Monday, December 29, 2014

Featured Jump Pilot - Shaun from Skydive Santa Barbara

Meet Shaun, a fellow Jump Pilot that I met a few years ago when I was hired to ferry a Caravan from Georgia to Illinois and then to Colorado. I am honored to have introduced him to the Caravan on that trip. He learned the airplane faster than anyone that I have ever taught. He now flies a Honeywell powered Grand Caravan for Skydive Santa Barbara. The perfect airplane for flying skydivers up to 13,000 and even 18,000 feet!

Age: 26
Total Time: 2600
Company: SkyDive Santa Barbara
Location: California
Years Flying the Caravan: 3 years

What do you like most about flying the Caravan?

I love the Caravan because it is a very well built airplane. It's durable, easy on the controls, and it's a work horse. The Garret TPE- 331 conversion makes it a fast and efficient aircraft, especially for skydiving operations. Even though it is a single engine it feels very safe and has an outstanding glide ratio in engine out operations. All in all the Caravan is one of my favorite aircraft to fly. 

What are your career goals? 

To be perfectly honest I don't have a set path in aviation. I've never had one ultimate goal. Instead, I focus on the enjoyment of flying and the realization of how blessed I am to be able to do what I love. I do know I am going to stay away from the airlines for the short term at least. I've always been attracted to the "odd ball" jobs in aviation, like being a Jump Pilot and Air Attack, all the non mainstream forms of flying. Some would say the "skill gigs". Really though, I just want to make sure I'm always having fun and continue to love flying.

What is your advice to younger pilots? 

My advice to younger newer pilots is to keep a positive attitude towards flying. There are times where it can seem overwhelming, sometimes you may feel under appreciated. But the key is to maintain a positive outlook. Stick up for yourself but always remember why we do this, why we fly. When you get down and frustrated, take a deep breath, relax every muscle in your body and take a look outside your cockpit. Look and see how beautiful flying is. Remind yourself of why you love to fly. 

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