Mike Nagel is a second-generation employee of American Flyers. Mike’s dad, Mike Sr., began working for American Flyers (A.T.E. at the time) in the 1970s when we had a location at Love Field in Dallas, TX. After leaving A.T.E., Mike Sr. began working for Southwest Airlines where he stayed until he retired a couple of years ago. So, you could say that Mike’s passion for aviation and teaching, was handed down from his father.
When I first met Mike in 2017, he was busy working on becoming a CFI while enrolled in our academy in Addison, Texas. I doubt Mike remembers meeting me for the first time, but I remember the encounter like it was yesterday. He had just returned from a flight and was standing at the front counter. I asked him how it went and he told me that it was a good flight. He stated that he was looking forward to taking his check ride in the next week or so. I asked him what he wanted to do when his training was complete and he looked at me and said, “I want to work here.” I asked him why and he said, “Because this is where I want to work!” We laughed for a few minutes and when the conversation was over, I told the local manager that he should hire the redhead standing at the front counter. The local manager said, “I’ve been planning on doing that since the day he started training with us.”
Needless to say, we hired Mike and could not be happier. Mike worked as a CFI at our Scottsdale, AZ location for a year and was quickly promoted to assistant chief pilot. I say quickly because it didn’t take us long to determine that Mike had the right stuff. He has always been dedicated to our students and has a hunger for learning that few others have. As an assistant chief pilot, Mike was always on the phone talking to our national chief pilot, Steven Daun. He was asking questions about student programs and what he could do to become a better instructor. About 6 months ago we needed a strong manager in Scottsdale, AZ. Mike stepped up and said he would like to take on the position. Yet another move that we have not regretted. Since taking on the position, Scottsdale has grown, and our students couldn’t be happier.
Mike said his goal is to grow and take on more responsibility with American Flyers. Mike, you keep doing what you’re doing. With your commitment to excellence and our students, you will have a prosperous career with us. Thank you for all that you do!