The Faces of PSA – Meet Pete Demers

Faces of PSA - Pete DemersName: Pete Demers

Title: Ground Training Supervisor

How long have you worked for PSA? I’ve been with PSA just over two years.

What brought you to PSA? The opportunity to work at a company with growth, both in the company, and professional growth opportunities and to relocate closer to my wife’s family in Northwest Ohio.

How long have you been in the airline industry? PSA is my first 121 carrier, however I’ve been in the aviation industry since 2000. My previous roles have mainly been in flight instruction, flight training management focusing on FAA Part 141 schools, and 135 flight operations.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: My primary role as the Ground Training Supervisor is to manage the ground training portions of the pilot new hire, recurrent and upgrade classes.  This includes overseeing instructor staffing and scheduling, developing courseware and being a point of contact for students during training in Dayton. There are a number of secondary duties to help support the training department and flight operations as well, including flying the line as a First Officer.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? It’s hard to think of a favorite. As a pilot, I’ve been able to fly into some pretty interesting places and have been able to explore new cities.

What are some of your hobbies? I’ve always been a bit of a history buff, and now living in the Dayton area has really appealed to the aviation nerd in me learning about the Wright Brothers’ background and history. In the summer, my wife I and love to explore the bike trails throughout the area.

What do you love about working for PSA? I would have to say the people at PSA and the opportunities that exist here. I have a great team of instructors I enjoy working with and leadership that is supportive of the department and professional development. When interacting with other departments, I’ve found everyone to be friendly and willing to help out.

Would you recommend PSA and why? I would (and have) recommended PSA to friends and former students. As a company, PSA has a lot of things going for them and great opportunities.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: I think most people don’t realize the challenges or how encompassing the training department really is. Beyond the normal day to day teaching of systems and procedures, we are developing content for the future, looking at new ways to efficiently and effectively deliver content.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? I’ve always found it rewarding to share my knowledge and passion for aviation with others. I had a boss in the flight training world and we would say to each other on the most stressful days: “We’re making dreams come true.” As Clichéd and cheesy as that may sounds, it’s a great feeling to be walking through an airport and seeing pilots who have come through training and are living out their dreams and know I helped them get there in some way.

Tell us something no one knows about you: Not really a secret that no one knows, but more of a fun-fact: Years ago at an airshow in Florida, I had the honor of meeting Gen. Paul Tibbets who flew the Enola Gay and dropped the first atomic bomb.

The Faces of PSA – Meet Jarred Timok

Faces of PSA Jarred TimokName: Jarred Timok

Title: Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA)/Line Operation Safety Audit (LOSA) Program Manager

How long have you worked for PSA?: I have worked at PSA for over 3 years. I was hired as a First Officer in May of 2014. I transferred into Safety in December of 2016.

What brought you to PSA? I came to PSA during a time of exponential growth. I was hired right as we were taking delivery of the first CRJ900s. The growth is what really enticed me to choose PSA over other regional carriers.

How long have you been in the airline industry? I have been in the airline industry since I was hired at PSA in May of 2014.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I manage two of our safety programs. The first, which takes up most of my time, is the FOQA program. FOQA is a program where we routinely download the Flight Data Recorder (aka the “black box”) to monitor how our crews are actually flying the aircraft. I have automatic “events” set up to automatically trigger when a crew exceeds guidance either given by their Pilots Operating Handbook or Flight Operations Manual.  I work with the Pilot’s union and the Training Department in order to improve our training, based upon actual data, and improve operational safety. The LOSA program is a where we train a pilot to ride the jumpseat and observe day-to-day operations. The LOSA program can add valuable insight and color commentary to the black-and-white data of the FOQA program.  I also represent the Safety department in industry meetings as well as on the Fleet Management Team.  Oh and did I forget I fly the line too as a First Officer (hopefully soon to be Captain)!

Did you always want to be a pilot? Yes. I wanted to fly since I was a kid. I actually wanted to be an astronaut but a pretty severe knee injury precluded me from that goal. I started flying at 15 and got my private pilot’s license at 18. My degree is in Aerospace Engineering.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Dublin, Ireland by far, if PSA would let me work from there I would in a heartbeat.

What are some of your hobbies? Believe it or not, I love to fly! I also am going back to school to get a database and analytics focused Master’s degree. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle and SCUBA diving.

What do you love about working for PSA? Working for PSA and specifically the Safety department, has allowed me to pursue my passion for aviation safety as well as maintain currency in flying the line. All of the people I work for have been great bosses and mentors.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Although we are one of the fastest growing regionals, we still maintain that family atmosphere with everyone working as a team towards the same goal.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: Working with flight data is an IT-heavy job. I have to use my skills in database creation, business intelligence, and even programing. My vast amounts of flight data also makes my program one of the largest repositories of data on our system. I also regularly interface with Bombardier informing them how they may improve the systems and data of the CRJ. This interface has required me to actually use my engineering degree, which I enjoy.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Making a real and measurable impact on the safety of our airline. My goal is to make PSA the industry leader in aviation safety.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I enjoy cooking and use it as a way to decompress after a day at work. My wife and I enjoy cooking all kinds of new foods. I really like making Steak Au Poivre.

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.