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Jon Jose
Name: Jon Jose
Company: Mach One Aviation (Contractor) / USAFR (TSgt)
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: CE750, DA900B, BE200 / C5A/B/C
Age 48 years old
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
I was born into aviation by my father, a test pilot for Britten Norman, and my mother, a Flight Attendant for Philippine Airlines. Airports, airplanes and pilots were so much a part of my life that I saw them in the same light as a normal kid would to Disneyland, Dumbo and Mickey. Very much like other kids, I caught the flying bug at a very early age. I remember trying to read aviation books that were beyond a 12 year old\\\'s comprehension just to have an \\\"extra edge\\\" when the time came to \\\"be\\\" a pilot. After a couple of years drifting in College, I decided it was time to take action and steer back on course. The Gulf War was at it\\\'s peak and what better way than to join the military. I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on January 8 1992. Since I was an enlisted man, I was limited to non-pilot duties and the outlook of becoming an officer and a USAF Pilot was nowhere in sight. The USAF had thousands of banked pilots (rated pilots working odd duties such as desk job until they get an aircraft assignment) and I was fast approaching the age limit of 27.5. I don\\\'t quite remember how, but on my second year in the Air Force I learned about the Air Force Aero Club on base that allowed enlisted personnel to fly. The Air Force Aero Club was designed as a Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tool. It gave everyone in the military and it\\\'s dependents a chance to fly and get their license at a much higher standard and lower cost than a civilian flight school. I was an Airman First Class (E3). For the next year I used every dime and credit card limit towards my Private Pilot License. I was so broke that I could not even afford the $2.00 meals at the chow hall. A friend who worked at the Supply Squadron sympathized and I ended up eating MREs (Meals Ready to Eat--yes, the nasty stuff dogs won\\\'t even touch) for most of the year. I spent as much time as I could at the Aero Club reading my Jeppsen manuals, listening to radio transmissions and going up in the backseat with other pilots, students and their instructors. I received my PPL on April 06 1995. On April 07, I transferred to the USAF Reserves at Travis AFB CA. The next few years were spent in pursuit of advanced ratings at Travis AFB and McClellan AFB Aero Clubs. After acquiring my Commercial Multi Engine Instrument rating, I was financially exhausted and my G.I. Bill account was drained. Every potential employer wanted an ATP and more hours. I had to keep moving forward in my career and there was one last option left. I turned to the USAF once again and applied to cross train to become a C-5 Flight Engineer. I was accepted and attended the $1 million dollar training program run my Flight Safety International at Altus AFB Ok. After one year at Altus, and another year of On the Job Training at Travis AFB Ca, I was regular Line Flight Engineer. Although it was not in my heart to be a Flight Engineer, I managed to pass the Air Force\\\'s toughest course (over 60% wash out rate) without a mechanic\\\'s background. It helped. A year later during my travels across the state of California armed with nothing but a \\\"Pilot\\\'s guide to California Airports\\\" handbook and 200 resumes, I was selected to a Corporate SIC slot in a CE750 by an ex-Navy FE. The CE750 system was far much easier compared to the C-5. I soaked in the Citation X like a sponge. I worked as I hard as I could when I flew and on the ground, on my hands and knees vacuuming the airplane at 2 in the morning. My name was passed on to another Chief Pilot. And another. And another. I now fly SIC contracts on CE750 and DA900B for a Corporate Outfit in Reno. My boss, is also my Mentor. I continue to search for a full-time home. Part-time contracts are nice but very tough to live with. And with a family, I don\\\'t think I can give my buddy at the Supply Squadron a call for another year\\\'s supply of MREs.

Favorite thing about flying:
The Bug.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
Like everything else, there is a trade-off. For Corporate: no set schedule. For Military: no set schedule, loooonnnngggg hours, minimum crew rest and the hair style.

What you would have done different:
I would have started planning and moving on my plan a lot earlier.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
I do not see flying as a job of a career. It is my love. Do not put off anything that you can do for your career today. If you can\\\'t fly, THINK of flying. Read books, hang out at airports and listen to the old timers. Time is your enemy.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Financial. Flying is not cheap. If you grew up like me where $ was the limiting factor, you will be faced by financial challenges. Work to saving about 6-7K. In the meantime, purchase the Jeppesen Private Pilot manuals and soaked them in. By the time you are ready to fly you will be well in tuned to your environment. talk to people at the airport and get to know everyone. Listen. Look into the Civil Air Patrol to help you build time. And you do \\\"get there\\\" remember why you are doing this--For the love of flying. If you are in it for the money, choose another career.

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