The sky is calling pilots – both present and future – to experience flight. At Textron Aviation, not only are employees designing and delivering aircraft to pilots around the globe, but they are in the skies piloting the legendary Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft as a part of the Textron Aviation Employees' Flying Club.
Roy Aycock, manager of the flying club and chief flight instructor for the club, said employees show pride in the product they manufacture by getting in the cockpit. "There's a lot of pride in flying iconic planes like the Cessna Skyhawk, or another staple in aviation, the Beechcraft Bonanza," said Aycock
The flying club is where employees experience that passion for flying.Dave Swanson, member of the Textron Aviation Employees' Flying Club
The iconic Cessna and Beechcraft flying clubs, known as two of the world's oldest, became the Textron Aviation Employees' flying club when the companies merged in 2014. Employees and their families have access to the club to learn how to fly, complete additional ratings and certifications, and rent planes for travel and recreation at a significantly reduced cost.
“Giving employees the opportunity to fly what we build helps Textron Aviation be a leader in the industry,” said Dave Swanson, club member and Senior Analyst in Sales and Marketing. “The flying club is where employees experience that passion for flying.”
Flying club members said that while learning to fly is a worthwhile experience alone, spending time in the cockpit makes them knowledgeable about the products.
“As an employee, knowing how to fly helps us design better products and relate to customers,” said Daniel Lyon, club member and Vice President of Aftermarket Sales. “Understanding the aircraft that we design and service every day reminds us of how important it is that we do a good job.”
Lindsay Ulfig, who works on the piston sales team with the Cessna Pilot Center Network, interacts with flight schools across the United States and internationally. Working with people learning to fly, Ulfig said flying helps her connect with customers.
Ulfig is currently working on the mountain flying course within the club. “It’s a really neat opportunity to explore something different, to challenge and develop your skills,” said Ulfig. Once she passes, she can use the club planes to visit her family in Colorado.
In agreement, Aycock said that being a member of the club has enabled him to experience his passion with his family and helped him professionally.
“My kids grew up in the back seat of one of these airplanes on family vacations from up to Yellowstone to down the Gulf,” said Aycock. “You can take it seriously to motivate yourself for your career, or you can just have fun and let your family have fun with it as well.”
The aviation experience looks and feels different for each person. Whether it’s a private pilot, servicing travelers around the globe, or someone who wants to see the landscape from above in a Cessna Skyhawk, the sky calls in unique ways.
“Sometimes I look up and see a small airplane, and I see myself flying it,” said Gonzalo Mendoza, club member and Director of Engineering. “It’s a feeling of pride.”
Interested in the Textron Aviation employees’ flying club? Check out Textron Aviation careers.