Pilot Profile: Greg Bongiorno
1. Where are you from?
2. Where is your favorite place to fly?
3. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I love to cook! Not so much the cleaning…
4. How long have you been a pilot?
5. Do you do Dream Flights? Cadet Flights? Discovery Flights?
Dream Flights but I have helped out with others
6. How did you hear about ATC?
The President of Bridgewater State University met Gary and then introduced me to him
7. What made you want to become a pilot?
When I was in the 3rd grade I flew up to a fishing camp in northern Maine on an old faded green Dehavilland Beaver float plane with oil streaks covering the belly and that was it for me. I needed to be a seaplane driver! I eventually had the privilege to be a seaplane charter pilot for a few years in my early twenties before moving on to the airlines.
8. How long have you been involved with ATC?
Going on my third year!
9. What is the most memorable experience you have had with ATC?
For some reason, I am lucky enough to get the interesting dream flyers and earth loving family members each month. One slightly bumpy day the family member in the back decided to not tell me she was feeling a bit “funny” and tried to throw up in the bag at the last second but she slightly missed and went all over my shoulder and headsets. I am not ashamed to say this isn’t uncommon for me…
11. What do you like most about volunteering for ATC?
I truly enjoy being a part of an amazing team for a great cause. The ground crew and coordinators do such a great job making the experience for our visitors run so smoothly.
12. How do you think ATC is changing lives?
The brilliant idea to take the underutilized, dynamic world of general aviation and channel those resources towards fostering happiness and exploration to young individuals that could have never imagined such an experience is truly changing lives.
13. Talk me through a typical fly day you have with these kids
After the welcoming committee does their fantastic job of greeting our special visitor I have to best on my best game to keep the momentum going! It is always so much fun to introduce my dream flyer to aviation but I make it a point to keep it fun an relaxed. I usually start with non-aviation conversation at the beginning which usually helps me gauge the flyers mood in order to tailor the experience for them. I keep the conversation going and try to figure out how silly I can be since they are usually expecting something serious considering there are airplanes involved. They quickly realize there is nothing serious about what I am doing. After a casual (yet safe and thorough) preflight, I say, “lets go burn some holes in the sky” and I always let them fly if they choose.
14. What do you love about flying?
I love the challenges associated with each flight whether its a high-tech jet or old tail dragger, the people I get to fly with each day, the places I go and of course safely returning home at the end of each trip.
15. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you want to say about ATC?
I am so glad there are DD munchkins now!
16. Describe ATC in one word