LIFT Academy and Cape Air recently announced their strategic workforce development relationship – offering LIFT students valuable experience as pilot in command (PIC) and an additional option for time building before they flow to Republic Airways as First Officer. Traditional barriers to flight training and airline careers include cost and accessibility, and this workforce development relationship aims to remove those barriers for its participants. It also creates a defined pathway for career progression, making aviation an attractive opportunity for those who may not have believed it to be possible before.
Cape Air’s mantra is MOCHA HAGoTDI – Make our Customers Happy and Have a Good Time Doing It, and when a few LIFT students and staff made the trip out to Cape Air’s headquarters in Hyannis, MA – they saw just that, an extension of the feelings they’d had at LIFT – the organization feels like family. Abi Anderson, a former flight attendant, was one of the LIFT students who had the opportunity to see Cape Air for herself. Let’s hear from her on why she’s ready to fly for Cape Air.
How has your training prepared you for that next step?
Abi – I was watching the pilots, looking at every step of their process on the flight to Hyannis and thought to myself, “Hey that’s what we do, that’s what we do, that’s what we do.” A lot of their procedures and checklists are things that we are already doing. I think it is really cool to see how we’re basically already training for this job and for this career and you can actually see it in action here at Cape Air.
What does it feel like being less than 200 hours away from coming to Cape Air?
Abi – Getting this close, seeing it and seeing that it can be a reality and that the dream is right in front of you is an amazing feeling.
What did you think of the Tecnam plane that Cape Air flies?
Abi – That’s a sweet airplane. The flight here was actually the second time I’ve ever been in a high wing airplane. There is something very special about that plane, especially with that nice G1000 right in front of you, just like what we have in our LIFT Diamonds. I like being able to see the entire landscape as you’re flying. I have never been in an airplane bigger than a DA-40 and smaller than a jet.
What makes you most excited about becoming an airline pilot now that you have realized that’s your dream in aviation?
Abi – I am going to be combining my passion for traveling and being a pilot, living my dream as my job. I get to be paid to do what I love – that’s my career.
How will this opportunity with Cape Air help you reach your career goals?
Abi – I think this is such a good opportunity. You start flying because you want to be an airline pilot – at least with LIFT. That is your whole goal, you’re going to be at the airline, and getting to do that at lower flight hours and having the opportunity to use all the skills that you’ve been training with is unbeatable to me.
Is there any specific lesson you learned at LIFT that you think you will use while at Cape Air?
Abi – Every hour in the airplane is an experience and lesson that you’re going to use in the rest of your career.
Any advice that you’ve received from pilots you’ve known that has helped you get to where you are today?
Abi – If you know you want to fly, just go do it. Get out there. Find a way to do it, because there’s always going to be a way. It’s going to be tough. You have to persevere through a lot of studying and pain and hardship and a few failures. You learn from your failures and become better and keep going. You just have to keep going.
What has been your experience been at LIFT, being able to lean on your peers to reach that next step?
Abi – I feel really lucky. When I came to LIFT, I came in with classmates that I didn’t know is going to be my family. Especially coming to LIFT from an entirely different state, I came there with no friends and I didn’t know anybody. Then you are all of a sudden thrown into this group of people who are all passionate about the same thing. No matter what, you all have that same love for aviation. You can’t help but become close, and you all encourage each other, help each other, get each other through all of these tough check rides and maybe some lesson failures or check ride failures. But at the end of the day, you know you are going to have other pilots that are feeling the exact same as you are. That is unbeatable.
What interests you in coming to fly for Cape Air?
Abi – What stuck out the more to me about Cape Air is that you immediately sense that family feeling as soon as you walk in the door.
Does Cape Air’s Mantra – Make our Customers Happy and Have a Good Time Doing It resonate with you?
Abi – Absolutely. We are flying because we love it and to pass that on to our customers who are passengers who maybe know nothing about flying or who don’t like flying – but to maybe pass on that love for flying – that is awesome to keep promoting that within your company.