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Craig Beaty
Name: Craig Beaty
Company: Air Wisconsin Airlines
Position: Captain
Current Aircraft: CRJ200
Age 50 years old
Country USA

Airline experience: yes
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: yes
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: no

Mentor profile:
Like most pilots, I wanted to fly since I gazed at them in the sky as a child. My sophomore year of high school I joined the local aeronautical chapter of the Boy Scout Explorers, sponsored by American Airlines in Tulsa, OK. My Father attended their ground school with me. Learning to fly was a romantic and challenging dream, which at that time turned out to be too daunting for a 15 year old like me. I took six exhilarating lessons in a Cessna C-150, and I decided I should wait a couple of years to finish. It was a good decision, and three years later at Oklahoma State University I earned my Private Pilot's License and have never looked back. I joined the aviation club, the Flying Aggies, and participated with the Flight Team in Air meets; I have many great memories with 'the Aggies'. At OSU I earned my Instrument and Commercial license as well, and graduated in December 1992. I wanted to make a career out of Engineering and fly for fun, since I had earned a four year degree after all. I had two great jobs which I enjoyed greatly, first at Flight Safety International, designing simulators, and then at a company call Aeromet, designing special mission aircraft modifications. I could have made a career in engineering but there was something missing: not enough days off, not enough windows, etc. It was not enough flying that was missing! In July '99 after much talk, thought and prayer my wife and I decided it was time for me to resign from my position with Aeromet and become a full time Flight Instructor. Six months later I got on with Great Lakes Airlines, flying in the Rockies out of Denver.

Favorite thing about flying:
Meeting and overcoming the the daily challenges it presents can be very satisfying, whether you do it for a job or for fun.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
Obviously, being away from your souse, family, and friends for extended periods of time is difficult. Everyone sacrifices a lot for you when you're a Pilot, yourself included. It is a high price to pay, but for most it is worth it. I've learned I need to make the most of my time at home, and that's something I aspire to perfect in the future.

What you would have done different:
I would have changed careers sooner and instructed for a longer period of time. I would have networked and persued other flying opportunities at my level of experience.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
If it's your dream, don't give up. If you can visualize it there's a good chance you can do it! It's VERY beneficial to network with people you know and meet to obtain flying and flying jobs, starting at even the Private Pilot level.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Three checkride failures (CFI, MEI, ATP), mainly stemming from lack of confidence and unpreparadeness on my part. Your Instructor may have confidence in you, but if you don't there's a good chance you're not really ready to pass the checkride. Training presents many challenges, one after another, and you may have to overcome the fear of failing.

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