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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
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Aug 26, 2019

Steve Forte got his introduction to flying by sitting next to his father in the family airplane. After seeing The High And The Mighty, he was fully bitten by the aviation bug, and took flying lessons while still in high school.

Steve "paid his dues" in civilian aviation, working various jobs and finally becoming a pilot, with Cochise airlines. One of his jobs was collecting the airsick bags at the end of every flight! After serving as an air ambulance pilot and flying Metroliners, he was finally hired by United Airlines in 1979.

At United, he started off as a Flight Engineer on the DC-8. Like everyone else hired during that time period, he was furloughed from United in 1981, and decided to go back to school, earning a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona to pursue his MBA. After recall at United, he became a flight instructor at the Denver Flight Training Center, and quickly rose up the management ranks, finally becoming Senior Vice President of Flight Operations.

Steve retired from United at age 50 and became President, CEO and COO of Naverus Corporation, a pioneer in performance-based navigation technologies for air traffic management. He later became Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations for Virgin America Airlines.

After Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Airlines, Steve worked on writing his book, Takeoff, and producing a romantic comedy, Under The Eiffel Tower.

Steve is now Vice President of JetBlue University, and he still flies trips as Captain on JetBlue's A-320 airplanes.

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