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Pro Tips

Aspiring Professionals: Working in Business Aviation Requires Adaptability, Flexibility

If you’re looking for a job in business aviation, but like your workdays to be predictable and routine, you probably aren’t suited for a fast-paced career in this industry.

“In business aviation, you have to be adaptable, flexible and always on your A-game,” said Penelope Kirby, a former Qantas flight attendant who is now manager of flight attendants for Netflix. “It’s essential to be organized and resourceful, as well as being a people-person.”

Kirby thinks her years of experience as a first-class flight attendant helped her transition to working on Gulfstreams, but she warns those considering a similar move: “It’s impossible to have a set schedule.”

“Customer service is so important [in both commercial and business aviation],” added Kirby, “but a big difference is that a corporate flight attendant is responsible for almost everything on the plane, including catering, passenger safety and the like. It’s much more responsibility, but for me, it’s 100% more job satisfaction as well.”

“I love to learn. I had one realm of expertise in the Navy. Here, I have to wear more hats and be more flexible.”

Lorraine Diaz Maldonado Lead A&P Mechanic, MAG Aerospace

Danny Green captains Netflix Gulf-streams, after having worked as a flight instructor and Part 135 and 121 pilot.

“I like corporate aviation the best,” declared Green. “I like the diversity in what I do, which creates different skill sets. Yes, you do need to be more of a friendly people person and go-getter, but I enjoy getting to meet my passengers and having the customer mindset.”

Green also prefers the autonomy of being responsible for his aircraft, rather than just being handed paperwork and told to go fly.

After more than six years servicing Navy aircraft, Lorraine Diaz Maldonado is enjoying her position modifying GA airplanes at MAG Aerospace’s Titusville, FL facility.

“I love it,” declared Diaz Maldonado. “I probably have less job security [than in the military], but I love to learn. I had one realm of expertise in the Navy. Here, I have to wear more hats and be more flexible. And here it’s much more personal; we want to satisfy the customer.”

As a college grad about to start a job as an aviation planning analyst, Matthew De Lancey already understands from his internships that working with customers is key in business aviation.

“If you can take care of their needs and be good with people, you’ll have more success,” he said.

To learn how aspiring professionals can join NBAA, visit nbaa.org/professional

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