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Seth Goldman
Name: Seth Goldman
Company: American Airlines
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: B-767 / B-757 / C-130E
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
My progression, from an interest in aviation to making a career as a pilot, took shape as I explored many different avenues to reach my final goal. I fell in love with everything about commercial aviation in my early teens, and determined that I would become a professional Pilot at age 17. This determination came when I drove to a local field, and signed up for an introductory flight. Thirty minutes and twenty-five dollars later, my mind was made up, flying was what I wanted to do for my livelihood. During my senior year in High School, I began lessons towards my private pilots license. Like many young aviators, I quickly ran out of money, and shifted focus to college. While attending university, 45 minutes from my hometown, I worked multiple jobs saving money for a return to flight instruction. I eventually earned my Private license from my local FBO, then took four months in Oklahoma attending a part 141 school, where I completed ratings through my CFII and MEI. I returned home to a job flight instructing where I taught basic and instrument flying. As I passed the 700-hour mark instructing, my life changed, when I met a 25-year-old American Airlines pilot. We talked for about half an hour, during which I jotted notes on a pad, detailing all of his suggestions for my career progression. I never spoke with him again, yet his mentoring for just 30 minutes pointed me in the direction I followed to accomplish my dream. The Air National Guard was presented to me, as the single best-kept secret in aviation! I got a copy of the Guard Almanac from the library, and began calling units surrounding my home, inquiring about flying slots. I was fortunate to be selected for a Pilot Training slot in my birth state, and spent about a year and a half completing the program that would take me from the T-37 to the T-38, and into the cockpit of a Lockheed C-130. The beauty of the program was that I acquired only a reserve commitment from Pilot training. While my peers in Pilot training were working off an eight or ten year commitment, I was free to pursue outside flying while doing as much military flying as I wanted. Four months out of Pilot Training (UPT), I was hired at Atlantic Coast Airlines dba United Express. Within eight months, I upgraded to Captain, and flew as much Multi-Engine Turboprop PIC as I could. At the same time, I flew military flights with my guard unit, and became active in the recruiting process at ACA. My third year at ACA found me directing the Intern Program, working in pilot recruiting, speaking at Air Inc., and other conferences, and becoming a check airman in my aircraft. At the conclusion of three years at ACA, I was interviewed and hired by American Airlines. At American I have flown as B-727 FE, B-727 FO, a six-month furlough, and currently as a B-767/757 FO. I am still very active in the Air National Guard. I enjoyed the recruiting work so much from ACA, that I have become the point of contact for all pilot recruiting and accusations at my Guard unit. Through completing these duties, working with several young pilots throughout the years, and sites like this, I feel I am best able to pay back the advice I received, which directly led to my ultimate success.

Favorite thing about flying:
Favorite Part of flying I bounce back and fourth between two parts of my career that I like best. First is the incredible schedule flexibility. I love the ability to enjoy multiple days off in a row, followed by relatively few days on the road. I can bid each month for a variety of different schedule types, and even have flexibility to determine which size aircraft and leg length of flying I do. As seniority builds, chooses grow. Equally amazing are the destinations I visit while at work. I never stop remarking how amazing it is to be paid to travel to Caribbean beaches and European cities!
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
Working in an industry that operates 365 days a year takes time to get used to for those people who have always considered holidays sacred. If you can adjust to celebrating when you are off, vs. when the calendar says to celebrate, you will do fine.

What you would have done different:
I wouldn't change a thing. I feel blessed to have been trained both through the civilian and military systems. Working both worlds has been great for me, but keep in mind most people are quicker learners then I, and only need to explore one of the routes
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Although the goal never changes, be prepared to change paths and courses to ultimately reach it. Flexibility and ingenuity are the keys.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Patience is probably the biggest obstacle I had in my career progression. I'm not saying that you shouldn't work hard, and expect results. Simply, at times I would wonder when the ultimate interview and job would occur. I would look at all the people trying to get to the same place I was, and let myself get overwhelmed. The truth is, what seemed like forever to me, was actually faster then the average. Bottom line, enjoy where you are at each stage of the journey, and you will never regret making the trip, wherever the path ultimately takes you.

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