Captain Peter Loveitt (far right) with his crew
Newark-based Captain Peter Loveitt retires today after more than 38 years at ExpressJet. He holds the number one spot on the ERJ seniority list, his employee number is 10, and he has been a pilot for nearly 50 years.
“I’ve loved aviation since I was a kid,” said Peter. “I started flying when I was 16 and got my private pilot license just after high school. After that, I went to school for aviation maintenance and proudly served with the 101st airborne in Vietnam before returning to Fort Benning, Ga., where I finished the rest of my flight training. I joined Bar Harbor Airlines in March of 1977 and the rest is history.”
Bar Harbor is one of the many airlines that became what is now ExpressJet. Bar Harbor operated in the New England area, Peter’s home.
“I was born and raised in Maine, still live there in fact, so Bar Harbor was close to home which was important to me. It was a lot simpler back then. We worked hard flying the Cessna 402 or Beech 99, operating a few routes in New England. The growth of our airline and the increasing complexity of our operation have been tremendous. We’ve gone from small aircraft to sophisticated jets; a few routes to 2,000 flights per day.”
The size and scope of our operation, from a small family-owned airline to the world’s largest regional, was the most extraordinary change Peter’s seen in his time with ExpressJet, but it’s what has stayed the same that’s most important.
“I’ve stayed here because of the people. The people I work with, everyone who is involved in this company, they make ExpressJet a great place to work. My years working with pilots as a check airman/instructor were some of the most rewarding.”
Peter also credits ExpressJet’s work rules and management as a reason he built his career here.
“ExpressJet also offered me the quality of life I wanted, and that’s big for me. I wanted to be there to raise my children. Staying here worked out well. I’m very pleased with my career. I could have gone on to bigger and better things, but I’m proud to work for a good company. It’s been a good ride.”
Peter flew his last trip on July 20, a round trip from his Newark base to Cincinnati with his wife, Deb, on board. The Newark team arranged a water cannon salute as he taxied and met him at the gate with a warm welcome.
“They gave me a nice welcome here in EWR with a gathering with a cake in the crew lounge. It was a good day for my final flight – the weather was beautiful – but I’m going to miss ExpressJet and the people. My time here has just been amazing. For a little boy from Maine, this has been an amazing journey.”
After retirement, Peter plans to spend as much time outside as possible, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, boating and woodworking.
Water cannon salute as Captain Loveitt lands in Newark on his final trip