Pilot Success Story – Meet First Officer Amanda Keck

Amanda 2Throughout most of Amanda Keck’s youth, she had aspirations of becoming a dentist — until she met a female pilot who asked her to babysit her children. The more the mom traveled, the more babysitting Amanda did and the more Amanda fell in love with the idea of traveling the world and becoming a pilot herself.

Growing up obsessed with Purdue University, when Amanda found out they had a flight program, it was almost too perfect. She was flying nonstop since the second day of classes. Amanda worked at Purdue and her home airport as a flight instructor in order to build her flight time and as soon as she met all of the hour requirements, she applied to regional airlines, including PSA.

“Once I had my interview in Charlotte with PSA, I knew that was the airline for me,” said Amanda. She was drawn mostly by the trajectory of growth, the flexibility with scheduling and the travel benefits. “The industry is moving rapidly. (PSA) is hiring because of growth, not recouping.”

For Amanda, a flexible schedule has allowed her to live in Chicago, yet be based in Charlotte. “I can live in the city I want to,” said Amanda. “With full American Airlines travel benefits and 18 flights a day (between Chicago and Charlotte), it makes it easy. I am very family-oriented and to be able to be close to family is huge.”

Amanda has been with PSA since September, 2014 and is looking forward to flow to American. “It’s a guarantee hire. You’re already part of the team,” she said.

Being a female pilot in the male-dominated field is tough, she said, but it’s a career that’s no more difficult as a female than as a male. She has experienced the challenges of excelling in a male-dominated field. She has a third-degree black belt and won a Junior Olympic gold medal in karate.

As a mentor to younger female pilots, she encourages them to keep going because the career is so rewarding. Amanda is involved with the Women in Aviation program and has formed some extremely close bonds to fellow female pilots and said that “Friendships make all the difference.”

Amanda loves the close-knit community at PSA. “Everyone is so friendly. The crew rooms are filled with people I know and you can’t help but form friendships.” When asked about her most memorable moment, Amanda replied she doesn’t have just one, but a cluster of them, between site-seeing and overnights with colleagues. “These are friendships formed for life,” she said.