TJ is a Product Management Director within Gogo’s Connected Aircraft Services and IoT Solutions team. He helps airlines realize new operational efficiency by connecting crew devices and apps and leveraging real-time aircraft data. TJ is an industry vet working in aviation for nearly 24 years and has extensive experience within airline flight ops and fleet management. These days, TJ can often be found speaking at industry conferences such as the EFB User Conference and Global Connected Aircraft Summit (GCAS) representing Gogo.
What started your interest in aviation?
Back in the 60’s, my dad was an avionics technician in the Air Force working on fighter jets like the F-86 and F-102. He was also an avid recreational pilot. While I was growing up, we went on family trips and adventures with my dad at the helm. Airplanes were a constant in my childhood. My dad shared his passion with me and taught me the ins and outs of flying small aircraft throughout my adolescence. The training wheels came off while in college when I earned my private pilot’s license and have been flying ever since.
What do you love about working at Gogo?
I love the ability to change old paradigms that have been in place for 30-40+ years. Being a part of the connected aircraft transformation with the opportunity to leave my fingerprint on it in some way, shape, or form is very exciting. Whether it’s pilots having access to up-to-the minute weather or flight attendants receiving updates about their next trip while inflight, these are the improvements that makes their lives and jobs better overall, and that’s incredible feeling.
What is an accomplishment at Gogo that you are proud of?
I’m proud of our accomplishment of connecting 13,000 Delta Air Lines pilots. These pilots had never experienced internet connectivity or graphical weather in the cockpit. It was so rewarding to hear their reactions. One pilot commented that the connected tool made the pilots feel like “magicians in the sky,” they could find smooth air and provide the passengers and crew the best and safest flight possible.
What do you see in the future for EFBs?
Connecting a pilot’s tablet will drive efficiency, but another level of value is enabling pilots with aircraft data in real time. This will allow them to access fuel information or the status of a maintenance fault in real time for example – which is a big deal. While there are some EFBs that are connected in this way, the overall numbers are minimal. Gogo is working to change this and empower pilots with our native access to aircraft data allowing us to provide real-time data not only to pilots, but also flight attendants, technicians and airline personnel on the ground.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Early in my career, a mentor told me, “You can accomplish anything as long as you don’t focus on who gets the credit.” I think that’s a key piece of advice because the drive should be around what you’re trying to accomplish and working as a team to get there. A philosophy I try to live by is to be humble, get it done, and good things will happen.