Cadet Spotlight – Blake Ditlow and Camber Minor

Blake DitlowBlake Ditlow
PSA Airlines Captain
Cadet Mentor- Cochise College

How long have you been involved with PSA’s Cadet Program? I was very fortunate to have the pleasure of starting the PSA Pilot Cadet Program back in October 2015. The Program was just in its initial phases of being developed and I was the representative on the Pilot’s side of the table in order to make sure that the necessary steps were taken to ensure the Programs success! It was great to see the “behind the scenes” before the program officially launched to the public on January 15, 2016!

What are the best features of this program?
I believe the best feature of the program is the mentorship opportunities. Sure, money is a great part of it, it is certainly an attention grabber; but the networking, career advice, bond, friendship, and continued professional growth that a mentee receives from their mentor is something that is unsurpassed.

You get the opportunity as a young aviator to pick the brain of someone who is on that “next step”. You have an INCREDIBLE resource that is right there so you can reach out to and ask any question imaginable. The greatest part of the mentorship opportunities with the program is that it is something that’s going to last forever. Your mentor is going to be somebody who years down the road is still answering questions for you about the company, the aircraft, or just someone to bounce ideas off when you become a future mentor. You can’t put a price on friendship, and you certainly cannot put a price on someone with the keys to success in your future career.

What have you done, personally to ensure your Cadets are making the most of their involvement with the Cadet Program?
Staying involved with their continued success. I believe that the mentor needs to play a crucial role in the program so that there is a certain bond between mentee and mentor. Being able to answer questions or find answers to questions is one of the biggest things as well. No one wants a wrong answer, and as a mentor, it’s my responsibility to provide the necessary answers for my students.

I’ve also been very fortunate to be able to provide the students with the proper materials for continued success at PSA.

Any additional thoughts on the cadet program?
The PSA Cadet Program is so much more than just a “flow” for Certified Flight Instructor’s to PSA. It is a career growth and advancement program. Every person involved with this program from October 2015 until the present day has had the unique vision of turning great students into Professional Aviators. The greatest part about this program is that regardless of what position you hold in the program, you will never stop becoming a more Professional Aviator.

The beauty of being an airline pilot, but more so a professional airline pilot is that you constantly strive toward continued learning. As a mentor, I learn something new every time I interact with my students. As a pilot, I learn something new every day to take back to my students as an educational lesson for them. This program is ultimately, what you make of it, but I can guarantee that if you are willing to use the resources that you have available to you, you will continue to grow and earn the title of American Airlines Captain.

Camber Minor

Camber Minor
PSA Airlines Cadet
Cadet Instructor-Cochise College

Camber Minor was one of the very first cadets to join our program. She graduated from Cochise College, where she is now a Cadet Instructor.

Why did you decide to join PSA’s Cadet Program?
I wasn’t airline shopping when I heard about PSA. I thought it was too early in my career to be thinking about airline options. It sounds cliche, but I didn’t find PSA, PSA found me. I decided to join PSA over other pipeline programs out there, because the people at PSA were so engaging and actually cared about my success.

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of having a Mentor?
The biggest benefit of having a mentor at PSA is being able to ask him questions and get real world answers. Blake is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about being an airline pilot at PSA, and genuinely wants us to be on the PSA team. Blake goes out of his way for Cochise College. When we flew to Charlotte for the recruiting event Blake was waiting outside our gate for us when we got off the plane. It’s awesome having a contact who cares so much.  I’m sure Blake will be there for us when we transition to the airlines and will help make it a smooth and easy transition.

Any additional thoughts on the cadet program?
The Cadet program has opened so many doors for me already, and I’ve made lifetime friendships. I can’t wait for the flight that Blake is captain and I am first officer!