Terence Harris, a local resident and Florida State University graduate, was recently selected for a coveted spot in a pilot training program that is the first of its kind in the United States. As highlighted by the Today Show, JetBlue Airways Gateway Select Program is designed to train selected cadets with little flight experience to become professional pilots within four years.
Harris has always dreamed of becoming a professional pilot. In 2012, he sprang into action and began taking flight lessons at Tampa Executive and Peter O’Knight Airports earning enough hours to fall just shy of gaining his private pilot’s license. He faced many challenges in the coming years that prevented him from being able to fly again. In 2016, he found out about the Gateway Select Program and decided to apply. After a long process of submitting writing samples, tests, interviews, behavioral and skill assessments he was selected from among 3,000 applicants
This unique, accessible and cost effective JetBlue Pilot Gateway Program will take a more competency-based approach to becoming a professional pilot. The Program optimizes the training of prospective airline pilots by offering early exposure to multi-crew/multi-engine operations, full motion simulator training, crew resource management, and threat and error management. Once meeting all program requirements, including the FAA’s 1,500 flight-hour requirement, pilots will become a new hire at JetBlue. At that time, graduates will go through the same orientation and six-week instruction that all E190 first officers complete.
Since being selected, Harris began a spirited campaign to garner the support of his friends and community to aid in the cost of the program.
He also wants to give back to the community while fundraising and pledges to provide a $10,000 aviation scholarship to a deserving young high school or college student towards obtaining their own private pilot’s license if he meets his fundraising goal of $125,000.
“The aviation community has a high bar of entry,” said Harris. “Too many times the cost of training deters many people from pursuing their aviation dream. If I am successful, I want to do my part to pay it forward to someone else to enter the aviation community because I understand how difficult it can be.”
Harris urges the community to visit and to donate to the Journey to JetBlue fundraising campaign at www.journeytojetblue.com.
For information on the JetBlue Gateway Select Program, visit http://bit.ly/1nupGEg.