The Pilot Mentor Network
Main Menu
PMN Home
Contact Us
User Registration
Activate Membership
Members Log In
Submit A Link

PMN Forums
Mentor Profiles
Columns &Articles
Pilot Jobs
Private Pilot License

Mentors Area
Become A Mentor
Update Mentor Profile

Jason Rogers
Name: Jason Rogers
Company: FedEx
Position: First Officer
Current Aircraft: DC-10
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
I started flying at a small airport just north of Ft. Worth, Texas when I was still in high school. I soloed at 16 and became a private pilot at 17. During my senior year I was trying to figure out where I wanted to go to school and if I wanted to reach my airline goal via the military route or the civilian route. Unfortunately at the time the Gulf War was coming to an end and the military was down sizing so becoming a military pilot was not an option for me. I enrolled at Louisiana Tech University in the professional pilot program. I was already a private pilot so I received some advanced credit towards my degree. Early in my college career I ran low on money so I decided rather than taking out student loans that I would let Uncle Sam help out a little. I joined the Texas Air National Guard out of Dallas and a became a military weather forecaster. The training was outstanding and I was able to apply that training to my flying career. I went back to college after my military training, roughly a year and a half later, and finished up my degree and my ratings. I flight instructed my last year in college and was very lucky to be hired by Continental Express Airlines six months after graduating. I had around 1000 total time with 215 multi. I became a first officer in the EMB-120 Brasilia based out of Cleveland, Ohio. I upgraded to captain on the Brasilia a year and a half later. I gained valuable experience flying through all kinds of weather in the northeast and midwest. Express was buying EMB-145 regional jets at an incredible rate so I was extremely lucky to get to become a RJ captain with only three years with the company. At the time the economy was booming, the flow through with Continental Airlines was going strong, and Express was growing rapidly. To say the least I built up seniority fairly quickly and was holding fairly nice schedules. I became an IOE check airman after a year in the left seat of the jet and I also did some ground instruction in our training center a few days a month. The logbook was starting to get fat with flight time so I began sending out applications to all the majors and was networking as much as possible. I called up a pilot I knew from Coex that had recently gone over to FedEx a year earlier. He put in a recommendation for me and I continued to fly as much as possible and updating all my applications. Six months later I got an email from FedEx inviting me in for an interview. The interview went very well and I was called two weeks later for a class date. I was very lucky to get hired into the back seat of the DC-10 and that is where I'm currently at in my career. I've been extremely fortunate in my career so far and credit it mostly to good timing.

Favorite thing about flying:
Not having to take my job home with me and getting paid to do something that I've always wanted to do since I was a little kid.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
Flying cargo involves flying on the back side of the clock, more so when your junior like me, so adjusting back and forth to day schedules can take a little getting used to.

What you would have done different:
I would have done an internship with one of the majors while I was in college.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!! In this career field it's who you know that will usually get you the job rather than what you know.
Problems encounterd along the way:
If you can help it don't get financially tied down early in your career. Your not going to make much money as a flight instructor or regional airline pilot. Some other career paths will pay more but I can only speak of my own. I've seen too many guys buy a nice car or a nice house and end up not being able to afford taking the first year pay cut at a major.

Back to the Mentors Index