FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC

by Brad Pretzer

Boeing 747 Contrails May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks -- Gandalf -- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Me on the stairs to the Embraer

I am currently flying the Boeing 757 and 767 for North American Airlines, based at New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport. This company is now entirely in the charter business; however, they used to have scheduled flights to Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and Georgetown, Guyana. Nearly all the destinations are international. Some of my common points of operation are Shannon, Ireland, Kuwait City, Kuwait, Leipzig, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan.

Even though I spend most of my flight time burning massive quantities of Jet-A I thoroughly enjoy flying piston powered airplanes weighing less than 3,000 Lbs. In conjunction with that love, is teaching others to do the same. Lately I have been spending a lot of time teaching instrument flying in the Avidyne equipped Cirrus and G1000 outfitted Diamond Star. Furthermore, in 2007 I earned my helicopter rating and did my helicopter training with Philip Greenspun.

Previously, I was flying the Embraer 135/140/145 Regional Jet from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) for American Eagle Airlines. My five year tenure included bases in New York, Chicago, and Boston. The Saab 340 was the first aircraft I flew here. The pay was quite lackluster; nonetheless, I enjoyed the job very much. Here are some pictures of me working at American Eagle Airlines.

Prior to flying for American Eagle, I was a pilot for CSA Air based at Iron Mountain, MI (IMT) flying the Cessna Caravan, a single engine turbo-prop. This was an extremely enjoyable airplane to fly and a great company to work for but I was receiving pressure from my peers to move onto larger aircraft and the airline environment.

Piper Cub with  tundra tires

Aside from instructing, I embarked on my aviation career while working as a contract aircraft salesman in Rockport, TX, Aransas County Airport (RKP) just north of Corpus Christi, TX. I worked with a man from New Zeland in a quest to sell as many airplanes as possible. I learned the most about fundamental aviation from this man as well as my numerous experiences ferrying a variety of aircraft across the United States and into and out of Mexico. My time at this job in Texas provided some of the best times in airplanes, and also some of the worst.

On approach to Newark airport

While studying electrical engineering at Michigan Technological University and for a short while after graduating, I operated a small flight school at the Houghton County Airport (CMX) flying and teaching in a 1975 Piper Archer, N4307X.

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