Naples, Florida-based charter company Elite Jets has added four pilots and additional team members in response to continued growth. The pilots have experience flying commercial, private and cargo jets, as well as military aircraft.
“Elite Jets experienced a surge in demand during the pandemic, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down as we head into 2022,” says executive vice president Stephen Myers. “Affluent business and leisure travellers are opting to travel privately for convenience and safety, and we are adding staff to ensure our clients continue enjoying an exceptional travel experience.”
Legacy 500 captain Ralf Herrmann has served as a business jet pilot for a private owner and jet provider in addition to roles as a captain and first officer for several international airlines. He is fluent in English, German and Luxembourgish, and has experience as a flight instructor for several aviation training centres. He completed education and training programmes at Alabama Aviation and Technical College, FlightSafety International and DFV Hamburg & Professional School for Aviation.
Phenom 300 captain Pascal Collafarina previously flew regional commercial jets as a first officer and captain. He also has extensive experience as a flight instructor and instructor pilot for multiple academies and training centres, including a position in which he worked under a government contract to standardise FAA examiners. Collafarina has served in the French Army and completed training at the Airman aviation academy.
Phenom 300 captain Matt Simpson learned to love aviation through his father, a naval aviator who served in WWII and later became a non-commissioned officer in the Kentucky Army National Guard. He has been a private pilot with experience as an aviation safety officer for a Fortune 500 company and lead representative to the FAA's safety team. Simpson is a former IS-BAO-accredited auditor who attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Southern California.
Fellow Phenom 300 captain Ken Urtz followed his father's footsteps and joined the US Air Force, where he was a flight instructor and pilot flying 40 missions in the Persian Gulf. After his military service, Urtz captained commercial, cargo and freight carriers in North, Central and South America as well as Asia, and has flown military charter and VIP flights. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland and a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Executive charter consultant Sean Nash oversees the client experience from booking to arrival by managing flight logistics and accommodating their specific requests. His prior roles include serving as a construction manager for a contractor, as well as a sales manager and sales representative for a homebuilder. Nash earned a bachelor's degree in commercial entrepreneurship from Florida State University.
Flight operations specialist Nick Farese is responsible for ensuring Elite Jets' aircraft and passengers travel safely and arrive on time by focusing on maintenance, training, weather conditions and airspace. Farese earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and was a Distinguished Military Graduate through the ROTC programme. He also served as an aviation officer in the Maryland Army National Guard.
Airframe and powerplant mechanic Brian Adams performs light and heavy maintenance on all Elite Jets' aircraft in compliance with FAA standards. Adams began his career as an aviation maintenance technician with the US Coast Guard and has experience as a rotor and transmission technician as well as an air ambulance mechanic. He earned a bachelor's degree from Florida International University.