The Faces of PSA – Meet Gerald Thayer

TGerald Thayeritle: Aircraft Mechanic

How long have you worked for PSA? 3 years

How long have you been in the airline industry? 50 years, all as a mechanic

Give us a brief overview of what you do:  Line maintenance at the gate. I work the pilot write-ups at the gate between flights.

What do you love about working for PSA? The people and company.

Why would you recommend PSA? The company has fine people and good working relations.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I spent 25 years as a flying mechanic in the USA, Europe, and Africa.

What is a “flying mechanic” and how did you end up working in Europe and Africa? A flying mechanic flies with the aircraft on all flights and fixes any problems by themself when and where they happen. I went to Madrid, Spain with Kalitta Flying Service for six months on a 727. When the contract ended, Race Aviation offered me a job on a Boeing 707 in Barcelona, Spain. I took a leave of absence from Kalitta and worked for Race. One weekend, we went to Ostend, Belguim to change an engine on a 707. Liberia World Airways operated out of Ostend and they offered me a job flying with their DC-8 from Paris to Africa. I could not refuse what they offered! I moved from Barcelona to Ostend and went to work. We would leave Paris with the plane loaded and head to Africa. We flew all over Africa for 10 to 12 days then back to Paris for a night and go back to Africa the next day to do it all over again.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? All the different people I’ve met and places I’ve been.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Belgium. When I lived in Ostende for a year while working for LWS, I made a lot of friends. The people there are fantastic.

What are some of your hobbies? Older cars and fishing.

Tell us something no one know about you: I love to water ski. It relaxes me. My favorite place to ski is Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho.


PSA Partners To Train Medical Students in Charlotte

More than a year ago, Charlotte-based Flight Attendant Deborah Drinnon experienced a medical emergency while working a flight. Upon arrival at the Charlotte airport, the medical personnel attended to her and transported her to the hospital. It was from that personal experience that Deborah met Medic and Instructor Jerry Morris. Jerry is a faculty member of Carolinas HealthCare System who trains paramedics through a program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. Some of his former students (trained paramedics) have responded to medical emergencies on PSA aircraft.

Jerry reached out to Director of Inflight Services Debra Hoke to ask if he could partner with PSA in a joint training program. Specifically, his objective was to expose his students to the tight quarters of the aircraft cabin and simulate the handling of a medical emergency in the small aircraft cabin to use as a training tool. Similarly, the PSA flight attendants (as well as pilots and station personnel) gained benefits from observing and participating in this training and were able offer insight from the crew and station perspective.

Through the cooperative efforts of Jerry and the Carolina Health / Central Piedmont Community College Team, PSA’s Inflight and Flight Department Personnel, Safety and Security department, MTC Staff, CLT Station Operations and the TSA, the joint training program was a success! Not only did seven medics learn to better handle a medical emergency in a small aircraft cabin, PSA flight attendants learned how to best assist the medics when attending to an ill passenger on the airplane.


PSA’s First Career Takeoff Soaring Success

Bombardier CRJ-900 in front of the American Airlines Hangar at DFW. Snapchat filter.

Bombardier CRJ-900 in front of the American Airlines Hangar at DFW. Snapchat filter.

“This is so cool” was one of the reactions during PSA’s first Career Takeoff event held on July 20, 2016. Student pilots and instructors from all over the country, took part in this one-of-a-kind recruiting event to give these prospective pilots a look at what PSA has to offer – stability and a direct career path to American. Tours of the American Airlines maintenance hangar, C. R. Smith Museum and Training Center were included, as well as opportunities to meet PSA President Dion Flannery and American Airlines DFW Chief Pilot David Tatum.

A special moment came for one pilot as he was introduced to the group as one of PSA’s most recent hires. Ohio State University student Preston McKee has accepted an offer as a First Officer. David Tatum gave Preston a special gift, saying welcome to American Airlines, because as an employee of PSA, Preston has a guaranteed position through the flow program.

As part of the Career Takeoff event, a group of students and pilot recruiters traveled on PSA’s newest Bombardier CRJ-900 from Charlotte to Dallas and back. Trivia, food, giveaways and a tour of the cockpit were part of the experience on the flight. PSA’s cadet program was a focus with the students to educate them on the tuition reimbursement and opportunities it presents.

“It’s great to see future aviators (here) – young and energetic,” Dion Flannery to the group at a luncheon.

Kevin Berg of Fly Carolina said he was on the trip because he was encouraged by his family to participate because he is pursuing a different career, one that will bring him more joy. He said when he was a child, he would talk about being a pilot and when he flies now, it makes him so happy. He said this event is opening up his eyes to possibilities.

“The Career Takeoff event was a huge success for our airline,” said Brooks Butler, chief pilot and lead pilot recruiter.

View Photos

More coverage: American Airlines / PSA Pilot Cadet Program by Swayne Martin

The Faces of PSA – Meet Roger Dunn

Roger DunnTitle: Flight Attendant

How long have you worked for PSA? Eight years ago as a PSA flight attendant. May 9, 2009.

How long have you been in the airline industry? I started in October 1995 with TWA (Trans World Airlines) as a Customer Service Representative. When TWA opened the station in Jackson, MS, I was contacted by the TWA marketing rep (Stella D’lbianco) about coming in part time as a ticket agent since I was the only person in the state that had PARS experience. I enjoyed the job so well, I stayed on until the station closed and the American Airlines merger was complete.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am a Flight Attendant, Check Flight Attendant, Instructor and a recruiter and work on special projects from time to time as needed.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Bavaria (southern Germany) Austria and the Alps. Their high peak is a backdrop to many picturesque cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. My first international trip was to Athens, Greece that turned back the clock of time. From my first view of the Parthenon, I fell in love with ancient history, which I did not care for at all in school.

NTSB Provides Unique Safety Training at PSA Airlines

NTSB with PSA Safety Team

From left to right: Daniel Bower, Chris Sailer, and Randy Fusi

Safety at PSA was taken to a new level Wednesday when Daniel Bower, Ph.D., a Senior Aviation Accident Investigator (Investigator in Charge) with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a training session at the PSA Training Center in Dayton, OH.

Almost 100 people, including representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Air Wisconsin Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, AFA (Association of Flight Attendants) and ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association), learned about the NTSB Investigative process, procedures and expectations during an emergency situation.

“The turnout was really impressive and I’m excited that so many volunteered to be involved,” said Vice President of Safety, Security and Compliance Randy Fusi.

The purpose of the training was to better prepare everyone at PSA in case of an accident or incident and specifically for employees that could potentially participate on a Go Team deployment, according to Manager of the Safety Department Chris Sailer. The Go Team is a group called into action immediately following an incident/accident to go to the scene and help assist with the investigation.

Several PSA managers, directors, all of the vice presidents and the president were trained as well. “This is the first time PSA has had the NTSB come to our headquarters and actually do the training here,” Fusi said. “It’s important in the unlikely event that we have an incident or an accident that we are prepared to assist in the investigation and support our involved crew members.”

Bower brought a wealth of knowledge to the training from his 20 years of NTSB experience, where he has led investigations of numerous major accidents and dozens of smaller ones in his career. He featured one investigation in particular, the fatal UPS 1354 crash in Birmingham, AL, in 2013, as one the NTSB is using as a training tool for airlines and pilots. This video shows what happened.

The training shows PSA’s continued drive for the highest level of safety and is grateful to everyone that was involved. “This training will help PSA better prepare for an emergency situation if one ever arises,” said Sailer. “We would like to thank the NTSB for this excellent opportunity!”