Air Camp Gives Students Insight into the Science of Inflight Services

As a way of supporting community and education, PSA Airlines was a partner in Air Camp, a hands-on program that teaches intermediate and middle school students about aviation and aeronautics.

Nearly 100 students came to the PSA Dayton Training Center on July 12 and July 26 and learned about the duties of a flight attendant and how that role fits into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachings.

Check out a gallery of students in the training:

Instructors Kimberly Pennamon, Morgan Fussinger, Darcy Drago, Robin Coombs, Michelle Spangler and LC Acor, along with Manager of Inflight Training Andrea Roush participated in the tour for PSA.

Kimberly, a former teacher, led the discussion with the student groups. In the below Q&A, she talks about her experience.

Do you feel programs and tours like this help promote PSA and what you do as flight attendants? Yes, I believe that “gateway” opportunities such as the one that we provided help to foster and increase student interest in STEM areas. I am very hopeful that the students also felt that our discussion of examples of how the two areas integrate (our role as a flight attendant and the STEM areas) were relevant and helpful.

The presentation included a planned evacuation drill. What made you decide to include that part of the FA training?
Flight attendants serve as the “Safety Coordinator of the cabin.” It is our responsibility to evacuate the aircraft during an emergency.  Since we were charged with providing information regarding the role of a flight attendant, we believed that it would be beneficial for the students to serve as participants of a planned emergency evacuation.

What did you tell the teachers and students about the role of flight attendants s and how it fits into STEM careers?
We showed our Scott Portable Oxygen Bottle (POB) and I asked if they knew the element for oxygen on the periodic table.  I also explained that we have to know how to utilize the POB for medical emergencies to include looking to determine if it is odorless and colorless as well as whether there is a flow of oxygen as indicated by the specific type of oxygen bottle on the aircraft.

What takeaways did you get from your experience helping with Air Camp?
The takeaways that I got from the experience helping with Air Camp were:

  • The need to continue to build and promote community partnerships with local entities such as the public school system. These can be used as early “gateway” opportunities which can serve as pathways to helping identify and recruit future flight attendants, pilots and essential airline personnel.
  • The opportunity to provide students, who had never been on an airplane, the opportunity to sit in our cabin simulator and to provide them with a simulated airplane experience. Several weeks back, we were informed that the primary component of our revenue customer base are first-time flyers.  As we polled the students from each Air Camp group, we learned that there were a few who had never been on an airplane.
  • The response from a student who stated that he felt that it was the role of the flight attendant to be “compatible with incompatible people [passengers].”  His words were so profound. I asked if we could borrow his statement.  It, very appropriately, summarized the discussion of topics about security and customer service.
  • The opportunity to emphasize the importance of education, learning and training to the students.  We continued to inform them how critical it is that flight attendants act as lifelong learners and stay abreast of information (policies, procedures and regulations) to be able to possess and effectively demonstrate job knowledge and skill proficiency.

It was a very rewarding experience and I am looking forward to future visits by the Air Camp students and teachers. I hope that we will have more opportunities to partner with them and other organizational groups in the future.

Faces of PSA – Meet Kimberly Tatum

Faces of PSA - Kim TatumName: Kimberly Tatum

Title: Flight Attendant 

How long have you worked for PSA? 3 years

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions. I have worked as a corporate trainer, customer service manager, sales representative and a nanny. Most of the positions were in the travel industry. I worked as a corporate trainer, as well as a revenue manager and customer service manager with Hertz Corporation.

How did your other jobs prepare you for being a Flight Attendant? I worked with passengers who just got off the planes or were trying to get on a plane. Customer service in both the airline industry or car rental industry is the same.

What brought you to PSA? I have always wanted to be a flight attendant. It was my dream job. A chance meeting with Roger Dunn turned it into a reality.

What appealed to you the most about being a Flight Attendant? The independence to manage myself. A Flight Attendant is in charge of their time and work ethic. It is up to me to excel in this position and the passengers are the judge of my performance.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I have thrown big events for my old neighborhood. This is the exact same thing. I host a gathering of people for the length of the flight, as if they were at an event. I welcome them, get to know them, serve them drinks and make sure they are safe for the duration of their flight. Once we land, I thank them, just like I would if they had attended an event.

Recently, you had a passenger who required extra special care from his wife on the flight. Can you describe the experience and what you did for them? There was an elderly couple in first class. The husband needed to use the restroom. He needed assistance from his wife. I recognized the situation because my mom had to assist my dad when he could not help himself. When she got him to the lavatory, I held up a blanket for privacy so she could assist him.  I had no idea that his son, an American airline employee, was also in first class.  The entire family was very appreciative that of the gesture.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Trying to decide to bid early morning shows (get up at o’dark thirty) or night shows (thunder storms every day).

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? St. John and Hawaii

What are some of your hobbies? Visiting wineries and walking food tours

What do you love about working for PSA? The people!!!

Would you recommend PSA and why? I have recommended PSA to several people. The flexibility and the people you encounter on a daily basis.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: My son, Justin, works for PSA as a flight attendant and we fly together frequently. He started six months after me.

What is it like to work with your son? Did he join because you became a Flight Attendant or was he always planning on becoming one? Working with Justin is easy. I like the forward (front of the cabin) position and he enjoys the aft (back of the cabin) position, so I don’t have to play the seniority card. He is totally opposite of me. He decided to become a Flight Attendant because I was having so much fun.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to turn a problem into a positive experience for everyone involved.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I am an open book. You want to know something, I will always tell you. Not very

Cadet Spotlight – Alysha Shaw and Rebekah Butler

AlyshaAlysha Shaw
PSA Airlines First Officer
Cadet Mentor – Central Washington University

How long have you been involved with PSA’s Cadet Program?
I’ve been involved with PSA’s Cadet Program for one semester as a Cadet Mentor for Central Washington University in Washington state. I am currently a Charlotte-based First Officer.

What are the best features of this program?
I am so thrilled to be a part of PSA’s Cadet Program because it gives students a chance to learn about and experience the airline industry years before they enter it. My Cadets have unprecedented access to information and events at PSA and American Airlines before they even graduate college. Our Cadets interview in the comfort of their own school while they are still students and never have to interview for another job again! They also receive bonuses while they are flight instructing and have a reduced contract time once they are hired on as PSA pilots. All of my Cadets are driven, hardworking young professionals and I am honored to mentor them throughout their college careers and on to successful careers at PSA.

What have you done, personally to ensure your Cadets are making the most of their involvement with the Cadet Program?
I encourage my students to attend events and participate in programs that will build their resumes and expose them to important aviation-related experiences. The majority of my Cadets attended the Women in Aviation Conference in Orlando this past spring, and joined other cadets, mentors and PSA employees at a company sponsored breakfast event.

Any additional thoughts on the cadet program?
I look forward to growing the PSA Cadet Program at Central Washington University and hopefully on the rest of the west coast as well. I can’t wait to see what my cadets accomplish as they graduate from college and come on board at PSA.

RebekahRebekah Butler
PSA Airlines Cadet
Senior Cadet – Central Washington University

Why did you decide to join PSA’s Cadet Program?
I joined PSA’s cadet program because PSA Airlines is the perfect fit for me as a regional airline choice. PSA recruiters and pilots have always impressed me with their passion for flying and the airline they work for, and the quality of life I see with the airline made it an easy choice.

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of having a Mentor?
For me the biggest benefit of having a mentor is the personal relationship you develop with them. It makes life at the Airlines a more realistic and obtainable goal without so many unknowns.

Any additional thoughts on the cadet program?
The PSA cadet program, and my mentor have helped me keep my eye on the goal and my motivation high, which, of course, is the key to continuous learning.

PSA Airlines Appoints Keith Stamper as Vice President of Flight Operations

GLINTstudios_PSA-Dayton2016_00161DAYTON, Ohio – PSA Airlines has appointed Keith Stamper as Vice President of Flight Operations reporting to Dion Flannery, President of PSA Airlines. In this role, Stamper will be part of the airline’s executive team and will be responsible for directing and overseeing the management of Flight Operations, including Flight, Inflight and Training.

Captain Stamper comes to PSA Airlines after an accomplished career as a CRJ pilot with vast experience in regional airline flight operations management. He served as chief pilot for Comair before joining Trans States Airlines in 2010 as Director of Flight Operations, supervising Flight Operations, Training and SOC.

“Keith is a highly-accomplished pilot and aviation professional with more than 20 years of regional airline experience,” said Dion Flannery, President of PSA Airlines. “An ATP, CRJ-certified pilot, he has held many roles in training and flight operations including check airman, fleet manager and chief pilot. His collaborative, lead-by-example approach to successfully overcome challenges makes him the ideal person to lead our flight and inflight operations workgroups as we continue our dramatic growth at PSA.”

As Vice President of Flight Operations, Stamper and will oversee the strategy to monitor and improve safety, reliability and productivity of all flight and flight-related operations and will provide direction to the flight operations team of 2,250 team members, including leading PSA’s pilot and flight attendant workgroups.

The opportunity to accelerate advancements in operations planning and execution and to properly support the rapidly-expanding pilot and flight attendant workgroups is high-priority for PSA after its immense amount of growth over the last several years. To complement Stamper’s role as Vice President of Flight Operations, PSA is adding a Vice President of Systems, Operations Control and Planning role. Having dedicated, executive team members focused on their respective roles will accelerate the rate of change and preparation, improve operational reliability and lead to better care and services to our crew members and operations control personnel. PSA is working to fill its Vice President of Systems, Operations Control and Planning role and will share more details once a selection has been made.

About PSA Airlines

PSA Airlines operates an all-jet fleet consisting of exclusively Bombardier regional jet aircraft. The company’s 3,000 employees operate nearly 700 daily flights to nearly 90 destinations. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, PSA also has flight crew bases located in Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio, Knoxville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina. PSA has maintenance facilities in Dayton and Canton, Ohio and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina. PSA operates 35 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, 29 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft and 54 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The airline expects to add additional aircraft bringing its fleet count to 150.

Faces of PSA – Meet Don Hydler

Faces of PSA - Don Hydler Manager Maintenance ControlName: Don Hydler

Title: Manager of Maintenance Control

How long have you worked for PSA? October 9th will be 28 years.

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? I have been in the airline industry for almost 28 years. I started my aviation career with PSA in 1989 as an A&P mechanic. Before PSA, I worked at Meijer as a stock clerk for over six years.

What brought you to PSA? I attended the Aviation Maintenance high school program at Montgomery County JVS (now known as CTC), where I received my A&P license. The school referred me to PSA after graduation.

What is the biggest difference from the time you started at PSA and now? When I started at PSA, we operated a very small fleet, which grew to a larger fleet of turboprop aircraft. Now we operate a fleet of 118 jet aircraft on our way to a total of 150 aircraft.

Is there a big change going from turboprop aircraft to the CRJs we fly now? I don’t feel there is a big change, aside from turboprop aircraft are certainly very noisy, but for the most part all aircraft are similar in some fashion. I certainly never thought I would see the day when we would have an all-jet fleet, but it took a lot of hard work and long hours over the years by all to make it happen.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am responsible for the coordination of all operational aircraft with online discrepancies and their timely return to service.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Keeping up with the ever-so-changing airline industry as a whole, which constantly requires changes to our current processes and procedures.

How has your job changed? How do you keep up with the changes in the industry? With all the growth here at PSA over the last two years, it has certainly required me to take on more of a leadership role in my department. I have learned a lot during this time and feel it has made me a better leader. As far as keeping up with the changes in the aviation industry, this certainly cannot be done alone. It requires each and every department working together to make this happen.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

What are some of your hobbies?

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Four-Wheeling
  • Archery – I got into archery when I was younger. My father taught me and we would go bow hunting every year. It has stuck with me ever since. I also enjoy getting out and competing in archery tournaments when they are held in the area.

What do you love about working for PSA? I enjoy all the comradery and although we have tripled the amount of employees over the last several years, PSA is like one big family.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Yes, with all the growth taking place at PSA this provides opportunities for advancement and a place of business for individuals new to aviation to start their career.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I am responsible for maintaining the MEL/CDL manual for all aircraft fleet types.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to play such a vital role in the overall operation and working together in a team environment.

Tell us something no one knows about you: When I was going thru A&P school, I had the pleasure of meeting an individual who restored rare antique aircraft. This meeting turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, I assisted with the ground up restoration of a 1935 Davis D1-W open cockpit airplane. This aircraft was on display at EAA OSHKOSH 1993 and won the “Outstanding Open Cockpit Monoplane” award in the Antique Bronze Age (1933-41) category.