When you first start down the path to a pilot's license you may not always know where it will lead. Those of us who learned to fly and became professional pilots before jets really came of age know all too well the lure of the smell of kerosene. The lure of bigger, better and faster aircraft has lured many a pilot from job to job, career to career. In a refreshing event held at Dunkirk Aviation in Dunkirk, NY one former student returned to talk to current students, and to encourage them in their pursuit of a career in aviation. Captain Paul Heinen who flies and Embraer 145 regional jet for Chautauqa Airlines came to visit the student pilots enrolled in the Jamestown Community College Professional Pilot Program and give them a first hand look at life in the airliner cockpit. He described the challenges he experienced in the mid-70s obtaining all of his ratings at Dunkirk Aviation in Western New York.
He landed at Chautauqa Airlines in 1984 and has been there for the past 25 years watching the airline grow and mature into a successful regional airline. He wanted to remain close to his roots, and to allow his wife to keep her job and raise their kids together in Western New York. After a Q&A session Heinen asked the students why they were there, and encouraged them to make sure that they keep flying fun - to go out and do some aerobatics and remember that they should enjoy what they are doing. On an optimistic note Captain Heinen predicted a lot of retirements from the cockpit and great opportunities just over the horizon for those seeking a career in aviation. You can read the entire article "Taking Flight"
in the Observer. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Between the amateur and the professional . . . there is a difference not only in degree but in kind. The skillful man is, within the function of his skill, a different psychological organization. . . . A tennis player or a watchmaker or an airplane pilot is an automatism but he is also criticism and wisdom. — Bernard De Voto