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As a pilot, how did you take advantage of your downtime while Covid-19 stopped flight ops? Caught up with training? New ratings?

Had plenty of training, including enhancement courses – vet, select, new SMS, scheduling and fueling software – as well as streamlining processes, leveraging new technologies, and preparing RFPs for fleet replacement. And the list goes on.

Greg Woods
ATP. Gulfstream G650ER
Senior Dir Corporate Aviation
Carlsbad CA

Our flight operations changed a little during Covid-19. Initially, from March through June, we dispatched from home. We came into the office only when a flight was scheduled. We conducted the flight, debriefed, and went home. After June, we returned to regular office hours. No mask or social distance were required unless a customer requested such. Some of our staff members came down with Covid-19, but fortunately there were no serious cases.

Todd Shoup
ATP/CFI. HondaJet, Daher TBM 900 & Piper M600/M500
Senior Pilot
Muncie Aviation Co
Muncie IN

During our downtime, I studied and completed my FOI (Fundamentals of Instructing) exam, hoping to add AGI/IGI (Advanced Ground Instructor/Instrument Ground Instructor) to my résumé. I work in the training department already, so it feels appropriate to have them.

Maxwell Maroney
Comm-Multi-Inst. Pilatus PC-12
Dir of Training
Tradewing Aviation
Danbury CT

I had no downtime. 2020 was my busiest year ever with over 600 flight hrs in Part 91 & 135. However, I did obtain a type rating in the Citation 500 series. I may have to retire to get downtime!

Daniel Sauer
ATP/CFII. Citation V/II & Conquest II
Contract Pilot
Northern Lakes Flying
Land O’Lakes WI

Flight operations slowed a bit the first 2 months of the stay-at-home recommendation, then they picked back up to a near-normal flight schedule for the rest of the year. We’re as busy as ever now. I also did our annual recurrent training in the Citation CJ4 in May 2020 at FlightSafety Intl Orlando, and the same this past May. All of our businesses are essential.

Dave Bassignani
ATP/CFII. Citation CJ4
Chief Pilot
Golden State Lumber
Petaluma CA

Being safety manager here at Chantilly Air, I spent a great deal of time researching Covid-19 and determining how best to keep our employees and clients safe without hindering our ability to operate. I also updated several manuals and policies, and worked on overhauling our SMS and ERP.

Conor Dancy
ATP. Challenger 300/Learjet 60
Safety & Standards Coordinator, Pilot
Chantilly Air
Manassas VA

We didn’t stop flying! We’re classified as an essential service to move government and police around the state of Queensland in Australia, so we actually became quite busy. We also had a medical support role supporting the states’ Organ Donation Program. Moving police became a big part of the job due to the closure of state borders. Police were required to man some very remote borders on the western side of the state.

John McGhie
ATP. Hawker 850 & King Air 350
Contract Pilot
Brisbane QLD, Australia

I advanced all the courses the company made available to me. I also started a program in a faculty of aeronautical sciences, and was able to take other courses on human factors outside the company. I think we should take advantage of all the time that we are not flying and dedicate ourselves to studies.

Fabio Uchoa
ATP. Boeing 737-900
Fortaleza CE, Brazil

Our operations slowed down. However, we adapted to the situation and continued our training with relatively few changes while following health protocols.

Francisco Gonzalez
ATP. Citation Sovereign & Falcon 2000EX EASy
Chief Pilot
Transportación Aérea del Norte
San Pedro Garza García NL, Mexico

Experienced an increase in our flying operations. We were actually fairly busy, so I didn’t have a lot of downtime. However, the times when we were slow gave me a chance to contemplate how much I enjoyed the career. As a result, I spent several hours a day reviewing procedures and meteorology while we were not flying.

Mark Williams
ATP/A&P. CFII. Phenom 300
NetJets Aviation
Fort Collins CO

I was fortunate! Even though we slowed way down flying trips, we kept our jobs. By September, our pay had been reduced by more than 10%, but we were kept on board thanks to PPP money. Still, I attended recurrent training as usual. Now I’m back to full salary and a busy schedule!

Thomas Kerr
ATP. Falcon 900EX/50EX
Fort Worth Aviation Mgmt
Fort Worth TX

Used the time to be with my family and stay abreast of industry developments. I was lucky enough not to lose my job. I also had ample time to keep up with ongoing online training requirements. Our sim schedule stayed the same despite Covid-19.

Thomas Rutherford
ATP. Gulfstream G650
PhenixJet International
Hagatna, Guam

Took advantage of the downtime and did my CFI renewal course. I also participated in several webinars, accomplished my own flight review, and gave flight reviews to about 10 pilots. I did a lot of recurrent training as I instruct in many different aircraft. Our corporate aircraft flew less, but we never totally stopped. I didn’t really have a lot of downtime.

Glenn Michael
ATP/CFII. King Air 100, Sabreliner 80SC & Beech Duke
Aviation Mgr
Merrimack NH

I fly a news helicopter for ACA. Fortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has not affected our operations.

Charles Atchison
ATP/Helo/CFII. Airbus AS350/Soloy SD2
Line Pilot
Angel City Air
Mansfield MA

No downtime per se for us. We still did some flying. However, it’s slower than pre-pandemic. We were not able to do training, since we do our training outside the Philippines. Once the pilots are vaccinated, we will schedule sim training this year. We still operate the same type of aircraft, so no new ratings.

Wilfredo Rebibis
ATP. King Air 300, Bell 429, & Leonardo AW139
Flight Ops Officer
Pacific Global One Aviation Co
Paranaque, Philippines

Our company business exploded. Flight hours have increased by approximately 200% since March 1, 2020, and we’ve hired several new pilots to keep up with demand.

Mark Ryan
ATP/Helo. Beechjet 400 & King Air 200
Dir of Training
Exec 1 Aviation
Ankeny IA

Caught up with my King Air C90A training. It was a recurrent training, 20 hrs in FFS and 5 hrs in the actual aircraft. It was a much-needed exercise, and I’m grateful for having completed the training.

Sudhir Kidyur
ATP. King Air C90A
Safety Inspector
Transport Canada
Ottawa ON, Canada

Got proficient and took the single-engine ATP check ride. It’s limited in its use, but it kept me occupied and sharpened my IFR skills, as the test aircraft had no autopilot.

Ben Jastram
ATP. King Air 200 & Cessna 182 Skylane
Air-Med Services
Lafayette LA

There wasn’t much downtime for me. I continued to fly throughout 2020 and actually flew more last year than any previous year.

Travis Rader
ATP. Beechjet 400
Wheels Up Private Jets
Niles MI

Updated our ops manual and SOPs. I also finished some office work that was late, and added a new type rating to my pilot license during sim recurrent training.

Felipe Abrahão
ATP. Falcon 7X & Gulfstream G650
PAIC Participações
São Paulo SP, Brazil

We really didn’t slow down in our flight operations that much. In addition to flying, I do other jobs in the office, so we stayed busy.

Douglas Osborn
ATP. King Air 350 & Pilatus PC-12
State of Wisconsin DOA
Madison WI

Our operations continued basically as before. We had some more flights due to the transportation of Covid-19-positive people back to shore.

Madeleine Grimhall
Helo. Sikorsky S-92
Bristow Norway
Stavanger, Norway

Had a chance to catch up on things I didn’t have time to do previously, such as records, aircraft touch-up, and minor repairs.

Bruce Rainwater
ATP. King Air 200
Houston Sigma
Richmond TX

I had no downtime. I’m in a public safety aviation division, and our workload increased during these difficult times.

Bryan Smith
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/CFII. Cessna Grand Caravan & Airbus AS350/H125
Chief Pilot
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Oldsmar FL

No downtime for us. We actually flew more hours over the past 12 months than we did the previous year.

Clayton Budahn
ATP. Citation CJ4
Chief Pilot
McNeilus Steel
Dodge Center MN

As a cargo pilot, I had no downtime. I was probably busier than usual. Fortunately, there was no change for me.

Ralph Oxbrow
ATP. Boeing 737-800/400/300
West Atlantic Cargo Airlines
Seaford, United Kingdom

We were deemed an essential service company, so, if anything, we’ve been busier during Covid-19 times. I was also able to do multiple seminars online.

Dan Miller
ATP. King Air 350
Kelley Trucking
Golden CO