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Michael Ryan Webb
Name: Michael Ryan Webb
Company: Planemasters, Ltd.
Position: Captain
Current Aircraft: Cessna Caravan C-208
Age N/A
Country USA

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

Mentor profile:
Originally from Cheney, KS, a small town just west of Wichita. Have always known I wanted to be a pilot. Be it watching Top Gun two times at the theater, or going to the McConnell AFB Air Show, I knew that's what I wanted to do. Started flying my senior year in high school-1996. Between basketball and school, I didn't get my Private finished until about 2 months after I graduated in 1997. Started my Instrument my freshman year at Wichita State University. After my first year, I knew I needed to do something else, so I enrolled at Kansas State University-Salina. They have an excellent flying program, and I completed my Instrument through my Multi-Engine Instructor in Salina. I instructed at K-State for about 1.5 years while getting my degree, and then moved to Lawrence, KS where I instructed for another year. Prior to 9/11, I had an interview with Trans States Airlines, and on 9/12 I had an interview with Continental Express. Believe it or not, I was at the runway at Kansas City International going to my CoEx interview when the World Trade buildings where hit. Obviously, that was cancelled. In June of 2002 I was lucky enough to get picked up by Planemasters, Ltd. with barely the 135 minimums. I started my training up in West Chicago, IL, in early July, and started flying UPS Next-Day Air in the Caravan towards the end of July. Have been doing it for about 7 months, and can honestly say there is no better training than flying cargo. I learned a ton flight instructing, but you really solidify your skills flying single-pilot cargo, probably the same as any other good flying job. Most recently I have been weighing my options, as I've always wanted to fly in the military, but my less than 20/20 vision but a dampener on that goal. I recently (a year ago) learned of the PRK waiver you can get from the military to fly. I had PRK done about a year ago, did my waiting period, and am waiting for more pilot slots to open up in the Navy. Hopefully my aviation background and my dedication for as long as I can remember will guarantee me a spot. But I'm young, I can wait as long as it takes!

Favorite thing about flying:
The freedom. The thought that today, you could possibly be going anywhere in the country, and the best part, you'll probably still be home by dinner.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
I think you get a relatively slow return on your investment compared to other occupations. The benefits are available; they just take time to substantiate. Depending on your job, you could be away from home fairly often. The classic, if you have a bad day at work, you died. The pressure, there is always someone watching you, judging you, evaluating you, grading you, you must be able to overcome the pressures and take it all with a grain of salt. If you fly the same route almost everyday, which I do, it gets fairly repetitious, but, it's still ten times better than any other job I've ever had.

What you would have done different:
So far, I can honestly say there is nothing that I would change in my path to becoming a pilot. I worked hard both in college and in high school to fulfill my dreams. I made time for school and for flying, but I made sure I had the time to enjoy life over everything else.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
With a little time and effort, anyone, and I mean anyone can find a way to fulfill their goals.
Problems encounterd along the way:
I think much like every other pilot, I encountered all of the above, financial, personal, and training problems. Financial problems can be over come by studying hard and acquiring loans, or winning the lottery. Most loans won't need to start getting paid back till after college, giving you a full 4-5 years to make yourself marketable so you can find a decent job right out of college. The personal problems I've had haven't necessarily completely been because of flying. When times are tough, you have to take the first job you can find, I've had to do this twice, moving approximately 250 miles each time away from loved ones. Distance takes it's toll, but with the right mentality and sacrifice on both parts, it "should" pay off in the end, we'll see. Everyone encounters training problems. I used to tell my students they can save themselves time and money by STUDYING AHEAD! Do you know what we are dong tomorrow? Yes? Then study it and make your life easier. If you have questions, you can ask them then, but if you have no idea what going on, you can't exactly ask any questions.

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