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Faces of PSA: Meet Ryan Roche

Faces of PSA: Meet Ryan Roche

Name: Ryan Roche

Title/Position: First Officer / Cadet Mentor

                        Retired USMC Officer

Special Honors/Recognitions held: MAWTS-1 Weapons School Instructor

How did you find out about PSA’s Rotor Transition Program? I saw an ad online that I first thought was some kind of marketing stunt, but after asking around and eventually calling the recruiting team, I found out some more information and jumped right in.

What was your career path before coming to PSA?  I was purely a military aviator. I learned to fly in the military and that’s the only flying I did before I came to PSA. After the military, I ran my own company in the UAE for a few years. I received great experiences in the Security, Simulation and Training market spaces for the Department of Defense, which certainly helped me grow my professional portfolio and business skills. But I always wanted to return to flying and PSA couldn’t have created their program at a better time for me.

What attributes did you bring from the military have made you successful at PSA? I believe each member of PSA has their own unique blend of where they came from professionally and how that has molded them individually. I believe the military adds a very specific understanding of crew resource management (CRM) that helps enhance the environment in the aircraft. Additionally, I believe my military experiences help me keep everything in perspective - even on those not so great days:)

What memory of flying do you miss the most from your time in the military? I miss the smaller community that each unit, team or detachment had during operations and training. It is great to meet new crews and see new faces every trip at PSA, don’t get me wrong. However, there is something powerful about being a part of a team, getting to know your crew and the other crews in your flight; working for months at a time with the Ground Combat Element you support and eventually putting the entire playbook into motion. You get sick of eating MREs, but the brotherhood and common mission is something I am sure we all miss.

What is your fondest memory of flying as a pilot for PSA? So far, my best memory would have to be the first time a veteran cracked a joke about the landing. He told us he was reminded of his time on the carrier deck in Vietnam! (I won’t tell you whose landing it was though. Ha ha.)

What was one of the biggest challenges transitioning from being a Rotor Pilot to Fixed-Wing? Luckily for me, I was a Marine Corps pilot, which means I went through Naval Flight Training. The benefit of that is we fly fixed-wing first and then after selecting rotors after primary flight training (where we get all our initial FAA and instrument qualifications, essentially), we make our transition to rotors. I think this helped in returning to fixed-wing flying rather than having to do a full transition from ground zero. But you’ll have to ask the Captains that get stuck flying with me if that was a good thing or not.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled? I love traveling to Daytona for an overnight because I can sneak home for a few hours and try to catch one of my kids’ events.

What do you love about working for PSA? I love the entire package. When it boils down to it, we get to fly jets around with people who pay for us to do it. Short of being called up by the Yankees all of a sudden because they have a need for an old, out of shape former has-been, what on earth could be better?

Would you recommend PSA and why? I absolutely would and do. I am fortunate enough to be part of the Mentor Program and its great to help people line up their goals with all the amazing things PSA has to offer to them. If you want to do this job, PSA has a path that will work for you. I appreciate the opportunity PSA has provided to so many veterans especially. Granted, I am a bit bias, but with respect to that topic, I think we all should be a little.

Tell us something no one knows about you: My first call sign was Bunny. Good luck guessing why!