First and foremost I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Ethan Hawes and I hail from the cornfields of Indiana in the United States and soon to be Houston, Texas. I joined VATSIM the day I turned 13 in 2006 because of the passion and love for aviation I had that each of us share.
Growing up on the network has taught me there’s much more to VATSIM than it just being a “game”. It helped me grow while providing me the opportunity to meet some truly inspirational and amazing people who helped guide me to where I am today.
I attended Purdue University, where I graduated with a bachelors degree in flight, aviation management, and organizational leadership. While at Purdue, I was a flight instructor in their Phenom jet course and completed an internship with Southwest Airlines in their Flight Operations Department.
New pilots usually need to obtain 700 – 1200 additional hours of flight time once they complete their primary training prior to being hired by an airline. While there are many paths to follow to obtain this time, I chose to fly “precious cargo” (chickens) and car parts out of Southern Texas between Canada, Mexico, and the United States on the Fairchild SW-4 Metroliner, also known as “The San Antonio Sewer Pipe!”
After many long nights that blended into days of flying freight, I finally reached my required time to head to the airlines. In January of 2017 I was hired by a regional airline that flies for American, Delta, and United Airlines. I currently flying the Embraer 170 / 175 type aircraft as a First Officer and should be able to upgrade to Captain soon.
My aviation career started the day I joined VATSIM in 2006. That’s right, it all started right here. It’s crazy where some software, a cheap joystick, a Stone Age computer, and a group of people who have the same burning interest in aviation can take you.
With that being said, my desire to give back and help each of you is the exact reason why I’m here to fulfill the job of VP – Pilot Training.
My major goals for the department lie in a few areas:
- New Member Education
- Continuing and Advanced Pilot Support and Development - Building a Positive and Supportive Culture
As a department, I feel that the Pilot Training side of VATSIM is still young, growing, and full of potential to benefit everyone. I’m very optimistic with the extremely talented and dedicated individuals we have at our Virtual Training Organizations (VTOs) who work day-in and day-out.
With these assets we can truly turn this into a department that is a resource and benefit to all rather it be in the form of 1-on-1 training, courses, a web based reference site, or just getting a new member who has zero knowledge about the network properly educated to excel and better both their and others experiences on the network.
One observation I've had about VATSIM recently is that there are too many members who withhold knowledge in an attempt to seem better than other members. This is quite disappointing and is something that must change. The network needs to be a fun, relaxing, and positive environment, as well as a place that encourages growth in its members professionally and personally.
Ideally, this will help our members become assets to their families, friends, communities, teams, and careers whether they are in aviation or not. Those members who are looking to pursue a career in aviation will also be prepared, educated, and provided resources to be successful in any facet of the aviation industry whether they are interested in air traffic control, flying, maintenance, operations, or any other of the many jobs available in the industry.
Moving forward I encourage you to get excited and tell your VATSIM friends about this new chapter we are beginning. I want you to know that my virtual door is always open to feedback no matter how bad or good it may be.
You can reach me anytime at e.hawes[at]vatsim.net
Keep the blue side up and fly safe!
Vice President – Pilot Training