Saman Khosravi, first officer, Express Jet
Like many pilots, Saman Khosravi was inspired to become a pilot by a family member. Many years ago, his uncle was a Boeing 747 captain for IranAir, and on a night trip to Malaysia, 6-year-old Khosravi got a guided tour of the front office. He was so impressed by the flight deck of the big airliner that he then decided he wanted to be a career pilot.
Khosravi attended Florida Institute of Technology and received a degree in aviation management and flight technology. After school he worked as an airport planner for Quadrex Associates in Indialantic, Florida, developing GPS approaches among other duties involving general aviation.
Later, Khosravi worked as an aviation specialist for Wyle Laboratories in Arlington, Virginia, providing engineering and analysis support to projects relating to military and civilian aircraft noise. Both jobs allowed Khosravi to work on projects that directly involved aviation. He also accrued valuable management and teamwork skills early in his career. However, those jobs also proved to Khosravi that he belonged in the cockpit, not an office.
So, Khosravi enrolled in the Regional Jet Certification Training program at Airline Transport Professionals and then built time as an instructor at ATP. "[Being a CFI] was fun, challenging, and rewarding, especially when I saw my former student [recently] in the Charlotte airport wearing an American Eagle uniform," said Khosravi.
At ExpressJet, Khosravi is learning to make the adjustment to the reserve lifestyle compared to previous steady office jobs. "It can be challenging if you have a family that requires attention and time," he said. "Every day is different and has its own unique challenges," he says.
But, like a good student, Khosravi continues to learn from the captains with whom he flies. To land your goal job, he recommends that pilots never give up--and remember what you truly wanted to become in life. "It's never too late," he says.
Pete Bedell is a Boeing 737 first officer for a major airline and contributor to AOPA Flight Training and AOPA Pilot magazines.