A couple weeks ago Jeff Zoetter, the RA and leader of the flight deck (a pilot community in our dormitory) here at EKU set up a neat series called Tailspin Talks. It features an accomplished individual from aviation, and they come and talk to us about what they do. The first one featured Terri Donner, a UPS pilot from Louisville and active member of the ninety-nines. She was a great personality and told us all about the life of a UPS pilot. She started out flying nights in the Boeing 727, and once she got the chance to switch to daytime flying she was amazed at all of the sights. She carries an almanac of the sights she can see from the air, and had a smile like a child on her face talking about it.
She said something I actually did not know that I thought was fascinating. Since pilots can only fly 8 hours a day, on long intercontinental flights two flight crews are often on board and switch places. I always knew this applied to flight instructors but never connected that to airline flights.
She also went through her flight bag which was interesting. UPS went to iPads with digital charts for navigation, which I had figured they had done by now. However, I found it interesting that instead of paper backups, pilots carried mobile chargers just in case their iPads run out of power. She also went through all the options to fly that the UPS pilot had available to them, and she preferred to stay in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
The whole talk was very interesting and I learned cool things about a company that I grew up around and have even worked for. It’s very inspiring to hear from people such as Terri and to view what you will be doing in just a few years. It was a success, and I’m really looking forward to the next speaker.