On Friday, March 9, Piedmont Airlines hosted its first Flightline pilot recruitment event at the Carolina Aviation Museum in Charlotte, N.C. Fifty student pilots age 14 and up were invited from all over the U.S. to participate in a fun and informative day to learn more about the industry and career opportunities with Piedmont.
“Flightline is a new program that we are using to reach out to young pilots that we have met in the last year,” said Benjamin Hardy, Piedmont pilot recruiter. “We want to show them that when we say we invest in our future pilots, we mean it. Our goal with this Flightline event was to reintroduce everyone to Piedmont and continue to build on those relationships. We want pilots to know that we are here with them in every step in the process and are dedicated to developing future pilots whether they have zero or 1,500 hours. When a pilot starts their career at Piedmont, they have a defined career path to American Airlines.”
At the event, young pilots learned about the company and where the industry is going from Piedmont CEO Lyle Hogg followed by a question and answer session. They were also able to tour the Carolina’s Aviation Museum, experience getting into a life raft and view the A320 Airbus from Flight 1549 that landed in the Hudson River. Aviators were treated to a visit from a passenger on Flight 1549 who gladly answered their questions.
“If you’re a few years away from starting a flight school, talk to pilot recruiters at these events; it is important to start making connections as soon as you can,” said Trevor Simoneau, fourteen-year-old pilot. “It was a lot of fun interviewing Piedmont’s CEO, getting into a life raft and it was amazing to hear the story from the Flight 1549 survivor.” Another pilot, Ryan Johnson said, “The Piedmont recruiter that I have worked with engages with me regularly, has helped me attend flight school in Dallas and has offered me a lot of opportunities that I am taking advantage of; I want to make him and Piedmont proud.”
Pilots experienced the Wright Brothers’ flying simulator and heard from three Piedmont first officers about their personal experience in becoming pilots. “I like sharing my passion for aviation and inspiring them to take a similar path,” said Piedmont first officer Jason Powell. “There is quite a lag time from when you begin flight school at zero hours to obtaining your 1,500-hour requirement to fly so investing in potential pilots long-term is a good plan for future growth.”
Piedmont recruiters shared important information on ways to fund flight school with scholarships. David Pettet, President of the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA), of which Piedmont is a diamond-level sponsor, also spoke about his aviation experience and the NGPA scholarship opportunity.
“Today was a great opportunity for young aviators to become more familiar with the industry and to renew that spirit and drive to keep them moving forward,” said Hardy.
Student pilots who are interesting in attending a future Flightline event can email PDT.ContactUs@aa.com for information.