Colonel Christophe Deherre is the Director of the French Air Force Center for Studies, Reserve and Partnership for the French Air Force. He wanted to be a fighter pilot ever since he was a child, and he attended the prestigious Ecole de L'air in Provence, France. He spent one year as an exchange student at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. He is currently commanding the Patrouille de France aerial demonstration team during their month-long tour of the United States. This operation in North America mobilizes more than 70 airmen, pilots, mechanics, support staff, 10 Alphajet, 1 Airbus A400M Atlas and 25 tons of equipment, demonstrating French Air Force capabilities. This is the team's first visit to the U.S. in 31 years.
During their U.S. tour, the team has a busy schedule, crossing the country to perform airshows. The Patrouille de France is the oldest aerial demonstration team in the world, and their visit to the U.S. commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States into World War I in France.
During their flight in New York, they flew over the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from France to the United States in 1886. During their flight over Kennedy Space Center, they carried two French astronauts.
Brian Settles embarked on his aviation career by accident, registering late (at the behest of his mother, Bernice) for Ball State University after his basketball scholarship to the University of Colorado fell through at the last minute. Ironically, he was talked into signing up for the drill team which meant enrolling in the Air Force ROTC program.
While at Ball State, Captain Settles majored in Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish and English and was enticed to enrolling in the ROTC Flight Instruction program. Proving he could walk and chew gum at the same time, upon graduation and commissioning in August 1966, he entered into Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas.
Being a sports jock at heart, Captain Settles was captivated by the machismo of being a fighter pilot and chose the only fighter jet option available to him and most of his pilot training classmates, an assignment to fly as co-pilot in the F-4 Phantom jet fighter-bomber, a move which got him shipped off to Vietnam for a one year combat tour at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam in August 1968.
Captain Settles survived one hundred ninety-nine combat missions flying the F-4 in Vietnam, completing his Air Force obligation as a KC- 135 refueling tanker pilot at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California and concurrently earning his Master's degree in International Relations at the University of Southern California. Captain Settles reluctantly turned down a highly coveted selection to the U.S. Air Force Academy Political Science faculty to accept employment in the fall of 1972 as an airline pilot with now defunct Eastern Airlines.
The Arab Oil Embargo of the early seventies temporarily cost Captain Settles his lofty pilot job at Eastern. With a wife and a three year old son, he served for two years in a counseling position with Rutgers University College where he was promoted to Supervisor of Counseling and appointed Assistant Dean until his recall to Eastern in August of 1976.
Thirteen years later, struggling as a single parent Dad with two sons, the would-be airline pilot was once again forced from his glamorous airline pilot career in March of 1989 when a union strike and subsequent bankruptcy shut down Eastern Air Lines permanently. Perhaps as a lark, but more so intent on keeping the For Sale sign out of the yard of his Atlanta home, with his older son a freshman at Florida A & M University and a thirteen year old at home, he endured a two year cab driving adventure on the streets of metro Atlanta until fall of 1992 when he was hired by Private Jet Expeditions, an Atlanta charter jet airline. He advanced to Captain on the McDonald Douglas 82 passenger jet in six months. Two years later, career storm clouds returned and Captain Settles suffered his second airline bankruptcy collapse. Once again, seeking solvency in his taxi-cab, he drove part time until he secured re-employment in 1995 with Indianapolis based ATA Airlines.
Your resume and employment application will determine if you are invited for an airline interview, but it is your performance at that interview that will get you hired! This episode of the Ready For Takeoff podcast will give you insights into what you can do now to be prepared for that interview.
As a 5-year-old, David Pettet wrote a letter to himself saying he wanted to be an airline pilot. He became a CFI as an 18-year-old, hired on as gate agent with a regional carrier, and parlayed that into a flying job. He was hired by Omni Air International as a B767 pilot, then moved to Hawaiian Airlines, flying the DC9 and the A330, and finally landed his current job at a major legacy airline.
He has been a member of the National Gay Pilots Association since his early years as a pilot, and served in numerous leadership positions, rising to his current position as Executive Director. The NGPA has both gay and straight members, and offers numerous membership benefits, including networking opportunities and millions of dollars in scholarships available to all members.
The NGPA is now an international organization, and is much larger than simply the LGBT community, offering networking opportunities for pilots of all genders and lifestyles. Their Industry Expo offers representatives from numerous airlines, including over 40 airline and vendor exhibitors. The last several hours of the Expo are reserved for members only, to allow them to interface with airline recruiters.
The scholarship program is currently giving away 3 B737 type ratings, over $100,00 in cash awards, and a $5000 Private Pilot scholarship. Here's the important point for all pilots: you don't need to be LGBT to win a scholarship - fully half of the scholarships go to straight pilots! The organization has stated, "In order for us to ask the industry to be inclusive of LGBT, we have to be inclusive as well."
The organization offers several types of memberships, from individual to family and student.
Cristy Wise attended the United States Air Force Academy, and after graduation attended Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training. When she received her wings, Christy was assigned as a Rescue C-130 pilot.
On April 11, 2015, Christy was struck by a hit-and-run boat while paddle boarding near Shalimar, Florida. The injuries she sustained required her right leg be amputated above the knee. Christy counts her survival a miracle.
Christy’s twin sister, Jessica, is a surgical resident who has provided medical assistance with the Children of Nations non-profit organization since 2010. Over the course of her countless hours with Dominican and Haitian populations, Jessica realized a significant need for prosthetic limbs exists among children as young amputees grow out of preliminary devices. Many families cannot afford new limbs for their children.
To address this need, together with Jessica and boyfriend Tim, Christy founded the One Leg Up On Life Foundation in July 2015.
Michael Baiada has 35 years and over 20,000 hours of flying experience and holds BS degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Business Administration from Rutgers University. He was the Manager of Products at Allied/Bendix Avionics Division, Assistant VP - Operations/Maintenance at Ransome Airlines and a USAF officer/pilot. After serving in the Air Force, Mike joined United Airlines as a pilot. His passion, from early on, has been to enhance airline productivity.
Over the last 25 years, Michael Baiada has worked extensively on airline operational productivity and ATC/airspace capacity issues. In collaboration with Michael Boyd, he co-authored the three volume Free Flight Analysis.
Mike is President of ATH Group, Inc. ATH's vision is to bring the Supply Chain, Lean Six Sigma philosophy to the airline curb to curb production process so as to fundamentally alter the airline operating environment. ATH Group’s products include its patented and award winning Attila Process™, a tactical aircraft/asset/airline flow management solution. ATH's award winning and patented Attila™ solution is currently operational for Delta Air Lines at Atlanta, reducing delays, improving product quality and saving Delta over $20,000 per day in fuel alone (www.athgrp.com). Based on Attila™, within 3 years, airlines can move to increase A0 to greater than 80% and reduce block time by an average of 10 minutes per flight.