Captain Brooks Butler is one of PSA’s many “Jack of all Trades.” As a captain, simulator instructor, part time pilot recruiter (and father of three), Butler has helped hundreds of PSA pilots in the year that he has been with the airline.
Butler came to PSA after flying for another airline- being unable to upgrade- as well as trying out corporate flying. Neither were a fit for his career goals or family life. So when a friend from flight school told him of the Simulator Instructor position at PSA, Butler made the switch.
“The biggest challenge of being a sim instructor is that you have to know the answers to everything- Every SOP, all the systems, how to operate the simulator. Every student is different. If they’re new to the airline world and have never been through training, they usually say it is harder than expected,” explains Captain Butler. “The best part of instructing is being a mentor. These are often 22 year olds who have the world at their fingertips. They’re going to be AA pilots in 5 to 6 years. I tell them not to screw it up.”
Butler extends this leadership when helping to interview and select PSA’s future pilots. “What sets PSA apart is the people,” he says. “And it all starts in the interview. We want to hire someone that will fit into the culture. We’re not just filling seats with those that can pass training. The goal when interviewing, and while training, is to be able to say I would put my family on an airplane with this person. Keeping it safe is the main priority.”
Know the Facts! As of October 2015 PSA Airlines is looking to hire 1,000 pilots in the next 24 months. Key facts for regional pilots:
- PSA is taking delivery of 60+ additional, confirmed aircraft
- AAG’s designated Bombardier-specialized regional provider
- Tentative agreement that converts to pure flow and incrementally doubles the number of pilots flowing through to American Airlines each month
- The “training bubble” is far in the past. PSA is back on track with a 13 week In-Doc to Right Seat training footprint
- In-house ATP-CTP program, including lodging, is aimed for November 1st of this year
- Still the fastest growing regional airline today
Visit www.psaairlines.com/pilots to apply or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
As many people in the airline industry know, a lot of conversations happen between on-duty pilots and pilots jumpseating on flights. Thankfully for Captain Alissa Thody, and for PSA Airlines, these conversations can often be career changing.
“One year ago, I had never heard of PSA,” explains Captain Thody. Thody was in the right seat at that time, flying for another regional carrier, when a jumpseating PSA pilot gave her the rundown on his own experience at PSA and how maybe it would be a good move for her too. After seven and half years at that carrier, with capped FO pay and retracted upgrade opportunities resulting from a merger, it was an easy decision.
Captain Thody’s story went a bit differently at PSA. “I went into FO training studying. I never quit studying. If I had a break, I instructed. I stayed current on policies and procedures. I was always preparing for upgrade.” This paid off for Thody when at the tail end of her FO training track, out on her IOE, she received her upgrade class date. “They don’t hold your hand in upgrade. Or anywhere in our training program. There’s no compromising safety. Don’t put in for upgrade unless you’re ready to upgrade.”
So is being a captain living up to the dream? “It is so much fun. All the FOs are so positive. They know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; eight to nine months and they’ll be upgrading, and they want to be prepared. I try to be encouraging and tell them to keep studying… They didn’t know the industry when it was stagnant, the kind of growth here at PSA is unheard of. I tell them they’re lucky.”
“I still wouldn’t have upgraded if I had stayed where I was. I’d still be living in my parents’ basement if that pilot hadn’t been singing PSA’s praises in the jumpseat. I think that says a lot about the morale here. It’s about what we’re saying when no one is listening.”
PSA Airlines was featured in this month’s Aero Crew News as the Spotlight Story.
The article highlights PSA’s long history, its growth announcement after the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, and its subsequent status as the fastest growing airline in the industry.
PSA’s own Captain Valarie Zimmerman, Lead Pilot Recruiter, then answers questions regarding the entire pilot application, interview, and hiring process, PSA’s hiring increase, and upcoming growth for the company.
Read the article in its entirety at http://www.aerocrewnews.us/acn/10-ACN-Oct-2015.pdf