PSA Ground Instructor Jonathan Hudson was first asked to help train PSA’s future pilots shortly after completing his own training early this year. With a background in flight instructing and corporate flying, Jonathan knows the importance of finding the best fit for your career. The long hours on call as a corporate pilot had Jonathan wishing for a set schedule and a possible future as a captain.
These days he takes pride in instructing PSA trainees, coaching them for the last time before they proceed to sim. But he looks forward to flying on the line in 2015. “Instructing makes you a better pilot and flying makes you a better instructor”
The best part of the position for Jonathan: sharing the experience with his kids. “They love it. we always talk about flying stories. My oldest son knows all of the callouts. I’m sure he could pass IPT.” Thanksgiving for Jonathan will be spent with his kids in Arizona.
So what does a PSA Instructor think of this past year’s hiring surge? “It’s neat to see the training department change- the volume of people is going up but the methods of training are constantly improving, becoming more innovative. The new flight training devices, students getting tablets, various special projects taking place- it’s exciting.”
“The cool thing about PSA is that it’s one of the only places where everyone is excited to be here. I rode jumpseat last week with a PSA First Officer that has been here since this March and is about to upgrade to captain. Everyone seems to be excited about the growth, and with good reason.”
After multiple announcements in 2013 and 2014, PSA’s hiring is currently at an all time high! Last December, the new American Airlines Group announced an order for 30 CRJ900’s to be operated by PSA, followed by an announcement in September that 47 CRJ700s would be transferred to PSA as well.
These announcements led to hiring numbers remaining at record highs throughout 2014 in order to meet demands of this expanded fleet; filling large training classes of first officers, captain upgrades, and flight attendants, as well as many non-crew positions, to prepare for the additional aircraft.
Our expanded employee base now includes crew members, maintenance technicians, dispatchers, instructors, and other aviation professionals including Director and Manager roles. These areas will continue to be hiring throughout 2015! Information on these various open positions can be found on our job board.
Crew hiring specifically saw pilot classes of upwards of 35 starting every two weeks and similarly large flight attendant classes every 2 weeks. Anticipated quick upgrade times are coming to fruition as current PSA first officers are being awarded captain upgrade classes every couple of weeks. Along with the quickest upgrade to captain in the industry- a rapid path to line holder, very low reserve times, and the ability to quickly be awarded one’s preferred domicile is in store for pilots coming aboard at PSA during this time of growth.
This rate of hiring will continue throughout 2015- as the CRJ NextGens continue to be put into service and 700’s begin being transferred.
Below are some important winter tips to remember from this quarter’s PSA Airlines Safety Newsletter. Keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy this winter by keeping this advice in mind.
Tips for your personal safety:
- Be extra cautious and vigilant while moving around in public or unknown places during darker hours.
- For uniformed employees, please be aware that in dark colored clothing you may not always be visible to motorists.
- Always utilize official walkways in parking lots, airport terminals, etc.
Home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season, due to an increase in cooking and heating fires, but they can be prevented:
- Have properly working smoke alarms and test them regularly.
- Install fire extinguishers—make sure everyone knows how to use them.
- Do not burn evergreens, wreaths, or wrapping paper/decorations in the fireplace or in a wood stove.
- Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.
- Choose only flame retardant decorations.
- Regularly inspect and repair portable heaters.
Cold Related Illnesses
Prolonged exposure to low temperatures, wind or moisture can result in frostbite and hypothermia, but can be avoided:
- Dress warmly, wearing layered clothing.
- Remember that extremities, e.g. nose, ears, hands and feet need extra attention during winter.
- Drink warm, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free liquids.
- Avoid becoming wet.
Safe Winter Driving
Now is the time to get a tune-up on the vehicle and replace bald tires. Other tips:
- Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies, e.g. flares, jumper cables, blankets, etc.
- Slow down and increase space between vehicles.
- If you break down, steer/push the vehicle to a safe location, and stay in the vehicle while you wait for emergency services.
- If rear wheels skid, turn the steering wheel in the same direction.
Army veterans and PSA First Officers Matthew Gerlitzki, JR Lynch Jr., and Glenn Tupper all came to PSA as longtime friends and fellow aviators. After meeting in 2006 in army flight school, each would go on to spend time in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
We ask them what it’s like transitioning to PSA, what keeps them passionate about flying, and their thoughts on this Veteran’s Day.
What’s it like transitioning from the military life to working at PSA?
“It’s exciting but intimidating. Flying an airplane is flying an airplane but they’re different cultures, different environments. As for training, Army training is top notch. It really prepares you to be an aviator… They’re all about putting in 100%” – JR Lynch Jr. (center)
What influences you or drives you to succeed now that you are here at PSA?
“The passion for aviation. The military paid for me to learn to fly for free- well I paid for it with those 7 years- But now, it’s like you’re free to do what you’ve always wanted to do: fly.” – Glenn Tupper (right)
“Flying was my dream as a child. My uncle is a retired Continental pilot. I guess you could say he was my inspiration. And he’s the one that took me flying for the first time.” – Matthew Gerlitzki (left)
What’s Veteran’s Day about to you?
“It’s not about us. It’s about those that aren’t here anymore. Our military time is done and, we’re not going back. But people- friends of ours even- that would probably want to be where we are right now, doing what we’re doing, and can’t- those are who it is about.”