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Matt Durham
Name: Matt Durham
Company: ExpressJet (Continental Express)
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: Furloughed - Formerly EMB-120
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
I am currently furloughed from Express Jet Holdings, known as Continental Express, formerly a part of Continental Airlines. I was hired at the age of 22 and in May of 2001, at the age of 23, I began training. After the events of September 11th, and the subsequent reduction in flight schedules, I was furloughed. I was "on property" at "Express" for approximately 5 months, of which 3 months were spent on reserve and the other 2 in training. I began flying at the age of 14, and hold a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. My flight experience involves most light piston single and multi engine aircraft, as well the EMB-120 Brasilia, the Israeli Aircraft Westwind 1124, and the King Air 100 and 200 series aircraft. I have held the pilot positions of flight instructor, charter pilot, and airline pilot. Additionally, I am currently employed as a part-time corporate pilot and flight instruct occasionally to keep current in aviation until recalled to Express.

Favorite thing about flying:
My favorite part of flying is the respect that usually accompanies the profession of being a pilot as well as the ability to travel to different destinations.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
A major disadvantage is the instability of the airline industry as a whole, exemplified by the events of September 11th.

What you would have done different:
I would have acquired multiengine time at a greater pace so as to get hired at Express faster, thereby possibly having enough seniority to avoid being furloughed.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Aspiring pilots should understand that this industry is very volatile, yet persistence is rewarded and the advantages of the flying outweigh the disadvantages. Stay focused no matter what the hardships.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Some difficult problems that are attached to being a professional pilot include time away from friends and family and schedules that demand you to work untraditional hours. Additionally, the constant desire to continue to succeed can at times become out of focus, especially when things aren't going as planned.

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