Date: 29 November 2018
With the holiday season upon us, we wanted to focus on one of the most important things in life, family. We spoke with brothers Chad and Scott Riendeau, who have both gone through training with us at our Florida Airline Academy! Initially influenced by their father Wayne, the brothers have successfully followed their dreams of becoming pilots. Older brother Scott is currently a First Officer at Air Wisconsin and Chad is working as an instructor at L3 – building his hours so he too can join the airlines
Q. Tell us what sparked your interest in becoming pilots?
Chad: I wanted to be a pilot from an extremely early age, around 10 I think. I even took a flight lesson around the age of 14. My first influence was our dad, Wayne Riendeau, a now retired captain for United Airlines. I remember being addicted to flight simulator games and played them often.
Scott: Like Chad, I was greatly influenced as a child growing up with our father as an Airline Pilot. Any time we would go on a family vacation, airports always fascinated me and getting on a plane was always exciting. I was lucky to have gone on one of my father’s work trips as a child and it fed my interest.
Q. How old were you when you decided this was a career you wanted to pursue?
Chad: Well for me, I had my mind made up around 13 or 14 years old, but then I discovered I had a hidden talent for creativity in the videography field after attending a vocational class. From there I went on to establish a career in live broadcast television for over five years. Finally, after feeling stuck in my career and seeing my brother successfully complete his training and go on to work as a flight instructor, I remembered the only other thing I ever wanted to do, and decided to pursue aviation.
Scott: I was about 24 when I had made up my mind that I was serious about flying. College and past jobs never felt interesting or challenging enough. After I decided this was what I wanted, money and timing had to be in the right place for it to all come together and I got started.
Wayne and Scott
Q. Chad: Was there anything specific Scott helped you with or any bits of knowledge that he shared with you before you started training?
Chad: The biggest help I received from Scott was his support during difficult moments before, during or after stage checks. Any time I passed a check ride, he would take me out to eat somewhere I’ve never been. Having a brother who is supportive throughout the rigorous training process definitely affected my training in a positive way. He also found the perfect balance of explaining something to me vs challenging me to figure it out on my own.
Q. Scott: Is there any advice you would give to Chad or others who are interested in joining the airlines?
Scott: Take it slow and keep your options open. The industry is constantly changing, and the longer you wait the more it is improving. Focus on a balance of quality of life and pay and live in base if you can. Lastly, once you arrive don’t get comfortable; continue to look for new opportunities to move up or you will fall behind.
Scott and Wayne
Q. Is there any sibling rivalry that helps to motivate you?
Chad: Always and forever. Of course it’s more of a fun back and forth rivalry, nowhere near as intense as it was when we were growing up. Now I think we work to lift each other up more so than to win against each other.
Scott: There is rivalry but it is much friendlier then in years past. We used to compete athletically, but now we really just want to see each other succeed. We try and help each other as we work towards essentially the same goals.
Q. What is your favorite family memory in a plane?
Chad: I think both our favorite memory is our dad’s retirement flight to Costa Rica by far. Myself, Scott and our oldest brother Matt, were all seated in the same row and we received free drinks from the flight crew the entire flight. We were able to hear the a few heartfelt speeches about my dad retiring with aircraft full of passengers who cheered afterwards. Of course it was great knowing we were on an aircraft with the Captain being our father.
Scott: Our entire family got to ride as passengers on his last two flights as a 737 Captain. We videoed and documented the entire experience so we would always remember how much fun we had. We went zip lining in Costa Rica during the overnight. My other best memory was when I rented a Cirrus from the Academy and went flying with my parents for two hours. It was the first time I was able to show them all that I had learned and worked hard for. I’ll never forget watching my dad shoot a practice ILS in a prop plane.
Beth (Mother), Scott, Chad, Wayne (Father)
Q. So, who’s the best pilot out of the both of you?
Chad: Hands down my brother, I was constantly reminded how good my brother was as an instructor here, I just can’t beat that. If I’m half as good as my brother I’ll be a happy guy.
Scott: Of course he’s going to say me, but I have the experience over him. I hear he’s been making a great impression, so I’ll hold off judgement until I climb into a plane with him. Bottom line, neither of us will ever be as good as our father.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Chad: Of course I want to say that I don’t think this journey would have been nearly as smooth without the support of my entire family. I love them all dearly I will continue to try to make them proud.
Scott: “If you ain’t long. You’re short.” Saw this on a pack of golf balls. It can apply to both your swing and your landings.
Scott and Wayne