From PSA Cadet to First Officer


PSA is proud to welcome Shayne Zurn, University of North Dakota graduate, as our first Cadet to become a First Officer. He graduated in December of 2016 with a degree in Commercial Aviation and until recently was a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota.

Shayne discovered a passion for aviation while going to airshows around the Midwest at a young age, especially watching the Blue Angels. Shayne’s passion eventually lead him to taking aviation related classed in high school. He decided to attend the University of North Dakota for a degree in an aviation related field.

In 2009 Shayne received his Private Pilot’s license while attending college. He graduated in 2013 with a degree in Air Traffic Control but decided to return to school a year later and get a degree in Commercial Aviation. Shayne took major strides in his goal to become an Aviator in 2016 when he became a Flight Instructor and a PSA Cadet.

As a PSA Cadet, Shayne had the opportunity to attend multiple career takeoff events, be a part of our UND cadet marketing video and was honored by American Airlines as a Distinguished Cadet.

Here are some photos of Shayne’s journey.

We took some time to talk with Shayne about his experience as a cadet.

Why did you decide to join the PSA cadet program?

I decided to join the PSA cadet program to get a better understanding and more insight into PSA Airlines. From talking to the recruiters, I could tell they enjoyed working for PSA. Also, two major benefits stood out to me about the program, including the flow through to American Airlines and the tuition reimbursement.

What has been the most rewarding part of the PSA cadet program?

I really enjoyed getting to know the people that worked for PSA and getting to know cadets at my school as well as cadets at other airlines. The opportunity to share my passion for aviation with others in the industry has been rewarding.

How did the Career Takeoff Events add value to your experience as a PSA cadet?

I really enjoyed the Career Takeoff events. Having the chance to talk with PSA and American Airlines leadership and pilots truly showed how much the company care about the cadets and pilots.

What has it meant to you to have mentors to help guide you throughout this program?

I loved my mentors while I was a Cadet. I formed a close friendship with my first mentor and was sad that I would not be working with her through my entire cadet journey, but was happy to see her move on as a First Officer at American Airlines.

How do you feel the cadet program helped prepare you for your upcoming training as a PSA First Officer?

Having a designated mentor to talk to and other staff at the cadet program really helped relieve some of the stress that goes into preparing for the CTP and First Officer class.

What is your ultimate goal as a pilot?

Ultimately, I would like to become a captain at PSA and then flow to American Airlines. I would love to someday fly international flights in a wide body plane.