Faces of PSA – Meet Chris Salup

Faces of PSA - Chris Salup mechanicName: Chris Salup

Title: A&P Mechanic

How long have you worked for PSA? I have been working at PSA for just over one year.

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? PSA Airlines is my first airline. Prior to that, I spent two and a half years in general aviation as the sole A&P mechanic of a flight school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

What brought you to PSA? I attended an aircraft maintenance career fair in Clearwater, Florida. PSA was the first booth I approached. I was satisfied with the opportunity and benefits that PSA could give me. I interviewed on the spot. Afterwards, I accepted an offer at PSA Airlines in Charlotte, NC.

Give us a brief overview of what you do: My duty is to ensure our passengers and crew can safely and comfortably travel on our jets. I perform many different tasks. On any given day I can be performing engine runs, taxiing aircraft, checking complex systems, troubleshooting and correcting faults, and inspecting critical to flight components and controls.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? Probably the greatest challenge at the moment is trying to teach our new mechanics about our maintenance practices and aircraft systems in a timely, safe, and correct manner. Everyone has a different style and pace of learning, trying to ensure the new technicians comprehend as much information I can provide is crucial. At times, we run into new faults in the aircraft, trying to diagnose the new fault and teach about it immediately can complicate that process.

Where’s your favorite place you have traveled? Favorite place I have traveled to would have to be Seattle in the summer time. The combination of natural surroundings and unique city culture in that region are breath taking.

What are some of your hobbies? In my spare time, I fly. I am currently building towards my commercial pilot rating. I also travel using the company benefits to places I have never been before.

Have you always wanted to become a pilot? Since I was a kid, it was always a dream to fly. I started my pilot training before I was a mechanic. I actually worked at a flight school as a mechanic in exchange for flight time. This reduced my training time and flying expenses greatly. Part of my job at the flight school was to fly the airplanes I worked on. We also had customer aircraft from other airports that I would fly to our shop and then deliver back to the customer after the maintenance had been performed.

What do you love about working for PSA? I enjoy being able to do many different things every single day. No two days at PSA are ever the same. That’s what makes this job so interesting.

Would you recommend PSA and why? PSA is a great place to start gaining experience on a relatively new fleet of airliners. These planes are not too complicated to learn. They set a good base on which to learn and build good maintenance skills, as long as the technician is willing to learn.

Tell us something about your role that most people don’t know: Some maintenance calls are less glorious than others, especially anything related to a lavatory.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to travel on a plane that I have worked on, stare out of the window and watch the wings split through the clouds is the best reward for any type of maintenance I have done on these airliners.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I can speak three languages: English, German, and French.

PSA team provides support and gets peek at aviation history

Wright Flyer disassembly teamIf you could go back in time to see how the first airplane was built and what made it fly, would you take it? Five PSA mechanics came close when they had the opportunity to work on a replica of the Wright B Flyer.

Dayton Maintenance Base Manager Ron Cotterman and his volunteer team of Jesse Robbins, Jordan Letner, Mark McDermott and Jeremiah Williams gathered on a cold April 22 day at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to take apart a Wright Flyer replica to prepare it for transport to the Dayton Convention Center, where it was on display for the International Trails Symposium.

The process took shorter than the group expected as they carefully disconnected the flight control systems and propped it on a dolly system used for easily turning and putting it into the container for transport.

Overseeing and assisting in the process were Bob Stemple of the National Parks Service, Bill Jamison, an aircraft mechanic with the Wright B Flyer group and Tony Sculimbrene, Executive Director National Aviation Heritage Alliance.

When first approached about the volunteer opportunity, Ron Cotterman and Jesse Robbins said it sounded interesting. Both were curious how the aircraft was built and said it was neat to see.

The simplicity of the aircraft was impressive, Ron said. “It’s all cable and pins and how they used the bicycle system to make it work,” he said. The wood for the wings was also very light.

“(The disassembly) was not as difficult as we thought. Neat to see the way they handled the flight controls,” Jesse said. The weight was a concern but was not an issue after all. “I thought it would be heavier,” he said.

“What we had to disassemble was easy, I thought, with the guidance of Bill. Our people came together as a team,” said Mark McDermott.

Another intriguing feature that caught Mark’s attention was the engine. “Valentine, that built the aircraft, used a flat head model T engine. I haven’t seen one of those in years.”

Overall, the experience is one the group won’t soon forget.

“The motivation for the project was a once-in-a-lifetime-experience to put hands on one of these first aircraft,” said Mark. “Even though it was a replica, you could see the workmanship and care to make this Wright B Flyer look and feel real. To see the runway out at Huffman Prairie where history was made was a humbling experience.”

Faces of PSA – Meet Patrice Covington Green

Donna “Patrice” Covington Green2Name: Donna “Patrice” Covington Green

Title: Check Flight Attendant

How long have you worked for PSA? June 11, 2011, I will celebrate 6 years at PSA.

How long have you been in the airline industry? Where did you work before PSA? Almost 6 years. I am still the Broker-in-Charge and owner of Covington Realty, LLC, a residential and commercial real estate firm.  I also worked as a Trust Account Manager for a large third-party retirement firm.

What brought you to PSA? I have always wanted to travel and since two of my three daughters,
now married live out of state, I can visit them and my awesome grandsons whenever I want.

Give us a brief overview of what you do:

  • I am a Flight Attendant also serving in the capacity as a Check Flight Attendant.
  • Primary responsibility is to ensure passenger safety.
  • Responsible for safety flight checks to ensure all equipment is in place and operable.
  • Assist passengers if there is a medical emergency.
  • Responsible for briefing passengers in the emergency exit row.
  • Responsible for performing safety demonstration before takeoff.
  • Ensure cabin and galley are secure.
  • Responsible for implementing planned and unplanned emergencies if needed.
  • Conduct IOE’s and Line Checks.

What is one of the biggest challenges of your job? I would have to say that one of the biggest challenges of my job is maintaining objectivity and a calm demeanor when passengers do not want to comply with our policies.

Where is your favorite place in which you have traveled? I am just beginning to expand my traveling experience outside the US.  I will be traveling to Saint Martin in June.

What are some of your hobbies? Reading, chess, scrabble and sewing.

What do you love about working for PSA? I absolutely love the people I have the privilege of working with. There is so much to glean from such a diverse group of people. We are constantly learning from each other and that comes from maintaining a teachable attitude. Also, I am continually surrounded by people with a vast amount of knowledge, skill and ingenuity. Those qualities help to develop us into better human beings to reach our God given potential. It is amazing to observe the growth in myself, fellow flight attendants and those I have had the pleasure of training. It is truly a blessing to work with such an awesome team of people.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job? I am always intrigued by the many passengers and personalities I encounter on each trip. Every experience is unique and not always pleasant. However, I have learned to be a better listener and less judgmental. People have a story and most often than not, they just need an ear. I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel to places I probably would not have been able to visit were it not for PSA/American. I count it an honor to have been chosen as a Check Flight Attendant to assist with IOE training and LCs. This opportunity helps to keep me proficient and in the process, I learn from the students I help to train and fellow flight attendants.

Who have been influential people in your PSA career? I would be remiss if I did not say thank you to both my mentors, Julie Gallion and Roger Dunn, who were my IOE instructors. Because of their encouragement and patience during my IOE, I gained the confidence needed to mature into the Flight Attendant I am today. Also, thank you Tracey Kruger for being the best of the best during training almost six years ago. Deb Hoke and Joanne Dinkelacker, thank you for your leadership!

Would you recommend PSA and why? I would recommend PSA to others. As a matter of fact, I recommended my brother and my cousin to PSA and they were both hired. I did that because I felt it was a great company to work for and the people are just awesome. There’s not a perfect company, nor are there perfect people who make up a company, but I would not trade PSA nor my coworkers for anything.

Tell us something no one knows about you: I am the owner of Covington Realty, LLC where I am the Broker-in-Charge. Also, I have a Christian Toy Company called Nine Fruit of the Spirit, Inc. They are a set of toys that speak a scripture indigenous to the fruit of the spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. In addition, I have a Nine Fruit writing journal. The patent has been approved and the Trademark is registered. My brother, Octavius Covington, is my business partner.

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.