Airplane geeks are people who can’t take their eyes off an aircraft as it ascends. Even if they’ve seen those wheels lift off the runway a thousand times, there’s just something about the wonder of aviation that doesn’t fade for them. It’s why they collect model airplanes or consume aviation literature, even if they never get to see the inside of a flight deck. Last week, Vice President of Flight Operations Brad Sheehan gave aviation fanatics a taste of life at ExpressJet as the first airline guest ever on the wildly popular podcast, The Airplane Geeks.

This amazing opportunity wouldn’t have happened without one of our own airplane geeks, Atlanta-based First Officer Albert Menefee.

“I’ve been hooked on The Airplane Geeks since practically the beginning of the podcast,” said Albert. “I’m always looking for aviation knowledge, and The Airplane Geeks have such diverse discussions on areas of the industry, like history, that I never would have known otherwise.”

Started in 2008, The Airplane Geeks podcast was developed by a small group of enthusiasts with the singular goal to educate the world on all things aviation. Although their discussions on commercial, military and general aviation topics are both fascinating and informative, it’s their passion for the subject that’s truly contagious. It’s why Albert started listening in, and why he thought it would be great for ExpressJet to get involved.

“I’d seen airline employee podcasts before, but The Airplane Geeks is a huge aviation podcast with a great following and yet had never had a guest from an airline before. It seemed like a perfect fit for us.”

Albert sent an email to The Airplane Geeks producer asking for more information. He then reached out to ExpressJet’s communication team hoping to get the approval of the person he wanted to appear on the podcast the most – Brad.

“I was honored to be asked to join the Airplane Geeks podcast, because I am the biggest airplane geek,” said Brad. “As a leading regional airline, it’s important that we put ourselves out there so that we can inspire the next generation of aviation professionals. Albert came up with a great idea, and I was proud to be a part of it.”

During Brad’s podcast interview, he spoke about his journey to ExpressJet, the processes involved in running flight operations and the landscape for regional airlines in the industry. Brad’s discussion with The Airplane Geeks emphasized the way regionals work, why we exist and why we matter.

“ExpressJet needs to be a voice in the conversation,” said Brad. “We represent a large part of the industry and the starting grounds for aviation professionals. We are the regional experts, and we deserve to be heard in forums like this.”

Brad’s passionate about the subject, because, after all, he is an airplane geek. Like many of us, he lives and breathes aviation, and it’s that drive that will keep him innovating for ExpressJet.

As for Albert, his innovation also shows no signs of slowing down.

“I believe in this company,” said Albert. “As an airline, we’re doing this the right way, and that’s why I’ll always be motivated to come up with ideas that help make us better. We deserve the best.”

Click here to listen to the full podcast from Brad’s interview on The Airplane Geeks


First Officer Albert Menefee and Vice President of Flight Operations Brad Sheehan

For more information contact:
ExpressJet Corporate Communications
Business hours: 404-856-1199
After hours: 877-955-3989

ATLANTA — ExpressJet Airlines is the first part 121 passenger-carrying airline to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval on an in-house Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certification training program (CTP).

The ATP CTP became a requirement on Aug. 1, 2014 for new pilots wanting to attain their ATP certification, which qualifies them to fly commercial aircraft. The CTP, which must be taken before a new pilot can take the ATP written test, is usually completed independently by an aspiring pilot and can cost around $5,000.

“We recognize the financial burden of the ATP CTP course on young pilots,” said Brad Sheehan, vice president – Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines. “By providing this course in-house during our new hire classes, we can offer not only the best training, but also ensure that top future pilots have access to that training.”

Members of ExpressJet’s Flight Operations Training department worked closely with the FAA to develop a training program that meets the rigorous requirements for ATP CTP certification. The course consists of four days of ground school – in-classroom course work – followed by three days of hands-on training in the flight training device and simulator. Successful completion of the course allows the candidate to take the ATP written exam.

“ExpressJet is consistently working to make our airline the best choice for aviators beginning their careers,” said Brad. “Being the first airline to achieve this certification speaks to the quality of our training and our commitment to fostering pilots – from students, through training, to careers at a regional and on to major airlines.”

The ATP CTP certification comes at a great time as ExpressJet has scheduled new hire classes for pilots in December. Potential candidates applying for these classes will not require a completed ATP CTP course or ATP written exam prior to applying. Instead, they can complete the seven-day CTP course offered by ExpressJet before beginning new hire training.

Please see the PDF version for the complete release.

ExpressJet is traveling to several of our Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) partner schools to do on-site testing and interviews for current junior and senior AP3 students.

Successful completion to the 45-question knowledge test, based on the ATP written, and an in-person interview leads to a conditional job offer with ExpressJet Airlines. Students can attend any scheduled testing, even if it’s not at your school.

Click the testing date/location below to sign up. Times and locations for each testing date are updated on the registration site. More dates will be added soon, so check back often!


It’s no secret that it takes a special type of person to be a part of the airline industry. Its constant change can be challenging, but it’s this experience that bonds aviation professionals to one another. ExpressJet is no exception to this rule.

In many ways, our employees are like family. One person’s successes and struggles are everyone’s, and perhaps no one knows this better than Cleveland-based Captain Scott Z. and his family.

Scott has been with ExpressJet for nearly decade, but the compassion of his fellow employees still amazes him to this day.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I asked people for help,” said Scott. “The response we’ve gotten has been incredible. There are no words to tell you what this means to my family.”

Scott’s family was blessed with two daughters. His older daughter, Kaitlynn, was everything Scott and his wife, Michaelle, asked for. As they navigated parenthood for the first time, watching their little girl grow, it became clear that there was something wrong. She wasn’t meeting her milestones and at seven months had her first seizure.

Five years and countless hospital tests later, Kaitlynn is still undiagnosed. Doctors believe she has a chromosome disorder, but it’s impossible to say which. The disorder has hindered her development, keeping her from learning how to walk or communicate.

Through research, Scott and Michaelle learned that a service dog may help Kaitlynn. A service dog’s companionship and seizure sensing ability would be invaluable to Kaitlynn, but Scott believes it could impact her social development as well.

“She can’t talk, but at the same time, she’s so social,” said Scott. “She’s at that age where she should be starting preschool, but it’s tough. Kids that age will shy away from her, because she’s different. If she has a dog though, the dog would be her icebreaker. It would bring the kids around her and expand her world to a type of social interaction she’s never had.”

Though there are an infinite number of ways Kaitlynn could benefit from a service dog, the price is steep: $10,000. Out of financial means, Scott and Michaelle turned to social media for help. Although they had some success, Scott had no expectations when he reached out to some of his fellow ExpressJet pilots. The story spread up through the corporate office, and a story was posted on the company intranet.

“It just went viral. People I didn’t fly with, that I didn’t even know, contributed to help Kaitlynn. It was amazing.”

Scott and Michaelle are well on their way to getting Kaitlynn a service dog. They have a few more months to finish raising the money, and then they’ll receive a dog from the non-profit organization, Working Animals Giving Service for Kids (WAGS) by early next year.

“Whenever we show her pictures of potential dogs, Kaitlynn shouts with happy noises and waves her arms in excitement,” said Scott. “This experience showed us how great it is to have so much support from everyone in the company. It means we don’t have to focus on things that don’t matter, like money, and we can focus on things that do matter, like being there for Kaitlynn.”

Hopefully, Scott and his family will have the funding for Kaitlynn’s service dog sooner than they think. In the two days since this story posted on ExpressJet’s internal website, employees, along with friends and family, have raised more than $5,000 for Kaitlynn’s service dog. With any luck, this will only be the start of something amazing for Scott and his wonderful family.

If you’re interested in learning more about Kaitlynn’s journey and how you can help her get a service dog, visit her GoFundMe page.

scott and Kaitlynn

kait 3

Cleveland is home to one of ExpressJet’s largest Maintenance hangars and a crew base, but the city has a long history in the aviation industry that’s much bigger than ExpressJet.

Since its inception in 1964, Burke Lakefront Airport has been home to one of the oldest, most respected air shows in the United States: The Cleveland National Air Show. The event began with the National Air Races (1929-1949) which hosted aviation legends like Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, and has now grown to an annual air show attracting 60,000 to 100,000 aviation enthusiasts.

ExpressJet participated in The Cleveland National Air Show this year by bringing an ERJ145 aircraft for attendees to explore, along with several employees who volunteered their time to talk with attendees about careers in aviation.

The ExpressJet volunteers put together an interactive display experience by outfitting the aircraft cabin with posters and flyers, each one detailing what it takes to be an ExpressJet pilot, flight attendant, mechanic, dispatcher or crew scheduler. ExpressJet employees, representing Flight Operations, Safety and Inflight Services, rotated in and out of the cabin to answer questions and take pictures of kids in the captain’s seat.

“We were absolutely thrilled with ExpressJet’s participation. Captain Paul K. turned a static display into a true attraction on the air show grounds,” said Kim Dell, the air show spokesperson. “There was a constant line of people waiting to walk through the aircraft, and the educational aspect of aviation careers was spot on.”

Our volunteers met younger kids who dreamt of soaring through the clouds, adults who dreamt of flying again, and everything in between. The air show is for everybody, from the enthusiast to future aviators to those already in the business. For our volunteers, the experience was about more than representing ExpressJet or inspiring future careers; it’s about the pure love of aviation.

“When the little kids see a big jet up close for the first time, it’s pretty cool,” said Captain Paul K., an ExpressJet pilot who helped coordinate ExpressJet’s involvement in the event. “As you get older, I think sometimes you forget that.”

Special thanks to all our employees who volunteered their time to represent ExpressJet at the Cleveland National Air Show and promote careers in aviation.

“The Cleveland National Air Show would like to thank everyone involved,” said Kim. “ExpressJet’s impact was huge, and we would love to have you involved again next year.”


ExpressJet tail with a show aircraft in the background

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