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Who’s Who – Get to Know Craig Ciaffoni

 


The world of aviation brings together people from a variety of backgrounds and career experiences. Here at Ameriflight, our employees have unique and interesting stories to tell and we’re here to share them.

We’re featuring employees across our company, check it out! 👇

 


 

 

Meet Captain Craig Ciaffoni! 👨‍✈️👋

Craig, his wife Jessica, and stepson Jefferson

“I grew up in Albany, Oregon (shout out to the PNW!).  My parents still live there, as does my brother with his family. My job with Ameriflight has taken me all over the country, but I’ve settled in Arlington, Texas (the true home of the Dallas Cowboys) with my lovely wife, Jessica, and stepson Jefferson.

I finished my degree and flight training during the post- 9/11 recession, and so there were few pilot jobs to be had.  I worked for some months driving a lumber delivery truck while handing out resumes to any flight school that would let me in the door.  It finally bore fruit, and I spent nearly three years working as a flight instructor and teaching aviation classes at the community college.

I started at Ameriflight in 2005, only planning to stick around for six months before going to my regional airline of choice.  The opportunities to learn new skills and master new challenges kept coming at Ameriflight, and I was also fortunate to be flying at Ameriflight during the Great Recession when many pilots were hustling delivering pizzas or working hard as sandwich artists.  Nearly twenty years later, I’m still here. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to fly every aircraft type Ameriflight currently has (BE99, BE1900, SA227, EMB120, SAAB340) plus the Chieftain, which is what I was originally hired to fly in. 

 

 

As a SAAB340 Captain in the ESCS (Charter) Operation, we can be called to fly almost anywhere for the time that we’re on duty.  When not in the air, we spend a lot of our time prepping for the next flight, trying to anticipate and plan for where we’re going next, and occasionally waiting in a lounge chair for a trip notice. 

SAAB340 Sunset

By far the best thing about my time as a pilot with Ameriflight has been the places I’ve gone, the people I’ve met, and the cultures I’ve encountered along the way.  My job has taken me throughout North America and the Caribbean.  It all makes the world, and its people, seem a little closer. Some years ago, I travelled to the Caribbean Island of Dominica to help Ameriflight ascertain whether one of their airports was suitable for BE99 operations.  It’s a beautiful island with few American influences (think hotel and restaurant chains).  The entire trip was an adventure, from lodging in a local rainforest cabana to driving a right-drive car across the island and back on the left side of the road!

One of my favorite memories and one that still makes me smile, was a charter Brasilia flight I captained many years ago transporting rescued laying hens.  It brought a unique set of challenges, and some in my family still call me “Captain Cluck.”

When I’m not flying, I spend a lot of time with my wife and adventure companion, Jessica.  In the woods, on the water, or in a new restaurant, we love exploring. We’re fortunate in the DFW area to attract cultures and cuisines from around the planet.”

I’ll leave you with this: “Follow your dreams! You can reach your goals. I’m living proof. Beefcake!  Beefcaaaake!” – Eric Cartman

 

 

We appreciate all that you’ve done at Ameriflight over the past 19 years, Craig! We’re proud to have you on the team. 😊

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