We sat down with Ravinder Dhiman who has completed his flight training at LIFT Academy and landed his career at Republic Airways. Read about his journey and how your career as a commercial airline pilot can takeoff at LIFT!
Question: Hi, Ravinder! Thank you for sitting down with me today. Before we takeoff, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate you on your recent graduation from the LIFT Academy Program and transition to First Officer at Republic Airways. You must be thrilled to be able to say, “I made it!” Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Ravinder: Thank you so much! I grew up in London, United Kingdom. About 10 years ago, I moved to the United States and lived in Chicago. Before coming to LIFT, I worked in the automotive industry as a Sales Consultant, and I was promoted to Sales Manager within two years. My free time is spent mentoring young kids about aviation at my local temple. I also volunteer as an Angel Flight Pilot where I transport patients in need of medical treatment.
Question: Tell us about what made you interested in aviation or a moment where you knew this is what you wanted to do!
Ravinder: I knew I wanted to be a pilot when I sat in the flight deck for the first time at only five years old. At the time, I was living with my grandparents in London, United Kingdom. My grandfather was an Air Force Pilot who flew the MiG. In his passion I found my own passion, which I still have today. I still remember the time when I was five and flew Pan Am from London to India and got to sit in the flick deck of the 747. Since that day, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be a pilot someday.
Question: What a special experience. I love that you share the moment of knowing that you wanted to be a pilot with your grandfather! I’m sure you have made him very proud. What made you decide to come to LIFT for your flight training?
Ravinder: I began my time at LIFT Academy in August of 2022. I chose LIFT for a number of reasons. For one, Indianapolis was not far from Chicago. The low cost of tuition that is subsidized by Republic Airways was a huge help for me financially. I appreciated the maintenance staff at LIFT Academy and the advanced flight deck in the aircraft. Most importantly, I loved the transition to Republic Airways once all the requirements were met.
Question: Wow! You flew through the program. What has your experience been like at LIFT?
Ravinder: I enjoyed going to LIFT every day. To me, it was my home away from home. Everyone from the front desk, chiefs, instructors, management, and admissions were like family. Everyone helped each other, and they all wanted you to succeed.
Question: Many have said the same—the culture at LIFT is special and something that has been created because of the wonderful people here. Do you have a favorite part about the program?
Ravinder: I have so many favorites! From day one, you are trained to be a Republic pilot, and I enjoyed the pilot-in-command authority that is taught. My favorite part about the program is reaching 1,500 flight hours and having a class date at Republic Airways waiting for you.
Question: To conclude our conversation, I want to ask you what I ask everyone at the end of our time together! What advice would you give someone considering a career in aviation?
Ravinder: My advice is simple. Stay humble, never stop learning, follow your dream, work hard and give back.
If you’re ready to take off at LIFT Academy and land at Republic Airways, apply today!