August 08, 2011

The last two weeks at the American Airlines Internship was fun, but at the same time somewhat saddening as I would be no longer working as an Intern there. What the future may entail would be my walking down those halls again as a pilot for AA. I can’t wait for that to become a reality. Working at the JFK Flight Office was quite an experience and I could not have asked for a better Internship. I did and saw so much that many pilots around the world may never have the opportunity to see or do and I consider it quite a privilege.

The experience was worth the while and I thoroughly had an amazing summer. I met so many people, created so many friendships and networks and got quite a lot of advice from chatting with hundreds of pilots on a daily basis. I would encourage anyone who wants to do an internship to apply for AA! You will be surprised at what you may learn and how it would create the path for your future. Just drop by Career Services and any one of the advisors would be willing to help and advise you.

The second to last week I spent a few hours up in the Ramp Control Tower directing some flights and chatting about the upcoming arrivals of AA’s new aircraft. It was a good time and I saw some ‘emergencies’ with getting aircraft out of their gates with minimal delays. The picture to the left is the ramp control tower at JFK. Later that week I was fortunate to spend two half days at Ramp Services. Through this experience I got to drive around the AA Ramp with the Manager on Duty. We went to all the aircraft that were coming into and out of the gates, ensuring that they were being unloaded and loaded promptly, fueled efficiently and catered correctly. We looked at load management for the airplanes and I even got the opportunity to load cargo onto the 777 and 767. It was quite amazing at what goes on in the cargo area for those larger airplanes.

It is all automated and the process is quite easy. The crew chiefs taught me a few things about operating the loading machines and it was just a thrill. I also loaded a few bags onto the conveyor belt to go into the 737 forward cargo area. The picture to the right is from after I unloaded cargo out of the 767.

While I was on the ramp, I got the opportunity to drive the tow after pushing back an aircraft. That was so much fun! I am really going to miss this internship. The Ramp guys were so welcoming and gave me all the knowledge they could have. I couldn’t be more appreciative. During the week, I also got a tour of Baggage Services. What they do down there is quite amazing. Those conveyor belts form a labyrinth under the terminals and I was so shocked. The bags shoot down, over, under with so much speed like a roller coaster.

If you saw Toy Story 2 where Woody was lost in the conveyor belts, then that was a perfect representation of the system. At the ending of that week I headed to Dallas for a luncheon with the fellow interns. I was also able to receive an ARFF Tour at JFK. They have the most up-to-date technology there. Their fire trucks were state-of-the-art and quite new. The officers gave me a tour of their facility, explained their operation and allowed me to jump into their trucks and drive around a little. Thank you AA!

I returned to Dallas the following week for a DFW Tour and the closing luncheon for the Internship. The DFW Tour was fun and quite different from that at JKF and LGA. The operations side of things was more hectic as DFW is our major hub. We toured the Flight Offices, Ramp Control and drove around the Ramp. The picture to the right was from a preflight of a S80 at DFW.

The closing Luncheon was nice, as it was the one time where all the interns were able to be together. The night before a couple of us explored the city of Fort Worth. No better BBQ than in Texas! We had a delicious lunch and then the Vice President of Flight- Captain John Hale gave a heart-warming speech. My last two days were spent at the JFK Flight Office. On the final day I went to a presentation for Flight Services, where I saw booths comparing our products in the different cabins with other world-class carriers, and I must say that AA measures up quite well with the 5-Star carriers. We are a force to be reckoned with.

When I returned to the Flight Office I was surprised with a farewell party. It was in such a shock, as I wasn’t expecting anything of the sort. The LGA Flight Office closed down for the day and came over to spend time with me on my final day. I was surprised with a really nice lunch, cake, and lots of presents and heart-warming cards and words. I am so fortunate to have worked with such great people. The picture to the left was from my last day at the Flight Office and the one to the right are some of the amazing people of the JFK/LGA Flight Office.

I am at the LGA Airport headed to CVG right now writing this journal entry. I will keep you posted with one more entry next week about the Procter & Gamble Student Development Program. I am very fortunate for my time at AA. It was a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity. I would eventually like to fly for this airline because they really do embody all that I believe in, and AA is and will continue to be the American legacy.

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Ryan

About Ryan

Minor: Safety; Aviation Weather; Air Traffic Control; Dispatch Program
Employer: American Airlines; Proctor & Gamble
Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana
Career Goals: Work on Master of Science in Aeronautics while Flight Instructing, then enter the regional airlines to build some hours before entering the majors or corporate aviation. After retiring, return to ERAU as a professor in the Aeronautical Science Department.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I have always been passionate about flying since I was a child and always pursued that dream. As such I wanted to attend the best school for Aviation, that being Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I wanted to obtain the best education possible in the field as well as the most advanced and unsurpassable flight training; therefore I chose to attend ERAU.

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