Last Thursday I went on a trip to Pontiac, MI with about 13 other members of our fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho (AHP). We were traveling to Oakland County International Airport, where we had the amazing opportunity to tour Corporate Eagle’s flight department. Several alumni and previous members of our fraternity currently work there as pilots, and it was cool that they were able to help us coordinate a visit. Especially in the world of corporate aviation, privacy is a huge concern. It’s rare that anyone besides employees or customers are allowed to go behind the scenes and see how the company operates, so we were very excited for the trip.
We carpooled over for the 2 ½ hour drive, showing up in business professional dress. After meeting in the lobby, we were introduced to their Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, and several pilots that fly for Corporate Eagle. After eating lunch in the break room, we started walking around the hangars in smaller groups of 4 or 5 people. Sitting inside the cabin of a Dassault Falcon 2000 was incredible, and it was easy to see how much work they put into getting the planes ready for customers. No detail was missed. Everything was polished and shiny; the seatbelts were crossed and folded in the exact same way. Snacks and drinks in the galley were lined up to face the same way. We were told that whenever a customer came onboard, it became their personal aircraft. The TV screen would display their customized logo, and customers could request special items like their own branded water, blankets, or mats. Corporate Eagle’s focus is providing exceptional service, and the reputation that their brand carries proves that they have succeeded with this.
As for their fleet, they fly 14 aircraft that are all exceptionally maintained and taken care of. They have several Beechcraft Super King Air 200’s, Raytheon Hawker 800XP’s, and Dassault Falcon 2000’s. In addition to these, the company manages several other private jets, and has the ability to charter additional aircraft when needed to meet unexpected demand. Of the three different planes we were in, my personal favorite was the King Air. The cockpit had both traditional gauge instruments and newer avionics with an FMS and GPS.
Overall it was an amazing tour, and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to attend. I have never paid much attention to corporate aviation before, but after visiting on Thursday I was very impressed! I’ll definitely consider a job there in the future.