About Aviation Discovery Day

Welcome to Aviation Discovery Day, the first-ever event of its kind at Reid-Hillview Airport! Are you a high school student in East San Jose looking for a career path that offers great pay and job security? Look no further than the aviation industry!

As graduating seniors from San Jose State University's aviation department, we understand the benefits of pursuing a career in aviation. That's why we're excited to host Aviation Discovery Day, with the support of Community Airport Alliance, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to making Reid Hillview Airport an important asset to the East San Jose community.

This event is your chance to meet and mingle with representatives from various aviation sectors, including airport operations, flight schools, aircraft maintenance, airline and corporate pilots, and electric and drone aircraft manufacturers. Learn about the plentiful high-paying jobs available in these sectors, and find out how you can get started on the path to a successful aviation career right out of high school.

In addition to meeting industry professionals, Aviation Discovery Day will also feature free food, prize drawings, and displays of various aircraft. Representatives from San Jose State University's Precision Flight Team, SJSU Chapter of Women in Aviation, and their aviation fraternity will also be present.

Join us on Sunday, April 23, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at SJSU Reid-Hillview Hangar located at 2105 Swift Ave, San Jose, CA 95148.

Bring your parents or guardian and discover the exciting opportunities waiting for you in the aviation industry!

Please Consider Making a Tax Deductible Donation

This event is being supported by Community Airport Alliance (CAA) – a new non-profit organization dedicated to making Reid-Hillview an essential resource for the local community

Running an event like this comes with costs.

With additional support from the community, we can host more of these events to reach more high schoolers.

To make a tax deductible donation, please click on the button below and be sure to add "Airport Discovery Day" to Line 2 of the Address field. Thank you!

Meet Aviation Industry Representatives

Aviation industry representatives will be present on April 23rd to introduce a variety of career paths in aviation, many of which do not require a four-year college degree. You can meet industry experts who will share their experiences and answer questions. Learn about careers such as air traffic control, aircraft mechanics, piloting, airport operations, and even military aviation with salaries ranging from $66,000 to $179,980 per year and job security.

If you're interested in a career as an air traffic controller, you'll play a crucial role in ensuring air traffic safety and efficiency. With a median annual wage of $179,980, this career offers excellent pay and job demand.

As an aircraft mechanic, you'll work on some of the coolest and most advanced machines in the world, with opportunities for advancement and other careers within the aviation industry. With a annual wage of $84,500, this career is a great option, and you don't need a four-year college degree.

If you're interested in becoming a pilot, you can enjoy a comfortable salary, job security, and opportunities for career growth, with a starting salary of around $167,060 per year.

Airport operations is another exciting career path, with salaries ranging from around $66,000 to $132,000 and job security due to the growing aviation industry.

In addition to the civilian aviation industry, there are also opportunities for lucrative and secure careers in aviation within the military. The military provides extensive training and advancement opportunities for pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft mechanics, and other aviation-related roles. Military pilots can earn a base salary of over $100,000 per year, with additional allowances and bonuses.

Meet a representative from the Civil Air Patrol –  a civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It is an organization that promotes aviation education, search and rescue missions, and provides leadership training for young people interested in aviation careers.

We'll also be discussing emerging electric air mobility career opportunities for engineers in the industry.

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to learn about aviation industry careers and connect with industry leaders. Aviation Discovery Day is the perfect place to get inspired and discover new possibilities. See you there!

Airline Pilot
Wendy Hales-Mora (Southwest) & Edgar Mora (SkyWest)

Aircraft Mechanic
Elizabeth Antoine-Hands (FAA Certified Airframe & Power Plant Mechanic), Esther Cheng (College of Alameda) & Paul Galiotis (Gavilan College)

Airline Operations
Wayne Campbell (Southwest)

Airport Operations
Rosalyn Bond (San José International Airport), Gretchen Kelly (San Mateo County Airports), & Pam Svrdlin (Hayward Executive Airport)

Flight School
Greg Hobbs & Walt Gyger (Trade Winds Aviation)


Urban Air Mobility
Travis Orloff (Staff Manufacturing Engineer & SJSU graduate, Wisk Aero)

Glider School
Gianni Leonarduzzi (Hollister Soaring Center)

Air Traffic Control
Lauren Benge (Reid-Hillview Airport)

Corporate Pilot
Charlie Harris

Civil Air Patrol
Lt. William Winter, Richard West & Josh Cucci

Air Racing
Tom McReynolds (pilot)

San Jose State University
Avery Lalor (Women in Aviation), Reese Abrams (Precision Flight Team) & Sierra Brandon-Young (Alpha Eta Rho)

Thank you for attending Aviation Discovery Day 

We appreciate your participation and hope you found your time with us informative. If any of the presented career paths sparked your interest, please let us know, via the form below, and we will be happy to provide you with more information. Thanks again for joining us and we look forward to hearing from you.

Check out the highlights from the inaugural Aviation Discovery Day.

The venue

San Jose State University's hangar at Reid-Hillview Airport, is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a hub for the university's aviation program. The hangar houses a fleet of modern aircraft, including Cessna 172s and Piper PA-44s, which are used for flight training and research. The facility also features advanced training simulators and classrooms equipped with the latest technology, providing students with an immersive and interactive learning experience. The hangar is staffed by experienced aviation professionals who are dedicated to providing the highest level of training and support to students pursuing careers in aviation.

SJSU Aviation


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