In his column, Sam Weigel explores what it’s like to be a young professional pilot working his way up through the aviation industry in the post 9/11 era.
December 18, 2010
In “Taking Wing,” Sam Weigel explores what it’s like to be a young professional pilot working his way up through the aviation industry in the post 9/11 era. Drawing on stories from his own career and those of his friends, he gives readers the inside look at a sometimes envied, sometimes hyped, and oft misunderstood career path, revealing its myriad challenges as well as its sublime rewards.
Sam started flying at age 13, passed the Private Pilot checkride on his 17th birthday, and subsequently studied aviation at the University of North Dakota. After several stints flight instructing and hauling Part 135 cargo, he spent ten years at the regional airlines flying Q400s for Horizon Air and Embraer 175s for Compass Airlines. Sam was recently hired by a major airline and is currently a junior copilot flying McDonnell-Douglas MD80-series aircraft.
Having taken an interest in writing at an early age, Sam began publishing an online aviation blog in 2005. He started writing for Flying in June 2013, and launched the Taking Wing column in November 2013.
Sam currently lives near Minneapolis with his wife Dawn, an avid copilot in their shared-ownership 1940 Piper Cub. When not flying for work or pleasure, Sam enjoys traveling, motorcycling, sailing, skiing, and exploring the great outdoors.