Carole Homan

Airline: Envoy Air
Crew Position: First Officer
Aircraft: E-175
Domicile: ORD

Where did you do your flight training?

I was introduced to flying at Spring City Aviation in Wisconsin, where I earned my Private the summer after high school.

Then, I attended Arizona State University and graduated from their 141 aviation program. They had a partnership with ATP Flight School so all my 141 flying was done there. 

I also earned my CFI, CFII, and MEI at ATP Mesa and subsequently instructed there for 14 months to time build. 

How did you get interested in aviation?

Growing up, I never had any interest in aviation. Both my parents work for American Airlines, but aviation as a career just never really came up as a topic of conversation until I was applying to colleges. I was sitting at my mom’s kitchen table, applying to business programs when I said to her, “Maybe I’ll just be a flight attendant like you, you love your job!” 

She turned and raised her eyebrow at me a little and said, “Why would you be a flight attendant when you could be a pilot like your dad?” 

I didn’t know what to say! It had never crossed my mind before. Not long later, my dad took me for a discovery flight with Spring City Aviation, and I guess the rest is history! The following summer I started flight training, earned my private, and I went off to ASU shortly after.   

What airplanes have you flown during your career?

Cessna: 152, 172, 180 on floats, and 310
Piper: Warrior, Cherokee, and Seminole
T-33 and L-39 (just for fun) 
Embraer: 145  

I’m currently going through training to get typed on the Embraer 175!

Have you had/have any mentors throughout the years?

I have been blessed with so many mentors! Of course, both of my parents working in the industry makes them knowledgeable, understanding, and encouraging, they are my biggest supporters, and I owe it all to them. 

I’ve met so many other mentors along the way as well. Lisa Nilsson, a Delta A330 FO, has mentored me since I met her through ASU Women in Aviation when I was 19. Rob Peper, a FedEx 777 FO, was my simulator instructor during my senior year capstone course and always keeps up with my endeavors. Countless Captains I’ve been lucky enough to fly beside, and so many women along the way from training, to aviation conferences, to just seeing other women do it before me on social media! The inspiration is never lacking. 

Do you have any future aviation goals you hope to achieve?

Yes, short term, I hope to upgrade to Captain on the Embraer 175. As for long term goals, I’ve always wanted to fly cargo, but now that I am flying for a 121 regional, I could see myself working for a Legacy as well. We will see where opportunity takes me! I want to fly wide body international as a Captain and eventually become a Line Check Pilot.  

What would you say to girls looking to become an airline pilot?
Great idea, it’s a great career. What can I do to help get you there?

What is your favorite thing about being an airline pilot?

The job is not always glamorous. There’s no denying that you sleep in different hotels, in different cities, in different time zones nearly every night you’re working. It took some getting used to! But no matter what time I have to wake up for the van, or what delays we encounter that may be out of our control, I genuinely enjoy the work. 

I love problem solving when something arises, but I also love running normal checklists that I can recite in my sleep. I love smooth communication with ATC, and hearing “V1, Rotate” and being in control of the aircraft safely leaving the ground. Most days, the job runs smoothly. Other days are filled with constant obstacles that require attention, planning, and decision making. I’m still a regional airline pilot, so I can’t say that all of the destinations I fly to are my favorite, but the views along the way are always worthwhile.  Plus, with the right crew, it doesn’t matter what your destination is, you’ll always find something fun to do. 

What has been your favorite flight or aviation memory?

One of my favorite memories is when I was first hired by Envoy and got my CASS privileges (aka, I was now allowed to jumpseat). I took a red eye from Phoenix to Chicago, my sister picked me up from the airport, and I surprised my dad for his birthday the next day! Ironically, he was on reserve that month and was assigned a Phoenix turn the following day, so he asked if I wanted to change my flight so I could jumpseat with him. Of course, I did just that, and he and a female FO flew me back to Phoenix in the B787. It was the first time I ever sat in a flight deck and it was an amazing experience getting to see my dad at work! 

What do you feel is a benefit of being an ISA+21 member?
For me, ISA+21 has not only given me the opportunity to network with other female aviators, but it also has scholarships available to assist people pursuing amazing careers in aviation. I am so fortunate to be someone who benefited from a scholarship, and I get to reap the benefits every single day that I go to work. I love my career, flying jets is still so surreal to me, and now I get to be a member of the same organization that helped me achieve this success. 

What has ISA+21 meant to you in your aviation journey?

ISA+21 as well as the Francesca Norris Memorial Scholarship are actually the reason why I got my CFI in 2020. I completely credit the continuation of my flight training to receiving that scholarship. Without my CFI, I wouldn’t have been able to time build as efficiently as I did, and I’m so glad I didn’t do it any other way. I loved being a flight instructor. It was rewarding, made me a better pilot, gave me so much confidence, and is a large part of why I want to become a check pilot some day.