Flying the Line – Mesa Airlines

ATP Alumni fly for every airline in this country, as well as many airlines around the world. Because they share some common elements they stay connected with each other as well as those of us here who helped them get started. Dustin Means is a good example of the type of pilot and person who graduates from ATP and goes on to a rewarding career as an airline pilot. Dustin has stayed in touch with us here and recently sent us some good news about an upgrade that we would like to share:

Hello my name is Dustin Means and I am a Captain at Mesa Airlines. I am a former student at ATP and was an Instructor there for almost two years while building my 1500 hours. There are a number of reasons why I chose ATP:

· Option to choose between the programs that ATP offers
· Accelerated programs
· Multi engine time
· Amount and quality of aircraft to train in

ATP is one of the only schools, in my opinion, where you can go and strictly fly a lot. They give you the ability to accumulate multi engine time and build experience so you can obtain your certificates and ratings.

The route I took at ATP was the self-paced program which I completed in 10 months. About a month after I completed the program I was offered a job as a flight instructor with ATP. I taught at the Nashville and the Jacksonville locations. I attribute my success to the style of training that ATP offers, which is comparable to the way the airlines train you. Just imagine starting your program today and being a Commercially Rated Pilot with your Flight Instructor ratings by Christmas.

I received a phone call on April 5th 2013 from a Mesa recruiter. When he contacted me he was very upbeat and contacted me off of ATP’s Pilot Pool web site. Everything happened very fast because ten days later I was sitting in my first day of ground school on April 15th. I got hired on as Mesa started expanding their CRJ 900 fleet. My training experience with Mesa has been great!

After I was done with ground school and sim training I was awarded, and sent to, my first choice in base. With Mesa’s rapid growth, I only sat reserve for about three weeks before I was a line holder. I became senior quickly and accrued 1000hrs SIC in about a year and three months. By November of 2014, a year and seven months after I was hired, I was awarded Captain on the CRJ900. All training with Mesa has been fast paced, efficient and has led me to succeed with Mesa in becoming Captain.

As I build seniority as a Captain, Mesa continues to grow. Mesa’s fleet consist of the CRJ 200, 700, 900, and now with our code share partner United Airlines we have received 30 new ERJ 175’s. Now it has just been announced that we are getting seven brand new Next Gen CRJ-900 with The New American Airlines. With Mesa’s growing success, we have extended our contracts with our code share partners. With extended contracts comes increased flying, new bases, and a growing pilot group.

In conclusion, I have been very pleased with beginning my aviation career with ATP and Mesa Airlines. That path has ultimately contributed to my many successes in my professional aviation career.

Dustin Means