Insight Aviation – Edwin Garcia



Wayman Eddy: Hello and welcome to insight aviation uh we are a podcast and youtube series here to bring you aviation professionals give you their insights into the aviation world the industry how they came to be where they are you can find us on youtube facebook uh instagram under waymanaviation uh and of course you can like and subscribe to the insight aviation podcast now on spotify and apple mute and uh apple podcasts for those of you that are joining us here live in the zoom or with us on facebook live please drop a note in the chat i’d love to know where you’re coming from you know are you here in miami with us are you coming to us from peru or delhi or wherever it might be we tend to have a pretty diverse audience so thank you all for joining us so let us know in the chat or in the comments on facebook where you’re coming to us from i have the distinct pleasure today of introducing you all to a very experienced pilot that i’ve had the opportunity to know here in south florida as a very charitable volunteer in aviation uh our pilot here edwin garcia hello. 

Edwin Garcia: Everybody.

Wayman Eddy:  Uh give us a little idea what are you doing today what is uh your role today at the united airlines?

Edwin Garcia: I’m the first officer in the boeing 757 and 767 fleet um going on year six this is my sixth year as of march wow i almost didn’t make it last year right it wasn’t tough we’re definitely going to be talking about that going on year six uh mainly the seven five and seven six we flew even split between europe domestic hawaii and a little bit of south america nowadays we’re doing a lot of hawaii and uh waiting for europe to open up again so that we can resume our normal schedules into europe.

Wayman Eddy: So is that so which what else did you mostly fly did you ever pick a line?

Edwin Garcia: Yeah you know i really tried to to have it all by that i mean i i wanted days off i wanted to take it easy and i wanted money so i would trade uh we we can trade trips it’s like you’re saying your coworker i’ll work for you today you work tomorrow for me things like that so we could trade trips and drop trips and request trips on our schedule and so most of the time i would chase the europe stuff i would chase the iro position the international relief officer and and uh in that line we have three crew members so it’s not such an exhausting flight it is an exhausting trip but not a flight and um yeah and that’s what i would do once i saw i needed more practice flying you know state current then i would go for domestic stuff and try to mix it up a little bit so my average month was two trips domestic two trips international tried to mix it up.

Wayman Eddy: That’s that’s interesting i’d love to hear more about the aviation lifestyle but i’m going to switch it up today we talked about our kind of our basic format but i think i’m going to bring the newsworthy items to the front okay we are so newsworthy and i’m sure that everyone’s joining us on facebook and in the zoom wants to know because united is like all over the news this week like i can’t every time i open up my phone it’s like united is doing this you’re not doing that um the most recent of course is this large air cap purchase now i know as a first officer you’re probably not in the command center like ordering airplanes but what’s the chatter amongst the pilots.

Edwin Garcia: Well this is an opportune time for you to invite me to this and the news happening good news thankfully about the airline because uh one of the things we have to do as pilots is stay abreast of what our company is doing not be all up in their business but at least know what’s going on in time things are good or bad what’s going on with the business and so this aircraft order was uh announced as one of the biggest in a few years and it’s one of several that we have placed that the airline had placed um split between the 710 737s and the airbus a321 neos and their intention is to start replacing some of our older aircraft in the narrow body what we call single aisle aircraft that are used for domestic stuff replacing some of the crj-200s that are used in the regionals and start using more of the 737s we don’t have a replacement in line for the 757 which is a very useful aircraft for western europe and some reaches in south america so the a321 might fill that gap until there’s a replacement or they decided the 737 is going to be one used for parts of europe.

Wayman Eddy: So you think it’s mostly so it’s a very large order it’s mostly a replacement order kind of getting rid of old fleet and bringing and bringing up the upgrade which increases capacity?

Edwin Garcia: Yes what i understood from yesterday’s meeting was it’s a mix of upgrades of gauging aircraft and also growth because we’ve been experiencing growth for the past few years ever since i was hired i provided the potential 2020 was a year where everybody stagnated and dropped fear into all of us but now that time is passing and we’re back into the growth mode we have always had uh one of the largest routes international structures thanks to pan am routes and so we have to feed those systems except triple sevens we have more white bodies than most others and we have to make that happen with the growth of you know we have what was it south african routes we have croatia oh wow we’re doing some some neat stuff this year i was just reading about it it was actually south africa iceland we always go there every year i’ve noticed uh greece and croatia croatia is a new one for us.

Wayman Eddy: I’ve heard beautiful things about croatia i haven’t been able to make it out myself it seems like there was one year like maybe two three years ago where like three of my neighbors went to croatia i’m like what’s happening in croatia i didn’t know croatia existed until somebody i know went to vacation right that’s interesting so um so yeah it’s got to be an exciting time for you do you think there’ll be a change to your line the 7576 line?

Edwin Garcia: Yes actually i was pretty excited uh luckily my fleet was the one that is assigned to dubrovnik croatia and so there was an open trip it was a a dream a pipe dream but there was an open trip this month to croatia so in you know in normal times i could ask buyer to be in one of those flights and get to go to croatia for the first time it happened to me uh i think it was 2019. i got to go to prague i left well we momentarily flew to prague for the summer i got to go to prague.

Wayman Eddy:  Yeah what a beautiful town like i guess i don’t know if you know the story but like all the bars are like two stories underground because the river floods up no i didn’t know that i stayed out of the bars when i tried your pilots i’m sorry i was backpacking right no but that’s interesting it’s interesting because whenever you go you know out to have a drink you actually go two stories underground this is where most of those are and they’re like deep sellers it feels like you’re going to vampire world it’s also very old town oh that’s amazing.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah you know that’s one of the things about the layovers you want to maximize your useful time your time awake but you also have to rest so doing research like what you mentioned now knowing that if i go somewhere i always make sure to read up about it and try to get into something because as far as i get is walking on foot and i got to see the the statue of franz kafka in the square it is a pretty neat to see.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah it is a beautiful town beautiful town with a big cathedral around the middle they’re coming back to what everyone wants to hear about right so the 7576 line will it be impacted by this aircraft purchase?

Edwin Garcia: Unfortunately the 75 and 76 are the aging aircraft in the in the company you know every aircraft reaches its limit as far as how long it can operate due to cost of maintenance technology advances so fast that the engines are no longer as efficient as a new one so our fleet is the what they call the dying fleet quote unquote and um i’m very happy to be on it while it’s still there and yes they will one day wind down the 757 200s are the first ones in line to be retired and then uh the 300s and then the 767s but those haven’t those days keep getting pushed around i think the pandemic really affected the retirement outlook because they saw the utility in these aircraft we have so many different aircraft everyone for certain missions and when you bring these back they come in useful they just push back their retirement but definitely 757s are on the chopping block.

Wayman Eddy: So opportunity there may be for you to be uh to get a triple seven or seven eight seven uh type in the future?

Edwin Garcia: Yeah yeah my dream is to be a captain on the 757 even if it’s just one day as a reserve captain to sit in that seat of that beautiful plane i’ll be happy but yeah i think i’m gonna end up chasing more wide body stuff and and enjoy more international things.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah absolutely absolutely you know it’s something funny because we are in a very international place you’re in south florida with us also and uh there’s a different mentality from people that come from the miami’s in new and and los angeles because we live in very international places you know like i have no what is it um spirit i was told actually spirit because spirit uses fort lauderdale as a big jump off for south america and a lot of the us domestic pilots that are from chicago and oklahoma and those places they want to fly the domestic routes and so they don’t really want to fly the south american routes meanwhile the miami boys here are like yeah send me to colombia that’s let me do limas let me do whatever.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah and uh it’s a cultural thing you know if people come from secluded areas of of the us for example uh they they grow up with a different mindset as far as exploring and what is around them some people break out of that which i’m very happy to see at my airline and yeah we we come up with people from so many different cultures and ways of thinking and viewing things and expressing themselves that that’s one great thing about living in miami and flying for airlines that fly internationally.

Wayman Eddy: So the other big news that came out of united this month was supersonic uh you know cross-continental transatlantic travel right like do you i mean united seems pretty serious about it i don’t think it’s really a publicity stunt or a crapshoot i mean what’s your your feel on it what have you heard?

Edwin Garcia: I as well do not think it’s a publicity stunt i don’t believe in using that term very often because companies really put a lot of thought into what they do our ceo scott kirby got us through 2020 along with the union we came together to find a solution and i have to give them credit because they really are thinking ahead farther ahead than i would concern myself and other airlines obviously are thinking i think this whole uh supersonic flight thing is more than just a a show you know it’s something that they want to see come to fruition and depending on the economics whether you believe it in it or not is besides what i uh take into consideration i really think that this is going to happen i’m more of a wait-and-see kind of person and so i’ll believe it fully when i see it but at the moment i do believe it’s a good idea it’s definitely something somebody would purchase so why not try it and uh somebody’s got to lead the way and i’m happy to be part of an airline that is leading the way in a few things and one of them is supersonic flight.

Wayman Eddy:  It is very exciting talk about pushing the envelope right uh you know it’s something that i think the concord enamored everybody but it was ahead of its time and so maybe now with the new technologies uh engine efficiencies uh infrastructure to support it more and more so around the world we might see our supersonic jetport here tnt come back.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah i remember that was that that was the whole reason for that airport right so supersonic jetport.

Wayman Eddy:  Yeah those of you that don’t know we’re in south florida and there’s this huge runway i want to say 8 000 9000 feet i wish i had the i wish i had the chart in front of me right now that it’s there’s one long runway in the middle of the everglades halfway between miami and uh naples and uh it was supposed to be a supersonic jetport and uh the concord didn’t make its run and uh environmental things kind of put a damper on it so we get to use it for training like i love going out there doing approaches and touching goes especially on the multi um that it’s one of those uh gem history items of south florida nearly ten thousand five hundred feet ready thousand five hundred it is a signal yeah it was built for the concord yeah that’s a lot of runway yeah yeah it can’t go wrong i do engine outs and things like that they’re on the runway you know because you got plenty you got plenty of runway you come back and you can still take off

Edwin Garcia: Yeah i remember doing my uh instrument approaches and i remember using it a few times during training yeah i think uh every every pilot in south florida has their tnt story right oh i got you just reminded me of mine so i’ll tell you when when the time comes.

Wayman Eddy: Well now’s a good time well no if you were going to ask about how i got here and let’s start there all right hold me back to my own format so i like to freestyle too i always like to ask you know how did you get even interested in aviation?

Edwin Garcia: Um well i immigrated from nicaragua when i was between six and seven years old like most south florida immigrants i came straight to miami i didn’t have anything to think about oh yeah it’s a kid immigrated here luckily though we ended up living in miami springs you’re familiar with that city it’s right across from the airport and back then we didn’t have that concrete wall back then i could see all the dc-10s and md11s parked for millionaire all the freighters you know the coffin what do they call it the that the corner of the airport where the aircraft go to rust away oh yeah when you turn them down yeah so i used to be able to see like the dc-10s and i was just uh very curious about these dc-10s these massive machines taking off and i saw two windows in the front and these little windows compared to the size of the plane and i saw two heads inside i’m like how in the world does that work like it’s just amazing look at the size of this machine so that sparked my curiosity when i was about nine years old living in miami springs you ever think now how you’re the guy in that little window but your plane’s actually much larger than i don’t know i don’t know if it’s larger than the than the dc-10 that was a big bit of a beast i had to look that one up oh that one’s an animal yeah but every now and then whenever i uh i look outside the window and i think back i said wow i’m that little little person inside this window this big machine because when you fly you don’t think about everything going on behind your door although it’s on your mind their safety the people are live in your aircraft you don’t think about the breath of what you’re doing you’re just in your little world and so every now and then i do sit back and say wow i’m the person in that window so that’s how i became interested in aviation.

Wayman Eddy: And just a little side note i actually just looked it up here in the background they’re actually pretty close to line the dc-10 with the uh the 767 100 and the 300 180 feet long the 767 and the dc-10 182 feet long they’re yeah they’re about the same time.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah the bc10s then the 11s are just massive to me that when they tell me the numbers i lose it yeah and so when i became interested in aviation i grew up in miami springs i went to high school middle school elementary school in miami springs but my break into aviation came when i was in high school george t baker aviation one of my favorite institutions has a program for teenagers in high school to share their time between high school studies and technical studies to become an anp so i took them up on that in my junior year i became a student that in the airframe program that’s what i pursued and i started learning about maintenance general and then airframe wow so did you have your airframe there when you graduated oh no i never got it i was such a chicken back then i was such a chicken because okay i’m being told by all these adults so you have to take a practical exam and you have to demonstrate knowledge and i’m like i’m 18 years old i’m thinking oh that must be tough oh i was nervous i never took the test oh what about and and i should have because i love that stuff and who knows how handy it would have come in i i intend to finish it one day one way or another.

Wayman Eddy: Sure i call those a double threat we actually have an excellent young man in our hangar right now ariel who just came back uh with his a and p he’s a 20 25 i think he’s 25 years old he’s got his amp and his private pilot license he’s working towards his commercial and you can be both a pilot and a mechanic and call you a double threat.

Edwin Garcia: Yep yep i know i know plenty of people who who i actually have a colleague at united who was an amp working and then moved on to flying and i know a friend who is an anp and owns a business and owns aircraft you remember lorenzo do you remember lorenzo that’s familiar dreadlocks um guy has a kind of a caribbean accent i think so yes yes i know exactly maybe someone to go a great thing and you know out of opalaca where all those.

Wayman Eddy: Dc3s fly you have to be an anp and a pilot with them because if you get stuck in the bahamas you got to get yourself back you got to fix it but those don’t keep those flying yeah. Edwin Garcia: So i got into aviation in that avenue thanks to george t baker aviation and when i graduated high school george t baker aviation had an apprenticeship program in their first in the first time ever they had an apprenticeship program with a company called afborn maintenance oh excellent i’ve borne yeah i have one you remember them and i born i think turned into aar yeah ar so every time i see that hangar i remember when i started working as an amp apprentice that’s excellent and uh i was always saying to myself i’m gonna be a pilot one day you know but never really had a plan i just thought about it talked about it never had a plan didn’t know anybody had no clue you’re manifesting it yeah yeah i was thinking right and then one day we worked on 727 for ups at that time and so we closed up a uh 727 from ups from a seat check and the i guess the mechanics my colleagues at the time were remembering that i had said i wanted to be a pilot so they invited me on the test plane nice of the 727. and i wish i could remember more but i do remember that i got to sit in the jumpsuit for the first time and we flew to tnt and that was where they did their approaches and i was so wowed that i asked for a shift change in the eve to the evening so i could go to school in the daytime they didn’t approve it i don’t blame them so i quit my job and went to broward college full-time i just just went to it didn’t even think about it didn’t think about losing a job an opportunity an apprenticeship you know i just said i want to be a pilot and i left head first.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah and it’s like that you know clearly you the bug was already there but when it bites it doesn’t let go yeah it’s like golf once you start you can’t stop uh well in both pretty expensive hobbies really but um so that’s amazing so broward college was your next step now you already had some george c baker under your belt so you knew you were wanting to be in the aviation world i hear so often i grew up next to an airport watching them land and take off that inspiration so you’re you’re going through this path admittedly kind of stumbling through it a little bit but you’re getting there right so broward college and i met was that under ursula when she was running it no i remember another name i mean woman jane yeah yeah shakespeare jan shakespeare yeah that was her brother college again for everyone watching has a wonderful aviation program as is miami-dade college and uh at florida memorial here in south florida there’s some really nice aviation programs because south florida is so aviation rich but you chose broward college and how was that experience?

Edwin Garcia: Yeah and i chose broward college because at the time i was living in the northern part of dade county broward college sir 20 minutes from me the airport everything was co-located it was the perfect deal and i’m glad i did i enjoyed it a lot at that time the academy was called comair yes later changed the delta connection academy and then after that i graduated and left but i’m glad i chose it i didn’t do my research so i didn’t know at the time with the difference between 141 and 61. i had no clue i just went in there and said i want to be a pilot give me money my mom gave me some money and then i got a loan but that’s where the key came in going to a 141 school that was attached to a university or college facilitated a loan application because they saw it’s a structured program it’s a curriculum they saw that it was something serious not just going to a 61 school asking for 30 000 and they they have no clue what i’m doing with it.

Wayman Eddy:  That’s true that’s a big deal uh there’s lots of small operators independent instructors small flight schools that operate under part 61 for the most part especially as a u.s citizen it doesn’t really matter if you’re 61 or 141 right where does it matter if you’re an international student it has to be 141by law uh and almost i’d say 99 of the college programs that i’ve seen are all 141 as well because of that because of the structure the rigor the record keeping and in that case you can get federal financial aid or loans we’re very lucky right now here at wayman aviation to have uh that same thing because the 141 program we’ve got maritimes and coming soon sally main loans it’s a big deal.

Edwin Garcia: Wow yeah that’s a huge help because i i’ve run into so many students who we all have money money issues we need the money and the other thing that you mentioned about 141 training was the structure if i hadn’t had that when i was uh younger with my personality there’s no telling what i would have done not aviation because they were very structured they treated you like an airline pilot from day one their instructors are very professional and that’s why like 141 schools like yours because you have to follow a curriculum and stick to it and do your best you’re being audited and all that so that was another advantage of choosing the school that i did yeah you k.

Wayman Eddy: Now sometimes life presents itself to you in the right way right and and even though you didn’t do your research you ended up where you needed to be.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah it’s crazy how my life has worked out i’ve just known people at the right times and i’ve done my part but i attribute it mostly to other people.

Wayman Eddy: So you did all your licenses with broward college up to cfi?

Edwin Garcia: Nope nope i was looking through my logbook because i remember when the i first set foot into wayman aviation was to take a written exam you know back then your your school in opal arga i used to go in there for all my written exams yeah we’ve always had a testing center absolutely but uh i completed all the way to commercial at broward college and then that’s when i realized wow i’ve spent a lot of money so i started asking around and you know asking other pilots and that’s how i ended up at wayman for my multi-engine training.

Wayman Eddy: Oh my gosh i didn’t know you even studied here with us yeah i did i studied i remember the guy he was an older gentleman i hope he’s still around older guy he was old back then yeah well mr is the first person that comes to mind was our chief pilot right around the year 2000 uh and he flew right into his 80s until he couldn’t get a medal i obtained my multi engine in 2005 with you guys so it could have been him yeah and he said he stepped back when chief pilot was instructing and i have to admit you know i was gone from the flight school for a good period then 34 years i’ve really been active with it for the last 12. before that uh you know i was just another student or or not even yeah you probably weren’t thinking you’d be the man in charge of it one day right i really didn’t really didn’t but you know aviation in the blood you can’t get away from it it kind of moves back in.

Edwin Garcia: You guys have established a great legacy i love what happened to it because i remember it i remember it way back then so i became multi-engineered at wayman in 2005 and that’s when i i left the academy and i just started branching out but i had loans to pay you know loans will come due one day so i took a couple of years off working in several office jobs i i was in office tampa i even became a private investigator something that really interested me but you know sitting in those offices i i remember that i wanted to be a pilot and i got tired of clocking in and clocking out being told when to eat what i could do when i could do being monitored i was like oh this sinks so i again took a plunge i went back to the bank wells fargo i found a new way to borrow money and i borrowed more money and went for cfi and did my training at opalaca another academy another school you know about endeavor flight training sure i became a cfi there and then i began working in about 2008 is what i noticed in my logbook i began working as a cfi between opalaca airport and north perry airport sure and even though i was dragging my feet on becoming a cfi like most people i run into we don’t want to do it let me tell you the best thing i ever did for my career was to be a cfi yeah so i can i can give you names and dates everybody i have met has been influential to me being here because i was a cfi if i hadn’t been a cfi i would have never met any of these people.

Wayman Eddy: Wow yeah and then there were students or they were co-workers with you or they were um i’d say they were some were students?

Edwin Garcia: I remember one you know manny camacho okay he was his his son was a student of my very brief period but i met him and he was someone who recommended me for this career path here in united and i just met people that all of them gave me either a lead on a job or recommended me for a job and it was always the next step up for me because i kept in touch with these folks well aviation.

Wayman Eddy: I always say is like the biggest industry but the smallest community right so you keep coming across the same people over and over again and when you take that step to insert yourself into you know that first aviation job whether it’s working as a flight instructor or towing banners or working the desk at a flight school or an fbo when you’re in the environment day in and day out you can’t help but meet all the regulars right um and and everyone it’s a very i’ve never seen a place where in the aviation world where people were like uh not helpful right where people were like ah you can’t succeed because i’m gonna succeed there’s plenty there’s plenty in the aviation world so i see a lot of hands helping other people up the ladder.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah luckily in south florida we got such a mix of cultures where i think we’re accustomed to being helpful to others regardless of anything about them it’s not like that all over the world unfortunately but we’re lucky in that aspect here in south florida and i was very fortunate to just run into people i think something you mentioned we’re not only in this environment but we have to involve ourselves in this environment you know you could be that person who comes to the flight school does their work goes home i was that guy i was that guy at delta connection i just wanted to be a 20 something year old having fun you know while everybody wanted to talk airplanes and their latest landing and how to do a soft field i was not interested i just flew and got out okay when i became involved walking the airport you know asking somebody can i ask you about the airplane that’s not you make friends and you have to really involve yourself in aviation in that way so i missed out i recognized that but i did it just in time i woke up and started participating so you have to develop a personality sure you’re outgoing you’re friendly you’re engaging you ask people for advice and you ask them for help so this is what led to your volunteerism and the organizations yeah in 2000 and i think when was i working at a mere flight 2012 so between 2012 and 13 i was working at ameriflight flying the metro liner excellent pic luckily right out of opa-locka i didn’t have to commute oh yes and i was hanging out there and you remember a man named homo rando of course yeah homer homer randall’s in the break room and i’m trying to take my nap you know homer randall’s in the break room and i’m like who’s this guy and i start talking to him and he tells me about obap organization of black aerospace professionals and it was very timely because at the time i was a cfi certificate holder but i wasn’t practicing so i had always thought about hey if i could donate my time to somebody learning to fly this would be great and obap presented me an opportunity to do that with my knowledge and my my history of aviation i got to participate in their programs towards stem education towards motivating other pilots and that’s how i became a volunteer because it’s not before that it was just talk i said i would volunteer but i never did.

Wayman Eddy:  Yeah uh so we i i preached the joint organizations whether it’s the 99s or obap or latino pilots or this new asian pilots group that i think recently started um but not just join it’s not just giving them your five ten twenty dollars right but take a roll right join a committee uh help at an air show help at a career fair right because it’s the people that show up to volunteer that meet everyone right yeah you go to a career fair uh especially in aviation already career fair you’re gonna meet everybody at all the other tables.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah and i’ll get back to my story but to before i forget this uh this is what brought me to where i am before i joined obap and the lpa and before i became a true participant in helping and organizing and doing things where it was needed i was just another pilot with the same qualifications sometimes less because there’s some very educated people out there scholastically and that’s what really set me off you know one of the things that i remember from networking at these job fairs and conventions was that all the airlines were beating on this whole leadership thing sure leadership do you have leadership are you a leader blah blah blah and we can walk the walk or talk to talk so most people they don’t know how to talk and walk because they just say oh i do i am but i say don’t talk about it be about it show people that you’re a leader volunteering did that yeah eddie needs a volunteer at wayman to do something well i’m here next thing you know eddie’s telling people about your initiative your what things you’re doing yeah this young man is a leader now and that’s how it goes so volunteering really opened up doors for me and it can do that for anybody else you don’t have to do it on the level that i have on the scale that i did in the last couple of years you just have to participate and people will help you out it’s funny.

Wayman Eddy: Because i was actually talking about this morning i dropped my kids off at uh at school at summer camp and i was talking about sitting in the classroom like don’t sit in the last row you might not want to sit in the front row right but sit in the middle or something like that right just like if you’re up front you’re more likely to participate to learn to meet to connect you know and so that doesn’t mean you sign up for ob and you run for chairman right away right but you know sign up for a committee you know help out at a table at a career fair or something like that and and you start just doing that you know meeting people and then those what’s more important about you it’s just as important about you meeting people is that other people are meeting you.

Edwin Garcia: Yes yes that’s just as important not more so yeah um it’s publicity for you for your resume uh i i was laughing when you said that because i was the guy who sat in the back of the class all the time i was not interested in what i could study at home is what i always told myself you know and i did i spent many hours reading instead of listening to the professors yeah but uh yeah well you’re taking your kids very early on to participate to be in there.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah that’s fine but let’s you hit on two things there that i want to kind of circle back to right you spend some time at a mere flight you didn’t just jump to united.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah yeah so thanks to being a cfi later i’m sorry it’s breaking up so i didn’t know if i was interrupting you or not good so yes thanks to becoming a cfi i became a cfi in 2007 so i wasn’t training from 2001 until 2007 when i finally was 100 into aviation so anybody that’s taking a little long with their training or dilly dally you know so you had a seven year hiatus with a desk job seven years of working the various jobs while being a flight student okay okay from the day i just started training private to the day i became a cfi six years wow yeah and so thanks to being a cfi i met a student of mine whose father-in-law needed a pilot for his piper aerostar okay nice and so obviously every student back then wishes they could fly a multi engine right everybody wants multing time how do you get it do you buy it i got a job offer thanks to that and thanks to my networking at the airport to fly a piper aerostar and that’s how i started building multi-engine time as a cfi i worked two jobs sure actually three jobs because i had two schools in this job wow and eventually i had to whittle that down but when i left that job i had accumulated 500 hours of turb um multi-engine pic whereas my colleagues didn’t have that much time unless they were meis but 500 hours would take them a while i had 500 hours and i was like oh wow okay so i’m pretty good i’m okay i’m but i had to shoot for something else right and that’s when one of my mentors and and one of my ex-bosses told me you are not going to get very far unless you move up level up because atp you have to get it you have the hours get an atp so i became an atp rated pilot as well and that’s when i be could start working as a commercial pilot as charter operators they took me more seriously now not only did i have flight time but i had an atp certificate and so i began flying piper navajo chieftains out of fort lauderdale for a company called sun air okay and i did that it was insane amount of flying to cuba and the caribbean it’s nuts and so i again another six seven hundred hours of piston twin time um luckily when i was flying the aerostar my boss at the time had acquired a pc12 for pilatus oh really nice gladys you know i was very fortunate to meet a female pilot who was an instructor in that aircraft and she instructed me in that aircraft for a few hours i was able to log it and learn it that’s the turbine then yep and so i i there was a mechanic working at sun air who told me hey there’s a company called ameriflight they fly turbo props you should really look into this you know it’s better for you it’s where you need to go so i did i looked off ameriflight i applied i leveraged my experience as piston twin pic which i had nearly 1200 hours of wow and i leveraged this pilatus instruction and that’s how i became a metro liner captain at ameriflight and right away i began flying pic in the metro liner i got to see new routes mexico the more of the caribbean and more of the us on the eastern seaboard that time passed i illuminated my thousand because if you remember even back then they were preaching a thousand turbine pic sir in a thousand turbine pic so i said okay my goal was to get a thousand and then look abroad but i wasn’t in a rush to leave because it was a great company yeah i’ve heard nothing but good things about it i loved i loved them and then sure enough after a year it was time to move on and i began chasing jets more jet time now i need turbine time but in jets i thought i need i need to find jet time so luckily for years i had been networking at the airports i would show up with resumes i would i would probably knock on your door when i was looking for a cfi job but i know i knocked on a lot of charter operators doors anybody at fxe fll and opa-locka that would give me five minutes i would say hi give him a resume introduce myself i did that for months on end year after year so never came too much because i was a low-time pilot still to them and their insurance has requirements so i couldn’t i couldn’t do anything about that but laying the groundwork for that in 2014 is when it paid off because that’s when i began contracting and people that i had bothered for years they knew my new resume was in their hands they saw the time and they were like they called me and i said hey citation gulfstream challenger come fly i need a contract pilot we’ll we’ll figure out this rating thing and i started flying jets excellent i got to see some great aircraft my dream ones was the challenger 604 beautiful plan and uh gulfstream i got to meet more people corporate pilots because back then i was all about corporate i thought that’s where i i’m going to end up because of because of my resume frankly and i thought oh that’s where i’m going to end up i didn’t have a college degree so how can i get to an airline and okay but then it was time to get serious about finding a full-time job right not just contract here or there and that’s when i got the opportunity to work for world atlantic airways airlines here in south florida yeah lying in the 80s and i was a second in command in the md-80 again i had a goal it was to spend the time here only as much time as i need because i need to get the job that is for me you know something a real big airline like united and i was there for about a year and a half.

Wayman Eddy:  So there was a switch something that happened because you stopped you thought you were gonna end up in the corporate world and then you just said.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah yeah thanks thanks for reminding me of that so i never thought i would end up at an airline uh i certainly not united airlines because i didn’t have the requirements mainly the four-year degree a bachelor’s degree which is a competitive requirement a lot of people go through the work of achieving of obtaining that i didn’t have it when i saw flight time compared to others pic time compared to others even though i had about 4700 hours and most of it was pic and i had my thousand turbine pic there’s applicants that have a lot more than that applicants that come from fractionals and regionals and they have a lot more pic time um so i never thought i could make it to an airline and and one day it i reached a point where i had to decide on a path from networking i got the job offer of my dreams in corporate aviation at the time it was flying for a very well-known person great captain great owner more money than i had made up to that point so i was i was like wow this is the opportunity i worked for years to obtain but i was involved in obap and i was alone a lot of airline pilots and i saw how happy they were with their jobs and their companies and everything they communicated so i asked one of my mentors to give you some guidance on this job offer and he said there comes a point where you choose a path and you kind of are stuck in that path so if you choose to go corporate now likely you’re going to be corporate for the rest of your career if you choose to wait try to go airline likely you’ll be airline for the rest of your career that’s true so so i weighed them you know and i was a with a sad heavy heart that i turned down the job offering corporate and stayed committed to pursuing the airline career and luckily he was right about my chances because two months later i received the interview offer for united so it all worked out.

Wayman Eddy: Wow that’s quite a path that’s a very winding path a lot of jobs to get to where you are you know i think people in the last especially the last five years of the pata shortage have become a little complacent about how okay you get your commercial license you become a flight instructor 1500 hours regionals majors and it’s like this very clear path right that you happen to be in your moment prior to that pilot shortage really sinking its teeth into the industry right so you have to hack your way through it.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah and i didn’t know what i was experiencing because i didn’t like i said before i was the guy who sat in the back of the class and left by school and went straight home i didn’t know how bad the industry was back then i was clueless but to to my uh benefit i was clueless so nothing stopped me from from getting money giving it to a flight school and just going through the paces of becoming certified certified in different things because i was clueless but i was laying the groundwork at a very bad time without now i know this because i’m an adult but without knowing that bad times don’t last forever and sure enough now our industry is back on the upswing yep and so my timing was right which is why last year when people were calling me asking me for advice about this or that should they start training i said yes absolutely start training do it now because nothing lasts forever bad times and good times.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah no i agree with you i mean the industry is cyclical and we’ve had some captains that you know are now about to retire and they’ve told us about deregulation they went through we have a great instructor right now captain witcher if you’re watching who worked for eastern airlines right he worked for eastern airlines back in the day and when the regulation happened eastern airlines went under he became a corporate pilot flying gulf streams for the rest of his career right and so there’s many different roads in aviation right yes airlines are what everyone thinks of when they think of a pilot right with the hat and the suitcase and the stripes walking down the terminal right but there’s so many interesting niches in aviation right there’s missionary flying there’s cargo pilots you know i know you know sheik he’s like in korea right now flying a 747. oh that’s right yeah forgot what company he went to i think it was southern maybe yeah um yes so there’s all those different branches of aviation and uh it’s interesting you really did scale you worked your way up through those uh branches and had a nice variety of flying right before we got into it and so a lot of people come to me right now they’re like oh but the airlines aren’t hiring like why should i bother because if you really want to be a pilot i don’t think you can be anything else right.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah yeah once you get this once you get a few hours in you 100 and something you’re invested your heart is in it but also once you see if you if you obtain loans once you see the loans come through you say well what’s going to pay me enough so that i can pay these loans have a lifestyle that i want establish a family a fund of some sort what’s going to pay me now well you have two choices and i faced this choice in 2015 as well i said well i can either continue down this path and see how far it gets me but there comes a point where i have to decide i need to make a real living i need to make money so you always got to do something else study something else stay involved in something and and have an escape plan but this is not for the week of heart this career is gonna test you.

Wayman Eddy: It will it absolutely will the cyclical nature of aviation it will um but let’s take a moment on there right because uh you mentioned collegiate degrees and having a degree for the majors and i know that you were already at united and started studying for a college degree or continuing a college degree.

Edwin Garcia: Yes yes when i was hired at united in 2016 i finally had the opportunity to afford everything i wanted to do one of those was obtain a bachelor’s degree and i was fortunate to be hired without one but now i said i have to get one and so i began studying at broward college again i went back to my original school and i signed up for their cyber security bachelor’s degree and so i’ve been studying the cyber security degree for the past three years i’ll be done next spring.

Wayman Eddy: And i imagine there’s probably a huge need for cyber security experts in the airline industry right so you’re a double threat there all around.

Edwin Garcia: Cyber security is everywhere luckily we have not seen cyber security um news related to airlines specifically but they they also have to be sure to be secure because these bad actors want to be in everything.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah so this is something that comes up actually quite a bit you know people tell me do you need a bachelor’s degree to be a pilot and i say no you don’t need to be a commercial pilot but if you want to reach the majors you’re going to be expected of that bachelor’s degree especially if you want to reach a level of leadership like an assistant chief a chief pilot or anything like that um and so i always paint the picture you know you did broward college but embry riddle very popular has its um what do they call it the worldwide they have it’s worldwide where it’s almost entirely online and our instructors have had great success you know after as while they were being instructors or even after they were instructors to to kind of be on flights layovers close the the hotel room door and do your homework right yeah like everyone’s going for a meal you’re like i do homework sometimes i am i i balance it all.

Edwin Garcia: You know i recognize i’m in a great position i don’t need to be in school because of my job but i should be in school because of i don’t know what the future holds and i really love cyber security so sometimes i do lock myself in but for an hour or two and then i join the crew later on or i go out on my own but you have to find time for everything um going back to this degree thing it is a very competitive requirement and a lot of people are not happy about it but we have to look at it from the airline’s perspective somebody that commits to earning a degree in four years and gets it done on time has traits that someone that takes 10 years does not now there’s considerations as to why this person took 10 years you have a lot of explaining to do so you want to ask yourself do i want to have a lot of explaining to do to an airline recruiter or do i want to meet the requirements and impress them without having to work as hard as others to prove that they’re worthy.

Wayman Eddy: Sure you know it makes a lot of sense i mean it just shows the the idea of a country and i’ve been told it doesn’t really matter what you what your degree in is it just shows that you have uh the dedication to master a subject you know outside of the basic skills of flying and there’s still a lot of studying applying right because you’ve got your checks and reviews and sim time and all that you’ve got to do so it’s quite a balancing acquisition it’s about finishing what you start and that’s what they want to see people that are committed to finishing what you start because at the airlines you have to be serious about what you do.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah they have to know they’re going to count on you to study when you’re supposed to study to know things and to just be present and do the best that you can this is not a career for slackers you can be a reform slacker you can learn i like that it can be a reform style i’m one of them you know and also take it easy aviation is also to some extent known as a place as a place of refuge for people who didn’t want to go to college right i’ll go to flight school.

Wayman Eddy: A place of refuge yeah but then you find out like you know okay you get through your private but then that instrument hits you like oh i gotta study flight instructor and definitely atp by that point it’s a fire hose situation where you have to know how to study.

Edwin Garcia: Well it’s funny what aviation does to us and it’s specifically to me is um i always was just the guy who did the what it took to get by but aviation has taught me how to be a student how to be a professional and it’s taught me discipline because i’ve studied since i was a student pilot i remember the days that i go go to sleep with my books on the on the bed and wake up knowing i’m going to see the same books and it was just in dana so it teaches you discipline aviation changes your personality your traits it really teaches you to be an adult because you’re spending a lot of money and you’re spending a lot of people’s efforts so you learn to get it together.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah it’s a high level of responsibility that’s part and parcel of the job i actually saw a great comedian the other day um i think it was on the tonight show i meant to find the clip and share it on the social for everybody there’s this comedian that says uh your pilots pilots never never walk up as slackers like you don’t see a paddle like slouching in the lounge pilots are better than us like i was just so hilarious i was cracking it.

Edwin Garcia: You reminded me of one that i saw and i for the life of me cannot find this video again if somebody shared it with me on whatsapp and it was about why he hates pilots and it came along those lines because they’re better than us and no you know they’re the only ones that can fly this machine and blah blah blah oh man.

Wayman Eddy: So we’re kind of coming to the end of our hour i’m kind of checking if we have much questions we’ve had people visiting us from barbados in india and mongolia wow thank you for for logging in it’s gotta be like one in the morning over there two in the morning thank you for watching um we don’t have a lot of questions though i think it’s been very informative um how would people learn more about obap uh or if they wanted to reach out to you uh what’s a good place for people to start.

Edwin Garcia: Well opap is easy you go to obap.org oscar bravo alpha and there you can find out anything you want to about obap we have programs mainly geared towards bringing people into stem catching them at a young age in high school middle school and elementary school we have summer academies that are happening right now that we need volunteers for they happen all around the country during the summer about a year you don’t have to volunteer more than an hour if that’s all you have you can volunteer the full week but our programs are geared towards getting people at a young age interested in some kind of stem career and if they have the interest giving them professionals that will tell them anything they want to know there’s airport tours there’s uh games and all this stuff and so that’s our goal within open so if you go to obap.org you can find out all about our programs and how to become a member there are some advantages to being a member as well.

Wayman Eddy: And for those of you that are not you know pilots and major airlines obap is happy to have anybody student pilots even if you haven’t started flying you just like rc planes or you’re like talking about airplanes it’s a great place to get a foot in the door maybe get recommended to a flight school or an instructor or something like that again mentorship is two parts there’s always people like captain edwin here that are sharing their knowledge and there’s people that are there and ready to receive that knowledge which is rare a lot of people don’t raise their hands and say like i would like to talk to a captain. 

Edwin Garcia: Yeah so one of the things that got me where i am is that i was fortunate enough to be such a talkative person that i met people that would give me advice otherwise i would not have known anybody to give me advice at obap just like lpa you can mingle with professionals you can make friends with professionals in the field that you’re interested in so they become your mentors they become your friends and you guys learn from each other um that’s one of the benefits of joining one of these two organizations latino pilots association is the other one that one is more young so they’re making a lot of headways lately it’s amazing what they’re establishing i would tell anybody that’s interested in any aviation career to look into these two because you don’t have to be a pilot obec has a big push to get people from all aviation careers not only the mechanics not only the pilots but also operations hr everything that we call aviation aerospace they want us in there and you can find people to help you with any decision you have to make or questions you want to make so that’s the major benefit of these two organizations making friends with professionals and having mentors to help you through anything talk you through it answer your questions and even find out if this is going to be for you or not so we don’t we don’t see anything we’re not on the clock ever you can call me anytime and i’ll be like yeah let’s talk about this or that you know that’s what we do as mentors.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah that’s excellent that’s excellent um so if i had to recap our conversation today it’s that you know get out there volunteer get to know people right it’s that aviation is a winding road you’ve got to put yourself out there if it’s not the moment it’s your moment right and you’ve got to make the most of it you know whatever job that is hanging out at the fbo always have a resume in your pocket uh you never know who you’re going to meet it’s absolutely true you never know who you’re going to meet yeah it sounds like some of the biggest breaks that happened in your life were like just a casual conversation while you’re doing something else.

Edwin Garcia: Well going back to what you said uh you know having a resume in hand you really got to learn to put yourself out there if you’re not going to have a set path such as going regionals where you kind of know what’s going to happen when it’s going to happen you really have to be a go-getter go out there and chase it one of those things is networking by sitting at an fbo saying hi to people and asking them about the airplanes and giving them resumes laying the groundwork because years on this will pay dividends yeah.

Wayman Eddy: You know we’ve actually had two questions come in just the last little bit jack wants to know how much you have to invest in your in into your career to make it to the airlines of the first officer.

Edwin Garcia: That’s the hard one to quantify well i’m guessing they’re speaking about money yeah i’ve seen i’ve seen students i’ve trained students from zero to commercial that only spent about 30 to 40 grand us dollars and i myself spend a lot more than that so you can go anywhere from there to the sky’s the limit.

Wayman Eddy: That’s a good point you know our program is the base is 37 and most people usually end up in the 40s once you tack on you know a multi-engine or a cfi program or things like that but it’s i think it’s kind of more accessible you’re getting a lot of value for that on the other hand there’s wonderful programs like embry riddle that are 150 thousand dollars you know five times as much you gotta you get that four-year degree you were talking about but ultimately you have the same pilot’s license so there’s different levels for where you kind of insert yourself into the the process of becoming pilots um yeah i’d say you dedicated something like 15 years of your life it sounds like until you got to united right at the first time.

Edwin Garcia: I started in i started training in 2001 and i was hired in 2016. yeah 15 years and they go buying a bracelet to this person asking the question explore i’m sure there’s a low-cost university or college in barbados or somewhere i thought was that the barbados well that was somebody above but yes oh okay so you know if you’re if money is your concern first of all look to see what you have around you community college is there a small flight school okay start out just basically get started because i remember being in this space when you think about it too much you think oh wow this is a daunting task i can’t do it and you never do so start out go to a college sign up for a degree course and start studying.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah and i would also say start small to to conroy in barbados 15 years old it’s refreshing to see somebody with that clarity vision of what they want to be at that age right start with hobby groups at that age right like is there in barbados is there an aeroclub is there an rc club is there now on the internet there’s lots of simulator clubs i see people flying simulators uh network simulators all the time it’s never been easier to take classes online either theory wise right that doesn’t mean you’re going to come out with a pilot certificate because took classes online but it’s a great way to get your head into it.

Edwin Garcia: I put in there our email because this is an ops aerospace professional development program and it’s where we get in touch with young men like this and professionals at my age and we guide them through any questions they have so we can definitely dedicate more time to them through that avenue and what i would say to them you know you’re 15 years old say it now say it loud to your parents and friends buy me a discovery flight discovery flight’s a great place to start buy me a discovery flight it’s cheaper than a regular one-hour lesson and get out there and see if it’s for you because i’m sure it’ll be and then your parents and then everybody around you know that you’re serious about this so hey everything will start coming together but just explore your curiosity through a discovery plane.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah in that one hour flight you’re gonna know if you love it or hate it uh usually you can take along a parent or a sibling with you to kind of share that experience with them because part of it’s convincing mom and dad too right your main sponsors and probably all of your aunts and uncles to them you know.

Edwin Garcia: I i don’t want to give out my email or anything but write to them and ask them for me and i will you know i’ll answer any questions they have offline i’ll be glad to email or correspond with them on phone and the lucky the good thing about obamp and lpa is you get people who are members from all these different countries and they still have roots in these countries so even though there’s something that you don’t know about this person could and they get you connected with them so it’s all part of your network that you’re going to develop absolutely.

Wayman Eddy: I can think of one pilot right now from barbados who flew with us for years senior instructor and now he’s flying charters through the islands so you can do it in barbados you can do it trinidad and guyana throughout the caribbean we have a ton of caribbean students that are here and yeah it takes time it takes effort that if you have your mindset to it now you will get there.

Edwin Garcia: Yeah remember no situation is permanent right now things are closed because of covet but guess what it’s not going to be like this in five years it’s not going to be like this when you graduate high school trust me things will be different so as long as you just dig and keep digging and looking you’ll find something and there will be solutions because nothing stays the same forever.

Wayman Eddy: Yeah so you said there’s a narrow club this is code because of clove it but i’m sure they’ll reopen soon and those people even though they’re closed are still there in barbados yeah yeah the knockout door maybe the club’s not open that somebody you can talk to over there somebody’s gotta turn on the lights right at the club absolutely and i see that a lot from our students in the islands they get to private or maybe at least they get a discovery flight and then they come over to the us to learn how to fly with us because we’ve got the the infrastructure to do it but um edwin we’re coming to the end of our hour i want to thank you so much for giving us your time and your story uh to everybody that’s watching uh facebook and uh and in the zoom please like and subscribe you can find these videos on facebook youtube and our podcasts on spotify and apple podcast visit wayman.edu our main sponsor where i’m standing today uh 141 flight academy here in miami with 42 airplanes launching thousands of pilots around the world join us we are authorized for international m1 visas and everything from your first flight all the way through commercial pilot and our five airline partners uh edwin thank you so much for giving me your time this afternoon thank you so much thanks i appreciate the invitation and bye everybody bye keep the blue side up okay.