January 23, 2013

Profile: 10 Pilot Fun Facts

We asked our First Officer Randy, who has been with our airline for eight years, to share a few fun facts with us. Here’s what he told us:

1. I volunteered as head coach of a little league baseball team for two years. Even though the team was for deaf children, and I didn’t know any sign language, I learned so much from these kids. The communication barrier didn’t keep them from doing the best they could.

2. Three days after high school, I went to basic training in the U.S. Army, where I was an Attack Helicopter Crew Chief and served for eight years.

3. Aviation is in my blood. My father worked at Eastern Airline for 23 years before they went out of business. He’s been at US Airways for 25 years and serves as the Manager of Aircraft Routing. When I was a kid and we were pass riding, he always made sure I could visit the cockpit. I do the same with my young sons: Trevin, Teagin, Tanner, and Tyger. Even though my mother has always been terrified to fly, she always encouraged me to follow my dreams.

4. If I started an airline it would be called TLR Adventure Air because my family loves adventure! My sons’ names all start with “T” and my wife’s name is Lori.

5. My favorite plane is a DC-3, which was popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and used in World War II. I was lucky enough to fly one when I worked for a company called Rhoades Aviation. I also flew a DC-3 that was fitted with turbine engines –- it was challenging but I loved it!

6. My pre-flight routine involves getting as much information before I leave the hotel. Things like a picture of the weather radar, turbulence forecast, and wind conditions. I receive a flight dispatch release 90 minutes before the flight with data on how much fuel we need to take and what the fuel burn should be. The Captain can make any final adjustments and doing it early helps us leave on time.

7. The day before I’m scheduled to fly a long trip or a few trips, I help my wife as much as I can around the house. We all play board games or go to the park, and I help the boys with their homework.

8. My sons don’t like when I have to leave which is difficult, but as they say “guess you have to go so we can pay the bills!” They’ve also told me that my job is “cool,” and they love flying radio controlled airplanes.

9. My favorite way to unwind after a long trip is to wrestle with my boys. When we’re not doing that, we’re out with their grandparents on their boat, or riding motorcycles!

10. My wife Lori is a private pilot. We’ve flown together in aerobatic gliders, hot air balloons, paragliding, and even sky diving.

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