Careers Taking Off
Jet Linx is an awesome company for a private jet pilot to build his or her career, with opportunities for advancement not often seen at other companies.
Leonard Laws, a pilot at Jet Linx Dallas, is a prime example of a pilot who has grown his career with Jet Linx. He started flying in 1988, the summer after his freshman year of college, but didn’t make aviation his livelihood for 20 years. “Flying is a second career for me,” he explained. “I began flying occupationally in 2008.” Laws joined Jet Linx in 2013 as a Citation Bravo Pilot in Command. He advanced to the Citation Excel, which he flew until his most recent promotion, the Falcon 2000 EASy. “The rapid growth of our company was a key element in the series of opportunities for steps up in my career.” As Jet Linx continues to add Base locations and attract more aircraft owners, our pilots often have the opportunity to step up into a larger jet and learn the ins and outs of a new type rating.
Laws recalled the chain of events that led to his promotion into the Citation Excel. “When an opening was created by a retirement from our Gulfstream 200 crew, Dallas promoted a pilot in the Excel fleet to the G200, creating an opening for our current lead Bravo Captain to advance to the Excel. I transitioned into the role of lead on my assigned aircraft,” he said. At the same time, Laws took on additional duties and every chance to support his team at Jet Linx Dallas and other Bases across the country. “The opportunity to contribute in a supporting role as the Assistant Chief Pilot in the Dallas base was connected to an aircraft acquisition. Not long after this, another aircraft addition created a need for a check airman in the type I was flying.”
Graham Williams, another Jet Linx Dallas pilot, received a recent promotion as well. “I began at Jet Linx in 2011 flying a Citation Bravo, was promoted to the Citation Excel in 2014 and was recently promoted to the Falcon 2000,” Williams explained. Williams and Laws flew together on the Citation Bravo and the Excel. “When I first began working with Jet Linx it was still a relatively small company,” Williams remembered. “It has been a great pleasure being part of the team to help grow the company by providing exceptional service and professionalism.”
The opportunity to learn a new type rating is exciting for Laws. “When so many capabilities are improved, learning about a new aircraft type is an exhilarating experience,” he said. Laws enjoys learning in other ways as well. “New destinations and international flying stand out. Or a new, more capable avionics suite.” Other amenities are welcome as well. “I also have to say, upgraded coffee equipment is a big deal,” Laws laughed.
Jet Linx’s unique model in the aviation industry allows pilots more opportunities to learn new types and earn promotions, said Tom Fredrickson, Jet Linx Aviation Vice President of Human Resources. “Because we don’t limit our owners to one type of aircraft, our pilots have the chance to receive type ratings in different aircraft,” he said. “We are also looking into dual type ratings: if you are typed on one aircraft, we’ll fund your training for a second type training so we can have full pilot coverage.”
Jamie Walker, Jet Linx Aviation President and CEO, points to career advancement as an important part of company culture for crew members. “Our pilot team members are at the forefront of our great service,” he said. “We are proud to provide a culture that allows pilots to advance for long and satisfying careers at Jet Linx.”
Fredrickson points to Jet Linx’s core values as a reason for the company to advance team members from within. “Everything we do at Jet Linx is informed by our core values. If it doesn’t fit, we don’t do it,” he explained. “The folks that have been able to upgrade and advance exemplify those values.” The Jet Linx core values don’t exist in a vacuum: they’re practiced every day, and affect the entire team. “The quality of people at Jet Linx and their values have produced an original culture. To be a part of that is truly enjoyable,” Laws noted.
Williams and Laws recalled several of their favorite moments in aviation. “Some of the best experiences were surprises,” Laws said. Williams related a favorite memory the two friends and copilots shared. “We were flying Lionel Ritchie and group during a small tour he was doing around Texas,” he reminisced. “We were delayed on the first night in San Antonio due to weather. While waiting for the weather to clear, Mr. Ritchie and his friends told us funny stories and even sang a little for us.”
The two also agree in their dedication to Jet Linx. “I I strive to be a very knowledgeable and safe pilot all while providing a positive customer experience – Supplying the High,” said Williams, referencing Jet Linx’s mantra. “My short term goal is to put the new knowledge to use to be the best SIC I am capable of being,” Laws said. “With such a big step, that will take time, and there is a refreshing novelty to that. I’m still amazed and humbled by this opportunity.
“Starting with my dad who taught me to fly, I have been blessed with an outstanding series of aviation mentors. I’m still learning. My goal is to have the opportunity to someday give back at that same level,” Laws said.