A Wingman’s Story: Why Aspiring Pilots Choose GoJet

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GoJet Wingman, Dakota Heflin, steps aboard our Delta Connection flight.

Dakota Heflin was only seven-years-old when he discovered his passion to work in the aviation industry. Now, a student pilot in GoJet’s Wingman Program, Heflin is experiencing an inside look into the commercial airline world.

“As a child, I was fortunate enough to have a pilot mentor who took me on my first plane ride at only seven-years-old to help me to overcome my fear of flying. This was the genesis of my never-ending passion to fly,” Heflin said. “Today, with GoJet’s Wingman Program, I have access to an experienced pilot mentor who guides me through my internship.”

GoJet’s Wingman Pilpeline Program provides promising pilots currently enrolled in a professional airline training program an internship at GoJet while they build flight time.  Program participants become GoJet First Officers upon completion of ATP minimums, and may receive several benefits including tuition reimbursement, referral bonuses, limited flight benefits, and more.

Heflin admits that many new pilot’s struggle to find the correct pathway in the 121-airline industry.

“With so many options, choosing the right path can be a challenge, Heflin said. “Networking, knowing the right people, and simply being determined to achieve your dream are all great ways to get your foot in the door. I’ve learned that Airline Cadet Internship programs like this one have the best opportunities. This is a great jumpstart to my career.”

Students interested in becoming a GoJet Wingman undergo a short interview process. Once accepted into the program, GoJet will fly participants to the St. Louis-based headquarters to tour the facility.

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Heflin shot a photo while inside of a Cessna.

“I loved having the chance to tour of Lambert’s air traffic control tower and GoJet’s maintenance hangar where we had a private viewing of the CRJ 700 and 900 airplanes,” Heflin said. “The full-motion simulator time at flight safety was an invaluable experience, and I also appreciate the opportunity observe my future colleagues in the jump seat on part 91 flights.”

To be deemed eligible for the Wingman Pipeline Program, participants must be currently enrolled and in good standing at an approved flight school or university. They must also carry a Private Pilot’s license & instrument rating, they must hold a FAA First Class Medical Certificate, must be eligible to work in the US and must have a valid passport.

For more information about GoJet Airlines’ Wingman Pipeline Program, visit gojetairlines.com

 

Military Pilot Launches Civilian Flying Career with GoJet

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Military Pilot, Joshua Schilling before transitioning to GoJet.

First Officer Joshua Schilling agrees that there’s no better place to launch your civilian flying career than GoJet. The regional airline’s Rotor Transition Program offers competitive compensation paired with one of the fastest upgrade times in the industry—making GoJet a top choice among military pilots.  By providing $26,000 toward training, GoJet’s Rotor Transition Program helps helicopter pilots obtain the fixed-wing training they need to meet R-ATAP minimums. Military pilot, Joshua Schilling, utilized the program as a pathway to start flying commercially and explains below why GoJet was the best fit for his desired career path.

 

How did you begin your journey to a career in aviation?

I obtained my Private Pilot License from Kansas State University where I took Professional Aviation courses for one year. I then transferred to Louisiana Tech University continuing in Professional Aviation to complete my bachelor’s degree with Commercial, Instrument, and Multi-Engine licenses in 2003.  When I completed my degrees, I enlisted in the Army and joined the Warrant Officer Program. After receiving my commission, I attended Army Rotary Wing Flight School where my passion for flying expanded. For the last 12 years, I have flown UH-60 Blackhawks for the Army and now the Colorado National Guard.

What made GoJet your regional airline of choice?

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After building his time, Joshua Schilling begins as a First Officer with GoJet.

The recruiting team at GoJet went out of their way to get funding sent to my school of choice—The Air Force Flying Club in Colorado Springs—so that I could complete the time building I needed. The interactions I’ve experienced with the GoJet recruiting team have been beyond exceptional. GoJet staff is diligent, so I didn’t have to wait around for anyone. As soon as I decided to move forward with the program, they sent me my hotel, reservations, and the course materials that I needed. Also, having the ability to do my time-building while living at home and staying with my family made a huge difference in deciding which airline to go with.  Most of us military folks have spent a considerable amount of time away from our families, so every little bit helps.

With GoJet, you’re able to quickly earn Pilot in Command time, and become attractive to a major airline carrier. Was this a factor in your choosing GoJet?

The transparency with the company has been great! They know and realize that they are a stepping stone to one of the major airlines. Having the opportunity to fly a larger regional aircraft was also more attractive to me than the smaller options that some of the other regionals are flying.  The Denver base was an even larger factor in accepting my job offer with GoJet, because I live near the Denver area.

What advice would you give to a rotor pilot who wants to transition to an airline like GoJet?

I would recommend that pilots obtain their licenses prior to transitioning out of the military. This was incredibly helpful for me because I was able to start immediately with the airline that best fit my lifestyle and career goals.

To learn more about GoJet’s Rotor Transition Program, please click here: http://bit.ly/2qwJJJq

GoJet Flight Attendant Donated Bone Marrow to Save a Young Girl’s Life

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Jeannie Andersen has always set her sights on flying and helping others.

GoJet Flight Attendant, Jeannie Andersen, was visiting her daughter’s school when she learned that the bone marrow she’d decided to donate was indeed going to save a young girls life.

After flying mainline and doing charter flights for several years, Jeannie was able to connect with many families from the Make-A-Wish Foundation where she served children who were terminally ill inflight. While engaging with each family, Jeannie was made aware of the dire need for bone marrow donors with varying blood types.

“Many of us come home to healthy children each day, but at work, I would see these beautiful children with Sickle Cell, Leukemia, and other diseases. Some children were waiting for bone marrow donors and I decided that I had to do more!” Jeannie said.

Jeannie contacted Laurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago and went to be tested to determine if she could become a bone marrow donor.

“My doctor was a little bit concerned because I’m small in stature, but I knew that this was something bigger than myself, and something that I needed to do,” Jeannie said.

One month later Jeannie learned that she was a match and started the procedure for a five-year-old little girl named Madeline. While the testing was a simple swab of the cheek, the marrow extraction process was a bit more complicated. Jeannie went through a great deal of recovery, but kept her spirits high and her focus on the young girl in need.

“Madeline was in a very critical stage, so it was this or nothing else because all of her options had been exhausted,” Jeannie said. “After the procedure, I really never knew how it had gone for her—I just prayed and hoped. But after several weeks, my caseworker called and said that the little girl was doing very well and the mother had requested to meet me!”

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Madeline shared her gratitude with Jeannie

Jeannie scheduled a time to meet with Madeline’s family at the hospital. When Jeannie walked into the room she was speechless! Madeline’s mother shared that Madeline had drawn a picture of a woman who looked just like Jeannie with red hair and had named it her big star. Each night the family would wish on a star for Madeline to become well.

“It was such a huge opportunity to meet Madeline, and that day was so emotional for me,” Jeannie said.  “Her mother asked me how she could thank me for saving her daughter’s life.  I said that I only did what I would hope someone else would do if this was my child. I also replied that I wanted Madeline to enjoy every sunset, embrace life and to have fantastic adventures. That, in itself, would be thanks enough.”

Madeline’s health continues to improve, and she is now in full remission. She went on to Kindergarten and also plays softball. Madeline’s mother decided to purchase a star in honor of Jeannie’s contribution and presented Jeannie with a plaque sharing the location and name of the star in the sky.

“I like to think of all of us making wishes and giving back with nothing expected in return,” Jeannie said.

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A motto that Jeannie lives by

GoJet Ambassadors Prep Collegiate Aviators for Successful Careers

Jason DuvernayOur collegiate Ambassador Program connects current GoJet pilots with student pilots from their former universities or flight schools. There’s a big difference between student flying and commercial flying, and our Ambassadors work with student pilots to prepare them for the transition to the commercial flight deck.

In the first of our “Meet the Ambassador” series, we’d like to introduce Captain Jason Duvernay.  Jason is a is a passionate pilot and University of North Dakota alumnus, who lends his time to aviation students from his former school.  In our discussion with Jason, he shares his excitement for flying, why he chose GoJet, and his advice for future aviation professionals. Read more below:

Why did you choose to fly with GoJet?

I chose to fly with GoJet for three specific reasons. The first being the company’s internal culture.  GoJet is very aware of why I want to work for them.  They know my goal is to move on quickly to a major airline and they support me in that goal. Secondly, they have insanely fast progression times — you’re able to move up the seniority list quickly. Third, you’re able to explore your passions. Some pilots enjoy exploring training and management roles. I’ve joined our recruiting efforts and serve as an ambassador for my university.

What made you pursue flying?

I have always loved to travel. When I was a child I was privileged to travel largely because my mother was a travel agent. I also did some foreign student ambassador programs. I knew that I wanted a career which would allow me to travel easily and to experience cultures across this nation and around the world.

What types of things do you share with your Ambassador Program students at UND?

GoJet offers an excellent opportunity to gain flying experience in two very different environments.  We do a lot of Rocky Mountain flying for our United operation, while our Delta operation is heavily concentrated on the busy East Coast.

We also have have travel benefits on both airlines, which makes commuting to work and traveling much easier.  Additionally, GoJet offers great career advancement opportunities. As an experienced pilot, I was fortunate to be hired as a Direct Entry Captain. GoJet is the only regional airline with this program. If you come to GoJet and adequately prepare yourself for the responsibility, you will be able to upgrade to Captain quickly!

What advice would you give to young pilots?

Keep your logbook organized and accurate! If you maintain a detailed history of where you have lived, jobs you’ve had and other pertinent information, it could help you obtain a position. I’d also recommend that students jump at any chance to gain new experiences such as internships. Also, show respect and ask questions from those who are more experienced, and maintain contact with your friends in the industry.

Ready to join our team?  Click here to learn more.

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

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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.