Trans States Mechanics Form Local Floor Hockey Team

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The type of hockey that most of us are familiar with has few non-negotiable requirements.  Ice, for one, and skates.  And knowing how to skate is usually pretty helpful.  However, a group of Trans States mechanics has discovered that you don’t have to know how to skate, or even own a pair of ice skates, to play hockey.  They play floor hockey as part of a local St. Louis floor hockey league.

While floor hockey players use sticks to get a puck into a net guarded by a goalie, that’s where the similarity to ice hockey ends.  There’s no ice in sight in floor hockey – teams typically play in gymnasiums – and floor hockey players simply wear shoes and run around, rather than using ice skates.

Heavy Check Supervisor Mark Hicks got the idea to start the team after seeing a video for St. Louis Floor Hockey on the internet.  Our maintenance hangar is in St. Louis, home of the Blues professional hockey team, and Mark knew that a lot of mechanics were interested in hockey, even if they’d never played before.  Mark first pitched the idea of a team to Line Lead Mechanic Levi Mcquery, who initially thought that he was too old for floor hockey.  However, once he watched the video, which explained that most of the teams were comprised of college students or co-workers, and that some of the players had never even played hockey before, he was sold.  Before long, Mark had rounded up a team of 10 mechanics, all from the St. Louis hangar.

Half of the team had never even touched a hockey stick before, let alone played on a team. “One mechanic had never played hockey before in his life,” says Mark, “and he still tried it out, and loved it.”  But even with so many hockey newbies, Line  Inspector Bill Reese is confident that their team is making progress, remarking, “I think we get better every game!”

“I would never bet on us, though,” chimes in Levi, laughing, “and I’m always making stupid bets on professional ice hockey, like having to shave ‘Red Wings’ in the back of my head.”

The league’s no checking rules means that floor hockey isn’t nearly as physical as ice hockey, which Mark points out is great for people who have day jobs.  “We can’t exactly get too physical at a night game when we all have work the next day.”

The team has already experienced some memorable plays. “I got us our first ever penalty,” laughs Bill, “and I still don’t agree with it.

Other mechanics from the hangar don’t play, but still come out to watch.  And if they want to try it for themselves before committing to a team, league rules make it easy for them to give it a shot and see how they like it  – anyone can play a single game as a substitute for only $10.

Feel up to the challenge?  Check out the St. Louis Floor Hockey website to get started.

Maintenance Controllers Critical Component of Operational Success

At any given moment, there are hundreds of Trans States Airlines employees working behind the scenes to ensure the safe operation of our airline. Unlike more visible front-line employees, like pilots or flight attendants, our passengers will never meet these employees or have the opportunity to thank them for their efforts.  But every day, these un-sung heroes are working tirelessly to make sure that our passengers get to their destinations safely.  One of these individuals is Maintenance Control Supervisor Chris Hoover.

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Maintenance Control Supervisor Chris Hoover

Maintenance Controllers are licensed A & P mechanics who troubleshoot aircraft mechanical issues for pilots flying the line and mechanics at out stations.  If a pilot encounters a mechanical issue with an aircraft, their first call is to Maintenance Control. Often, Maintenance Control can walk the pilot through the issue over the phone, which frees up out-station mechanics for more involved repairs.  If it’s a more complicated problem, Maintenance Control will diagnose the likely source of the problem and recommended a course of action to local mechanics.

“Maintenance Controllers are critical to on-time performance, ” said Trans States Airlines Director of Maintenance, Matt Wright.  “In addition to assisting and providing detailed information to our technicians in the field, the Maintenance Control group is responsible for all deferred maintenance activity, scheduling short-term preventative maintenance, monitoring and repair of repeat maintenance activity, troubleshooting and repair of outstation aircraft, and a host of other less visible maintenance activities. The decisions made by this group don’t just affect a single aircraft but the entire fleet.”

Unlike our hangar and line mechanics, who are outside fixing aircraft in the snow, the heat, and everything in between, our Maintenance Controllers are part of Systems Operations Control (SOC) in our St. Louis headquarters building.  That’s because the other departments in the SOC, including Crew  Scheduling and Dispatch, rely on information from Maintenance Control to make important decisions that affect the operation. For example, if a flight is delayed due to a maintenance issue, Maintenance Control communicates the estimated back in service time to Crew Scheduling and Dispatch so that the departure can be re-scheduled and re-crewed, if necessary.

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Chris started working for Trans States as a licensed A & P mechanic right out of college, and spent his first three years with the company working in the St. Louis hangar facility.  He then spent two years as a mechanic on the flight line before making the move to Maintenance Control.  He says that a few different factors, including pay and the opportunity to work indoors, led him to made the move to Maintenance Control.

“I thought about staying on the line, but I was ready for a change, and there was a pay increase with the Maintenance Controller position,” Chris remarked.  “Plus, I get to do the same work as a mechanic in the field, but I’m away from the elements, which is nice.” Chris takes a lot of pride in his position and says that the Trans States Maintenance Control group is, “top-notch and knowledgeable, and has a real understanding of the Embraer 145 aircraft.”

Vice President of Tech Ops, Rob Truax, agrees.  “Our Maintenance Control team represents some of our very best maintenance talent.  You really have to be at the top of your game, professionally, to work in Maintenance Control.”

If you’re a licensed and experienced A & P mechanic and are looking for a new challenge, there’s never been a better time to explore career opportunities in Maintenance Control.  In fact, Trans States is currently offering a $12,000 retention bonus to all current and new hire Maintenance Controllers.  To learn more or apply online, please click here.

Glowing Compliments for Trans States Airlines Flight Attendant Sheryl Smith

We often receive compliments from passengers regarding our professional and courteous crews. Lately, one flight attendant in particular has been impressing passengers left and right.  Here are two recent notes we’ve received from passengers regarding flight attendant Sheryl Smith’s stellar service.

Superstar Trans States/United Flight Attendant Sheryl D. Smith.
Sheryl Smith, Superstar Flight Attendant 

This past week, my husband and I traveled to Hawaii.  Today, on the final leg from Chicago to Cedar Rapids, we met Sheryl. What a bright light she is! Sheryl welcomed us on board with the friendliest attitude. She appeared to enjoy interacting with the passengers, and she even addressed us by name! I am taking time to write this because this lady and her representation of your company stood out like a beacon to us. If only her genuine enthusiasm could be bottled and shared!

Sheryl is clearly making a positive impact on the people that she serves.  Here’s what another passenger had to say:

Sheryl D. Smith was a great hostess! She was friendly, outgoing, and took great care of us. Thanks for the great experience, Sheryl!

At Trans States, we pledge to give our passengers the best possible experience on each and every flight.  Sheryl is just one of the hundreds of Trans States employees who go the extra mile every day to provide safe and professional service to the people we serve.

Growing Number of Employee Referrals Underscore Pilot Opportunities at Trans States

At Trans States Airlines, we love employee referrals. No one can better speak to the Trans States experience than those who have experienced it first-hand—our employees. Employee referrals tell us that we’re doing something right and that our employees are happy. And employee referrals are exactly what brought new hire pilots Casie Schaffer, Brooke Willis, and Monique Gagnon to Trans States.

Trans States Airlines' newest pilots, all hired by employee referrals (from L to R): Brooke Willis, Monique Gagnon, Casie Schaffer.
Trans States Airlines’ newest pilots, all hired by employee referrals (from L to R): Brooke Willis, Monique Gagnon, Casie Schaffer.

“Trans States was highly recommended to me by my friends, who were Trans States pilots,” says Casie, a recent flight instructor making the transition to commercial aviation. “Plus, Trans States recruiters were continuously visible on campus when I was in college, so it’s always been on my radar.” After flight instructing, which is typically done individually, Casie says that she’s looking forward to being part of a flight crew, remarking, “Being part of a team effort is important to me.” When asked for her first impressions of Trans States, Casie enthused, “I love the efficiency of the training department—and I especially enjoy my instructor’s enthusiastic teaching style!”

Monique, another recent flight instructor, also arrived at Trans States by way of a recommendation. “Some friends recommended Trans States to me, and I trusted their judgment. During my first interview, I was immediately impressed by the recruiter’s sincerity and helpfulness. I knew right away that applying with Trans States had been the right decision.”

In addition to the high pay and fast Captain upgrades that Trans States offers, Monique says that an additional factor that brought her to Trans States is the opportunity to be one of the first pilots in the world to fly the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ). Trans States is the domestic launch customer for the MRJ and expects to begin taking deliveries of the highly anticipated new aircraft in the second quarter of 2018. “Being one of the first to fly a new aircraft type is any pilot’s dream,” she said. “I feel like I got here at just the right time.”

“I didn’t even bother looking at any airlines other than Trans States,” says new hire Brooke, who has flown for two 121 carriers, as well as a 135 operator. After a number of years as a pilot, Brooke took a break from the flight deck to start a family and pursue an advanced degree. Later, when she was looking to return to flying, friends recommended Trans States. “I really missed the camaraderie among crew members, and even interactions with passengers,” Brooke said. “I’m excited to be back!”

The airline isn’t the only one benefiting from these awesome referrals—Trans States makes sure that employees who submit quality nominations are well compensated. Employees can earn $1,500 for each pilot candidate they recommend that is hired and completes training. Additionally, there’s no limit to the number of recommendations that someone can submit, which means that employees who know a lot of pilots have the opportunity to earn a lot of extra money!

Welcome to the family, Casie, Monique, and Brooke! And a big thanks to the employees who brought you here!

To learn more about our incredible pilot career opportunities, please click here.

American Airlines Ground Crews get the Job Done

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A big shout-out to the American Airlines ground crew in St. Louis for the professional and efficient service they provide!  They’ve developed a reputation among our St. Louis-based flight crews for quickly loading checked bags and for providing quick and accurate baggage counts prior to departure.  The efforts of this important team are essential to our mission of achieving a safe and on-time departure for each and every flight.  Thank you for all that you do!