El Paso pilot reaches next milestone in aviation career

El Paso pilot reaches next milestone in aviation career
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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso pilot Javier Gomez, 28, recently became a pilot for Delta Airlines, after going through a long and selective process, reaching the highest milestone of his career.

Gomez has been in the skies for 11 years, pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a pilot.

His journey, however, has been very self-directed as he did not go to an aviation university to earn a degree. Gomez instead jumped around different local pilot schools to earn his accreditations.

Despite dreaming of becoming a pilot one day, Gomez said he didn’t commit to the career path fully, until he almost settled for the comfort of working as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for five years.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to take this leap. I’m going to go through all the training and get all my licenses and certifications and hopefully there’ll be a job at the end of the day,’” Gomez said. “I don’t want to ever jeopardize that joy of aviation. I know I want to fly. I know it’s not because I just want to work for an airline or not because I want to do this. I just generally love flying.”

In 2017, Gomez officially began his journey towards becoming a pilot. He would become a flight instructor and fly private jets after obtaining his private and commercial licenses.

Those endeavors would allow Gomez to rack up the 1,500 hours required for him to earn his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license, the most advanced certification a pilot can obtain.

“The biggest thing that I can say to aspiring pilots is, ‘Don’t give up on the career.’ It can seem long and there’ll be a lot of times where you’re learning something new that may not click and doesn’t make sense,” Gomez said.  “But as they’ll tell you at the airlines, ‘Trust the process’, go through growth, the training curriculum and just trust that at the end of the day, you’re still going to learn what needs to be done and you’re still going to end up operating the airplane in the most safest practical way.”

Gomez is currently stationed in Los Angeles, but continues to live in El Paso, commuting to work on a plane. His next goal is to pilot international flights.

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