Contract Airline Services


"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ryan Humphrey: Passion to Fly


Friday's Fabulous Flyer 


When I asked Ryan to write about flying, he named his work “Passion to Fly,” and I cannot think of a more appropriate title.

The magic started on his first airline flight, a trip that began in fear and ended in joy. None of the passengers on that flight would have imagined that the crying ten-year-old boy holding up the plane would one day be up front flying it. Ryan recalls that the moment the wheels left the ground left him in a feeling of awe like nothing else.

“I was no longer part of that world we were leaving. It was as if all the stresses and problems were left behind, and we were attempting something amazing. I could see for miles upon miles that night in the air. It was a perfect situation to fire a passion.”

Instead of solely focusing on becoming a pilot, Ryan chose to become a “well-rounded aviation person,” someone who knows what happens on all sides of the industry. We all play different roles in a giant, ever-changing puzzle. He earned all of his ratings up through his CFII and instructed for his college, Western Michigan University, until he was hired by American Eagle Airlines.


Ryan learned to work as part of a team, both during flight school and while flying for an airline. Pilots have to be confident in each other’s skills, even if their personalities may not necessarily mesh. One of his best flying stories taught him about how to work with people instead of against them, especially when the safety of the aircraft is at stake. Thunderstorms popped up more severely than expected during a flight, and Ryan, though a low-time FO, did everything possible to help the captain fly and land successfully.

“Upon final decent, we had to change runways 3 times in order to have the safest possible outcome. I changed radios, spoke with ATC, dialed in new approaches, set up both FMS’s, configured when prompted, and even remembered that by turning my radar off, it would allow the captain to have a quicker radar update, which was crucial. I was able to allow him to relax and just be concerned about flying the airplane. We finally made it to Green Bay without incident. After we performed our parking checklists and the airplane was dark, the captain turned to me, shook my hand, and said, ‘You are worth your weight in gold.’ It is a moment I will never forget!”


In July of 2009, Ryan began to experience health problems that finally resulted in medical grounding by the FAA. Regarding his illness, he chose to speak on what can be done to lessen the blow of a serious health problem.

“We all know how important health is, especially in aviation. In our younger years, we often take our health for granted because we feel it cannot happen to us. We have a false sense of invincibility. It is normal, but you should always have a protection plan in aviation; always have a way out.

I don’t mean to give up on the industry if it gets tough. I am talking about aviation disability insurance. It is something most of us do not think about being so young in aviation. However, it is your lifeline when in the industry. As entry level pilots, most of us do not make much money, and we would like to save as much as possible. Do not cut out this lifeline. It is a very unique insurance honed and tailored to the aviation professional, and it will help and aid you in your most trying times when you lose the coveted medical.

 I cancelled my insurance in March of 2009. I was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma in August of 2009 and lost my medical. I still have yet to get my medical back as I write this, and, unfortunately, I am fighting for my life as the sarcoma has surfaced again. I love my life, and everything about it. I am not unhappy in the least bit, and I enjoy every day to fullest extent with my wife and two young sons. However, let my life lesson be a wakeup call for anybody entering the industry. Finances are the last thing you want to worry about in any situation, but especially when it comes to health. Do not make the same mistake I did because it can happen to anyone.”
 

 Ryan, Andrea, Landon and Logan

Ryan’s thoughts on flying best summarize his advice to his fellow aviators:

 “You have been given the gift of flight. It is a truly remarkable and awesome gift, and it should always be thought of that way. Do not get stuck in politics of the airline, negative people, or negative tones, and do not take what you now have for granted. You have an office view like no other. You have an extended family that will be with you and help you through the rest of your career if you allow them to. You are leaving the confines of land, each and every day, to ultimately explore the sky above. If you always worry about the next airplane, next flying job, or who has it better, you will miss some amazing people and breathtaking experiences.”

Blue skies and tailwinds!

Christine H.


Thank you Christine for a great interview. 

With that said, the Humphrey family is in a bit of a financial bind, as you might imagine. New baby. Two kids. Medical bills. Life. 

You are about to be introduced to Team Humphrey Wearables
100% of the proceeds go to the Humphrey family. 
The quality is excellent.
 
Ryan, I had not known you cancelled your disability insurance. What an unfortunate twist of fate. Sometimes life plays tricks on us. But thank you so much for sharing your story and giving the advice to others. Your message is priceless.

 Kadence-- My 4yr old Granddaughter 
She's part of the team!

Ryan... for you and your family, 9 members of the Petitt family are now part of your team, as is Christine. More photos to come! Until then, I'm asking all readers to buy a shirt, hat, something and send me a photo for the Team Humphrey post. 
Coming soon. 


"Nobody Fights Alone"

One of the greatest things about Aviation is we support each other. If you don't have the financial means to purchase a wearable yourself, just send this link and the message to your friends. Spread the word... that will help.  The more people we can gather on the team, the more we can help a family during a critical time. 

Will you be part of the team?

Enjoy the Journey! 
XOX Karlene

20 comments:

  1. Talk about hitting home. Western Michigan University, only minutes from one of the places I call home. It was also close to my Alma mater: Central Michigan University. This story also hits home as I know the seriousness of this condition and especially medical bills. I for sure will not only be supporting this cause however I will be sharing it on my website as well should permission be granted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Permission granted! Thank you Jeremy, for your support and efforts to help this family. You are his tailwind!

      Delete
  2. Hello all- I have created a website to help build awareness and support for the Humphrey Family. Reading this post brought unknown tears to my eyes. It's amazing to read about Ryan's passion for flying, as I share it as well. I have never met Ryan, but I feel God has guided me to reach out and help him in any way possible. Please visit nobodyfightsalone.com to read even more about this amazing man, his journey, his adorable sons, beautiful wife, and maybe most importantly in my mind, reach out and make a donation! Something as small as buying a $5.00 bracelet to spread the word will add up! Thank you for this beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa, Thank you so much for your help and kind words. I was telling my husband about him when he saw all the shirts arrive, and I too had tears. You're right... every little bit helps!

      Delete
  3. Another way of creating awareness and even raising funds of Ryan's cause is through this fund raising website: www.indiegogo.com.

    Do try this option.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Christine and Karlene. This is a moving story. When Ryan talked about how important disability insurance is, I was nodding my head in agreement, just from my own life experiences. Then I read about the illness and it was a shock. I am going to the site now to purchase a wearable. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Linda. And, I will come and take a picture of you! This will mean so much to him.

      Delete
  5. Thank you so much for doing this for me Christine and Karlene. We are very humbled and blessed for all of the support we are getting. And thank you for the kind words and support we are gaining from this article already. It is an honor to be featured. This fight is going to be long and hard, but my family and friends make it all worth the effort. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome. The fight is worth it. And the support will continue to grow. We're the team behind your team. Giving you strength along the way. We're all here for you.

      Delete
  6. Thank you Christine and Karlene for sharing Ryan's story! Truly moving. Know that you have many standing behind you, supporting you in your fight!

    Talking about insurance, this is something I deal with on a daily basis through work, selling motorcycles and mopeds. Young people don't want the full coverage "because it's expensive" (and it is!) but what is really expensive is not to have full coverage when accidents happen. Same goes for health insurance.

    Ryan, best of luck to you in this fight. This is one you will not loose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cecilie, you are so wise for your years. It's hard to pay for something when you're invincible. I hope many will read and learn from this, and your example. Thank you for your comment!

      Delete
  7. Karlene,

    thank you very much for sharing Ryan`s story, this post moved me deeply and brought tears in my eyes. As a Ryan`s colleague I fully understand his passion for flying and thats whats make me certain that he will succeed in his life battle too.
    I am sending best wishes to Ryan and his family, and hope to see Ryan again behind Embraer's flight controls soon:) Kind regards, Marko Cosic, Belgrade Serbia, Europe.
    p.s. I would like to buy T shirt "Humphrey team", Karlene can you please advise how to do that since I am in Serbia. Thanks again, greetings...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marko! I know the family appreciates your support. About buying a shirt... if you can click above on Humphrey Team Wearables and see if you can buy that way. If they don't ship to Syberia, them click on contact them. There is a list of names... I think you can email them direct. Thank you so much!!!

      Delete
  8. HI Ryan.. I am sorry I missed this post.. I am catching up on a few weeks of reading. I said hello on your website a while back.. Keep the faith.. Share your story as you are. We support you. Blue Skies and Tail Winds.. Ill contact you to get some photos etc. For a front page spot on up-elevator.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darin, That would be so wonderful if you could help out share his story. Thank you so much!!! Get a shirt and send me a photo. :)

      Delete
  9. Wow, excellent, if sad, story. Buying a Team Humphrey Wearable as we speak!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much CapnAux! I know he will appreciate it.

      Delete
  10. Ryan,
    You have one amazing story! Karlene, thanks for sharing.

    How encouraging this is to read. And what a sweet family you have. I know I'd be miserable if I got grounded... I will most definitely be praying you to get better! and to be able to pass your Medical again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Melissa for the great comment and the prayers. You just never know when life strikes us down... but those are the times we have to be our strongest.

      Delete

Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!