LIFT Academy opened in 2018, blazing a trail for aspiring pilots to land their careers as Republic Airways pilots after completing their flight training at LIFT. The inaugural class at LIFT took off in September 2018, fueled by their unwavering determination, aspirations and an eagerness to transform their dreams into a reality. Evan Millan moved to Indianapolis, IN in 2015 to work in the SOC at Republic Airways. After moving from the SOC to Crew Scheduling to Dispatch, Evan discovered a new interest in flying the plane. Evan was part of the inaugural class at LIFT and today flies as a Republic Airways Captain.
Question: Hi, Evan! It is a pleasure to talk with you and learn more about your incredible aviation journey that started right here at Republic. Before we take off, will you share a little bit about yourself?
Evan: My name is Evan Millan. I have been with Republic since June of 2015 at which time I moved to Indianapolis to work in the SOC. After moving from the SOC to Scheduling to Dispatch, I was excited to begin my time at LIFT Academy in the fall of 2018. I am now married and live in Whitestown, IN with my wife Erica and cat Plop.
Question: Sounds like you have made Indianapolis your permanent home! Tell us, what made you interested in a career in aviation? It seems like you caught the aviation bug and never looked back.
Evan: When I was a child, my Boy Scout leader worked as an Air Traffic Controller. A field trip to Willard Airport (CMI) was my first opportunity to see an airplane up close. Aside from one trip when I was two years old, I did not fly on a commercial plane until I worked at Republic. So, a major reason I wanted to work for an airline was the opportunity to travel.
Question: When you decided to begin flight training to become a pilot, was LIFT the obvious choice?
Evan: The main attractions were the school’s location near my home and the program’s cost. I was also offered the employee sponsorship which cut the cost of the program in half for me, an offer I simply couldn’t pass up.
Question: As you worked hard to earn your ratings and then went on to be a Certified Flight Instructor at LIFT, what was the culture like at LIFT and how did it impact your experience?
Evan: A few words I would use to describe the typical LIFT student or instructor are; eager, excited, and focused. There was always a like-minded person in the hangar to talk shop with or just hang out with. It must have been a friendly culture because an immense number of friendships began there.
Question: I think that really is a true testament to what LIFT is like on the inside. Do you have a favorite part about the program?
Evan: I really enjoyed flying Diamond airplanes both as a student and instructor. They are easy to fly with brand new avionics and good handling.
Question: What about a favorite memory or experience that has stayed with you?
Evan: Every now and then, someone who I evaluated at LIFT is flying as my First Officer at Republic. Admittedly, they remember the event better than I do, but it is really cool to get to see them flying a jet when I got to see them early in their flying career as well.
Question: I have no doubt those moments fill you with pride! Fast forward to the next leg of your journey after LIFT. To give us a timestamp of your journey, will you share when you became a First Officer at Republic and when you upgraded to the left seat?
Evan: I was in the first class after COVID-19 in June 2021. I upgraded in January 2023, at my minimum time allowed. I was very fortunate to secure a spot in IND on the upgrade award.
Question: So tell us, and I’m sure many who are on their journey to Republic would be curious to know, what is it like being a Republic pilot? Do you have a favorite part?
Evan: Being a pilot is great! My favorite part is probably the people, especially at the conclusion of a flight. I find it interesting every time a flight ends to stand at the door and say goodbye. We fly so many interesting people with unique stories whether they be celebrities or just ordinary people on their way to do something exciting. I also use the flight benefits as often as possible.
Question: Republic flight privileges truly allow for endless opportunities to get out and see the world! Throughout your flight path, what are you most proud of in your career so far? What are you looking forward to?
Evan: Upgrading to Captain has been the pinnacle of my career so far. I look forward to flying to new places and hope I can fly my family somewhere cool in 2024!
Question: To conclude our time together, I would love to ask what you would tell someone considering a career in aviation?
Evan: Get out and do it. Head to your local airport and schedule a flight with an instructor to get some hands-on experience. You can solo pilot an airplane at the age of 16, and you can earn your private pilot’s license at 17, so there is no time to waste. Or if you are like me and looking for a career change, it is an excellent time to enter the industry as a pilot.
Whether you’re just starting your career or looking for a change in your career and are interested in becoming a pilot, LIFT is your gateway to reaching new heights. Apply today!