Air Wisconsin Captain Tejash Patel knew he wanted to be a pilot since he was little, now as a commercial airline pilot he is able to look back and see how far he has come.
How did you get your start in aviation?
I got started in aviation in 2013. After graduating college with a Business Administration degree and working at CVS as a shift manager for a year, I very quickly realized that is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when I decided to pursue my dream of being an airline pilot and started taking flying lessons at Ocean Aviation flight school in Ocean City, Maryland.
When did you know you wanted to be a pilot?
I knew I wanted to be a pilot ever since I was little. I was born and raised in London, U.K. and lived under the approach course of Heathrow airport. My parents would take my brother and I to watch airplanes take off and land from the top of a parking garage. I also traveled to the United States frequently to visit my mother’s side of the family. I was always fascinated with every aspect of air travel, from being at the airport to flying in wide-body aircrafts.
Where did you build your hours?
I built my hours as a certified flight instructor at Ocean Aviation Flight school, where I initially started my training. I really enjoyed flight instruction, being able to fly with people from all different backgrounds and age ranges really helped sharpen my own flying skills and knowledge. Also, getting to fly over one of the most picturesque beaches in the north-east was a bonus!
How did you hear of Air Wisconsin?
I heard of Air Wisconsin through a friend who was a captain here at the time. He had nothing but great things to say about the culture and the family-oriented work environment. It was the first airline I interviewed at and the first to give me a chance at my dream job. In the four years I have been here so far, I have never regretted my decision.
What is your favorite part of flying for Air Wisconsin?
I like to consider myself a people person, so my favorite part about flying for Air Wisconsin is the people you get to meet every day. From fellow crew members, ground staff and passengers, it really keeps me looking forward to coming to work every day. I also enjoy being able to explore a lot of the midwest and east coast, visiting cities I usually would not have thought of going to.
What advice would you give to the next generation of pilots?
I always remember my flight instructor saying “study, study, study” and I think that is excellent advice to give to the next generation of pilots. It is very easy to relax when you get to the airlines as a lot of the work and planning is done for you. But I believe when you stop learning, you stop growing. As a pilot, you owe it to yourself as well as your passengers and other pilots to keep learning and improving your skills. Always be looking for opportunities to grow.