The Faces of PSA – Meet Hector Sanchez

Hector SanchezName: Hector Sanchez

Title: First Officer

How long have you worked for PSA? I’ve been at PSA 1 year and 9 months.

What brought you to PSA? I came to PSA not just for the upgrade, but for the opportunities. PSA is an airline with growth, not just in its fleet, but all around. Every day new positions become available internally for any employee that wants it. If you want to just fly the line, you can do that, but if you want to be in management or work for the union, it is all possible, too. Furthermore, PSA provides the flexibility I need to work on my other projects and see my family.

How long have you been in the airline industry? I’ve been in the airline industry since June 2013. I first started working for another airline in 2013 where I spent 2½ years working internationally before I came to PSA in November 2015.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: Currently I’m a First Officer based in Charlotte, NC. My job is to aid the captain in all duties related to the operation of the aircraft (preflight, setup, etc.). Also, I’m a Cadet Recruiter and Mentor. I attend school events and recruit future PSA pilots. I also mentor a group of students (cadets) from the moment they enter the program until they become pilots here at the company.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? It’s hard to say. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have been able to travel all over North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. Every destination is exciting and has things to see and places to explore.

What are some of your hobbies? Coming from an island, I love the beach, boats, fishing, surfing, etc. I like to watch any kind of sport: basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, etc.

What do you love about working for PSA? Apart from the flexibility and the quality of life I have at the company, I will say its employees. Everyone is very welcoming and you enjoy coming to work. Also, I have the ability not just of flying the line but also recruit and meet new aspiring pilots wanting to enter the aviation industry.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Yes, I will and have recommended PSA. It is a great company with a lot of growth and opportunities. The opportunities to grow professionally without sacrificing quality of life and family are the reason to come to PSA.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: As a first officer, it’s pretty much straight-forward. You basically follow company standard operating procedures (SOP’s). As a recruiter, I get to go on the road and talk to aspiring and seasoned pilots interested in PSA. I also conduct cadet interviews. Once selected for the cadet program, the cadets are divided or put into groups. Each group has a mentor assigned who has the task of helping/mentoring each cadet so they achieve their ultimate goal of becoming an airline pilot.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is meeting new people every day, visiting new destinations and being able to do what I always wanted to do, which was fly. Every day I get to put on that uniform and transport people to their families or work. I get to interact with not just the passengers, but I get to fly with incredible crews. As a mentor, I get to help others achieve their goals of becoming pilots. I see myself in these new aspiring pilots trying to get to the next level. We all know it is not an easy task and takes a lot of dedication, time, and an extensive learning process.

As a recruiter and mentor, what is the most commonly asked question from cadets you interview and/or meet? What I enjoy the most about recruiting and mentoring is that there is no one question, there is usually like a million questions more like it. It is so dynamic and every day the industry changes and new questions arise. Questions about classes and degrees, company-specific questions (PSA), American Airlines questions, logbooks and preparation, check rides, etc. The list keeps going. Imagine one question per cadet around all the schools, it can be lengthy. Here at PSA there is a great team that helps out 24/7 when comes to answering questions. I always try to answer all the questions I can but you always encounter situations where you have to ask for help. Krystal McCoy (HR Cadet and Rotor Transition Program Recruiter) and the Human Resources department do an outstanding job answering all the questions we have. Without them, I couldn’t answer half the questions I get asked every day.

What is the next step you want to achieve in your career?  Currently my next step is to upgrade and achieve what many pilot dreams of, reaching American Airlines. For me to able to reach my goals I must become the most rounded pilot and employee I can be. One day I would like to enter the management side of flying either in the training department, safety department of even chief pilot of VP of Operations. The possibilities are endless, but everything starts with education which allows me to manage the flying environment better.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I have five brothers and sisters. I’m also a current student, completing Master’s degree in Safety. Currently, I’m only 26 years old and already have flown all over America and have a 737 Type-Rating and CRJ Type-Rating.