The largest regional carrier for American Airlines. Envoy Air Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, operating nearly 150 aircraft on about 800 daily flights to more than 140 destinations.
Envoy Capt. Philipe Abs Da Cruz, along with FO Lindsey Richardson, FO Zach Kilgore, and FO Brent Spann spent time with the campers, answering their questions and offering career advice as part of the camp’s “Meet a Mentor” program for their 10th-12th graders.
The campers learned about the various pathways to an aviation career, how to make a resume, and guidelines for a professional interview. They also participated in mock interviews to help prepare the campers for their dream jobs with Envoy and American Airlines.
Last week, after more than 20 years with Envoy, Capt. Hank Jarzabkowski retired as a commercial airline pilot. Due to a mechanical issue that resulted in customers being reaccommodated on other flights, Hank’s final trip – from Green Bay (GRB) to Chicago (ORD) – had only two customers on board: his wife and his daughter. On arrival in ORD, Hank was greeted by more family members and colleagues from our ORD Chief Pilot Office. Here’s hoping you have a safe and happy retirement, Capt. Jarzabkowski!
A parent’s love for their child is stronger than any bond. In the case of First Officer Dana Mericle’s parents, despite their trepidations of missing their daughter and watching her leave China for the U.S., they sold their family home in Dalian, China to help finance Dana’s flight training.
It’s no secret that flight training is expensive, but some determination, passion and proper planning can make the goal of becoming an airline pilot attainable. Dana is the perfect example of reaching that goal, and with the sacrifice of her parents, she was gifted the opportunity that she was born to conquer.
It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle
Dana isn’t your prototypical pilot. She didn’t grow up with a family of aviators or go to a four-year university to study aviation.
Her first experience in the airline industry started with a 10-year career as a flight attendant for a major international airline. There she excelled as a customer service professional and learned to love the lifestyle of a flight attendant.
But in her line of work, Dana thought she could only go so far in advancing her stature with the company. Not until she met a Captain with the airline did she begin thinking about a pilot career.
Knowing her excellent work ethic and attention to detail, he urged her to make the jump to the flight deck. But at 30 years old, Dana put her aviation career on hold and moved back to China.
“After waiting anxiously for what was next in my life, I started missing flying and the lifestyle I had,” said Dana. “I thought back to my conversation with the Captain, and began to seriously consider becoming a pilot, so I began saving money for flight training.”
Her parents thought she was “crazy” but nothing could stop them from supporting their only child. They moved into an apartment, sold their home, and used the money from the sale to finance Dana’s newfound dream.
On to Envoy
In 2014, Dana began flight training at L3 Airline Academy in Florida, and soon became a Certified Flight Instructor for them. With her genuine, no-nonsense attitude, Dana quickly earned the reputation as a stern but fair instructor.
Not that she didn’t enjoy training up-and-coming pilots, but after a while, she was ready to advance her career and take on the next challenge as a First Officer at a regional airline. Without batting an eye, the choice was “obvious” for Dana – she chose Envoy, and now flies the Embraer 175 based out of Chicago O’Hare.
With Envoy, and its predecessor American Eagle, having a 30-plus-year history as one of the world’s best regional airlines, that clout and respect meant a lot to Dana. Plus, the fact that Envoy is growing its Embraer 175 fleet really made an impression on Dana who said she sees it as Envoy “investing in the future of the company.”
“The flow through to American Airlines is wonderful,” said Dana. “There’s no reason not to choose Envoy when you talk about flow. There’s a built-in guarantee that you can keep in your pocket.”
Making things happen
In a pilot’s airline career there are markers constantly progressing them forward; CFI to First Officer, to reserve pilot, to line pilot, to Captain, to Check Airman, so on and so on. This perpetual progression is what intrigued Dana the most, and a huge reason why she chose her career.
That isn’t to say that Dana is in a rush to retirement, she’s enjoying every moment as a regional airline pilot. Whether she’s on the flight deck gazing upon a beautiful sunrise – “eating with her eyes” as she put it – or taking time to acknowledge the main operative of bringing people to their desired destinations, Dana is enamored with her job.
“I’m always curious as to why people are travelling on my plane that day,” said Dana. “You never know where they need to go; meeting a loved one, visiting a sick family member, or on a trip to fulfill a lifelong dream. So as a pilot, you make these things possible for people. Behind the flight deck door, everyone has a story.”
Even though Dana’s journey to the airlines was unique, she still wants to share advice with young people who have a chance to follow a direct path to a pilot career. First off, she said, you can’t be afraid to commit to the journey.
Every class you take or every flight lesson, “make it count,” she said. However, as Dana learned through experience, it’s also essential for young people to be reasonable about what they can achieve.
Most importantly, she said it’s necessary for young pilots to research schools, licenses, jobs and airlines in order to be prepared to make the best decision for themselves. Ultimately, Dana believes that they must be grateful for the opportunity to be a pilot, and be confident in their abilities that they can achieve their goals.
Be grateful for what you have
Dana with her parents in China.
Dana said that the biggest perk of her job is the ability for her and her family to travel for free on the American Airlines network. Dana said that it’s a small gift she can give to her parents in return for the sacrifice they made for her.
Dana tries to fly to China every month to spend time with her parents.
“Every time I go back, my dad asks me to make pancakes, because they miss my cooking,” said Dana with tears in her eyes. “It’s the least I can do in return for everything they gave to me so I could follow my dreams.”
As she wiped her eyes, she laughed and conceded that she often gets teared up when she’s happy. Given her long journey and gratefulness for her life as an airline pilot, Dana said that her first takeoff as an Envoy pilot was an emotional one.
“We were climbing up, I brought up the landing gear, and I asked my Captain, can I cry? I need to cry,” she said. “I told him not to worry because they are happy tears. I’m just so happy and so grateful to be where I am.”
Last week, Envoy sponsored the Ohio State University Lady Buckeyes flight team in the Air Race Classic. The Air Race Classic is an annual cross-country air race for female pilots, intended to promote the tradition of pioneering women in aviation.
OSU’s Lady Buckeyes flight team is made up of student pilots, Kamille Colbert and Josie Cogugno. Together they flew the Cessna Skyhawk 172 from Jackson, Tennessee to Welland, Ontario, and placed 17th overall out of 50 total competing teams.
Congrats Kamille and Josie! We’re proud to be your sponsor.
On Saturday, June 15, aviation students at the University of North Dakota (UND) enjoyed some genuine Texas barbeque, heard about the Envoy Cadet Program and saw an Envoy-operated Embraer 175 (E175) up close as part of a special charter flight to support one of our favorite universities.
“Pilots we hire from universities and flight schools like UND are important for Envoy’s future hiring needs, so you’ll see more focus on that in the coming months,” explains Manager of Air Operations Programs and Outreach Martin Rottler. “We had a fantastic turnout, and a selection of UND graduates – including First Officers Swayne Martin and Corey Komarec, SOC Program Manager Van Easley and myself – were on hand to answer the many questions that students had.”
Thanks to everyone who attended and made the event a success!
Some might say a person’s love for aviation is hereditary. It’s in their genetic make-up, passed down from generation to generation – this is certainly true about the Scott family.
On June 6, Madison Scott became the latest member of her family to begin her career in aviation, when she graduated as an Envoy Flight Attendant. Her father, Envoy Captain William Scott, currently flies based out of Chicago O’Hare (ORD) on the Embraer 140/145, but became a pilot nearly 40 years ago.
Father’s Day at 30,000 feet - YouTube
However, the aviation lineage extends beyond them. William’s father, Grayson Irving, was a pilot with Eastern Airlines where he flew DC-3s. Later in life, he instructed pilots in aerobatic flying.
It’s only fitting that William would marry another pilot, and not only that, he was her flight instructor. Since their marriage, Patricia Scott and William have owned and operated the air-ambulance company Lifeguard Aeromed for over 35 years.
Lifeguard Aeromed aircraft flying over flooding during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Along with their son Chase Idleman, they all serve as pilots, EMTs and paramedics for the business, which transports critical patients around the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 2017, the Scott family used their expertise and business to provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Harvey by evacuating those trapped in flooded areas and transporting medications throughout Texas.
The Incredible Father-Daughter Flying Duo
The last piece to the aviation family puzzle was Madison who looks forward to working with her father one day as flight attendant and pilot. Ever since she can remember, she’s been flying with her father – whether it was a quick trip to the next state or a “magic carpet ride” to see the lights during the holiday season.
Now that they’re both based in Chicago, the Scotts are excited about exploring a new city together. They consider themselves lucky to be able to spend some time together doing what they love.
Whether it’s a love for aviation, or anything else that brings your family together, we hope that the entire Envoy Family has a great Father’s Day weekend.
On Wednesday, June 5, we recognized 15 Envoy Flight Attendants at the 2018 Outstanding Flight Attendant (OFA) award luncheon at the C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
OFA awards are presented yearly to recognize Flight Attendants who provide exemplary service and show dedication and commitment to fellow crewmembers and our customers. Every OFA winner must be nominated by their peers, and have great attendance, no uniform violations and a variety of compliments from coworkers and customers alike.
Recently, our DFW Ground Support Equipment (GSE) team came together to recognize and congratulate DFW GSE Crew Chief Willie Green for reaching an impressive 50 year service anniversary. Willie currently holds the third-highest seniority out of all Envoy employees.
“When I joined, I never thought I’d be around all that long, but here I am!” joked Willie during the recognition event, which included custom-made chocolate candies with the team’s favorite phrases from Willie printed on them.
After the team shared stories about their favorite moments with Willie over the years, Senior Vice President, Customer Services, John Jaynes presented Willie with his 50-year service anniversary award. “Everyone look around – you don’t see these service pins often – five white stones!”
An impressive milestone no matter how you slice it. Way to go, Willie!
We often talk about being an airline “family,” and for some of our fantastic employees, we mean that literally. Recently, new-hire Flight Attendant Samantha Stutz achieved her dream of flying alongside her mother, Envoy Flight Attendant Mary Wolfram. Samantha writes:
“The journey for me actually started about six years ago when my mother drastically changed her life and became a flight attendant with this company. We would fly all across the country just to eat dinner at one of her overnights together. This introduced a whole new world to me; and one I needed to be a part of.
So, after college and a few months of living abroad, I applied. My heart was pounding and my nerves were shaking when I received an email deciding my fate; because Envoy was the only airline I wanted.
I got the job. After a stressful month I was looking forward to my Initial Operating Experience (IOE) training days. My second day of IOEs who was waiting for me at my gate? My wonderful mother, my inflight trainer for FA 1 position. I’m so excited to be joining into this amazing company with some amazing people.”
Congrats on the new role, Samantha and welcome to the team!
April is Autism Awareness Month, and this year the Envoy team in Miami (MIA) went all out. After hosting fundraising events that generated more than $1,300, the team ended the month with a sponsored walk that generated more than $2,800 to support Autism Speaks.
“More than 10,000 walkers from the Miami area took part in this year’s fundraising event, including many Envoy and American employees who work at the hub,” said MIA Hub Administration Manager, Estibaliz Morante. “Envoy raised more than $2,800 to support this cause, and we’re committed to being an official sponsor for next year’s event.” Way to go team MIA!