Q&A with Randi Freyer, Challenger 300 Co-Pilot
In honor of the 2013 Women in Aviation Conference, the XOJET Blog is running a series of profiles of some of the great women who work at XOJET. Today, we’re excited to bring you an interview with Randi Freyer, co-pilot on the XOJET Challenger 300 super-mid-size private jet.
XOJET Blog: Tell us a little bit about you and your role at XOJET.
Randi: I’m a co-pilot on the Challenger 300. Primarily I consider my role to be customer service. We’re the first to interact directly with customers, so we’re the face of XOJET to them. It’s an exciting job. I like what I do every day.
XOJET Blog: What are your responsibilities as captain/co-pilot?
Randi: No day is ever the same, but on a typical day, we usually have a couple of flights. We do our calculations, make sure the weather’s good at our departure and destination airports as well as at alternate airports, and make sure that everything in our flight plan is accurate.
The captain and co-pilot usually split duties. So one pilot will do the tasks that pertain to flying, and the other pilot will meet the customers as soon as they arrive at the airport and handle any needs they might have. If there’s been a change, we try to contact them before they arrive at the airport.
XOJET Blog: How did you get started flying?
Randi: No one in my family flies, and being a pilot was not in my career path at all. I actually wanted to run my own business and be a translator, and hopefully move overseas. But one day, I just decided that I wanted to get a private pilot’s license. It just kind of snowballed from there. In college, I studied international business and did my ratings and flying. After graduation, I worked for Frontier Airlines and then for the NTSB, where I got involved in the safety aspects of being in aviation. I kept flying in my spare time and built up my time really fast. I became a captain and flew for a while at Great Lakes Airlines, and from there I came to XOJET.
Private aviation is more up my alley than the airlines because I like interacting with customers. I think that’s what drew me to XOJET.
XOJET Blog: Was last year the first year you attended the WIAC? Why did you attend?
Randi: Last year was my first time, and I went because of the friends who were going, and the opportunities for meeting the right connections. Because really, this industry, like many industries, is about whom you know and making the right connections, and creating relationships with people. WIAC always a good opportunity to network.
Plus, the camaraderie of the conference is also an awesome thing—to be with so many people who share your passion.
XOJET Blog: Tell us about flying the Challenger 300.
Randi: It’s an excellent aircraft and very fun to fly. It’s very advanced from every aspect—it does anything and everything you want it to. You don’t have as many restraints as other airplanes as far as performance or getting into certain airports. I learn something new every time I fly that plane.
The Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is amazing. It’s leaps and bounds beyond what I’ve ever had the opportunity to use. The revision process is so easy: You can access anything at the touch of a button. I don’t know how I’d ever go back.
XOJET Blog: What’s it like being a pilot at XOJET?
Randi: It’s a lot of fun. When you enjoy the people you work with, and they’re the caliber of people you have here, it’s not hard being around them during your rotation. You also get to meet a variety of people you’d never get to meet otherwise—both the people you fly, and the people you get to fly with.
XOJET Blog: What’s your favorite part about being an XOJET pilot?
Randi: I really like the people I work for. You can go to them with anything, and if you have something to say, that affects you very personally, they’ll listen. I like that it’s a team atmosphere.
But my absolute favorite part is the aircraft I get to fly–the Challenger 300!
XOJET Blog: What’s the most exotic destination you’ve flown into?
Randi: Ocean Reef in Key Largo because the challenge of the airport is new and different.
XOJET Blog: Where’s your favorite place to fly?
Randi: My favorite place has been Jackson Hole. I love going in there because it’s challenging and it’s fun. I just prefer the mountains over ocean destinations. The mountains are my idea of exotic.
XOJET Blog: What do you do when you’re not flying for XOJET?
Randi: Anything outdoors or active. I snowboard, mountain bike, snowshoe, camp, and backpack. Or I hang out with my husband and my dogs. We have a lot of friends visit us here in Eagle because we have a little slice of a “mountain escape.”
XOJET Blog: Last but not least, do you have any advice for other women attending the Women in Aviation Conference?
Randi: At the conference, try to do all that it has to offer. Try to talk to as many people as you can. Find out what opportunities are out there, because there are so many in aviation.
You can do whatever you want to do. I never thought I would be a pilot. I worked really hard, paid for it all myself and put myself through school. Also, always be nice to everyone, because you never know who you’re going to need on your side later down the road. Make a good name for yourself and be good at what you do.