More than a year ago, Charlotte-based Flight Attendant Deborah Drinnon experienced a medical emergency while working a flight. Upon arrival at the Charlotte airport, the medical personnel attended to her and transported her to the hospital. It was from that personal experience that Deborah met Medic and Instructor Jerry Morris. Jerry is a faculty member of Carolinas HealthCare System who trains paramedics through a program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. Some of his former students (trained paramedics) have responded to medical emergencies on PSA aircraft.
Jerry reached out to Director of Inflight Services Debra Hoke to ask if he could partner with PSA in a joint training program. Specifically, his objective was to expose his students to the tight quarters of the aircraft cabin and simulate the handling of a medical emergency in the small aircraft cabin to use as a training tool. Similarly, the PSA flight attendants (as well as pilots and station personnel) gained benefits from observing and participating in this training and were able offer insight from the crew and station perspective.
Through the cooperative efforts of Jerry and the Carolina Health / Central Piedmont Community College Team, PSA’s Inflight and Flight Department Personnel, Safety and Security department, MTC Staff, CLT Station Operations and the TSA, the joint training program was a success! Not only did seven medics learn to better handle a medical emergency in a small aircraft cabin, PSA flight attendants learned how to best assist the medics when attending to an ill passenger on the airplane.
“This is so cool” was one of the reactions during PSA’s first Career Takeoff event held on July 20, 2016. Student pilots and instructors from all over the country, took part in this one-of-a-kind recruiting event to give these prospective pilots a look at what PSA has to offer – stability and a direct career path to American. Tours of the American Airlines maintenance hangar, C. R. Smith Museum and Training Center were included, as well as opportunities to meet PSA President Dion Flannery and American Airlines DFW Chief Pilot David Tatum.
A special moment came for one pilot as he was introduced to the group as one of PSA’s most recent hires. Ohio State University student Preston McKee has accepted an offer as a First Officer. David Tatum gave Preston a special gift, saying welcome to American Airlines, because as an employee of PSA, Preston has a guaranteed position through the flow program.
As part of the Career Takeoff event, a group of students and pilot recruiters traveled on PSA’s newest Bombardier CRJ-900 from Charlotte to Dallas and back. Trivia, food, giveaways and a tour of the cockpit were part of the experience on the flight. PSA’s cadet program was a focus with the students to educate them on the tuition reimbursement and opportunities it presents.
“It’s great to see future aviators (here) – young and energetic,” Dion Flannery to the group at a luncheon.
Kevin Berg of Fly Carolina said he was on the trip because he was encouraged by his family to participate because he is pursuing a different career, one that will bring him more joy. He said when he was a child, he would talk about being a pilot and when he flies now, it makes him so happy. He said this event is opening up his eyes to possibilities.
“The Career Takeoff event was a huge success for our airline,” said Brooks Butler, chief pilot and lead pilot recruiter.
More coverage: American Airlines / PSA Pilot Cadet Program by Swayne Martin
PSA Airlines today announced two important improvements in its efforts to provide an enhanced compensation package to attract the best and brightest pilots in commercial aviation. The airline will be instituting a First Officer retention bonus and a competitive commuter policy. These valuable additions enhance PSA’s existing industry-leading employment opportunities which offer the highest quality of life in the regional industry and a true pilot flow program to American Airlines.
PSA will be rolling out a one-time $20,000 bonus to all active First Officers which will be retroactively effective May 1, 2016. This retention bonus will be paid in quarterly installments of $2,500 until upgrade to Captain, or the earlier of 24 months. This bonus is another example of how PSA pilots benefit from the stability that comes with PSA employment and the well-defined fleet and growth plan as a wholly owned regional carrier of American Airlines.
In addition, PSA is also instituting a generous enhancement to our commuter policy, providing a $250 monthly allowance that all pilots may use, at their discretion, to offset the cost of commuting hotel expenses.
As a thriving carrier owned by the largest airline in the world, PSA has a defined and committed fleet and growth plan, playing a critical role in American’s long-term regional network. Since 2013, PSA has doubled its size from 49 aircraft to more than 100 aircraft today and will continue to grow to operate 150 Bombardier CRJ aircraft. As a result of this established plan, PSA is poised to hire more than 500 pilots per year over the next several years.
PSA Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines, is expanding its pilot bonus program for new-hires to include pilots with Part 91K experience to help ensure it attracts and retains the best and brightest pilots in the regional business. In addition to the $10,000 signing bonus all new-hire pilots receive, PSA now offers up to $5,000 for new-hire pilots who have 1,000 hours of Part 135, Part 121, or Part 91K experience, or any combination of the three.
PSA’s existing industry-leading employment opportunity offer the highest quality of life in the regional industry with rapid advancement opportunities and an unmatched pilot flow through program to the largest airline in the world – American Airlines. PSA is a healthy and stable carrier with a defined and committed fleet and growth plan and the airline plays a vital role in American’s long-term regional network. Since 2014, PSA has doubled its size and now operated more than 100 aircraft and will continue to grow to operate 150 regional jets.
With an outdated training computer lab, PSA was looking for a major makeover when it came to their new training solution. The Aerosim ETHOS Systems Knowledge Suite for the CRJ 700/900 was the solution they had been seeking and more.
Prior to the Aerosim ETHOS Systems Knowledge Suite, PSA employed a desktop computer based training program that was 15 years old. PSA Pilots were required to spend at least 20 hours on-site at the training facility’s computer lab to complete the training. This training had known errors and was extremely difficult and time consuming to update, and work around.
PSA was also looking to deploy iPads into its training footprint and needed a solution that would be compatible with that platform. They understood the value of the pilots being able access the content outside of the classroom in a learning environment most conducive for them. As well as the importance of providing the opportunity for the pilots to go through the training at their own pace and review the content as necessary.
With the tremendous growth that PSA had undergone, it has also increased the amount of training conducted. PSA needed to incorporate a scalable solution that would not only improve the quality of training, but make it more efficient.
With the incorporation of ETHOS, PSA was able to overcome their challenges and meet its desired needs. PSA chose some additional options that included the fully free-play Flight Management Systems Trainer (FMST) and a customized ACARS Trainer.
“This product was a multifaceted solution for PSA because of the suite of applications. The Systems Training, FMS and ACARS Trainer and the Cockpit Familiarization tool all have significant positive impacts on how our pilots study and train. The FMS free-play program gives pilots the opportunity to practice FMS programming, allowing them the extra practice needed to become proficient with this critical skill.”
– Lucas Bowden, PSA Ground Training Supervisor
Since the legacy training product was so difficult to update, it was important that a new solution could overcome this with simple and easy updates. ETHOS provides PSA the ability to push new updates to each device when they become available which reduces the burden on the training department and ensures that the pilots are accessing the most current, up-to-date content.
ETHOS content is deployed both online and via an application on the iPad. Pilots can access ETHOS via the iPad with or without Wi-Fi while still enabling their progress to be tracked via the Aerosim Learning Management System.
“The ETHOS Systems Knowledge Suite has allowed PSA pilots the flexibility to study and review aircraft systems at their own pace, when and where they want. With the mobile platform, pilots can study virtually anywhere they feel comfortable.”
– Lucas Bowden, PSA Ground Training Supervisor
Since the implementation of ETHOS , PSA has seen a benefit from the FMST offering that they had not previously expected. Because the FMST is offered on the iPad, it has now become invaluable to them. With increased amount of training that PSA now conducts, the time with FMS trainers is limited as the physical FMS CDUs are very expensive. Pilots can practice FMS programming at any time within the ETHOS application on their company issued iPads. Due to the positive feedback from pilots, PSA is currently reviewing additional Aerosim solutions to implement.
The ETHOS Training Suite allows me to study away from the training center and allows me to better manage my study habits.
– Jim, PSA Pilot
In addition, after training, pilots can continue to access the Aerosim ETHOS Systems Knowledge Suite to continue to review the training content, either on an iPad or online. Due to the positive feedback from pilots who have used ETHOS and the resulting more efficient and effective training footprint, PSA is currently reviewing additional Aerosim solutions to implement.
The ETHOS System is broken into logical modules and is much easier to retain.
– Dean, PSA Pilot
About PSA Airlines
PSA Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group and operates an all-jet fleet consisting of exclusively Bombardier regional jet aircraft. The company’s more than 2,400 employees operate nearly 600 daily flights to nearly 90 destinations. As of year-end 2015, PSA operates 35 Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft, 26 Bombardier CRJ 700 Aircraft and 36 Bombardier CRJ 900 NextGen Aircraft.
About Aerosim Technologies, Inc
Aerosim delivers leading edge training services and technologies that provide value through customized training solutions. The company is dedicated to innovation that is supported by a strong foundation of simulation-based training products in use with commercial air carriers and training organizations worldwide. Headquartered in Burnsville, MN, Aerosim has three major focus areas that include: Primary Pilot Training through Certified Flight Instructor at Aerosim Flight Academy, type rating services for initial and recurrent training through Aerosim Training Solutions and simulation-based technologies provided by Aerosim Technologies, which supports pilot training curriculums.
This article is cross-posted on Aerosim.com.