Trans States Inspires High School Students to Become the Next Generation of Aviators

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Students from McClure High School in St. Louis get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes on in our maintenance hangar.

This spring, Trans States had the opportunity to welcome math students from McCluer High School in St. Louis to our corporate offices and hangar facility for the third year in a row.  Their instructor, Jenna Henderson, is a lifelong aviation enthusiast, who started organizing annual field trips to Trans States after learning about aviation career opportunities from her neighbor, Jan McCall.

Jan, a former Trans States pilot turned Aviation Studies professor, suggested that Jenna encourage her students to consider aviation as a career path.  The industry is facing a severe shortage of qualified personnel, and a recent study by Boeing projects extraordinary demand for pilots, mechanics and flight attendants over the next 20 years.  Jan proposed a field trip to Trans States’ St. Louis headquarters so that Jenna’s students could see first hand all of the different aviation career opportunities that they could pursue right in their hometown.

Even though many of Jenna’s students had never even flown before, let alone considered aviation as a career, she jumped at chance to visit Trans States with her students.  “Trans States is in my students’ backyard, and it offers many career paths that they may not even know about,” she explained.  An annual tradition was born.

This year’s tour included a tour of the cabin trainer that our flight attendants use to practice everything from the beverage service to emergency evacuation drills, as well as a demonstration of the Graphical Flight Simulators that our pilots use during training.

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Students also toured Systems Operations Control (SOC), where they learned about career opportunities in Dispatch, Crew Scheduling and Maintenance Control.  During the SOC tour, the students spoke with McCluer alum and Maintenance Controller Bryan Cross, who told the students about his career and the steps that he took to get where he is today.

The highlight of the trip is always the visit to the Trans States hangar facility, where students have the opportunity to get hands on with our Embraer 145 aircraft and watch our mechanics in action.  For many of the students, it’s the first time that they’ve ever been near an airplane.  “I’ve never been around this type of environment before,” student Carlando Dickens remarked.  “It’s different and interesting.”

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The trip is also a great opportunity for Jenna to show her students how the math skills they are learning in class will be important later in life.  This resonated with student Megan Robinson, who remarked, “It’s really interesting to see how the mechanics basically have to take the entire plane apart, and then put it back together.  With all of the measurements that they have to do, it makes sense that they would have to understand mathematical problem solving.”

Her classmate, Hailey Drake, agreed.  “I’m glad to see that what we learn in school becomes important later on in life,” she added. “Being able to use math calculations can help you do what you want to do for a living, just like the mechanics I’m meeting today.”

Assisting with the field trip was future Trans States pilot Adam Lange.  Adam, who is part of Trans States’ Aviators program for aspiring collegiate pilots, enjoyed the chance to teach people about the airline industry.  “I don’t remember ever having an opportunity like this when I was in school,” he admits. “It’s important that kids know about the options that exist in their own hometown.”

Trans States Chief Operating Officer Fred Oxley couldn’t be happier about the annual visit from the McCluer students.  “As an industry, it is our duty to inspire the next generation of aviators,”  he said.  “In the coming years, I hope to encounter these students flying our planes, fixing our planes, and serving our passengers.”

To learn more about career opportunities at Trans States, please click here.

Trans States and Southwestern Illinois College Collaborate to Prepare Students for Aviation Careers

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A SWIC Academic Advisor gets a demonstration of the state-of-the-art simulators used by Trans States pilots.

Interested in a career in aviation?  Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) offers a number of affordable aviation career programs, including Aviation Management, Aviation Maintenance Technology, and Aviation Pilot Training.  These programs have been designed to prepare students to jump right into their chosen field upon completion of their coursework.  “Our biggest focus is for students to be comfortable, as well as successful, in the airline training environment by the end of a two to four-year program,” says Keith Mueller, Coordinator of Aviation Flight Management at SWIC.

When SWIC aviation instructors want to show their students how their work in the classroom relates to their future careers, they bring their students to our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, for a behind-the-scenes look at the skills required to land a job at a commercial airline.

A typical visit includes a tour of the Trans States maintenance hangar and a demonstration of the state-of-the-art simulators that our pilots use during training.  Students also have the opportunity to meet company leadership, as well as talk with our various training departments about what a commercial airline will expect of them.

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“These visits are incredibly valuable because they allow students to make a connection between what they’re learning in class and the skills that will be required in their chosen field,” explains Keith Stamper, Director of Flight Operations at Trans States.  For example, when touring our maintenance hangar, students in SWIC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program can actually see Trans States mechanics utilizing the skills that they’re studying in school.

These visits are also valuable to SWIC faculty, as they help ensure that the skills taught in class are consistent with current industry standards.  Aviation is an ever-changing industry, which means that aviation training programs must be able to quickly change with the times.  SWIC’s relationship with Trans States ensures that SWIC instructors are always up-to-speed on the latest training and skills that airlines will expect of their graduates, allowing them to adapt their courses accordingly.

SWIC Academic Advisors also get the same behind-the-scene tour as students and instructors.  Academic Advisors are usually a student’s first point of contact with the school, and are responsible for helping students navigate the different program offerings.  “Our Academic Advisors tour Trans States so that they can better understand how our aviation programs will prepare students for the airline industry,” Mueller explains.  “We feel that these tours have been tremendously successful.”

SWIC’s partnership with Trans States couldn’t have come at a better time.  Demand for aviation careers, especially pilots and mechanics, is at an all-time high, and that demand is expected to rise even higher in the coming years.  Boeing estimates that to keep up with demand, the aviation industry will need to generate over 600,000 commercial pilots and 679,000 aircraft maintenance technicians before the year 2035.

There’s never been a better time to launch a career in aviation.  If you’re looking for an affordable aviation training program that will prepare you for an exciting and in-demand career, contact SWIC today.  We’re looking forward to hiring you when you finish.

Former Navy Pilot Launches his Post-Military Flying Career at Trans States

Trans States Airlines is a proud supporter of our men and women in uniform, and is committed to hiring military Veterans, like Marine Corps veteran and Trans States Maintenance Technician, Brandi Rector. Today we’re highlighting another Trans States military Veteran, First Officer Rick Brantley.

Rick is a retired Navy pilot who had always hoped for a commercial flying career after leaving the military.  However, when a Commanding Officer role took him out of the cockpit for the last few years of his career, he assumed that flying commercially was no longer feasible.  However, several years after he retired, he had a conversation with an FAA examiner, who convinced him that the commercial aviation industry would be receptive to a former military pilot who had spent some time away from the flight deck.

“I wasn’t sure, but he was right,” Rick said.  “Trans States was the first airline that I reached out to, and a pilot recruiter contacted me that same day.”

As Rick found out, airlines were very receptive to his background. He applied to a number of regional airlines, including Trans States, and every single one of them offered him an interview.

Keith Stamper, the Director of Flight Operations at Trans States, wasn’t surprised that airlines were so eager to interview Rick.  “When you hire a former military pilot, it’s almost guaranteed that he or she is going to have an outstanding work ethic and exceptional leadership skills,” he said.  “Plus, the high quality of their previous military training makes it relatively easy for them to transition back into flying.”

While Rick may have applied to a number of airlines, Trans States stood out to him from the very beginning.  In the below video, he talks about his experience transitioning from military to commercial flying, and how factors including company culture, crew base location and a competitive contract convinced him that Trans States was the best place for him to launch his new career.  Rick also speaks about the high value that the military places on mentorship, and how he saw that same commitment to helping others throughout the entire Trans States organization.

Even if you’ve been away from the cockpit for a few years, being a commercial pilot is still within reach.  Our recruiters will walk you through the process, start to finish. Click here to get started.

 

Unique Internship Provides Direct Path to Trans States Flight Deck

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If you’re an aspiring commercial pilot looking for a high-quality internship that will give you a jump start on your career, look no further than the Trans States Airlines Aviators program.  This program identifies promising pilots still in the early stages of flight training, and mentors them through the process of becoming a Trans States pilot.

Program participants are paired with a current Trans States Airlines line pilot, who provides professional guidance and advice to their mentees not only while they’re in flight training, but up until the point that they become Trans States Airlines First Officers.

“It’s so important for young pilots who want to fly commercially to have mentors who are commercial pilots,” said Keith Stamper, Director of Flight Operations.  “Our pilots have been in these students’ shoes before, and they know what it takes to make the jump from being a student pilot to being a commercial airline pilot.”

During their internship, students will also have a chance to visit corporate headquarters in St. Louis, where they will meet the Flight Ops management team, sit in on systems training classes, and get behind-the-scenes tours of Systems Operations Control and our Maintenance Hangar. Program participants also have the opportunity to participate in the Trans States Airlines Command Leadership course, which is typically only offered to Trans States Airlines Command Pilots.

Additional benefits of the Aviators program include $10,000 in tuition reimbursement, as well as limited pass travel  on United Airlines and American Airlines.  Aviators also act as field recruiters and can earn  $1,500 for each pilot that they refer to Trans States who is hired and completes training (funds are banked until a student becomes a Trans States Airlines employee).

Once students earn the requisite hours and officially become Trans States Airlines First Officers, they’ll receive their tuition reimbursement payment, in addition to any  referral bonuses banked during their time as an aviator.

“We’re excited to be able to provide such a dynamic, hands-on training program for future pilots,”said Trans States Airlines Chief Operating Officer, Fred Oxley.  “This program provides immersive,real-world experience that will provide value to students while in school and when they become line pilots.”
Fall enrollment for the 2016 Aviators Program is taking place now!  Click here to learn more and apply online.

 

Pilot Recruiters Make Invaluable Connections at Annual Women in Aviation Conference

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The 27th Annual Women in Aviation International conference wrapped up last week, and we’re proud to have been a part of it!  Nearly 5,000 people participated in the three day event, which was held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  Women in Aviation, International is a not-for-profit focused on encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in aviation, and its members include representatives from all areas of the aerospace industry, including astronauts, pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, airport managers and more.

The annual conference has long been considered one of aviation’s premiere professional development and networking events, and this year’s event was no exception.  Keynote speakers included astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Robert “Hoot” Gibson; Jessica Cox, the world’s first certified armless pilot; Deborah Lee Hames, the 23rd Secretary of the U.S. Air Force; and Doreen Welsh, one of the flight attendants on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 (the “Miracle on the Hudson”).  The conference also included seminars and workshops on a wide variety of aviation-related topics, as well as a job fair that gave attendees the opportunity  interview with airline recruiters.

Our pilot recruiting team was on-site for the entire duration of the job fair, conducting interviews and meeting with both current and aspiring commercial pilots.  “This conference has truly become one of the year’s not-to-be-missed recruiting events, as you get to meet hundreds of candidates face to face,” said pilot recruiter Zenia Bharucha.  “It’s so important to build relationships with the next generation of aviators, and there’s nothing more exciting than watching these young pilots take their first steps towards fulfilling their dreams of flying for a commercial airline.”

Hundreds of prospective pilots were eager to drop off their resumes with our recruiters, which didn’t surprise Director of Recruitment Deb Smith.  “We have a great story to tell.  We’re one of the fastest growing regional airlines in the industry, and we offer top-tier pay, fast Captain upgrades and direct access to the left seat for qualified pilots.  Candidates recognize what we have to offer and are excited about the prospect of flying for us!”

The pilot recruiting team will be on the road all spring, visiting flight schools and collegiate aviation programs, as well as hosting hiring events all over the country.  For a complete list of events, or to schedule an interview, please click here.

Check out the Latest Pilot Recruiting Video!

This week Recruiting launched a new video touting the benefits of our Captain Qualified First Officer (CQFO) program.  This program allows pilots who meet Captain requirements to fly as either a Captain or a First Officer, depending on the airline’s scheduling needs.  CQFOs earn a Captain’s wage when flying as a Captain and a First Officer’s wage when flying as a First Officer.  However, given their experience level, CQFOs earn a higher First Officer wage than that of a traditional First Officer.

In additional to making it financially feasible for pilots at other regionals to launch new careers here, this program also gives pilots the opportunity start earning Pilot in Command (PIC)  time immediately, making it an ideal solution for those who have spent years waiting to upgrade.

Featured in the video is Trans States CQFO Marlon Choyce.  Marlon joined us this summer after spending four years in the right seat at another regional.  Marlon’s ultimate career goal is to fly for a mainline carrier.  However, mainline jobs require PIC time, which Marlon was unable to acquire in the right seat.  Marlon cites the opportunity to start earning PIC time, as well as the CQFO wage structure, as the two driving forces behind his decision to leave his previous First Officer position for a CQFO position with us.  In fact, Marlon said that even though he’s brand new to the company, he’s earning more per flight hour than he did after four years at his previous carrier.

If you know pilots at other regionals who have become frustrated with long upgrade times, encourage them to check out our CQFO program.  A higher wage structure, the opportunity to start earning PIC time, and upgrades in less than a year are all compelling reasons to consider making a move.  Plus, you’ll earn a $1,500 referral bonus for every pilot candidate you recommend that is hired and completes training.  Everyone wins!

Participation in ATP Tuition Reimbursement Program Finalized

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We’re excited to announce that our participation in ATP Flight School’s tuition reimbursement program has been finalized! This innovative new program will allow for a portion of ATP student pilots’ training costs to be paid for by Trans States Airlines. In exchange, ATP pilots agree to fly for Trans States after gaining the required flight experience.  Trans States is one of only a handful of regional airlines currently offering this incentive to new hire pilots.

Read the complete press release HERE.

Exciting new pilot recruiting initiatives announced!

Two exciting new programs were announced today that give Trans States Airlines employees the opportunity to earn money for recommending and mentoring successful pilot candidates!

The Pilot Referral Program gives all Trans States Airlines employees the opportunity to earn $1,500 for each successful pilot candidate they recommend to Recruiting, while the Pilot Mentor Program gives Trans States Airlines pilots the opportunity to earn $5,000 for recommending a new hire pilot and then mentoring that new hire pilot through their first two years with the company.

Please check email or Comply for additional details.  More information, including program instructions and forms, will be provided next week.  We hope that many of you take advantage of this opportunity to earn extra money while helping our Recruiting and Flight Ops departments!

Trans States Participates in St. Louis Pilot Career Forum

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Director of Flight Ops Keith Stamper addresses the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association career forum.

Last week the Trans States Recruiting and Flight Ops teams participated in a career forum sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association.  The event, entitled “From Student to Aviation Career,” gave Director of Flight Ops Keith Stamper the chance to discuss pilot career opportunities at Trans States with prospective commercial aviators.  Click HERE to access the complete article regarding this event.