Kelsey Ten Hoeve
I saw PlaneSense as a huge opportunity to make my wish of staying in Florida (and not commuting, like at a regional airline) a reality. I went up to the main headquarters in Portsmouth, NH for an interview and was amazed by how nice the facility was and how kind everyone was that I came in contact with. I remember at the end of my interview I asked the panel interviewing me why they liked working for PlaneSense and the answer was unanimously that PlaneSense coworkers felt more like family. That answer sealed the deal and I knew that this was the company I was going to work for.
As a first officer I was able to learn from each person I flew with, whether it was about the airplane, weather, or customer interaction. The longer I was at PlaneSense the more I realized how well-rounded our pilots are and how each and every one of them is focused on accomplishing the job handed to them with the utmost safety. The culture of the pilot group is amazing. It made my decision to stay and become a captain easy because I knew the company would stand behind me and my decisions. I am grateful to work with such a great group of people who truly care about each othe.
No day flying here is ever the same, which is very exciting. I love the diversity of airports we go to. On any given day we can be at our shortest runway of around 1900 feet or a major airport like JFK or BOS. It is amazing to see how versatile our aircraft really is. In 2018 I went to 188 different airports and in my four years at PlaneSense I still go to at least one new airport a week. I would not have had this type of experience anywhere else.
Every day at PlaneSense is an adventure and I look forward to what is next.
I started flying when I was 14 and got my private pilot license at 18. I discovered PlaneSense flying in the Bahamas. I crossed paths with the aircraft in my travels and always spoke with the crews and asked them about the work they did. Always were the people pleasant and the equipment clean.
This is the best flying job I have been involved with. PlaneSense is a strong company which has weathered hard economic times and has very good benefits and a family comradeship. This is ultimately what made up my mind. PlaneSense has created an ideal environment that is continually entertaining feed-back from its pilots on ways to possibly improve. Planesense crews have a tremendous support group that makes the job here the easiest I have ever had.
From assistance getting to work on day one to getting home on day eight, FOC has the crews back. Maintenance is an area most companies fall short on. The maintenance team at PlaneSense continually watches over this fleet and its pilots to supply safe clean and reliable equipment; a huge comfort as a pilot. Without all of the behind the scenes work my job would be a nightmare. I came from a single pilot operation where none of the above referenced support existed except maintenance, I had to do all of this on my own.
It takes that perspective to respect what PlaneSense offers. Advice for Captains considering joining Planesense: This is a job that offers respect to its pilots, the training, maintenance and office support are like no other. Crew members are well-trained and capable pilots you can trust and rely on. The variety of airports we travel to make for interesting flying. It’s also an opportunity to be a hands-on flying pilot rather than just a button pusher. The atmosphere within the company is everyone pulling in the same direction toward a common goal from the owner to the last employee.
As I was nearing the end of my flight instructing career I began to think about what I wanted to do next. I began to stop pilots I would see in the FBO where my flight school was located and talked to them about the companies they worked for. PlaneSense crews came to my FBO often and one thing that always stuck with me was how professional and friendly they were when I was bugging them with questions.
It didn’t take long before I decided that I wanted to work for PlaneSense. Before I knew it, I was in ground school learning about this amazing machine that I was going to be flying and what it truly meant to be a professional pilot.
The reason that I came to PlaneSense is also the reason that I have decided to stay. Being a remote-based pilot in any company it is very easy to feel detached from the rest of the pilot group. That fear was quickly squashed once I personally met the awesome pilots and management that we have here. Now, I feel like I have family all around the country that I can not only reach out to about work, but also parts of my everyday life. We truly are like one big family.
Fast forward two and a half years and I am now one of the company instructors. Being an instructor has been the most rewarding position I have ever held before. I personally get to have a hand in training the new First Officers and Captains in Dallas for sim training, as well as, on the line in the airplane. I am very excited to see what my future at PlaneSense has in store for me. If the last two and a half years are any indication, it’s going to be an awesome ride.
I had a lot of General Aviation time and some previously with the PC-12. I wanted a career change and started looking for PC-12 flying jobs and ended up at PlaneSense. I get to work for the largest PC-12 operator and have a reporting base near home.
My last job was a 9 to 5 punch the clock job where the work wasn’t interesting. This job is full of variety and just fun! I particularly enjoy the variation of flying and all the different places we go. Even today I landed in Boston, one of the busiest airports in the northeast with simultaneous parallel landings.
The experience here is awesome. As a pilot, you will learn so much here that will take you far beyond aviation. We fly IFR/VFR, short field, and Class B’s all in the same day and in some of the busiest airspace in the country If you meet the minimums, then go for it; put an application in and see what happens. The chief pilots are awesome and take the time to work with you. Any other pilot would agree they treat us well here.
As far as the PC-12 goes, the range of capabilities of the aircraft is one of my favorite things. We can short field like really small planes but are equally at home in a large Class B airport at airline speeds. It’s simply fun to fly. The challenges are plenty and there’s no monotony to the schedule while on cycle.
At the end of the day we are the face of the company. The owners see us and we are in charge of their safety for all flights. The owners are successful people and very interesting to interact with.
With PlaneSense, Inc. since 2012
“I began working at PlaneSense as a Crew Services Rep in the Flight Operations Center in 2012 and was flight instructing at the same time, trying to reach my minimum hours to become a PlaneSense First Officer. I applied in November 2014 and started the First Officer class in April 2015. Training was less like school than I expected. We quickly applied the information we were learning to real life situations, which was such a great way to learn and retain it. The training instructors are far above the best around.
The people at PlaneSense – that’s what kept pushing me to pursue my FO position here. The company is one of those places where everyone is behind you all the way. I never ran into a single person who didn’t support my efforts to become a pilot. Captains kept reaching out and offering their help. It was a great experience.
I love the interactions with the owners. One owner flying with us had just received his Instrument rating and asked to plug in during the flight to listen. He waited for us to deviate around weather, then began asking us questions about what we were doing and our thought process. At the end of the flight, he was extremely appreciative and said he gained so much knowledge just from listening to our interactions with ATC and our communications throughout the flight.
For someone who had never been west of the Mississippi before, I have enjoyed all the places I get to go. My first trip to Telluride, I was like a little kid. It reminded me why I was working so hard to upgrade. It reminded me why I see myself at PlaneSense long term. It brought me back to why I stay at PlaneSense. I just made my first trip as PIC to the Bahamas in May, which was really exciting. The dynamic of what we do at PlaneSense is what drove me to work so hard to become a line pilot here. It’s something different every day and makes me love my job!”
“I haven’t been working at PlaneSense for very long, but I loved going to the Dominican in one of my early cycles. It was a fun adventure. The training was awesome and we have very knowledgeable instructor pilots.
I got sick on the road at one point and the company took good care of me. I didn’t feel pressured to fly – PlaneSense just wanted me to be safe. I’m proud of our safety here.”
“I was not looking for just a flying job. In fact, PlaneSense was the only flying job that I applied for. I was primarily looking for a position in aviation. I wanted to continue to be “part of a team.” The thought of hanging up my uniform on the last day of service, and lounging on the deck with an iced tea appealed to me… for about two tenths of a second. My criteria for determining a company’s desirability is weighted heavily on the personality/behavior/likability of the people who work for the company. Also, for a flying job, the mindset of management, concerning AC maintenance and safety is also heavily weighted. I would tell prospective retirees that PlaneSense scores high in both of these areas. When the captain makes a final determination based on safety (to fly or not to fly), the CP’s office, and/or maintenance does not second guess his/her decision.
Flying for PSI allows one to get back to a more fundamental form of flying, which is lost to a great degree in the airline flying arena. We all started “flying the fundamentals” years (decades) ago, and it is enjoyable to be able to fly smaller airplanes into smaller, and sometimes more challenging airfields.”
“One of the most surprising things I learned when I started looking at civilian flying jobs was how backward many companies were with regards to safety. The strong military safety culture was something I had helped nurture and I saw the positive results it created. I have felt that some in the industry might view ex-military pilots as being too safety conscious. You’ll find the opposite here at PlaneSense. The company has an excellent safety culture, which starts at the top and goes down to all the line employees in the company. I have never been forced to make a flight or take a bad airplane.
It’s an honest airplane that you really fly, as opposed to letting a computer fly. It’s reliable, has good legs, can get in and out of some incredibly short runways, and cruise up in the Jet Routes at a surprisingly fast speed. As for the mission, the best way to describe it is “every day is different.” Our flying is dictated by the desires of our clients, so on any given day you may find yourself flying into LaGuardia or an uncontrolled 2600 foot long strip in Vermont (or both, as I did a few months ago). You will do most of the planning and make most of the decisions. The days will be long, and the pace can be grueling. But you will be treated like an aviator.
Working at PlaneSense is like being in a squadron again. It’s small enough so you can get to know most of the people here. The pilots are a very diverse group, from young kids who are doing their first real flying job to retired military or major airline pilots. But you’ll find all share a love of flying and a commitment to the craft. You’ll find that as an ex-military pilot, you have experiences that you can share with the younger pilots that will make them better—you can make a difference here. Also, don’t believe what you have heard about millennials being slackers, you’ll also find that keeping up with a bunch of kids in their 20’s will keep you young!”
“I started at PlaneSense well over a decade ago, a twenty-three year old former flight instructor living with my college friends in a cramped apartment. Eighteen months later, I had upgraded to Captain, developed some serious instrument flying proficiency, and was feeling comfortable negotiating the alternating seasons of ice and thunderstorms in the Northeast. Along the way, I found a girlfriend, got married, and became a father. Through the ups and downs of the economy, PlaneSense has been a stable place to work. Now that I’m supporting a family, I’ve come to really appreciate that stability.
Our first child was born five weeks early. Murphy’s Law being what it is, she went into labor while I was on an overnight in Louisville, Kentucky. A quick phone call to management and we had permission to reposition the plane seven hundred miles back east, right to my hometown. I made it to the hospital with only thirty minutes to spare. They shifted my vacation early to give me three weeks paid time off, the head of HR personally offered her babysitting services, and we even received an embroidered baby blanket in the mail a week later. I am proud to work at a company that places that kind of value on family.
The eight on/six off schedule has worked really well for our family. My days off are free of commuting or any other work obligations. Plus we get much more time together as a family. I actually get more quality time with my wife and children than if I was working a traditional 9-5 job.”