Behind-the-scenes: Aircraft Acceptance Process

QA personnel inspecting the aircraft.

QA personnel inspecting the aircraft.

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes before an aircraft joins our fleet? At PSA, we are on the path of accepting 54 brand new CRJ 900 NextGen airplanes from Bombardier. To date, PSA has successfully accepted 39 brand new CRJ 900’s.

Bombardier’s CRJ assembly line is based in Mirabel, Canada. In February, PSA welcomed its 100th Bombardier CRJ Series Jetliner operated for American Airlines. We celebrated by flying PSA staff to Mirabel Canada to tour the Bombardier factory and take the new jet home to Dayton, Ohio. View Video.


But what had to happen in the days leading up to the celebration? Each and every aircraft prior to delivery to PSA has to endure an acceptance process.

For every delivery, members of our Quality Assurance (QA) department must travel to Mirabel for several days to ensure the airplane meets our standards and is ready for delivery. PSA also sends a pilot that has been certified by Bombardier to test fly the aircraft. The team from PSA that is sent to review the airplane includes:

Steve Clark* – Chief Inspector
Jim Wolfe* – QA Specialist
Brad Salsbury – QA Specialist
Frank Bryan – QA Specialist
Chad Eshelman – QA Specialist
Randy Gossic – Line Captain
Danny McGahee – Line Captain

*Steve Clark and Jim Wolfe have been involved with the delivery of all 103 CRJ Aircraft we currently have in our fleet!

Several items must be inspected prior to delivery. All of the interior and the exterior of the aircraft is looked over in detail for any imperfections. Any imperfections on the aircraft will be fixed by Bombardier prior to aircraft delivery. The configuration of the aircraft must be checked to ensure it meets all of our requirements as customers. Every element in the cabin is inspected in detail to include the cabin configuration, every passenger seat, and tray table. The exterior of the aircraft is also looked over carefully. Even the smallest imperfection in the exterior paint will be repainted prior to delivery if necessary. Lastly, the QA Department also checks/logs all of the serial numbers on the equipment installed on the aircraft and checks to make sure the proper software has been installed.

Next, the CRJ 900 must be test flown. Randy Gossic and Danny McGahee are Captains at PSA that have been certified to conduct these test flights. Our PSA Captain is in the left seat flying the airplane while a Bombardier test pilot is in the right seat. The test flight consists of approximately a 2-hour flight where the aircraft undergoes several ground and flight tests. Each of the systems on the aircraft will undergo testing. The actual test flight includes testing of the flight controls, alternate gear extension, stall protection, and various Environmental Control System (ECS) tests. These ECS tests include dropping oxygen masks in the cabin and testing the leak rate of the cabin. All of the engine instruments and flight instruments are tested and compared. Lastly, an approach is flown and the Air Driven Generator (ADG) is deployed prior to landing.  Any issues potentially identified on the test flight will be immediately corrected by Bombardier.

Once all of the issues on the aircraft have been resolved, PSA can formally accept delivery of the aircraft. The aircraft is immediately flown to Dayton, Ohio where PSA Mechanics can then do the Entry into Service checks and the Gogo WIFI is installed. Once all of this is completed the aircraft can be put into service.

So the next time you are onboard one of our CRJ 900’s, you can rest assured you are flying in an aircraft that has met the highest quality standards as well as have a better appreciation for the journey that airplane has already taken.


The PSA Path to American Airlines

PSA, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, is the fastest growing regional carrier under the American Eagle brand. Since 2014, PSA has doubled its size and will grow to operate 150 Bombardier CRJ aircraft over the next two years. With this immense amount of growth comes unparalleled opportunities for our new-hire pilots.

videoPathPerhaps the largest benefit to becoming a PSA pilot is where your career can take you from here. PSA is a part of American Airlines, which gives its pilots advancement opportunities few other regionals can match – the most significant being seniority-based flow through that creates a direct career path from PSA to American. This flow agreement provides a certain and valuable career path to the largest network carrier in the world with the most advanced fleet of aircraft.  In 2016, PSA will flow 60 pilots to American all while growing our airline at the same time.  As we continue to grow, so does our commitment to flow more pilots each month to American.

PSA’s bright and promising future offers even more comprehensive benefits to our new pilots, including:

  • An up to $15,000 sign-on bonus. A $10,000 bonus, with an additional $5,000 available to pilots with 1,000 or more hours of Part 121 experience. 
  • Fast upgrade time and flow to American is estimated in just over six years.
  • A current and growing fleet of 43 brand new CRJ-900 Next Generation aircraft, 26 CRJ-700 and 35 CRJ-200s deployed into regional and mid-sized communities in the American network.
  • Our well-established pilot training cadre offers fully-subsidized ATP-CTP course certification enabling new pilots to immediately join the next First Officer class.
  • With bases in CVG, DAY, TYS and the second largest hub in the American system, CLT, there are many quality, low cost of living opportunities to be based.
  • The most flexible scheduling capabilities in the regional airline business.
  • Reduced reserve time for first officers and captains. 

And, as a part of the American family, employees have travel benefits on the largest network in the world covering five continents and more than 330 destinations. Traveling the world on your free time is a huge perk.

It’s a great time to join PSA to be part of an expanding carrier that plays a vital role for American today, tomorrow and into the future. Come join our team and watch your career take flight! 

PSA Airlines Announces a $15,000 New-hire Pilot Sign On Bonus

PSA Airlines Announces a $15,000 New-hire Pilot Sign On Bonus

PSA Airlines today announced an enhanced sign-on bonus program of up to $15,000 for new-hire pilots. This valuable addition enhances PSA’s existing industry-leading employment opportunities which offer the highest quality of life in the regional industry and an unmatched pilot flow through program to American Airlines.

“In this dynamic regional marketplace, PSA is committed to ensuring it remains competitive to support the wisest and most stable career path in the regional business,” said Dion Flannery, President of PSA Airlines. “As one of the healthiest and most stable carriers in the industry, this increased sign-on bonus further strengthens the value of a PSA career, one that starts with rapid advancement opportunities and leads to a job as a pilot for the world’s largest airline – American.”

Effective immediately, PSA is tripling the current value of its $5,000 sign-on bonus program to offer new-hire pilots up to $15,000. A $10,000 bonus, with an additional $5,000 available to pilots with 1,000 or more hours of Part 121 experience, will be paid out after entering an employment agreement with the company.

As a thriving carrier owned by the largest airline in the world, PSA has a defined and committed fleet and growth plan, playing an important role in American’s long-term regional network. Since 2013, PSA has doubled its size from 49 aircraft to more than 100 aircraft today and will continue to grow to operate 150 Bombardier CRJ aircraft. As a result of this established plan, PSA is poised to hire more than 500 pilots per year over the next several years.

Today’s announcement builds on the success of a sustained recruitment platform which includes the recent introduction and continued development of the airline’s Cadet Program. The program helps the most promising future pilots make a smooth transition from the classroom at top colleges, universities and flight schools to the cockpit and offers various levels of support as the Cadet’s certifications, training and experience evolves. For more information about the benefits offered to PSA’s pilots, please visit: