The Faces of PSA – Meet William VanWeelden

Faces of PSA - william vanweeldenName: William VanWeelden

Title: Technical Support Specialist

How long have you worked for PSA? 15 years in August

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? 16 Years. Prior to joining PSA, I was a contractor for FedEx in Indianapolis working on their Boeing 727s.

What brought you to PSA? I wanted to gain more experience in my career field and PSA allowed the mechanics the ability to work on every part of the aircraft, which fit well with my goals.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: A large part of being a technical support specialist is research into current issues with our fleet and what available options exist to correct them. I work with Bombardier on several modification programs for the fleet, in addition to overseeing the transfer process of the CRJ-700s from Envoy Air to PSA.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? The CRJ-700 transfer program. I have to manage and coordinate the inspection program and modification package that Envoy Air performs prior to delivery to PSA. It has been very rewarding to see how another airline maintains the same aircraft and what we can learn from them to improve our operation.

You have been part of many activities for PSA, such as Corporate Challenge. How did you get involved? I became involved in 2011 when I was asked to participate in the mini golf competition. By the end of the week, I ended up participating in several other activities that year including having to sing a solo part for the team song for the final event. It has been a lot of fun and I look forward to it each year as it provides a good opportunity to engage in team building with others throughout PSA.

Where is your favorite place in which you have traveled? The Austrian Alps

What are some of your hobbies? Taking vacations with my family and basically anything that has to do with motorcycles. I enjoy taking bike trips with friends and attending race events such as MotoGP.

What do you love about working for PSA? I enjoy the people that I work with and the new challenges that each day brings. No two days are the same.

Would you recommend PSA and why? I would definitely recommend PSA. The company has grown by leaps and bounds since I first started, but has not lost the tight-knit atmosphere. There is tremendous potential available to anyone who is determined and willing to learn.

 Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: We never know what we will become involved with each day. Even the simplest request for information can evolve into a large project. In a typical day, we answer questions ranging from the Flight Ops Department asking about engine performance differences to Supply Chain requesting help to resolve a vendor issue.

 What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing projects and modifications that I have initiated in use on the aircraft.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I usually cannot go into a store without detouring through the LEGO aisle. I still continue to collect and build during my free time and have several sets displayed on my desk.

The Faces of PSA – Meet John Corbett

Name: John Corbett

Title: Flight Attendant

How long have you worked for PSA? 2 years

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? PSA is first airline job. Worked in IT before that and many years in Hospitality.

What brought you to PSA? I was between jobs and a friend who is a FA for a different airline suggested I apply. I have always liked to travel and have lived in many cities so it just made sense to try.

Recently, you had a passenger who had the unique talent of folding dollar bills into jets and elephants. Can you describe the experience? I was working first class when this nice older man and his lady friend boarded. HFaces of PSA - John Corbette stopped and handed me a dollar bill folded up into an elephant. He gave the captain a folded up jet and expressed the desire to give one to the rest of the crew. They were very sweet and sat in first class. They were on their way to Hawaii to attend his son’s wedding. Two uniformed soldiers sat in front of them in the first row and it wasn’t long before he engaged the soldiers in conversation and was showing them his talent of folding dollar bills. The two soldiers were fascinated and for the rest of the trip the man taught them how to fold bills. It was heartwarming to watch these young people who could have been shipping out to training or overseas laughing and connecting to this sweet older couple.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? I’ll be honest, it has to be the commute. Not living in your base adds a challenge to this job. But, I live in South Florida, and it’s worth it.

What are some of your hobbies? Well, travel obviously, going to the beach, hearing music with friends, and photography, especially sunsets and sunrises.

What do you love about working for PSA? The people I work with. I have met some wonderful coworkers, some much younger than me, but good all are good friends. Management is receptive and caring.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Sure, I would recommend PSA. If you want to do this job and, believe me, it’s not for everyone, this is a good place to land, as they care about you and you feel like you are on a team.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: Most people think Flight Attendants are just there just to make drinks, but there is so much more to this job. We are safety professionals who are the first responders of any emergency that can happen in the air. 

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing happy passengers who are glad to get where they needed to safely. Taking a child into the flight deck to sit next to the pilot and seeing the joy on his/her face.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I was adopted and recently did an Ancestry DNA search. I am going to pursue it further and find relatives in Italy, and when I do, I am going to fly over there and meet them.

The Faces of PSA – Meet Aaron Shuntich

Faces of PSA - aaron shuntichName: Aaron Shuntich

Title: GSP Maintenance Manager

How long have you worked for PSA? 7 years

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? 7 years, I started my career in the airline industry with PSA after graduating from PIA (Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics).

What made you want to go into aviation maintenance? While in high school, our vocational school started offering aviation maintenance. I liked working with tools and loved knowing how things work. Put together with being fascinated with aircraft, I decided to give it a shot and really enjoyed it.

What brought you to PSA? I came to PSA as a maintenance mechanic looking to further my career. 

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am responsible for the overall production of the GSP maintenance base.  I ensure that all aircraft leave in a safe and timely manner.  I lead and support the GSP maintenance team.

How has your career progression gone at PSA? In 2010, I started with PSA as a mechanic at our Akron base. In 2015, I accepted the maintenance supervisor position for our first new base since becoming a wholly-owned of American at CVG. First, starting as line maintenance in CVG, then growing into a successful hangar operation. Our next maintenance base to be planned was GSP where I accepted the position of maintenance manager in mid-2016 and started operations November 2016.

What is the biggest difference you’ve seen at PSA from the time you started to now? The biggest change I have seen in PSA is definitely size. When I started, we had only 49 aircraft and 3 maintenance bases. Our ability to take on such rapid growth in such a short amount of time makes me proud to call myself a team member of PSA.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? One of the biggest challenges I have faced so far in my career with PSA has been building the GSP maintenance base and team. While this has been one of my biggest challenges, it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Daytona Beach, FL

What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy traveling, motorcycle trips, and spending time with my family

What do you love about working for PSA? I love the atmosphere and culture of PSA.  It is big business with small family values.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Yes, I would recommend PSA.  They are care about their employees and allow their employees to grow within the company. 

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: Most people may not realize the extra hours that each base manager puts in.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Watching each of my employees grow individually and as a team.

Tell us something no one knows about you:  I am an avid shooter and gun collector. My favorite gun in my collection would have to be my smith & Wesson 500 magnum pistol.

First RTP Program Graduate Transitions to PSA

IMG_20170424_132207PSA is proud to welcome our first Rotor Transition Program student into our pilot training, moving him one step closer to becoming a PSA pilot.

John Marshall, who flew helicopters in the Marine Corp, entered training at our partner school, SkyWarrior in late March and completed his RTP training in just over a month.

Marshall joined the RTP program after retiring from the military in February and brought with him almost 18 years of flying experience. He started Naval flight school in 1999 and went to winged in 2001.

He said he knew he wanted to continue flying after the Marine Corps so becoming a commercial pilot was always an option. “When I saw the RTP available with PSA, I knew it would be a good fit. Not only does it give me the opportunity to continue flying, but to continue on a career path that I am excited about.”

PSA’s RTP program, which launched in early March, offers military helicopter pilots an avenue to becoming a PSA commercial pilot. The program includes benefits such as a contribution of up to $23,000 towards flight time requirements and the flexibility on funding to pay for flight hours (no GI Bill use required).

Marshall said his training at SkyWarrior was “nothing but professional and they allowed me to hit the ground running.” He said he chose the program with PSA because he knew it would help him succeed. “It is a great option for military helicopters pilots that has aspirations to fly commercially… I appreciate that PSA supports military veterans.”

PSA’s reputation and his personal experience were also a draw to PSA, he said. “I have flown on PSA many times out of Jacksonville, N.C. and the service was always great. I wanted to be part of something that was respected for wonderful customer service.”

What is Marshall looking forward to the most with his budding PSA career? “Flying to different locations, working with different crews on a regular basis, meeting new people and gaining valuable experiences. I’m hoping this job will be just as satisfying as flying with the Marine Corps was, and I look forward to being part of a team again. I can’t wait to get started.”

The Faces of PSA – Meet Luis Vazquez

Faces of PSA - Luis VasquezName: Luis Vazquez

Title: First Officer, based at CVG

How long have you worked for PSA? Since March 2016. 

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? 13 months

What brought you to PSA? The reason why I came to PSA as a first airline was the word of mouth was good among other aviators. (PSA) was gaining a good reputation among candidates looking to land a job in the airline environment. And, secondly, I ended up making my decision based on a recommendation from an instructor I used to have that had joined PSA in the previous years.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: I am a First Officer at PSA. I also hold a CFI certificate.

How long have you wanted to be a pilot? I wanted to be a pilot since I was 5 years old, a dream that never left me and that I fully pursued after my scoring goals days were over. I’m loving my career now more than ever.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Japan. I love the culture overall. They are very respectful people with a vision of progress in society – all ages, all levels of society. Also, the lifestyle, the food and, of course, the ladies (haha).

What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy music, traveling and eating good food. I like to play and watch sports. I have traveled around the world.

What do you love about working for PSA? I like the work environment. Almost all of the people I’ve worked with have been great and I enjoy meeting with new people and crew. It has been such a great experience.

Would you recommend PSA and why? Yes, I would tell him/her that it is a good place to work, with a lot of flight opportunities, and with a lot of room for expansion and advancement. We do get to fly a lot and there’s potential for advancement. People around have been helpful! Definitely glad I chose PSA.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? The training and job experience has been very rewarding. 

Tell us something no one knows about you: I was an ex-professional soccer player back in the day, when I used to be in good shape! I played soccer professionally in Mexico for two years on a team called Veracruz. Then, I got a full scholarship to play college in the US at St Gregory’s University in Oklahoma. I played forward/wing position, scoring goals. I come from a family of professional soccer players in Mexico, including the leading scorer in World Cups for the Mexican National Team (my cousin Luis Hernandez). I can also speak Spanish, a little bit of Japanese, French and Italian.