Capt. Michael Pfeiffer flew the first Cape Air plane into Auburn University Regional Airport Tuesday. Pictured from are Jose Caballero, JetBlue University Gateway program manager; Matt Strouse, Auburn University Aviation flight instructor; and Pfeiffer.
An Auburn University graduate made history Tuesday as the first captain to fly Cape Air’s Cessna 402 into Auburn University Regional Airport.
Capt. Michael Pfeiffer’s flight started from Hyannis, Mass. He and Captain Clayton Adamy provided flights Wednesday for pilots currently in the program at Auburn University.
Pfeiffer and Adamy are two Auburn University Aviation graduates in the JetBlue Airways University Gateway Program.
Auburn University Aviation has been a part of the program since 2013, according to Jose Caballero, University Gateway program manager and Auburn alumnus.
“It’s a definite path to get to JetBlue from your college level,” Caballero said.
The program, which encompasses seven universities, is expected to add five more by next year.
There are more than 400 pilots in the program.
“We give back with mentoring of these pilots,” Caballero said.
Pfeiffer said he has been a Cape Air pilot for two years. Next month he will complete his jet transition course at JetBlue University, and he expects to be hired as a first officer at JetBlue Airways in the next five months.
“The gateway program is the reason I am at Cape Air,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s an amazing program."
Matt Strouse, Auburn University Aviation flight instructor, said the program gives students the opportunity to connect with airlines.
Students can apply for the program as early as their sophomore year.
“It’s like a seven-year interview,” Strouse said. “They get a good understanding of who you are.”
Pfeiffer explained what he enjoys about flying planes.
“It’s a new challenge every day,” Pfeiffer said. “Every day is a different experience. It makes work exciting.”
People can get more information about the program at http://pilots.jetblue.com/university.