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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Steve Gutzmer

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Steve Gutzmer

Pilot Extraordinaire! 

Steve is not like many pilots who retire and disappear. He had an incredible career, and has given his life to aviation. But aviation has given so much to him, too.  Thus, Steve is giving back to the the world he loves by utilizing his experience and connections to help pilots worldwide find a flying career to enjoy the life that he's lived.

I knew Steve at Northwest, and had the opportunity to run into him at Women in Aviation Conference this year. It's fun to learn where those names from the past ended up. I asked Steve to send me little about his career, and what he's doing now... and why. So enjoy Steve's story. And if you want a flying job, he is your guy to contact.
Steve Gutzmer:

"I had the early childhood that a lot of your blog readers most likely did as well, built hundreds of model airplanes, progressed through the model ranks to start flying gliders at 15 as an explorer scout. Our fee's were just $3.50 per flight, that was for the fuel in the tow plane, everything else was donated. I remember that quite well because that's what I charged to mow some one's lawn, needless to say I ran around a lot of lawns. 

That path gave direction to flying for a profession, so I did the normal things, swept hanger floors, ran the fuel truck, got an A&P license, finished college and was picked up for Navy flight school after graduation. I had a great time in the Navy flying the A-6 intruder based on Whidbey Island, I was deployed on the Ranger and Kitty Hawk during those years of the early 80's.

Well along came my 2 kids and being based on a ship was not conducive to my plans of camping and hiking with the rug rats, so I left to fly for NWA in 1985. 21 years and 4 type ratings later, while NWA was in the grips of a bankruptcy I was offered a direct entry Captain job on the 777 with Emirates Airlines.

While based in Dubai with Emirates, I joined the flight ops team. We conducted a 4 day interview to new joiners, I flew the sim assessments in whatever sim was avail A330, 777, A310, then conducted the one on one interview with the prospective new pilot. Emirates had a great group of HR staff working in pilot recruitment, we traveled the globe looking for the best we could find. In 2014, my wife and I had our first grandchild, and balancing that with my mother in law battling cancer for years, and my wanting to get closer to family, I retired from EK to return to Seattle. 

I joked that they were going to miss me and they did!!! Shortly after I returned I was contacted and offered a job by Emirates to be their North American/ Canadian pilot rep. Nobody really knew what that meant but it sounded good!! They flew me to all the trade shows as the pilot rep to help recruit new meat for the fleet as we said!!

After 18-20 months of again getting on a jet only this time in the back was getting a bit weary, so I left EK again last April. I thought I was finished but they offered me a proposal to do the acceptance flights for the 777x here in Seattle. I'm not holding my breath as I'm getting older and am now no longer current, but sounds cool even if you do just fly in circles between Moses Lake and Paine Field, it will have been a long time since I've folded wings on a jet.

Interview Prep

Ok, today feeling that I want to help those behind me get that great job with a seniority number, I've decided to launch my own company with my neighbor who was a former Microsoft and aerospace recruiter. The goal is to provide interview prep to whoever would like it, after doing hundreds of these I can most likely tell a person why he did not get hired, which seems to be the big question when the notice comes. I have helped dozens of people interview prep since I left EK just by word of mouth, and the success rate has been about 90%.

 Building Confidence! 

What I've seen is that guys might have all the questions ahead of time and the canned answers for those questions, I can spot that in 5 seconds. What people miss or wonder about is how they come across the recruiters on the other side of the table, so that's what I'll do. Just build self confidence and polish up the candidate so that he or she doesn't feel like a road kill after the interview ordeal! I think this is a much more productive way to spend retirement than chasing golf balls around a course.

Search Lite Recruitment

The new company will be called "Search Lite Recruitment" it has a .com domain as of yesterday and the totally interactive website is coming, I hope to be up by the first of the year. My neighbor has decades of recruiter experience, and I'll assemble a team from around the globe, the most talented guys and girls I've ever met. We will attend job fairs and the major aviation events, we also will branch out to the Rotor wing guys as well as military pilots looking for their first real interview. So that's it, we are here to help you get the job you have worked so hard for and spent a small fortune in the process. We are passionate about that prospect."

Steve is going to launch his website soon. Until then...
Steve can be reached at:
And Follow him on Twitter 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. I met Capt. Gutzmer back in May for coffee and thoroughly enjoyed learning about his illustrious career! So glad to see him recognized.

    Capt. Gutzmer, if you're reading this, hi!

  2. And I can attest that Steve is definitely one of the good guys that I Loved seeing on an airplane or in Narita for Northwest. I'm sure he will be successful in his new venture, because he will be great at it!

    1. Kathy, Thanks for your comment! Those were definitely the good ole days. But truth is... "these" are the good ole days.


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