“Come on down!”  Those iconic words instantly bring to mind the wildly popular TV game show “The Price is Right” and the ecstatic reactions from contestants chosen from the audience to compete.  The show, which has been on television since the 1950s, features contestants competing to win cash and prizes by guessing the prices of different products.  GoJet flight attendant Betty Griggs is lifelong fan of The Price is Right, and had an unforgettable experience when she attended a taping of the show with her family this spring.

When Betty’s cousin offered to request free tickets to a taping of The Price Is Right, Betty was immediately on board – after all, she could easily travel to California using her employee travel benefits.  She just had one condition – her mom had to come, too.

“My mother is 92 years old, and isn’t able to travel as much as she used to,” she explained.  “But she’s been such a big Price Is Right fan for so long that I knew she would want to make the trip.”

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From top:  GoJet Flight Attendant Betty Griggs, Betty’s mother (also named Betty), and Betty’s cousin Joanne

When the trio arrived at the studio, Betty remembered a conversation she had with another flight attendant about the show.  “This flight attendant had been on The Price Is Right, and mentioned that the producer interviews each attendee as they walk in, observing their personality, demeanor, and how they interact with others,” she recalled.  This is where Betty’s instinctual people skills from being a flight attendant gave her a natural advantage. Out of over 200 attendees, Betty was one of the first selected to “come on down”!

A correct bid on a foosball table gave Betty the chance play the game “Flip-Flop” on stage with host Drew Carey.

“I had to match up prices to products,” Betty remarked, “and went with my gut after being unable to determine what the audience was trying to tell me. This was the right move, because the prices matched up, and I won the game!”

Betty then advanced to the Showcase Showdown, where she got the chance to spin the big wheel. Although she didn’t move on to the final Showcase, Betty walked away with a 3-D television and a set of living room furniture, in addition to the foosball table.  While she kept TV and the furniture for herself, Betty gave the foosball table to her son, Barry. “When I told him that it was his, he said that he had a space already picked out for it,” Betty laughs.

When the episode aired in early June, Betty held a themed watch party, where she held games and gave away prizes to her guests, just like The Price is Right. “None of them had seen the episode yet, so from all of their reactions I re-lived the excitement of being there,” she said.

Betty says that while being a contestant and a winner was a thrill, the best part of the trip was experiencing The Price Is Right with her mother.

“I knew it meant a lot to her, and we will always remember it.”

 

FedEx Pilot Credits GoJet Background with Career Success

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Former GoJet pilot Nick Bolander, after wrapping up his first trip as a FedEx First Officer

We love seeing our pilots achieve their career goals.  Nick Bolander began his airline career with GoJet in 2012, and upgraded to Captain just two years later.  Five years to the day after he was hired at GoJet, he was was offered a First Officer position at FedEx.  When he looks back over the past five years, Nick credits his experience at GoJet with getting him to where he is today.

When Nick began FedEx’s training program earlier this year, he discovered that GoJet’s training program had paved the way for his success.  He was pleasantly surprised to find that much of the material was familiar – it had been covered five years ago when he was a new hire at GoJet.

“There were some slight differences here and there, but a lot of it was similar to my new hire training at GoJet,” he remarked.  “GoJet’s training program really paid off down the road and ensured that I was comfortable later in my career.”

Nick also found that the five years he spent flying the CRJ700/900 provided an excellent foundation for learning to fly larger equipment.  “The CRJ is a good building block plane, and CRJ flying put me on solid footing to pick up on new systems,” he explained.  “While larger aircraft have more technological features, I was able grasp them quickly because the CRJ gave me a good understanding of aircraft operations and functionality.”

Nick further credits his career progression to opportunities at GoJet that extended far beyond the flight deck.  GoJet encourages pilots to make the most of their time with the airline by getting involved in other areas of the company.  In fact, When GoJet pilot recruiters interview applicants, they’re specifically looking for pilots who are going to come to GoJet and make a difference.  “We’re looking for pilots who are going to do more than just fly their shift, make their money, and go home,” pilot recruiter James Douvier explains. “We want to hire people who are going to be involved and engaged in the airline.”  Nick did just that during his time at GoJet, and played an important role in a variety of projects.

“Since day one,” he said, “there were always chances to get involved beyond being a line pilot. Everything I was able to do offered a new and different perspective into my career path, and helped prepare me for future training.”

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Captain Bolander during his last trip as a GoJet pilot

In addition to heading a Safety committee, Nick worked on behalf of the pilot’s union to help Scheduling and Dispatch ensure more efficient lines by testing software that rebuilt projected trips and restructured trip pairings.

“On top of being a pilot,” Nick explains, “this helped me better understand how an airline works, from both a Dispatch and Scheduling perspective.”

Nick now plans to fly for FedEx for the remainder of his career. “I’ll most likely be flying here until I retire or until I can’t fly anymore, whichever comes first,” he laughs.  However, even though he’s moved on, Nick is still close with his former colleagues.

“Whether they’re still there or have also moved on, the friendships I made at GoJet have stuck with me just as strongly as my training.”

Nick is just one of the many GoJet pilots who have gone on to fly for some of the top airlines in the world.  If you’re looking for an airline experience that’s going to give you the training and experience you need to achieve your career goals, drop our pilot recruiters a line at pilotjobs@gojetairlines.com.

Director of Maintenance Likens Camaraderie at GoJet to the Marine Corps

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Marine Corps Veteran and GoJet Director of Maintenance, Jeff Bast

When leaving the military, it’s common for Veterans to look for careers in the civilian world that will allow them to utilize the training they received in the armed forces.  For example, military pilots and aircraft mechanics often put their skills to work in the airline industry when their active duty responsibilities are complete.

Marine Corps Veteran and GoJet Director of Maintenance did just that.  Prior to his airline career, Jeff spent five years as an Avionics Technician in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he ensured that Maine Corps aircraft, including AV-8B Harrier jets, were mission capable.

When Jeff left active duty, he found that his avionics skills were very marketable in the civilian world.  He was recruited by a St. Louis-based regional airline, where he went on to spend over 15 years holding progressively responsible Tech Ops positions before joining GoJet as its new Director of Maintenance in early 2017.

With the exception of combat situations, Jeff says that the major difference between military and commercial aviation is the activity level of the aircraft that technicians work on.  “If you’re an Avionics Technician stationed at a military base, you’re primarily going to work on a fleet that’s grounded, but still needs to be ready to go at a moment’s notice,” he said.  “But an airline is a business, and every decision you make is hyper-focused on keeping aircraft in the air.”

Despite having an office at GoJet’s corporate headquarters, Jeff always looks for opportunities to get his hands dirty at the maintenance hangar.  “Who likes sitting in an office all day?” he laughed. “Plus, getting in the trenches gives me the opportunity to interact with our front line mechanics.”

Even though his active duty days are behind him, Jeff says that the camaraderie he has with his co-workers at GoJet reminds him of the relationships he had with his fellow soldiers in the Marines.

“I found a good group of people in the military,” Jeff recalls, “and it was the same when I joined GoJet. I love working with the people in this company, just like I loved working with the people in my squadron.”

GoJet Airlines is a proud supporter of our men and women in uniform.  We value military leadership, and are proud that many Veterans like Jeff have chosen GoJet for their civilian careers.