Piano Playing GoJet Pilot Delights Passengers at Chicago O’Hare

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GoJet Captain Billy Hock, meeting a fan after playing the piano at Chicago O’Hare

The next time you find yourself at Chicago O’Hare, make sure to wander past Gate C17. If you’re lucky, you just might catch GoJet Captain Billy Hock serenading passengers with his piano playing skills.  Captain Hock is a regular feature at C17, where he often unwinds between flights by performing on the piano.

Captain Hock is a lifelong music enthusiast and has been playing the piano since he was a child.  While he envisions a lifelong aviation career for himself, he always makes time for his first love – music.  “I always plan on flying planes professionally, but music is my first passion,” he explains.

A piano playing pilot isn’t something that you see every day, and passengers have been known to share photos and videos of his playing via social media.  Passengers have also reached out to him directly to tell him how much they enjoyed and appreciated his playing.  One post to his Facebook wall says:

Thank you for the Chopin, it was heavenly and made my delay in ORD worth it. Would have loved to dance to it if I was alone. Keep sharing the beauty you see and feel. 

When he’s not flying airplanes or entertaining passengers on the piano, Captain Hock composes and performs his own original piano compositions, which are available on iTunes.  And his musical talents don’t stop at the piano – he also plays saxophone and guitar!

We’re proud that the multi-talented Captain Hock is part of the GoJet family.  We love it when our employees use their creativity to make unique connections with the world around them!

Pilot and Passenger Race to Retrieve Cell Phone Before Departure

We’ve all experienced it at least once – that sinking feeling you get when you realize that you’ve lost your cell phone, with all of your contacts.  That’s exactly the situation that one of our passengers was recently faced with.  After boarding a flight to St. Louis, he realized that he’d left his cell phone, with all of his business contacts, in the terminal.  With just 15 to go minutes before departure, the odds of retrieving his phone before take-off didn’t look good.  That’s when Captain Jacob Sutherland stepped in.

Captain Jacob Sutherland
Superstar pilot, Captain Jacob Sutherland

I wanted to share with you an unbelievable experience I had with one of your Captains and Flight Attendants on a recent flight from New York to St. Louis.   After leaving the gate by shuttle bus and boarding my flight on the tarmac, I that realized I had left my phone in the airport’s Sky Lounge. All 100 of my client contacts for a conference that I was to run in St. Louis were stored in that phone. More importantly, that phone number was the only way that I could be reached over those next four days.

I explained this dilemma to Flight Attendant Melanie McKetchem, and she kindly asked the cockpit if they could help. Captain Jacob Sutherland contacted the terminal to see if it could be retrieved. But with only 15 minutes to departure, it was not possible to get my phone to the plane in time. So, the Captain decided that he and I could take the bus back and race to the lounge to get it.

What played out next must have looked to onlookers like a scene from a movie. Captain Sutherland and I jumped on the shuttle back to the terminal, literally sprinting over the bridge to the lounge. There, my phone was just about to be handed over to security.  My phone was then returned to me, and the Captain and I once again sprinted, this time back through the two terminals to the shuttle bus. Somehow, we were back on the plane in enough time to depart on schedule, and touched down in St. Louis 20 minutes before our expected arrival time.

I have been on hundreds of flights since the 1970s, and this is by far the best experience that I have ever had. If Captain Sutherland is typical of your flight staff, then your company and passengers are in very capable hands. The Captain saved my trip and event with his quick initiative and decision making ability. I thank these two flight personnel for their great efforts on my behalf.

Thanks to Captain Sutherland and the hundreds of other GoJet employees who are out there giving it their all for our passengers, each and every day.  If you’d like to work with truly extraordinary and thoughtful people, click here to check out a list of current openings.

 

Captain John Chalfant Puts Nervous Passengers at Ease

Captain John Chalfant

Nothing makes passengers nervous like inclement weather.  Even the most seasoned flyers can get apprehensive with weather on the horizon.  When passengers are on edge, frequent and honest communication from the cockpit is essential to putting their minds at ease.  GoJet Captain John Chalfant exemplified just that on a recent flight from Raleigh to New York.  Here’s what a passenger told us about her experience with Captain Chalfant:

This is a letter of thanks; thanks for a great airline. Clean planes, comfortable, seats and professional crew and cabin attendants. It is noticed and appreciated.  When I get on one of your flights, I truly do breathe a sigh of relief. 

On Monday, May 23, 2016, I was on board a flight from Raleigh-Durham to New York/LaGuardia.  There were storms up and down the East Coast, and passengers on board were nervous – you could feel it in the plane.  Captain John Chalfant announced that the flight was going to be choppy, but he would get us above the clouds as quickly as possible.  He assured us that he would take care of us, that we would be safe; that it was his job to be sure we would be okay.

The sincerity of non-scripted conversation certainly perked up the passengers. Following that announcement, there was almost an audible sigh of relief amongst the passengers.  Once at altitude, when the seatbelt light was turned off, Captain Chalfant encouraged us to, “Explore this ‘vast’ airplane with bathroom facilities” (there was only one).  We all laughed, and laughter goes a long way in building rapport between employees and customers.

Many of  us thanked him for his conversation. But to me, that is not enough. I wanted your airline and your Captain to know just how much his sincere conversation meant to me and to my five-person team on that plane.  I hope that Captain Chalfant continues to have conversations with the passengers that are more than the scripted ,”Your safety is our concern so, sit back and relax.”

This young pilot is a gem. I would trust him with my life and the lives of those closest to me in any flying situation- that is high praise and not said lightly

Thanks, Barb

Captain Chalfant’s professionalism and dedication to his passengers are second to none.  He is a shining example of what GoJet is all about, and we are so proud that he is part of our team!

GoJet Leadership Connects with Employees During Spring Meet & Greets

Keeping in touch with employees that are scattered around the country and constantly on the move can be a challenge.  That’s why the GoJet leadership team makes it a priority to hit the road for Meet & Greet events a minimum of two times a year.  During these trips, which typically take place in the spring and fall, the GoJet COO, as well as representatives from Inflight, Flight Operations and Maintenance, hit the road for two whirlwind weeks of base visits.

GoJet prides itself on its employee-focused corporate culture, and being in tune with issues that our employees care about is a top priority.  “The Meet & Greets are a great way to chat with our team members in a casual setting about any feedback or concerns they may have,” said GoJet COO Terry Basham.  “Email and phone calls are great for staying in touch on a day-to-day basis, but nothing can replace the one-on-one conversations that we’re able to have at these events.”

Director of Flight Operations Randy Bratcher echoed those sentiments, remarking “We’ve got a great group of employees who truly want our airline to be the best that it can be.  I always leave the Meet & Greets with invaluable suggestions from our pilots.”

This round of Meet & Greets started on Tuesday with an after hours event in Raleigh-Durham for Raleigh-based employees.  The following day, the team leaded to New York (on a flight piloted by none other than the Director of Operations and the Chief Pilot!) to meet with New York-based mechanics and crews connecting through La Guardia.

The second round of spring Meet & Greets will take the leadership team to Chicago and Denver.  Here are some of our favorite pics from Round 1!

 

 

 

 

Crew Views

One of the best things about working for an airline is the incredible scenery.  Check out some of the amazing images that our front line employees have captured over the past few weeks!

Internship Gives Student Pilots a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Airline Operations

Full motion simulator time and a provisional letter of employment before you even finish your flight training?  It sounds too good to be true, but that’s exactly what the GoJet Airlines Wingman program offers.  This semester-long internship 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.

The Wingman internship includes a two-day visit to GoJet’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis, where participants have the opportunity to talk with new pilots who are actually in systems training, as well as sit in on a new hire class to get a feel for what their training will be like.  Students are also exposed to the departments within our Ops Center that they’ll interact with when flying the line, including Dispatch, Crew Scheduling and Maintenance Control.  Best of all, the Wingman interns have the opportunity to fly in a full-motion CRJ simulator.

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Wingman interns are also eligible for limited jumpseat privileges on GoJet, giving them the rare opportunity to observe a commercial flight from the flight deck.  “Definitely the most valuable experience that I’ve had as part of the Wingman Program has been jumpseating on a revenue flight from St. Louis to Chicago,” said Adam Bos, an aviation student at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a current Wingman intern. “Watching a professional crew operate was an impressive and rewarding experience.”

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Even after finishing an aviation degree or flight school, most student pilots still must build a significant amount of flight time before they’re eligible to apply with a commercial airline.  However, once they earn their hours, Wingman participants are spared the stress of looking for a job, as they receive a provisional offer of employment upon completion of their internship.  They also receive early access to GoJet training materials, which means that can they start studying for our training program while they’re still earning their hours, increasing their chances of success.

If you’re an ambitious student pilot who wants to get a head start on your commercial aviation career, get in touch with one of our pilot recruiters. For contact information, complete program eligibility requirements and a current list of affiliate schools, please click here.

Captain Sean Davis Personifies the Above & Beyond Spirit

GoJet employees are caring and compassionate individuals who truly care about their co-workers and our passengers.  One such employee is Captain Sean Davis, who went above and beyond for one of our passengers after a recent flight to Washington D.C.  The passenger, an elderly military veteran, had missed a memorial event in Syracuse for his fallen comrades, and was quite distraught.  Sean offered to spend his entire layover in D.C. with this gentleman, and accompanied him to Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial for an afternoon of reminiscing and honoring our fallen heroes.

Flight Attendant Katy Knoll, who told us about Sean’s kind actions, said “This gentleman was so appreciative, and it warmed my heart to see such caring on Sean’s part!”

At GoJet, we think that it’s important to recognize those employees who go above and beyond the call of duty, and our Above & Beyond program is a quarterly program that does just that.  Sean’s actions were the personification of the Above & Beyond spirit, and he, along with our other outstanding employees, has been nominated to receive a fourth quarter Above & Beyond award.
PrintSean, thanks for going to extra mile to make this gentleman’s day brighter.  It’s people like you who make GoJet such an amazing place to call home.

 

 

Hollywood Star Treats GoJet Crew to Dinner

The crew of a Detroit to Louisville flight had an unexpected treat this past weekend.  The flight was without a First Officer and facing a delay when First Officer Kevin Pickering offered to pick up the trip.  Academy Award winning Actor Jon Voight was a passenger on the flight, and was so impressed by Kevin’s actions that he took the entire crew out to dinner afterwards.

Of the evening, Flight Attendant Brooke Pierce said, “He is such a kind man and we had a wonderful time!”