My Journey to Flight
Today I got asked to share my journey to becoming a career pilot so here we go…
My name is Travis Whyte and I have spent a good portion of my adult life sitting behind a computer, helping people build websites, solving internet issues and running my own company. I have enjoyed it all but have always had an underlying dream: I want to fly. There’s a point when you realize a thought that seems out of reach is a passion, and that you have to follow it. So I have! I am now in the middle of a career change from business professional (a.k.a. computer geek) to career pilot. I am calm under pressure, detailed oriented, a very quick learner and I am excited about the opportunity to continue this new journey.
In 2015, I enrolled in an intensive professional pilot training program (ATP Flight School) in Phoenix, AZ where I completed all FAA ratings up to the commercial multiengine level. I then moved back to Canada and completed the transfer of all licenses and ratings to Transport Canada equivalencies, leaving me with a Transport Canada Commercial Pilot License with Group 1 Instrument Rating and valid Category 1 Medical. In June 2015, I moved back to Canada and connected with a fellow student pilot who was working at North Cariboo air in their low time pilot program, a program designed to get low-time commercial pilots ground experience while waiting for an opportunity to jump to the flight line.
It was at this time, that I connected with Cooking Lake Aviation Academy and got checked out on their Cessna 172’s to continue building my flight time. In June 2016, I also started training as a flight instructor with Ben Match, the chief flight instructor. After a short stint in the program, I had a meeting with the Cariboo’s VP of operations and was encouraged to instead of continuing to build single engine flight time, to instead build multi-instrument time. So I coordinated with Ben to plan and fly several multi-engine flights over the summer.
After a year and a half working part time on the ramp at the Cariboo Edmonton base, I started to get a bit impatient and feeling a strong desire to continue my training, in January 2017, I coordinated with North Cariboo Air to participate in their King Air (BE20) ground school and sim training and obtained a BE20 Type Rating.
In June 2017, I started flying as a contract First Officer with North Cariboo and was promoted to the flight line in on August 1 and have been flying as a line pilot ever since.
The first 100 hrs flying the King Air were pretty much a blur but now that I have settled into routines, its starting to go much smoother and I still get excited for every flight.
To follow along with my journey, please visit my blog (whyteflyte.com) or follow me on Instagram (@whyteflyte).
Up up and away!