Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Caravan Pilots - Featured Pilot of the Month - Kathleen from SkyLink Express

This is the first in a series titled "Featured Caravan Pilot". It will start out here on the Caravan Pilots blog and will eventually move over to my site CaravanPilot.com after it has been relaunched. 

Meet Kathleen, our very first Featured Caravan Pilot! She is the only female and the youngest out of 40 pilots that her company employs.



Name: Kathleen
Age: 22
Total Time: 1500 hrs
Company: SkyLink Express (Canada's largest cargo feeder airline!)
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Years flying the Caravan: 2 years this fall

What do you like most about flying the Caravan? 

The list of what I like most about the Caravan is lengthy as I've spent the majority of my professional life flying it. As a young pilot who began flying the 208 with relatively low time, I couldn't have chose a more forgiving aircraft to learn on. The Cessna Caravan is incredibly capable and unbelievably versatile. For me, learning IFR, SOPs & turbine theory was a steep learning curve. 

The C208 has been an excellent starter aircraft for many reasons! In learning all of these areas, the 208 was fast enough to challenge my abilities yet slow enough to teach me the basic skillset that I'll carry with me throughout my career. I learned everything from hand-flying an NDB approach to power and system management in challenging (and sometimes slightly scary) icing conditions. 

Along with the learning curve, I can honestly say that I doubt I'll ever have as much fun flying another airplane as I have with the Van. It handles well, it responds to pilot inputs very well, and has wildly impressive performance numbers (when it comes to takeoff and landing distances). I'm proud to call the Scare-a-Van "My First Turbine".



What are your goals? 

Throughout my career, I hope to spend some time in various capacities of the industry, including MEDIVAC operations, Corporate (Jet) flying, and eventually either large passenger airlines or large cargo operations.

What is your advice for younger pilots? 

Advice I could give to younger pilots is limited, in that I'm fairly young myself (or so I've been told). What I'd pass along to future hopefuls, is to seize (and make) every opportunity possible. Talk to pilots you meet, explore different aircraft, network as best you can, and NEVER burn bridges; the industry is FAR too small to make enemies. Keep your nose to the grind, and see every flight as a learning experience. Pilots log hours, aviators log lessons.

Thank you Kathleen for your great answers and advice! If anyone knows of a Caravan Pilot that you feel should be spotlighted send me an email chris@caravanpilot.com