Michael Barrett / Correspondent
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2014, PSA Airlines touched down at Daytona Beach International Airport completing a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina. But this was no ordinarily scheduled flight and no passengers left the aircraft after it taxied to the Embry-Riddle ramp. In fact, this was a special demonstration of a static display exclusively for the Embry-Riddle community. If you were at the Industry/Career Expo all day long, then you most assuredly missed this phenomenal opportunity to see a brand new regional jet inside-and-out!
ALPA ACE club members got an exclusive preview as the first groups to see the jet starting at around 10:00 a.m. The static display tour guide was the charismatic Embry-Riddle Alumnus, Costas Sivyllis, ‘12 (B.S. Aeronautical Science). He was an interactive guide for his group of ten students for every tour (which lasted about 20-30 minutes); this included the all-too-tempting cockpit “selfie” pics that every student had to have before he or she left the regional passenger jet.
Costas is a First Officer with PSA Airlines and was the Co-Pilot on this flight to Embry-Riddle. He has roughly 2,500 hours total time and he is upgrading to the Captain’s seat at PSA soon. In addition to his being an Embry-Riddle Alumnus from the AS Program, he was also the Editor-In-Chief of the Avion Newspaper during the Academic year of 2011-2012. Moreover, he is currently a part-time ground instructor at PSA, and his other role is to serve Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) as their National Education Committee Chairman (a committee designed to connect industry with academia). Costas is a strong proponent of mentoring tomorrow’s pilots today and in his capacity he is able to oversee all ALPA ACE Clubs nationwide.
Costas’s positivity and enthusiasm for his alma mater is evident even today. When I mentioned his name at the College of Aviation Dean’s Office, I was taken aback when a smile instantly registered on Allison Sava’s face. Sava is the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Aviation. Her memories of him brought forth accolades about the days when he was an undergraduate student majoring in AS and she even stated, “Oh, he was a very kind and dedicated student here.” If you want to know about Costas, please read the interview I had the pleasure to have with Costas (also, in this issue).
The jet aircraft on the Riddle Ramp was a brand new Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ)-900 NextGen. In fact, the data plate on the hatch door revealed a manufacture date of Aug. 13, 2014 at the Montreal plant of Bombardier, Inc. This aircraft was a pulchritudinous bird. Many students had various epaulets for the beauty of the jet including, “sleek,” “awesome” and “smooth.” One student was even heard uttering, “now, that’s a sexy jet!” after leaving the plane.
A special thanks goes out to PSA Airlines for not only being a recruiter at the Industry/Career Expo, but for bringing the pride of their fleet to Embry-Riddle for the students, faculty and staff to touch, inspect, take pictures of and gawk at this gorgeous regional jet.
And, of course, the most important thing to be thankful for to PSA Airlines is letting all of us pretend to be jet pilots for the day!