View Full Version : What is Your Aviation/Airline Experience

12-19-2014, 08:29 AM
A lot of us are just pure enthusiasts, and some also have or actively worked in the industry.

I would love to see what various experiences we all have in working in aviation through our lives. Even if that is "none."

I worked with North American Airlines for 6 years as a Loadmaster, Ground Coordinator, Operations Controller and Dispatcher. I then went to a different airline to dispatch more.


12-19-2014, 01:19 PM
Enthusiast turned reporter turned editor turned quasi-reporter.

12-19-2014, 02:24 PM
Enthusiast trying to get a job within the industry.

12-19-2014, 10:11 PM
Various positions at United in JFK (Flight Operations Support, Ramp Supervisor, Cargo Analyst, & Cargo Operations) from 1987-2003, until they started mass layoffs.
At that point I joined the Corporate side of aviation. Worked as a Charter Sales scheduler from 2003-2008 for 2 different companies, until I landed at my current job.
Earned my FAA Dispatch License in May 2009.

My father worked in Flight Operations at JFK - UA for 40 years.
My younger brother worked for UA Maintenance for 5 years, and then moved to jetBlue Maintenance in year 1.

Landing Lights
12-20-2014, 07:21 AM
I started out as an enthusiast, and then took up spotting. That (quickly) snowballed into writing and then editing.

12-21-2014, 12:03 AM
As an Air Force/airline brat (Western Airlines) I got interested in airplanes at a very young age. Since Victoria's Secret catalogs weren't around at the time (at least around my house) I spent my time in the "library" looking at Dad's TB-25, KC-97, KC-135, Lockheed Electra, and various other airplane manuals. I started flying lessons in 1979 at 16 and got a job at the local airport. Instructed right out of high school, business degree in college, then started into aviation in earnest:

Flight instructing
Airpac Airlines out of Boeing Field (C-172 RG/C-177 RG, Seneca, Navajo)
NPA Inc dba United Express which merged into parent company Westair (Jetstream F/O and Captain)
Empire Airlines of Coeur d' Alene, ID (Metroliner Captain)
Empire dba Capitol Air (Metro captain)
Air LA (Metro Captain)
Western Pacific Airlines (B-737 F/O and Captain)
Kitty Hawk Air Cargo (B-727 F/O)
An airline formerly headquartered in Houston and later merged with another large company (B-737 F/O, B-757/767 F/O, B-737 Captain)
Express Jet (during a 1 year furlough--EMB-145 captain)

I still love all things aviation. When not flying, I like watching and photographing airplanes.

12-22-2014, 05:04 PM
I started with American Airlines while working in college as a fleet service clerk (ramp agent). In the short time I was there, I managed to get laid off three times, and recalled twice. I realized right away, that the airline industry, while addicting, is extremely difficult to make a career out of. I remember putting in an application with JetBlue while I was still living in New Orleans back in 2003 - after my third layoff from American. I never heard anything until 2005. By that point, I moved on. I got a call in 2005 from a JetBlue recruiter to become a part-time customer service crewmember. I actually turned them down, as I did not want to go through the job insecurity again. They called me back two more times to convince me to attend a group interview.

This March, it will be my 10th anniversary with JetBlue. Since 2005, I have worked at three different stations, and endured a station closing while in Nashville. I have decided that this industry is probably where I will stay. I am considering applying for another carrier in Houston next year. I have reached my glass ceiling, and I am looking for another challenge, without having to move my family across the country. My wife has a great career in the oil/gas services industry, so Houston will be my home for a long time to come. I still love spotting at different airports around the country. Even though the work can be stressful, I never get tired of being around the airplanes. Airports have certain feels and smells that you cannot replace. I can honestly say that I would be totally lost if I had to get a job where I didn't smell the blue lav juice wafting across the ramp, 30 year old carpets that get shampooed every day and just smell like constant mold. I would also miss the hum of an APU and the smell of the Jet A after the engines are started. Oh yeah, I don't want to give up the travel perks!

12-23-2014, 09:35 PM
The immortal DC-3 for various operators, ( still fly the C-47 at airshows), then the Convair 340 for IFL/ Contract Air Cargo,then the oh so beautiful,smoky, swift, and loud 727 for Champion Air,then the wee Citation XL for the major fractional provider, furloughed by same after the financial meltdown , then briefly the DC-9(series 10 and 30), for USAJET,then the 747 both Classic and 400 for K4, the world beneath my wings monthly, from Bagram, to Brussels,love, love, loved it, just recalled by the major fractional provider so back to the wee jet, I was born under the Canarsie approach, JFK is and has always been my field of dreams, the DC3 is in my DNA, Gods grace I have loved, and love all of this, with a passion purple.

12-23-2014, 11:49 PM
During my college day's I worked for Allied Aviation (an airline service company) since it provided flexible hours during my class schedule. Although it was labor intensive I enjoyed the pleasure of being so close to the aircraft. I started out in the Air India baggage room which at that time Air India was flying 747's. Sometimes I would go out on the ramp and off load other late evening arrivals such as an Aero Mexico or Trans International Airlines DC-8s. Eventually I left the baggage room area, and was trained on top loader equipment for the 747 Combo's and cargo planes. During weekends or the summer I would try to rack up the hours and spend the entire day out in the cargo area. There we worked and turned around the ELAL Cargo 747 (where I worked the top loader and operated the inside of the 747 to load and position the cargo containers, and then we'd shifted to the Air India or Pakistan 707 cargo birds. During the winter I was training and qualified to do de-icing .... yeah you got paid a little extra, but while everyone else was sitting inside you were freezing in the bucket de-icing the plane. I've got to see and sit inside various cockpits (such as 747s, 707s, DC-8s, DC-10s, L-1011s, and the Concorde just to name a few) and was thrilled to death every time. If I was on the ramp and the Concorde was taxing or lined up, I would stop and pull over to watch her take off ... what a thrill it was every time! One of the worst tasks we had was when the Varig Cargo 707 would come with shoes. The plane was hand packed and every nook and cranny was occupied with a shoe box. It took hours to off-load.

I also would perform the task of filling aircraft with drink water. This sometimes involved starting the external generator and then going inside the cockpit and flipping on the power switch which would light up the cockpits gauges, etc. .... that was cool! BTW didn't wanted and never did operate the crap truck!!! Oh yeah, I also operated the jet starters which helped aircraft start their engines (make sure the hoses are connected good, and stay far away from them .... if it lets go, it could kill you!).

It was one of the most awesome jobs I had during my college days and have no regrets!!!

12-26-2014, 04:00 PM
I started out as a spotter in my childhood but visits to the airport were limited because we lived so far away and there was no easy public transport options then. Got a job in travel in 1988 and have been in the travel industry ever since but doing different jobs. The airline industry doesn't pay enough for me to consider making the switch!

12-26-2014, 11:46 PM
BTW didn't wanted and never did operate the crap truck!!! ... !

Great aviation work experiences Mark. Thanks for sharing. And glad you never had to work the "Honey bucket" :tongue:

05-13-2015, 05:01 PM
Aviation Insurance Underwriter. I insure airplanes!

hiss srq
08-29-2015, 09:09 AM
Airport management on the airline side, previously dabbled in the charter operator world as well, currently airline airport management and co owner in a charter, acquisitions company on the biz jet side of things.

08-30-2015, 05:38 AM
Back to flying the wee jet , with joy, after leaving Big Mama behind after a joyous fling, no regrets we will always have Bagram: )