Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fall 2015 Class Interview Samples

Here are some new Interviews for samples from class Fall 2015.

Interview of UCM Alumnus Kyle Stinebring, MS
Interview by Susan W. Njuguna, September 4, 2015
University of Central Missouri
I was assigned Kyle Stinebring, a former alumnus of the University of Central Missouri,
in order to gain insight on what lies ahead in terms of a flying career. Having been paired
based on the criteria of my interest in both the airlines and bush flying, I was pleasantly
surprised at how he has had the chance to have a taste of almost all kinds of operations,
apart from the airlines, and has amassed a lot of experience in each. We communicated
via email as that seemed the most convenient and suitable means of communication
based on our different schedules and locations.
Prior to coming to the United States, I had a very narrow view of what routes one could
follow in their flying career because of what I was exposed to in my country Kenya, I
was more than curious to see what his thoughts were on each. This could not have
happened at a better time because I am at a point where I am not sure which route to
follow due to various factors affecting my life upon graduation; factors that weigh
heavily on the decision I’ll make. I took this opportunity to gather information on who he
was and his overall outlook on how he progressed to his current job, including his
opinion on what he sees as mistakes or improvements needed in order to succeed.
Success is something I seek and is based solely on being happy in my decisions and
progression to accomplish my goals and dreams. He proved to be very helpful, sharing
his wealth of information leading to his success. Successful in the sense that he is very
satisfied and happy in where he is in his life.
Kindly provide a brief autobiography about yourself that includes your education,
qualifications, Flight hours and where you are based with regards to your current job.
I started flying when I was 15 years old back home in St. Louis, MO – I obtained
all of my ratings through commercial multi-engine at a local flight school there
by the time I graduated high school. I then attended UCM and obtained a
bachelor's degree in Flight Operations Management, and Masters degree in
Aviation Safety. I have flown for several different companies and had several
different jobs including – flight instructor, production flight test pilot, part 91
corporate pilot, charter pilot, and currently fly for Alaska Seaplanes – a part 135
air taxi company based in Juneau, Alaska. Both the charter and corporate jobs
were flying corporate jets (mostly Hawker 800XP). Here at Alaska Seaplanes I
fly many different airplanes. I primarily fly our de Havilland Beavers, all of
which are on floats, but I also fly our Cessna 206 on floats. On the wheel side I
fly the Cessna 206, 207, and Piper Navajo. Currently I have about 4,000 hours. I
live here in Juneau, AK and plan to be here for the foreseeable future.
What sparked your interest into aviation?
“My father was a pilot, and my mother was a flight attendant. So I just grew up around
aviation and have always had an interest in being a pilot.”
Did you ever have a fall back on plan in the event that flying did not play out as you had
planned? Did you have other interests?
I have thought about this many times, but to this day I do not have a solid backup
plan. I would probably remain here in Alaska and take either an aviation
management position, or get out of aviation all together and find something else
fun to do. However, I do not know what that would be.
What do you think was the hardest part of your training and how did you overcome it?
Training to become a pilot is a very long road for most people. I found that for
me, just keeping that end goal in sight and working towards what I wanted always
helped me overcome any obstacles I encountered. Most importantly – enjoy the
journey along the way as well!
Describe your most memorable aviation learning experience.
I've had many of these in my career, however, if I had to pick just one, I would say
it was my initial introduction to learning to fly up here in Southeast Alaska. Not
necessarily one day in particular, just as a whole. The weather up here gets to be
downright horrible at times for days on end, and the terrain is very unforgiving.
Typically you're flying an airplane at gross weight in either high wind conditions,
or low visibility conditions. It quickly teaches you the limits of what you can and
cannot do, and how important it is to respect those limits at all times.
What attributes, in your opinion, do you think a pilot in training or even in the real world
job situation should strive to have in order to succeed?
My short list of things I would look for in a pilot candidate would include –
leadership skills, independent, very calm and relaxed personality (typically these
people handle stressful situations better), and a hard worker. These skills would
most definitely transfer to other jobs as well, but I see them as essential to being a
great pilot.
What common mistake, in your opinion, do you think pilots fresh from school make?
What would be your recommendations?
Typically pilots fresh out of school haven't experienced much in the way of real
world aviation – this does not make them bad pilots, just simply that they haven't
had much exposure yet. In the real world, flying doesn't consist of maneuvers and
practice approaches. As a green pilot, it is doubly important to know and respect
your limitations. As you gain experience and are exposed to more stressful
situations in the flying world, your confidence will also build. At the end of the
day, I always remind myself that the only reason we do this is money – I make
money, and the company makes money. Sure, I love what I do. But I wouldn't do
it if I didn't get paid. Thus, it's simply not worth it to push the boundaries past
limitations to try to make a few extra dollars.
If given a chance to go back to your training days, would you go about it differently? If
so, how?
Overall, no. I had 2 or 3 different instructors and learned valuable skills from
each of them. The most important skill that any pilot needs to develop through
experience is judgment. If this is emphasized from day one, then, in my opinion,
the training that follows is probably going to be good quality training.
Kindly describe how your typical day on the job plays out.
My typical day is to work from approximately 7 am to 7 pm, usually flying around
6 hours up to a maximum of 8 in a 24-hour period. Sometimes I will fly one
aircraft type, sometimes I will fly several. But in general as an air taxi pilot, you
just fly to the outstations on each leg, and then back to Juneau. It truly is like
being a taxi driver in an airplane. We fly people, mail, and freight. So usually I
will fly about 10 legs per day – on wheels maybe a few more, on floats maybe a
couple less. Although we will fly charters to anywhere in Southeast Alaska, we
typically don't go further than 100 miles away from Juneau on scheduled flights.
Not only do I fly the airplane, but I also fuel the airplane, load the freight, brief
the people, and whatever else may need to be done that day like washing the
What do you find most fulfilling about you job?
The view! There is no better place on earth to catch some of the most incredible
views than Southeast Alaska on the occasional sunny day! However, the flying
itself is just downright fun too – mountains, water, good pilots, good people, etc.
How important is a college degree in this industry
Where I am in Alaska, it's really not important at all. However, having at least a
bachelor's degree is very important for almost every other pilot job I know of in
the lower 48. It is viewed by most as the entry fee into the industry for the higher
paying jobs.
What was your lowest moment/ frustration with the job/industry and how did you
overcome this?
At times, working very long hours (14 hour days) for mediocre pay can start to
wear you down. It's not always as glamorous as it seems, especially if you're
working for tough management. However, the great days completely balance this
out at a good company and make the job totally worth it. The key is finding the
right company to work for with good management that will always support you
and stand behind you in your decisions.
I am embarking on achieving my life goal of becoming a pilot, years after getting my
Diploma in avionics and a few years of working experience under my belt. I at times feel
I may be too ‘old’ to be starting out with this career change. Have you seen this before in
your experience out in the field? How is this factored in when getting into the real world
and what standards, in your opinion, do you think would they expect of me?
I have seen people start into the aviation industry at 15 years old, and 55 years
old. For those that simply want to be an airline pilot, the longer they spend with
one company, the more money they will eventually make. However, I don't think
it's ever too late to give aviation a shot. While it is not without it's challenges, it
is a very fun and fulfilling career! There are many better paying jobs out there,
but I wouldn't trade what I have for the world, it's just that much fun! I say do
whatever makes you happy and give it a shot!
On a light note, besides aviation, what are your hobbies?
I love to do anything outside on my days off – climb mountains, go fishing, hiking,
snowboarding, camping with friends, disc golf, going to the beach to swim in our
cold Alaskan waters, traveling to other villages around Southeast – the
possibilities are endless!
Kyle Stinebring was able to paint a candid picture of his day-to-day duties as a taxi pilot
but what stood out the most was the fact that he was very happy with where he was. He
showed that he also went through the stage of trying to figure out what route to take upon
entering the job market as a pilot and he didn’t get to reach to where he is without having
dabbled through different jobs that used his flying skills. He pointed out traits that are
needed in the industry to help one succeed and as an individual, with the main one being
the development of proper judgment. Proper judgment of what is right or wrong is a trait
that is invaluable to a pilot while flying, but is also applicable in making decisions about
the route one should when it comes to a flying career when combined with discernment.
Most do get to fly for as their career, but for some the job they get may rob them of their
love of flight and make it just a job. That is a fear I have and a fear I believe many should
have because the love of flight is what got us into this industry and should remain as the
glue that makes us stay in it. Only then will one be able to exercise their duties as a pilot
to the best of their abilities and at the same time continue finding passion in it. He is a
prime example of this and I admire him for that. I only hope to find my niche in this
industry as he has.
Works Cited
Stinebring, K. (2015, September 04). Interview of UCM Alumnus Kyle Stinebring, MS.
(S. W. Njuguna, Interviewer)

Sample # 2

Interview of UCM Aviation Alum Nick Decker
Jordan Harbour
AVIA 3305
Interview by Jordan Harbour September 23, 2015
For my pilot interview I was assigned Nick Decker. Nick is an A-10 pilot in the Air Force reserve and recently joined United Airlines as an Airbus 319/320 pilot. Nick has also worked other jobs in the aviation field such as flight instructor. He also worked as a dispatcher and as line service while at UCM. Nick only recently joined the airlines but he still has great insight into the world of professional commercial aviation. With his recent entry into the airline world he will be able to give information on the hiring process and what airlines are looking for in newly hired pilots. His knowledge of the military, flight instructing, airlines, as well as the other ground positions gives him a wealth of knowledge that would be helpful for any aspiring professional pilot. The interview was done through email because it was the easiest way to communicate and fit Nick’s busy schedule.
Growing up how were you exposed to aviation?
I was born and raised in Sedalia, Missouri. I was exposed to aviation at an early age. Growing up my Father and I would build model aircraft and travel around to see airshows. I was also inspired, especially to join the military, by my Uncle who flew C-141s, my Great-Uncle who flew C-47s and A-26s, and my cousin who flew in the Navy and for Delta. Hearing their stories growing up really put the idea in my head to become a pilot. During high school I really began to take the first steps towards an aviation career. The idea of sitting in an office never
appealed to me. I liked being out and about. I first soloed at 16 but was unable to finish my private until I got to UCM and received some financial help. During my senior year at Smith Cotton High School I would drive over to UCM to attend the private ground school. My instructor for the ground school was Lem Shattick, who still calls me Nicholas to this day. Looking back at my senior year there is not a single change I would make. I had a great time at UCM I enjoyed flight instruction, working dispatch and line service. Attending UCM was an easy decision for me. It was close to home, affordable, and I could fly.
What were some of the things you enjoyed about UCM?
At UCM I became very involved in all kinds of activities and student groups. While at UCM I worked dispatch. It was really enjoyable because it allowed me to get to know a lot of people in the department. I also enjoyed the tight knit community inside the department and aviation in general. I would say the department was medium sized maybe a couple hundred students. It was a very tight knit group especially among my group of friends. I was also a part of Alpha Eta Rho and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. I had a group of about twelve really close friends and we were always hanging out. Some of times with Alpha Eta Rho we would rent a bus and go to hockey games. We also had an annual bonfire that was awesome. Most of us hung out all the time anyways. I still stay in touch with those guys and we talk often. One of my best memories is going cross country with a group of friends in five 150s and getting dinner somewhere. I got to fly a lot of different airplanes while at UCM including Cessna 150, 152, and 172s, Beechcraft Duchess and Baron, the King Air, and the Katana. My favorite instructor was Bill Runyon of course! I never had a negative experience with an instructor I learned so much.
What about UCM prepared you for your career?
The best part about UCM is the great ground instruction and the great flight instruction. I always had great interaction with the faculty. Every person you meet has something that can make you successful as a pilot. The ground schools that teach you how stuff works like the way landing gear and hydraulics and so forth work are very good. Do not get caught up in a specific aircraft just learn how those systems work. UCM does a good job of preparing you for a career in aviation, all my friends are now with the airlines, Air Force, or major corporations. None of them have ever had a problem getting through any training
Can you talk some about your career and what you’ve learned?
Get your CFI as fast as possible. That way you get payed to fly. Not only do you gain hours but it makes you a great pilot. I always learn the most by instructing. It took me awhile to get my start. I had given on up on flying in the military, but my buddy Chad was a bartender on base. One day two A-10 guys came in and started asking him questions. He told them that he was applying for Air Force active duty. They asked why, and proceeded to tell him to come out to the squadron and rush. So we did and now we both fly Hawgs. I rushed the squadron for two years before getting hired and sent to pilot training. One time during training I had an engine malfunction, not a total failure, in a T-38. Those are fun because approach speed is one hundred and sixty knots. I love flying A-10s. Close Air Support is never the same mission. Friendlies and the enemy are always moving and stuff is always changing. To sit up and the air and figure
it out can be challenging. I had always wanted to fly in the Air Force. My Uncles who flew in the military really inspired me to fly in the military. Flying fighters is a lot of fun, however you don’t get a lot of time each year. In the military flying is not your only job. I am the scheduler which means I schedule all the pilots to fly. It’s an office job that lets me fly some on the side. Also if you want to fly in the military you don’t always have a lot of say in your job. It isn’t all flying jets you may end up with a “real job”. It took me awhile to get an airline job. In now fly Airbus 319s and320s for United Airlines. When I first started in aviation I wanted to be wealthy and sit on the beach. I always assumed I would go to the airlines. I kind of just fell into the military gig. I am new at United Airlines. The hiring process was not that bad. There was an online personality test with no answer key. If you are not totally crazy they let you fly out to Denver. I had to do a sim ride and then an actual interview with Human Resources and a Capitan. Everyone is very nice. Most of the time you spend talking about stories from your life, not bad. So far I have had a great time. It is totally different from military flying, but I enjoy going places and seeing the country. I fly to all over the US and big cities in Canada and Mexico. Now that I am not slamming the jet every time on landing I am enjoying it better. The Airbus is super awesome really pilot friendly. It will do almost everything. Pilots are just managing the systems most of the time, but so far everyone clicks the autopilot off for landing. Right now I work ten days a month at the airline most non-military do fifteen to eighteen. I spend ten to twelve at the squadron. The biggest difference between the two is not going upside down or dropping bombs. At the airlines you spend 90% of your brainbites going from the gate to takeoff and cruise altitude back to your gate. Flying the Hawg I spend five seconds on that stuff. I am too busy processing target, threats, and friendly situation to care about takeoff or
landing those are a given. I really enjoy having two part time jobs when I get tired of one I go to the other. Pilots are generally treated well by the airline. There will always be people you don’t like though. With the new regulations I think regional airlines will definitely have to change the way that they do business. It will be very tough for them to find new pilots with the new time requirements. One of my favorite things about flying professionally is getting to see new places and settings. Helping people out is also great. Looking back I would absolutely do all of this over again. I wouldn’t even think twice about it. There have been difficult periods but it always seemed like “welp, just get through this so I can do that.” I guess everything was part of a process and never seemed like a “job or work”. One area of aviation I might get involved in is Safety. I enjoy giving safety briefings. Once things settle down I will get involved with safety. Like the ones at the UCM safety stand downs.
Do you still get to fly GA very much?
I love GA flying. I have flown the Baron a couple of times. The problem is I have nowhere to go.
Nick Decker is the perfect example of what a UCM Aviation alumni can become. His insight into the industry has been a valuable learning experience for me. Something I have really learned from the interview is to never give up in this field. You never know who may walk through the door of the bar next and where they may take you. I know that his insights will give
me a leg up in my career. From his humble start as a senior in High School going the extra mile to flying the heavy iron with United Airlines he has truly made it in aviation.
Decker, J. (2015 09). Interview by J Harbour. Aviation interview.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Austin Poole Interviewed by Colton Woods

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Interview of Pilot Austin Poole
Colton Woods
University of Central Missouri – AVIA 3305
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A simulated interview is a great way to confront those intrapersonal questions every aspiring pilot wants to hear, but may not have the connections to do so. I have condensed simulated interview questions, both general and intricate thoughts, about a career in aviation and what it’s like being paid to dedicate your passion to serving others. My interviewee was Mr. Austin Poole of Allen Systems Group (ASG). Mr. Poole provided more than enough information about his journey and lifestyle to allow the reader a view at what it is like between the eyes of a corporate pilot with over 3100 hours.
When asked what made Austin want to pursue a career in aviation he couldn’t hold back reciting his path since the University of Central Missouri. He begins his response with, “What else would I do? I’m not good enough to make it on the PGA tour.” I laughed at this response, though in reality it’s nothing less of a practical answer. Why risk pursuing any other branches of career opportunities that may pop up along the way while aviation is a stable and financially rewarding field. Mr. Poole talks about his many interests, “but the only one that makes enough money for me to pay back my enormous student loans is business aviation.” Once accomplishing a mission of taking a corporate VIP halfway across the world in a professional and efficient manner, all while seeing earth from a birds-eye-view, and then some, there must be no better feeling. “As long as I love it and it pays the bills, I’d never leave aviation.” Austin proclaims. These quotes are validation enough to understand the level of passion a pilot must have to not only become successful in aviation, but to maintain the desire for a greater career and lifestyle. It isn’t only for personal benefit, but to satisfy traveling needs all over the world; from appeasing the summer vacationers, to assuring deadlines are met, to transporting persons and cargo place to place on demand.
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After extensive research, there is a two-to-one ratio of general aviation pilots who get their start either with or due to other family members propelling them along the way. Just as myself, Austin had no family or friends to help him “plug into the industry”, which he describes as a slight disadvantage. Though in the long-run he and I could both agree that you can willfully benefit by forging your own path; therefore feeling more proud of the self-made accomplishments along the way.
Pilot Poole has made a respectable living since college through the opportunities aviation has presented. He attended the University of Central Missouri with the four-year degree major as a ‘Professional Pilot’. During his sophomore year at UCM he attended a career fair and learned about Flight Safety Academy located in Vero Beach, Florida. Mr. Poole mentions participation in this program “played a pivotal role in my career”. Through the fortuity of opportunity attending the Academy, he was offered a position in an instruction program called ‘Direct-Track’. This allowed Flight Safety Academy instructors like Austin to select the business jet of their choice. Once completing an 800 hours dual given contract, he was sent to begin training to co-pilot in specific aircraft simulators for clients who had no previous training partner. Once a type rating in such plane was achieved, he could legally be a Second-In-Command (SIC) and begin flying for and networking with other pilots of that specification.
These opportunities don’t just appear simply because you have a ‘Four year Professional Pilot Degree’ from Central Missouri, though. Mr. Poole was not only an avid associate to the organizations on campus, but one of our very own flight instructors for 16 months. From dates
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September 2006, until December 2007 he assisted in the training and development of many student aviators along the similar path he was reaching to obtain. Then at Flight Safety Academy in Vero Beach he also incorporated a little over two more years of flight instruction. Savannah, Florida was his next and final venture of training to achieve the Gulfstream G-V type rating, which offers the same type rating allowable for G450, G550, and other variations of Gulfstream planes. After about 18 months Austin was prepared to begin a major leg of his journey in the field of Business Aviation.
Mr. Poole currently flies a Gulfstream 550 for ASG Software Solutions. The “ASG” stands for Allen Systems Group. This is a software production corporation that is privately owned by Arthur Allen, founded in 1986 and has now grown to be an international company. Poole was offered this job directly after his Gulfstream type rating training for a year and a half in Savannah, Florida on the Direct-Track program. He was introduced to the Chief Pilot of the flight department in Savannah and worked as a Flight Operator in the Gulfstream simulators. This is a candid demonstration of the old but wise saying “Aviation is all about who you know.” I wish that my interviewee had offered more specific details on their initial meet, to get a feel for how key communication is when meeting face-to-face with a potential future boss. In some cases it could sequence more beneficial to show nothing but professionalism in the face of power like in Austin’s situation; or after all, is the employer looking for personable pilots that aren’t afraid to communicate freely and effectively, seeming more serviceable to those he or she would be transporting.
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When asked what his most favorable experience flying for this company was, he answered in great detail two separate answers: one for his favorite experience while working at ASG, and another for his best aviation related experience. As for ASG, a three-week long trip to Australia and French Polynesia consisted of an eight-day stay at a 5-star Hilton resort in Bora-Bora. He describes the hotel rooms as cabins built on stilts over crystal-clear lagoon water. For leisure during the stretch of tropical retreat the flight crew wasted no time enjoying the great adventures including snorkeling and diving with aquatic life, kayaking in the lagoon all the way out toward the Pacific, and Whale watching. The entirety of this description cannot be matched by that of the average desk job, nor will it ever be.
Austin continues on to his most favorable experience overall while flying, this was more of a very unique and nearly un-replicable journey from Naples, Florida to Paris, France. The route was during the night-time and their departure time combined with the summer tilt of the earth’s axis gave his flight a night without darkness. He still experienced an official sunset and sunrise, but the twilight moved from West to East just as the plane did, giving the illusion that the sun never set. Another funny story he mentions was flying his boss on a trip that resulted in him celebrating two birthdays; one in Australia on the evening of his birthday and as they crossed the date line he landed on the morning of his birthday again. These are just a few examples of the types of unique experiences that come along with being employed in aviation. Aviation is both a privilege and a beauty to be able to experience unique adventures of this sort.
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Pilot Poole mentions more than once throughout the interview about job stability and what it means to have patience when it comes to job selection and preservation. This information seems relevant to a few different responses given. When asked to introduce his worst experiences flying for this company and in all of aviation. With ASG he proclaims that he has dealt with an inconsistent amount of flying mostly due to the financial stability of the corporation. As a result, he has undergone weeks and even months of a parked aircraft. He continues “It is difficult for a company to operate a G550 (at about $6 million per year) when they are not making money.” There is a lot to be taken from this quote. ASG clearly targeted nearly one of the most expensive business jets in the market, assuming they would have the income to support such a price tag. Now that it has panned out to be a financial struggle, he suggests he would have probably been more patient with his selection of job offers upon completion of his Gulfstream type rating. He tells us the stress and fear of losing his job made him have a bad attitude toward work and those associated at times, which is something he wished he could change.
Aviation is a sure-fire industry, though you must find that niche before you may consider it a “secure” field. I wanted to know from a personal standpoint with a business aviation operator such as Pilot Austin Poole, did he ever doubt or reconsider this career path. He promptly says no, not the career in general, there were simply times that he peaked or got stuck along the way, but that never got him down. He continues with examples of times that the ASG planes were parked for three months because everyone except the flight mechanic and himself were laid-off. In reality, times of instability occur with any field or career, though with aviation it could be a difficult transition to a new branch of business if the opportunity ever
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arose, due to the specific required training necessary for the fleet of aircraft a particular corporation has to offer.
Austin mentions multiple times he is very grateful for the opportunities that have approached him along the path to where he is today. In light of this mindset, I asked what motivates him each morning to go to work on a day he is scheduled to fly. “You have to learn to love what you do and be happy no matter what.” I really enjoy this answer because it is so true. In support, he includes the comments “No job is perfect.” along with “You have to realize you still have a way better job than most people.” Only fellow aviators could truly understand and agree that this message is not so much biased as it is accurate. You need a passion for excellence and professionalism. You have to be a person who holds high standards, and operates with integrity no matter who is or is not watching. Readers and I can confidently imagine Mr. Poole has been in both situations and performed to the upmost of standards. This example of character cannot be found in just anyone; thus not everybody belongs in the cockpit of a multi-million dollar machine.
Austin Poole reiterates throughout the interview to always maintain integrity within actions and self. I asked of him a few words of advice for a prospective pilot. He gave me more than simply a motivational speech, but a set of character-driven rules to follow when it comes to excellence. The industry is relatively small, therefore make as many connections to continue formal communication with as you can. “Do everything with an attitude of excellence, no matter how mundane the task. Don’t allow others to drag you into bad habits. Don’t let other’s
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sour attitude drag you down”. Strict adherence to regulations and safety is just as contagious in the cockpit as bad attitude, so be the leader and set a correct example.
The extensive information that my interviewee has provided was more than satisfactory to give readers a great deal of understanding what it takes to be a pilot, with some good experiences and pointers to follow along the way. It is clear to understand you must not let opportunity bypass you as an aspiring pilot, but take hold of what you can get your hands on, and see where it takes you. Austin did just that and it seems he has benefitted greatly from programs and institutions that crossed his path. Keep in mind his words of advice: be patient and maintain a good attitude. Most of his words were not only to answer my questions, but to provide examples for myself and others that I pass this knowledge on to. There are a number of quotes, both included and not, that I wish I had room for without it seeming illiterate that I cannot come up with my own. After seeing his attitude toward the industry and those affiliated with it, I may confidently exclaim he is a pilot I would be honored to occupy the cockpit with, knowing his integrity and experience would make for a fun and safe flight. They say that the world of Aviation is all about connections, and I now hope to say I can count Austin Poole as one.
“The industry is what you make of it, but all of us can use help along the way” –Austin Poole

Dan Greenwood Interview by Joshua Davis

Interview of UCM Aviation Alumni, Dan Greenwood
Joshua A. Davis
AVIA 3305
University of Central Missouri
03 November, 2014
Author Note
You will be assigned an alumnus for UCM Aviation to interview. The paper must be 5 pages exclusive of the title page or citation page. Use one-inch margins, “Times New Roman” font, 12 pt. This is an oral presentation of you reflections, observations from your interview. What did you gain? Prepare as if presenting to the University Central Missouri President. 5-7 minutes total length. If you are having trouble present 3 points of advice/perspective you gained from this interview.
Dan Greenwood is the aviator that I was assigned to interview. Dan is a University Central Missouri (UCM) Alumni. Mr. Greenwood also served in the Air Force as a pilot and a mechanic and fought in Operation Desert Storm. Currently Mr. Greenwood fly’s commercially out of Kansas City and teaches online classes for UCM. As you can well guess Mr. Greenwood has accomplished great things in his career. This interview will outline some of the great experiences and life lessons that Dan has been gracious enough to share with us. Mr. Greenwood and I have decided to communicate via e-mail for this assignment, as because of his busy schedule this was the best way to interview. Format for this interview will be in a question and answer style. Dan Greenwood is an amazing and experienced aviator if I have half the success he has endured, I will live a good life. It has been a pleasure working with Mr. Greenwood.
Where are you from and, how was your upbringing?
I was born in Cleveland Ohio and moved to Tulsa OK when I was 15. My dad was a mechanic for American Airlines, that’s where I found my love for aviation. I have 2 sisters and 4 brothers and had a pretty routine upbringing.
What first interested you into aviation, when, where and in what aircraft was your first flight?
When I was 8 years old my dad took me on my first flight, it was on a DC-10 from Cleveland to the brand new Dallas Ft Worth airport, which was in 1971.
What did you study at UCM?
I joined the Air Force right out of high school when I was 17. My first assignment was to Whiteman AFB where I was a HH-1H Iroquois mechanic. While at Whiteman I attended then
CMSU and finished a degree in Aerospace Technology. I really enjoyed my time at CMSU and was VP of Alpha Eta Rho. I made some great connections that I still maintain today.
Who was the most influential person in your life, and why?
I had many influential people in my life, however the most was my dad, he instilled a passion in me for life and flying that continues today.
What did you do after graduation from UCM?
After graduation from CMSU I attended Officer Training School for the AF and then flight school. I was selected to fly the A-10 which I did for three years including desert storm in 1991. I have also flown the T-38 and T-37 as an instructor in the Air Force. I did a total of 28 years active and reserve time. I have also flown 737’s for Continental Airlines, however not enjoying the commute I was offered and accepted a job in KC flying a Global Express and Challenger 605. I have been here for 8 ½ years so far and still love the job. I resigned my seniority from CAL. Believing I have something to offer I went back to UCM several years ago and finished my Masters in Aviation Safety, since then I have been teaching the Corporate Aviation on-line and transport/FMS class at UCM.
In the transition from your first flight in the DC-10 until you enlisted in the AF. Did you earn any certificates? Or even continue to dabble in aviation?
After my first flight in a DC-10 I went to work with my dad a few times and attended every airshow I could. Other than this I did not complete any flight training.
Being an airman that also went to school did you find that the AF worked with you to accommodate education? How long did it take you to finish your degree in Aerospace Tech.?
The AF did work with me very well to accomplish my degree. They were very supportive and having been stationed at Whiteman it made it very easy to attend UCM. I enlisted in the AF in June of 1981 and graduated with my BS in Aerospace Technology in May 1987. It took almost 6 years.
I definitely want to hear more about your dad he sounds like an interesting guy. Did he serve? What lead him to work for the airlines as a mechanic? Was he a college grad? What kind of things did your dad do to instill passion into your life?
My Dad did serve in the AF as a B-25 mechanic; his entire 4 years was served at Vance AFB in Enid OK. It was nostalgic for me to be assigned there as an instructor. After his time in the AF he attended A&P school in Pennsylvania, American Airlines hired his entire class and he remained with them for 36 years. He never did attend college; I was the first in my family to complete a degree. He and my mom recently moved to Kearney to live near us as they get older. I have an old prop my dad got when he was in A&P School that he refinished for me, it’s pretty nice.
As the VP of Alpha Eta Rho what kind of projects did you organize for the school?
As The VP for AHP we organized several parties a year and did a lot around homecoming. We did build a float one year that resembled the Wright flyer, which was fun. We did several moneymaking events including concessions at KC Royals and Comets games.
You talk of connections you still have today. Are these people in the aviation industry? What kind of success have you see from UCM Grads?
I have several contacts from my days at UCM, there are at least 5 corporate pilots that I know, several who have joined the military as pilots. I have a good friend who works as an accident investigator in Scottsdale AZ, he was my best man at my wedding. One of the
Corporate pilots I actually worked for a short period of time at Aquila in Kansas City flying a King air.
What was a good lesson learned while flying A-10s in Desert Storm?
When I was flying in Desert Storm the biggest lesson I learned was our training well prepared me for the missions I would encounter. Sometimes you’re not sure what to expect also known as fear of the unknown. When I began flying missions over Kuwait and Iraq there was concern that what I was doing would not be effective or I would get shot down. What I truly realized was the training we received when followed allowed us to control the skies. Our training was second to none and we were prepared with the best training and best equipment of any nation.
What was a lesson learned while you attend UCM?
While at UCM the greatest lesson I learned was to take my studies seriously and make connections that would last a lifetime. I initially started out a little slow with my general education classes. Eventually I picked up the pace and improved my GPA. A little too much time on Pine Street. Many of the connections I made while attending CMSU have served me well during my years in Aviation and I have been able to refer back to them when needed for advice.
Can you give an overview on your approach to becoming a commercial aviator is Kansas City?
If you want to fly private there are some jobs available, these are part 91 jobs that have less restrictions than commercial or part 121/135 jobs. Commercial jobs are few and far between in KC, you would have to commute for most of these jobs. Knocking on doors in the KC area is the best way to get your foot in the door, be willing to do anything from sweeping the hangar floor to washing and fueling airplanes. Eventually someone may let you work your way up the
ladder and fly as an F/O in a small turboprop. From here you can build time and eventually graduate to bigger and more powerful aircraft.
What advice would you give someone preparing for the Regional world?
If I knew someone who wanted to go to the regional airlines I would recommend they attend a school like UCM and attain all their ratings. From here I would look for a flight instruction job or possibly flying freight for someone. You need to log PIC time in order to get the requirements for the ATP. I believe most regional airlines will be hiring well into the future and at very low minimums, hence you would get a job fairly quickly and hopefully transition to the majors within 5-10 years.
What are some hurdles you see for future aviators in the commercial world?
The biggest hurdles I see for future aviators are the technical advances in aircraft. I read the other day that Saint Louis University is doing a study on the advances in technology and the hazards it’s creating. We used to grow up flying the steam gauges and learned basic stick and rudder skills; I don’t believe that is the case as much anymore. My understanding is at UCM you can get your license without ever flying around dial aircraft, everything is electronic and I don’t believe this prepares a pilot well for the future. An example would be the Asiana crash in SFO last year, the pilot clicked off the auto-throttles and didn’t know it, and he was unable to recognize the sink rate until it was too late to recover. This type of flying is directly related to their training; everything he did previous was in an electronic format and all he understood was automation. Had the pilot clicked off everything and just flew the aircraft to the runway, everything would have been fine.
Conclusion Interviewing Dan Greenwood was a great experience for me as a young aviator. It is important and motivating to see through the life of someone else the possible outcomes that lie ahead if you stick with aviation. Mr. Greenwood has had amazing experiences in everything from flying some of the Military’s finest aircraft in Operation Desert Storm to captaining some of the finest aircraft in the civilian sector. I share a lot of the same interest and experiences as Mr. Greenwood, both of us having served overseas. Additionally, I hope to work in the airlines someday and picking Dan’s mind helped me understand exactly what I am getting myself into. Dan Greenwood is an experienced and well-rounded individual. If I have half the career in aviation that he has had I will consider myself a successful aviator. I feel privileged to know Mr. Greenwood and have enjoyed this experience of learning a little about his life.
Greenwood, D. (2014). Interview of UCM Aviation Alumni, Dan Greenwood. (J. Davis, Interviewer)

Glenn Haefner interviewed by Nathan Beck

Interview of UCM Aviation Alum Glenn Haefner
Nathan Beck
AVIA 3305
I interviewed Glenn Haefner, a former CMSU graduate. Haefner was a flight instructor for CMSU after graduating and has furthered his career to US Airways. He is currently a captain on the Airbus A320, and has been a first officer and captain on a variety of other large transport aircraft. I conducted this interview through phone calls, text messages and email since Mr. Haefner lives in Charlotte North Carolina. My questions were oriented so I could get an idea of the world of a commercial pilot. Topics included such things as emergencies, final authority of a flight, and how performance data is completed.
1. I know you told me that your regional career was jumping from place to place. If you could list the airlines that you worked for and the order they came in and why you decided to switch at each point.
I was hired at a commuter airline, Skyways in Vichy, Missouri for one day in August 1979. I had been trying to get hired at a cargo airline, Petroleum Air Transport (Pat Air), in St. Louis, Missouri, I called them up again and got hired in August of 1979. I had stopped by there [sic] office in St. Louis many times, had left a resume and talked to the pilot that did the hiring. He was a former Parks University instructor, I think that help me get hired. I was hired to be a DC-6 Flight Engineer. I received my FE rating at Pat Air, this included about 3 weeks of ground school and a week of aircraft training. That cargo airline went out of business in February of 1980. That summer I enrolled as a Masters student at CMSU and instructed at the airport. In September of 1980 I was hired at Jetway in Ypsilanti, MI as a DC-6 FE, Laid off February 1981. Hired at Pacific Alaska Airlines in Fairbanks, AK as a DC-6 FE in April. Flew to the North Slope and western Alaska hauling cargo and fuel oil. Recalled by Jetway in October 1981, Laid off in February 1982. Flight Instructed at Arrowhead Airport in St. Louis, Mo for 3 months. Flew summer fish haul in Alaska for Ball Brothers in Anchorage, AK as DC-6 FE. Hired by DHL in Honolulu, HI in August 1982 as a DC-6 FE, upgraded to FO in April 1983. Transferred to Mainland operation in December 1983 as a Learjet 35 FO, Upgraded to Captain in November 1984. Transferred to Captain on Boeing 727 in February 1986. Hired by Piedmont Airlines in June of 1986 as B-727 FE. I have flown FO on the B727, B737, F100, B767/757, Airbus 320 series and Airbus 330 series, also Captain on B737 and Airbus 320 series. Piedmont merged with USAir in 1989, Changed name to US Airways, merged with America West in 2007 and it looks like we will merge with American to become the New American.
2. How long have you been with U.S. Airways?
Hired at Piedmont Airlines on June 2, 1986. Merged with USAirways December 1989.
3.During your career have you had any serious emergencies? or difficult decisions you had to make as PIC?
I have had to shut down many engines on the DC-6, probably around 20 engine failures in 2000 hours of flying. Have only shut down one Jet engine in 18,000 flight hours.
Most of the operational problems now deal with passengers and security problems.
4. Where did you learn to fly?
I started college at CMSU in the fall of 1975. I received my CFI in the summer of 1978. I finished my BS in Aviation Technology in the fall of 1978, after which I started working on a MS in Aviation Safety. I flight instructed at Skyhaven until August 1979. I had around 900 hours at that point, a CFI, Multi Commercial, Instrument Ground Instructor. I had built all my flight time at Warrensburg.
5. As a first officer did you ever have to make a decision that over ruled the captain?
I have disagreed with a captain before on the aircraft. It is hard to over rule the Captain. Captains will usually take helpful input from a First Officer. If it comes down to a life and death decision, and you can confirm your decision with written backup, then you have to stand your ground. That is the crew concept in an multi person crew, this includes pilots, Flight Attendants.
6. Do you own or plan to own your own plane or helicopter?
7. What types of salary ranges did you go throughout in your career?
DC-6 Flight Engineer $20.00 to $30.00 an hour Year 1979
DC-6 First Officer $25.00 to $35.00 1980
Learjet 35 Pilot $35.00 to $50.00 1982
B-727 Captain $50.00 to $60.00 1985
B-727 FE Probationary Pilot $1100.00 per month 1986
A-319/320/321 Captain $186.00 per hour 2014
8. Do most airlines cover medical visits? And do they provide benefits for family?
Yes, I pay about $100.00 per month for health insurance.
9. How do you pass the time on flights?
Do you mean when we are flying? The aircraft is on auto pilot in cruise. We have to monitor the aircraft systems, the navigation systems and communicate with air traffic control. You do not have time to do any thing to pass the time.
10. How do you normally spend time for delays or layovers?
Short delays are spent on the aircraft. Longer delays the crew goes to the hotel. On layovers it depends on the length and location. Less than 12 hour overnight we usually stay at a hotel close to the airport. On longer layovers we stay at nicer hotels, close to things to do.
11. Do you use foreflight on the ipad, or some other method for planning?
We have company issued IPads. We use Jeppesen Flight Deck as the chart application. We also have a application for all company manuals.
12. How has the weather affected your decisions on go, no go decisions?
Weather always affects our decision to fly. I think the worst weather is ice and snow on the airport and ice on the aircraft on the ground. The time to de/anti ice the aircraft and coordinate our takeoff time is very hard to do. With all the equipment on the aircraft, low visibility takeoffs and landings are not a big problem. The weather radar is very good and we have plenty of fuel to deviate around storms
13. Who decides to go or not? is it you, dispatch (company)?
It is a dual decision between the flight crew and the dispatcher. If the flight crew decides we are not going to go, then we do not take off. I have never been second-guessed in my decision at USAirways. This is not the case at smaller operations.
14. Do you still have to figure all weight and balance, performance data, or is this done prior to your arrival?
The weight and balance, and performance data is computed by the company after the aircraft has left the gate. We get preliminary data with our weather package when we arrive at the aircraft. After we taxi away from the gate, the final data is transmitted to the aircraft printer.
15. How much does it cost to get a type rating in the A319-321?
All training is paid for by USAirways. I did not pay for my type rating. I think the training would cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 dollars.
16. Have you made any international flights?
Yes, in the airbus 320 we fly to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica and Canada. I have also flown the Airbus 330 to Europe and the Middle East. I have around 5000 hours flying international flights.
17. Have you had any medical issues that threatened to end your career, or have seen other pilots lose their medical?
I have been very lucky with my medical issues. I had a growth removed from my kneecap last year and was off work for 30 days. My company sick leave covered that leave. I have had a few friends loose their medicals. Mostly heart problems, diabetes and inter [sic] ear/ balance vertigo problems.
18. How difficult are proficiency checks?
We have checks once a year. It is a 3 day process. First day is a ground school/ classroom day. 2nd day is 4 hours in the simulator of training. The 3rd day is a loft (line ordinated flight training) day, 2 normal flights with small problems.
The training is very good. You have to study and prepare for training, if you do the check is not a big deal.
19. Do you have a lot of paper work that you have to deal with?
No, we have a flight plan, weather packet, W/B performance paper work when we arrive at the aircraft. The aircraft logbook is in the aircraft, we check that for write ups. Then the final W/B is printed on the aircraft. If we have a safety problem we will fill out a NASA report. Most of the paper work has gone to computer forms.
20. How often do you work? hours per week? Days of the month?
I usually work 3-4 days a week, 15-16 days a month. Fly about 70-75 hours a month. On duty about 150 hours a month, away from home about 260 a month.
21. What is your favorite aspect about flying?
I like that after we leave the gate, the flight completion is in our hands. We make the decisions that affect route, altitude, passengers, arrival airport, runway used.
I also like different destinations that we get to go to and exploring the city. There are always new sites to explore and different people to meet.
For this interview I learned a lot about how the real world airline pilots spend their time, how much they work, and how as time passes the variety of aircraft expands. I will also latter this year be able to have lunch with Mr. Haefner and his nephew. His nephew is currently attending UCM as a freshmen with professional pilot as a major.
Haefner, G. (2013 09). Interview by N Beck. Aviation interview.


This is the location for you to be able to access and read, at your leisure, the Interviews collected for class last semester.
In order to help you, the student I assign each student one alumnus of UCM Aviation to interview. The purpose of the interview has several objectives. The first is to help you develop perspective.  Most of us have perfect hindsight but very poor foresight. Each of the persons being asked to submit to interviews have 3 things in common. First they are all UCM Aviation graduates. Secondly they have graduated from UCM more than 5 years ago. This means they are experienced in the field of commercial aviation. Third they must be actively piloting for a living. My hope is they will give you some perspective.  They will be able to tell you about professional piloting after they left UCM. The other stated objective is to help you develop the art of networking. Our industry is extremely tiny and networking will become a vital part of your future and will dictate many of the opportunities you will experience.
I hope you enjoy!
Bill Runyon