Jenny Stiffler, First Officer United Airlines

Jenny Stiffler, First Officer United Airlines

Jenny Stiffler
First Officer United Airlines Boeing 737

Jenny grew up in Tennessee and wanted to fly airplanes from the time she can remember. She began her journey learning to fly at a local airport and started earning flight training hours. Flight training hours consist of flying and teaching flying. (Different amounts of flight hours are needed for different pilot licenses.)


Already having some flight time under her belt before entering college, Jenny needed to complete the basic college courses and a required amount of flying time to graduate.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace from Middle Tennessee State University, which involved passing verbal, written and flying tests. While attending college, she taught flying to fellow students to get her remaining flight hours and earn money for some of her college tuition.

After graduation Jenny got hired by Horizon Airlines, a regional airline on the West Coast as a First Officer*.  During the 13 years she worked at Horizon she worked her way up to Captain.

Wanting to fly for a larger airline and an international carrier, Jenny has been working for United Airlines for one year as a First Officer.  Seniority is the way to advance to Captain at United Airlines. As a First Officer of a Boeing 737 at United Airlines, Jenny accrues around  80 hours a month. This does not include the time coming and going to and from airports. Jenny lives in Ohio but is based out of Newark, New Jersey.

Her responsibility as the First Officer is to support the Captain, some piloting of the aircraft, crew resource management, radio and discussing decisions regarding the flight with the Captain plus any other assigned duties. Jenny says that before each flight, she checks the weather, the route she will be flying and any reports of air turbulence, etc.

In addition to flight time, technical training and learning about the planes you are flying, Jenny says that important qualities for pilots are being customer service oriented, flexible and disciplined.

Jenny says that most rewarding aspect of flying for her is “…the awesome scenery and fabulous views you have.”

Book recommendation:

Georgia Goes to Lunch by Andrea Coppick

This book is about what got Andrea Coppick interested in flying when she was a kid. She is now an airline pilot for Alaska Airlines.


* “In commercial aviation, the first officer is the second pilot (also referred to as the “co-pilot”) of an aircraft. The first officer is second-in-command of the aircraft to the captain, who is the legal commander. In the event of incapacitation of the captain, the first officer will assume command of the aircraft.” Wikipedia

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