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Brett Gaylord
Name: Brett Gaylord
Company: Continental Express
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: EMB-135/145
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'll keep this brief. I started flying in high school. I started when I was a sophomore but didn’t finish until I was a senior. After graduating I attended Embry-Riddle. I attended the Daytona Beach campus and completed some of my certificates at local FBO's. I finished the last of my ratings at ERAU and went on to graduate in 1997. After graduation I had not yet completed my CFI so I was unable to find employment flying. I worked for a ground handling company in Sanford, Fl working the ramp and eventually moved into the dispatch department for the next year or so. I finally finished my CFI and began instructing at the ERAU campus in Daytona. I did that for two years and was then hired by Continental Express in June of 2000. After training I was assigned to the ATR 42/72 to be based in Newark, NJ (EWR). I upgraded to Captain in July of 2001. Following the attacks of September 11th, and the furlough’s that followed, I was required to give up the ATR and my Captain seat and begin training on the EMB 135/145 as a First Officer. That brings us to my current assignment. I live in Deland, Fl and commute out of Orlando, Fl to my base in Newark.

Favorite thing about flying:
The equipment, the travel, the people. The aircraft are a blast and the people I work with are some of the finest I've met. I enjoy overnight in Halifax Canada on Monday and Savannah Georgia on Tuesday.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
I think obviously the worst part is the lack of real certainty. The industry is very unforgiving and most large companies take their employees for granted. There is considerable labor strife and things change without warning. This can leave you feeling as though you have no control over your professional life and can make planning your future difficult at times.

What you would have done different:
I would have gone into the military. This leaves you with a few more options if times become tough and gives you a better financial start. The civilian route can at times be a more expeditious way to an airline career, however the financial burdens are significant.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Keep with it, get informed, network, and have realistic expectations.
Problems encounterd along the way:
I think the biggest problem I have run into is coming up with the financing and then repaying those debts on the salary that is customary for entry level positions.

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