Our Favorite Blog Posts of 2016 Revisited

With the year winding down, we thought that it would be the perfect time to put together a compilation of some of our favorite blog posts of 2016.  Here’s a sample of what our employees have been up to this year.

Piano Playing PIlot Delights Passengers at Chicago O’Hare

Captain Billy Hock isn’t just a talented pilot.  He’s also a musician and songwriter who spends layovers at O’hare playing the piano for passengers.

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

Pilot Recruiter James Douvier Explains What it Takes to Be a GoJet Pilot

In one of our most viewed posts of the year, pilot recruiter Captain James Douvier explains that there’s more to being a GoJet pilot than just being a great aviator.  James is looking for pilots who are going to come to GoJet and make a difference.

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Pilot Recruiter Captain James Douvier

Maintenance Control: The Unseen Face of Tech Ops

The majority of our passengers have most likely never heard the term “Maintenance Control.”  However, the safety and timeliness of our flights depends on this important group of GoJet employees.  This department is critical to keeping our airplanes safe, our flights on schedule, and our passengers happy.

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Maintenance Controller Steven Perez

Summer Interns Contribute to the Operation in Big Ways

During the summer of 2016, three talented young interns contributed to the operation in big ways.  Aviation students Morgan Hunlen, Jade Lubinski, and Alex Dupre all took full advantage of the opportunity to move their studies beyond the classroom, and had an abundance of new knowledge when they returned to school in the fall.

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Our summer interns getting a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the control tower at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

GoJet Flight Attendant Wins First Runner Up in the Miss North Carolina Pageant

Our employees do some truly astounding things in their free time.  Take GoJet flight attendant Juanette Roache – when she’s not providing stellar customer service at 37,000 feet, she regularly volunteers at her local soup kitchen and homeless shelter, as well as mentors children through the Boys and Girls Club.  Her community service led to an opportunity this spring to compete in the 20160 Mrs. North Carolina pageant, where she was named the first runner up and received the People’s Choice Award.

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GoJet Flight Attendant Juannette Roache

We have no doubt that our employees will continue to impress us next year.  We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.  Happy New Year!

GoJet SOC Collects Toys to Benefit Toys for Tots

When employees in our SOC wanted to give back to the community this holiday season, they turned to a very worthy organization – Toys For Tots.  Toys for Tots is a charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that collects new, unwrapped toys, and distributes them to children who may not have anything to open on Christmas.

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The toy drive was organized by Crew Scheduling Manager Stephani Mayhall, who was looking for something the SOC could do as a group to benefit those who are less fortunate.  “It’s important to remember, especially during this time of year, that there are people who aren’t as well off as we are,” she said.  “We’re employed, but those who aren’t may need help, and we wanted to get involved.”

Crew Scheduling Department Coordinator Heather Brown has been volunteering with Toys for Tots for years, and suggested to Stephani that the SOC hold a toy drive benefiting the organization. “I’ve been involved with Toys For Tots events since I was in high school,” Heather explains. “When I was in junior ROTC, I helped collect money so that we could buy toys to donate. I’ve also helped Toys For Tots wrap presents that have been donated.”

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Stephani Mayhall (left) and Heather Brown (right), with representatives from the Marine Corps Reserve

It’s often hard for SOC employees to take part in fundraising activities at GoJet headquarters, because those activities usually occur during daytime business hours from 9-5.  The SOC is a 24 hour operation, and many employees work nights.  Stephani and Heather wanted to make it very easy for everyone to participate, so they set up a large collection box in the SOC, where gifts could be dropped off at any time.

In addition to appreciating how convenient it was to participate, employees were also very enthusiastic about helping out a charity affiliated with the Marine Corps.  “People here really appreciate our military,” Heather explained.  “Many of our employees are are former military, so this really resonated with them.  “People really got into it,” Stephani added, “and we plan to bring this back again next year!”

The toy drive was a big success, bringing in nearly 70 toys for Toys for Tots.  Stephani and Heather are already planning on doing it again next year!

Christmas is just five days away, but the Marine Corps Reserve is still collecting toy donations.  Click here to learn more.

The GoJet SOC Enjoys a Good Meal for a Good Cause

For many, the Thanksgiving holiday was a long weekend, filled with family, food, football and shopping.  However, many GoJet employees, including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and those in Systems Operations Control (SOC), sacrificed Thanksgiving with their families to make sure that our passengers arrived at their holiday destinations safely.

Our SOC employees celebrated Thanksgiving in the office, with an incredible spread from Mimi’s Cafe.  The feast offered something for all appetites, including a wide variety of vegan offerings.

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But the restaurant’s delicious and extensive menu was just part of the reason why the SOC chose Mimi’s to cater their holiday dinner. Mimi’s relationship with the Children’s Hunger Fund was what sealed the deal.  “We found out that for every order placed, Mimi’s would donate a meal to the Children’s Hunger Fund,” explained Heather Brown, who coordinated the meal.  “Our order resulted in the donation of 16 meals to children in need.”

The SOC is keeping that same spirit of giving rolling into December, with a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots.

 

GoJet Employee Wins Prestigious Aviation Maintenance Award

Congratulations to Fleet Support Coordinator Ben Dunbar, who has been named to the AMT Next Gen 40 Under 40 List!  Aircraft Maintenance Technology Magazine launched this recognition program to shine a light on the benefits of a career in aircraft maintenance and to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals.

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This annual contest recognizes aircraft maintenance professionals who have challenged themselves professionally by taking advantage of training opportunities that have allowed them to continue learning and progress in their careers.  In addition, the individuals selected have made contributions to the industry as a whole, and make the industry safer by maintaining aircraft to the highest possible standards.

GoJet Director of Maintenance, Aaron Armstrong, isn’t surprised that Ben was selected for this prestigious award.  “Ben brings a phenomenal skill set to our team, and this recognition is well-deserved,” he remarked.  “Ben’s constant desire to learn more has an enormous influence on those around him.”

At GoJet, safety is our top priority.  Ben, along with every other GoJet employee, has dedicated his career to the safety of our aircraft and passengers, and he embodies that commitment each and every day.

Click here to read the write up on Ben and his accomplishments in the November/December 2016 issue of Aircraft Maintenance Technology.

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Ready to join the GoJet maintenance team?  Click here. 

Pilot Recruiter James Douvier Explains What it Takes to be a GoJet Pilot

When Pilot Recruiter Captain James Douvier meets with pilot applicants, he’s looking for more than just technical know-how.  He’s looking for pilots with positive personalities who are going to come to GoJet and make a difference.

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Pilot Recruiter Captain James Douvier

Being a great aviator is certainly a requirement to become a GoJet pilot, but there’s more to it than that.  Crews spend a lot of time together, so having an outgoing and positive attitude is important.  James says that during the interview process, he asks himself, “Is this someone that I would want to fly a four-day trip with?”

When James interviews pilots, he’s also looking at what they’ve accomplished outside of the cockpit.  “We’re looking for pilots who are going to do more than just fly their shift, make their money, and go home,” James explains.  “We want to hire people who are going to be involved and engaged in the airline.  If you’ve been involved in your school, community, or at your previous airline, it’s a pretty good indication that you’re going to make a positive impact at GoJet.”

However, the interview process is also about pilot candidates making sure that GoJet is the right fit for them.  That’s why James sets aside a portion of each interview to answer any questions that applicants may have.  One of the most common things that pilot applicants want to know is what their life will be like when they become a GoJet pilot.

In addition to emphasizing the quality of life benefits that GoJet offers, including high pay, minimal reserve time, and fast Captain upgrades, James also tells candidates about GoJet’s unique, family-like culture.  For example, unlike “slam-clickers,” or pilots who stay in their hotel rooms after they finish a day of flying, GoJet crews frequently go out to dinner together or rent a car and sightsee during overnight trips.  “I have friends at other airlines, and the level of camaraderie that you see at GoJet is just different,” he remarks.  “All of our crews are interactive teams who just genuinely enjoy each other’s company.”

When asked if he had any advice for new GoJet pilots, James encouraged them to take advantage of every opportunity to get involved with the company, as it will benefit their careers down the road.  “Many of our pilots aspire to fly for mainline carriers one day, and all airlines, including mainlines, want to hire pilots who have made the effort to progress professionally as much as they can,” he stressed.  “Do as much as you can while you have the opportunity, and it will pay off for you later.”

Professional development opportunities that James suggests include:

  • Becoming a Check Airman
  • Getting involved in the union
  • Offering to be a committee chair, such as for hotels
  • Helping out with recruiting
  • Taking advantage of the Pilot Mentor Program – in addition to earning $5,000 for every pilot you mentor, you’re paying it forward by passing on your wisdom and experience to new pilots

Being a pilot recruiter means that James doesn’t get to fly the line as much as he’d like, but he loves what he does.  “I get to help make people’s dreams come true. Seeing someone’s face light up when they are offered a job as a GoJet First Officer, then seeing that person become a Captain, and then watching them move on to mainline, that’s just really special.”

There’s never been a better time to become a GoJet pilot.  Click here to get started.

Maintenance Control: The Unseen Face of Tech Ops

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Maintenance Controller Steven Perez

The majority of our passengers have most likely never heard the term “Maintenance Control.”  However, the safety and timeliness of our flights depends on this important group of GoJet employees.  This department is critical to keeping our airplanes safe, our flights on schedule, and our passengers happy.

Maintenance Controllers are licensed A & P mechanics who troubleshoot aircraft mechanical issues for our pilots and mechanics at out stations.  If a GoJet pilot encounters a mechanical issue with an aircraft anywhere in the country, their first call is to Maintenance Control. Often, Maintenance Control can help the pilot correct the issue over the phone, which allows our out-station mechanics to focus on more involved repairs.  However, if it’s a more complicated problem, Maintenance Control will diagnose the likely source of the problem and recommended a course of action to local mechanics.

Our line and hangar mechanics are always outside fixing aircraft, regardless of weather conditions.  Whether it’s snow in New York or a sizzling summer in Raleigh, our line and hangar mechanics have to be outside to get the job done.  However, our Maintenance Controllers work inside Systems Operations Control (or the SOC) at our corporate headquarters in St. Louis.  That’s because Maintenance Control interfaces with many different departments, including Crew Scheduling and Dispatch, which are located in the SOC.  For example, if a flight is delayed due to a maintenance issue, Dispatch and Crew Scheduling rely on Maintenance Control to tell them to estimated fix time so that the flight can be re-scheduled and re-crewed, if necessary. Or if an aircraft can’t be fixed in time to operate a scheduled flight, Dispatch relies on Maintenance Control to recover the flight with a different aircraft.

Maintenance Controllers have a lot on their plate, to say the least.  In addition to troubleshooting problems on aircraft that are often hundreds of miles away from them and developing recovery options for out of service aircraft, they are also responsible for scheduling short-term preventative maintenance, as well as for monitoring repeat repairs.  And while a line or hangar mechanic can only work on one aircraft at a time, Maintenance Controllers are tackling dozens of issues at once.

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Maintenance Controller George Thomas

“When I was a line mechanic, I just had one plane in front of me, and I was only working on one task at a time,” explains Maintenance Controller George Thomas.  “Now, I’m simultaneously working on on multiple planes, crews, and issues, which always keeps me busy.”  Maintenance Controller Steven Perez agrees.  “You’ll be going in different directions all day, so you need to make sure that you keep a cool head.”

Both George and Steve agree that the benefits of working in Maintenance Control outweigh the pressures of the job.  In addition to working inside out of the elements, a move to Maintenance Control also comes with a considerable pay increase.  And both George and Steve enjoy the people that they work with and take a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that the work that they do is so important.

“I work with great people, and there’s a fraternal atmosphere among all of us,” George remarked.  “And when you know that you’re helping 30 to 50 crews and hundreds of passengers each day, it’s a very rewarding feeling.”

Steve feels the same way.  “I work in a really good environment with like-minded professionals,” Steve says. “We all take a lot of pride in keeping our planes in the air.”

Given the enormous responsibilities that Maintenance Controllers have, Maintenance Control isn’t the place for someone right out of A & P school. Maintenance Controllers have to have a good systematic understanding of our CRJ700/900 aircraft, as well as the ability and confidence to make split second decisions that can effect the entire fleet.  Plus, good communications skills are key, as Maintenance Controllers must be able to communicate effectively across departments.

“No department has a greater impact on Tech Ops overall performance than Maintenance Control,” said Aaron Armstrong, GoJet’s Director of Maintenance.  “A single Maintenance Controller is going to make more independent decisions in a day than a line mechanic makes in month.”

“Maintenance Control isn’t for everyone,” adds Rob Truax, GoJet’s VP of Tech Ops. “We set the bar for Maintenance Controllers incredibly high – they represent some of our best and brightest Maintenance talent.”

GoJet is currently offering a $12,000 retention bonus to current and new hire Maintenance Controllers.  If you’re a licensed and experienced A & P mechanic and want to make a big impact on the operation, Maintenance Control might be a perfect fit for you.  Click here to learn more and apply online.

Employee Appreciation Week Recap

Employee Appreciation Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year!  This week-long event, packed with food, games, and prizes, is our way of saying thank you to our employees for all of their hard work  This year’s festivities wrapped up last Friday, and everyone is still talking about all of the fun they had.

One of the best things about Employee Appreciation Week is the food!  In Chicago, Base Manager Tracy Ryan kept the crew room stocked with candy and other goodies throughout the week.  Her queso dip with chips and salsa was a huge hit!  Tracy also delivered Subway sandwiches planeside to crews with fast turns.

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The Raleigh-Durham base had a similar agenda, offering a smorgasbord of treats each day. All kinds of candy bars were available on Monday, while Tuesday featured “grab and go” breakfasts for the crew members.  Throughout the week, crews also feasted on nachos, cupcakes and pizza.

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At the St. Louis base, Base Manager Nikki Lutz worked hard keeping the crews fed all week, and even held a barbecue right on the ramp!

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In addition to the food and festivities, each crew base gave away a FitBit!

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  Flight Attendant Alyce Atkinson won the FitBit given away at our ORD crew base.

At the St. Louis headquarters on Tuesday, corporate leaders threw a “come as you are” breakfast (which was pajamas for many) for all employees, complete with a caricature booth and balloon artist.  The leadership team manned griddles and hotplates, and served up an impressive spread that included sausage, eggs, pancakes, and even a smoothie bar.  And of course, President Rick Leach and GoJet COO Terry Basham held their annual competition to see whose pancakes were the most popular  (we ran out of both, so we’re called it a tie!).

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Other events throughout the week included the very popular “Take Your Dog To Work Day,” a gourmet cupcake truck, and a friendly game of Family Feud that pitted GoJet employees against employees of our sister carrier, Trans States Airlines.

One of the biggest events of the week was the annual washers tournament.  This year was the tournament’s biggest year yet, with 35 teams participating.  Our Maintenance department has established a washers dynasty over the years, and many teams from other departments were eager to de-throne them. However, Maintenance remained dominant again this year, and we again had a Maintenance vs. Maintenance championship game!

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Maintenance remained dominant later in the week, winning the annual tug-of-war showdown between the Maintenance hangar and corporate office employees.

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The Maintenance Hangar defeats the corporate office employees in tug-of-war….again!

On Friday, employees enjoyed a barbecue,

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a mini-classic car show,

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and an afternoon of “knockerball.”

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One thing’s for certain – we’re already looking forward to next year!