Interview with Chief Pilot Ralph Wyman
Ralph Wyman has served Schubach Aviation clients for more than 14 years, accruing more than 11,000 flight hours. As Chief Pilot, since early 2019 , he works closely with the flight safety department and ensures that our team of pilots uphold Schubach Aviation’s founding values of exceptional client experience and safety.
We asked Ralph a few questions regarding the Chief Pilot role and some of his responsibilities and objectives here at Schubach Aviation.
1. What does a ‘day in the life’ of a Chief Pilot look like?
Since a Chief Pilot also flies, my day can be spent either in-flight, on the road or in the office. Chief Pilot duties are ever-present, so I can get a call at anytime from a pilot or the company regarding a situation that needs to be resolved. Office work usually consists of answering emails, looking through resumes for either current or future hiring needs, checking pilot records for upcoming required training, scheduling pilot training, resolving any pilot issues and making sure all pilot and aircraft manuals are up to date.
2. Leading a team of pilots at Schubach Aviation, how do you foster a safety-first company culture?
We have an “open door policy,” so if there ever is a concern our pilots feel they can contact management at any time. We also have a very strong flight safety department, devoted to all things related to safety. We are constantly identifying ways we can raise the bar on safety by logging issues that might occur and watching for trends. Captains also complete a risk assessment form before each flight taking into account each unique factor for that particular flight, if the assessment is too high — then we adjust the flight to bring it within safe parameters.
3. What qualities do you look for in a pilot?
Any pilots we interview are already well-qualified, so after skill assessment, it comes down to finding the right personality fit for our company and its values.
4. What sets Schubach Aviation (and its pilots) apart from other on-demand charter operators?
Since the company’s inception, our priority focus has been the client experience and safety. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and great attention to detail. The client is truly the reason we are here.
5. What is your favorite flight destination?
Hawaii— or anywhere in Europe.
6. Tell me about your most memorable flight?
I’ve had many memorable flights, many to countries I would never have thought of traveling to. I’ve flown many celebrities, which was exciting at first, but then you realize they are just people.
I’d say my most memorable flights, by far, were flying an ex-President. I flew this President a few times and each time I could not be more impressed with him.
7. What do you love most about your job?
Being part of a team that has the same common goal. The ability to meet people and exceed their expectations. And having the opportunity to see parts of the world, even our own country, that I would never have thought of traveling to.
8. What is your favorite aircraft to fly and why?
The Gulfstream is by far my favorite aircraft. It’s the pinnacle of private/corporate jet aircraft— and for good reason. It can travel to places that most private aircraft can’t, with comfort and style.
9. What do you like most about flying private (vs. commercial)?
Besides the ease that private flying affords, it is the people that make it.
10. What is your favorite thing/s to do to make Schubach Aviation clients feel at ease?
It all starts with the greeting. We make an effort to convey the feeling that we are truly there for them. When a client books a trip, we do our best to find out what they like, from food and drink preference to types of music, movies and entertainment or even towels, and try to have that on board. We will check with them (unless they prefer otherwise) to make sure their expectations are being met. To make sure they have an enjoyable experience, we will discuss the flight with them— what to expect, the duration and their transportation once they arrive.