The week spent with Procter & Gamble was a once-in-a- lifetime experience. To be a part of a multi-billion dollar corporation and to continuously help in fostering its development is a pride only a few can claim. Corporate Aviation isn’t just flying around the world in airplanes, it involves so much more and encompasses many highly skilled and knowledgeable people who all work together to touch and improve the lives of their consumers. This opportunity gave me a platform to educate myself on Corporate Aviation and learn about a company and operation that I hardly knew about. After coming from an internship with American Airlines I was able to compare the two types of operations side by side and they actually fall at the end the spectra, with quite a lot of differences.
The program started out with the other intern, Michael and I going to a Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres ball game, accompanied by the Chief Pilot Global Flight Operations P&G, Captain Skip Margraf and Program Coordinator, Captain Dave Brown. It was a great experience and the Reds dominated with 7 home runs. It gave us an opportunity to relax and become comfortable with Cincinnati life before we began our sessions at the Hangar.
The next day started early as we headed to the Global Flight Operations (GFO) for a tour of the Hangar with Mike Pecore. It was quite a thrill and the operations there are quite extensive with highly technlogized systems, techniques and equipment. I was highly impressed by the systems and state-of-the-art equipment that GFO employs at their Hangar. Later that day we spent time learning about the aircraft and their avionics. We went through the checklist of the G-4 and G-550. This gave us the ability to learn where the buttons are and we got to program the FMC of the G-4. The procedures were a little different from the airlines but still encompassed the same things. Things I have never seen before were the FLIR- Forward Looking Infer-Red, SVS- Synthetic Vision System and very highly technologically advanced airplanes. The late afternoons and evenings of every day were allotted for us to explore Cincinnati and it is a beautiful city.
Monday morning led us to the General Operations Building (GO). It was a complex and huge group of building with a labyrinth below the surface. We got a tour of GO, which was impressive. P&G savors innovation and progression and it was quite obvious during the tour. Later that day after the tour we met with Skip Margraf, Chief Pilot, and Steve Ripley, Director GFO. Through these interactions I was able to get a better insight into GFO and how it helps P&G surge forward and foray into being the top brand company in the world. In the afternoon, we got to assist in the trip planning for the following day. We were actually going to be on the flight in the jump seat observing.
The next day was one of the highlights of the internship. I got to fly in the jump seat of the G-4 from KLUK- KILG and it was fun to see the operations and professionalism of the crew. We were taking the CTO and a few others to meeting in ILG. During the flight we chatted about Pilot Duties and Responsibilities, had lunch and then on the way back I sat in the cabin and chatted with Bruce Brown, Chief Technology Office P&G.
Wednesday brought a new day with more exciting things to do. We attended the Weekly Hangar Meeting and then chatted with John Hampton, Scheduling Manager. We got an insight as to how scheduling operates and how they have to manage their resources along with the needs of the company. New things that I learned were FOS, Rockwell-Collins flight plan program and the statistics that were generated. We then spent some time with Dennis Daley, Aircraft Maintenance Department Manager and Dave Melk, Chief Inspector/ Aviation Materials Manager. Maintenance was so much fun and quite a learning experience but it is a lot of work to fathom, along with all the paperwork and record keeping. Discussion topics were the repair station, inspection authorization, training, Cabin Safety Attendants, technician requirements and RVSM requirements. In the afternoon we met with Diane Wingate, Financial Coordinator, who gave us a brief overview of the budget, assets, expenses, purchase orders and a budget analysis.
The following day was really fun, as we started out chatting with Captain Gary Hebbard from the Pilot Training Department. It was a great opportunity to pick his brain and see how training is done and the difference from that to the airlines since I had just come from AA. We talked about the evolved training needs with company development, different training due to pilot qualifications, duties and responsibilities, training flights and special emphasis areas such as breaking, landing, CRM, flight practices and techniques- callouts, taxiing, windshear recovery, mach technique climb, single-engine operations and cockpit communication. I was thoroughly impressed and wished we had more time with him as all that we talked about was of a lot of interest to me. After meeting with Gary, we spent a few hours with Captain Ken Robinson learning about international flight planning and procedures. We planned from KLUK-KLBG and then South America Operations. I learned things that I wouldn’t have in class due to the nature of their flying and the decisions that needs to be made as per Part 91 Operations. It was a great learning experience.
Later that day, we hung out with Todd Hillsgrove, Assistant Chief Pilot and Safety Officer. We discussed the development of the Safety Program at GFO, ARG/US- PRISM, Safety Management Systems (SMS), safety training elements, reports and risk management and the AAI- Go Team. Having a little background in safety made this portion interesting to me as well. Todd is a wealth of knowledge and a great person. Concluding the day was a little chat with the present intern, Saul Meza. He gave us an insight into his projects and experiences at P&G. He enlightened us on life in Cincinnati and being involved in the company. It was definitely an eye opener and very informative. Later that night Michael and I were very fortunate to go the Western & Southern Open Tennis Tournament. We got to see the match between Roger Federer and James Blake and I never thought I would be about 30 feet away from these two world top players. We also got front row seating to watch the Janckovic and Schiavone match and was about 10 feet away from the players. It was amazing!
Friday was the last day and I was a little sad that the experience was coming to an end. We just rapped up, did evaluations and then spoke with Captain Dave Brown about the road to Corporate Aviation. There are many turns and diversions in the life of a pilot and you never know where it may take you and what the outcomes may be but you know that you want to fly. The presentation showed us what we need to achieve and the goals we need to set to get into this industry. This week has been a great one that has helped me to figure out where I want to go and do with my life. Who knows, I may end up at P&G or the airlines but I am now more informed as to what both sections has to offer and what I can do to improve and progress the companies that I am involved in.
My summer has now come to an end and it was a great one. I have experienced, learned and seen so much. Thanks you all for reading the journal entries and seeing what the internships are like coming from an ERAU background.
Let’s go Eagles!