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Dan Fregin
Name: Dan Fregin
Company: Tri Counties Bank
Position: Captain
Current Aircraft: Beech KingAir C90B
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
I am working on my autobiography, but here are a few topics that may be interesting: -first look inside was a C-47 at about age 5, and it scared me. -first plastic model at age 7, a $.50 B-52 (1956 dollars). Many more over the years. -first plane ride in a J-3 as reward for joining Civil Air Patrol Cadets in high school. -Joined US Air Force soon after high school, since it seemed to have more to do with airplanes than any other career option at the time. -used G.I, bill to get as many ratings as possible, while still in the USAF, and working line service on days off. -picked up contracts from operator that went bankrupt, and with various ups and down, got to as many as 8 planes, car rentals, maintenance shop, restaurant, before burning out the first time. -heard about someone needing a co-pilot on a Lear 24; lasted 8 years. -heard about a KingAir that might need a pilot if the plane fit the mission after a trial phase.

Favorite thing about flying:
The flying. (And the people- 99.9%- who either fly or use airplanes productively; I believe mainly because these people have to have a bit more on the ball to handle situations wherein you cannot just back off and re-assess a situation. They understand that they have to stay ahead of the game to avoid running out of fuel, resources, and/or options.)
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
Getting past the initial entry into the game, unless you know someone. The pay is not what it could be because "everybody wants the fun job" until you prove that you are in it for real. Then you can get some of the cool things like neat stopovers, compensation packages, good equipment, etc.

What you would have done different:
Nothing; I had fun, some might say too much fun. But if I had wanted to do it faster, I would have asked more questions, taken more academics had they been available and accessible, and be flying bigger equipment. But then maybe I would have to put up with a co-pilot, so I'm happy.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Keep your ears and options open, like not getting tied down with family matters until you have some corporate experience. Enjoy everyone you meet as much as practical because, as an example: I did several BFRs for a pilot who had an older V-tail, and some rainy Saturday mornings would play Liar's Dice with the airport bums, and he mentioned something about a job opening that may come up and told me who to see, and I got the job, but I found out after I started that HE was chairman of the board, so you never know, you know?
Problems encounterd along the way:
So much has changed since I worked through it that I would have to say, "Do some research, have someone introduce you to a number of flight department heads who will point out some of the pitfalls to avoid and what directions to turn, since operating as a single pilot with a small company and one plane is different than single pilot at a large company with a multi-plane fleet, and different than operating with multiple crews. So if taking what comes suits you, learn as much as possible, but if only one type of operation appeals to you, focus on it, hard." Also, sorting out all the information might be a challenge, but if you continue to let a mentor know that you have questions, and are able to build a base of knowledge from the guidance received, your name will come up around the hangar.

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