X-1 Force Feature: Mark Hackett, CEO, Richmond Executive Aviation
February 24, 2022
Mark Hackett, CEO, Richmond Executive Airport
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
Army veteran with two tours in Bosnia, Airline Pilot and Captain for three major airlines no awards, just a lifetime of dedication to promoting and improving safety in our field and mentoring those who inspire to look up. I have always been an entrepreneur and have built and managed several companies over my life with this new FBO being my latest and possibly last venture.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE AVIATION INDUSTRY?
I enlisted in the Army at 18 years old as an aircraft electrician. My ambitions were always to become a pilot and I took aim at making that a reality once my commitment to our country was fulfilled. I entered into a collegiate associated flight school in 1997 and was ultimately hired by Air Midwest airlines as a Beechcraft 1990 FO upon graduating. I upgraded to Captain on the 1900 and would end up as a Captain for Mesa Airlines on the CRJ900 prior to being hired by JetBlue Airways in 2007. I have been a Captain for JetBlue for the past 8 years on the Airbus 320/321 aircraft.
SO, WHAT'S YOUR LIFE LIKE OUTSIDE THE FBO?
I married my high school sweetheart prior to entered into service with the Army. There we would have three sons. My wife is my rock and my inspiration, and she has enabled my success in everything I have accomplished. My oldest son Nick has followed in my footsteps and is currently flight instructing for our new FBO as he builds time in preparation for the airlines.
TELL US SOMETHING THAT NO ONE WOULD GUESS ABOUT YOU.
I was on track in my high school years to become a professional Trumpet player. I was offered three full ride scholarships to play but turned them down to enter the Army. I was playing with the Carson shows piano player at the time, Joe Vento, and got to play and meet Doc Severinson himself.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT X-1?
The integrated technology from our fuel truck to flight bridge. X1 takes the demand of running an FBO from reactive to proactive, and it enables us to concentrate on awesome customer support and service.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together” Vincent Van Gogh
DO YOU HAVE A FUNNY WORK EXPERIENCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
"As a young Captain for Mesa Airlines, I had a flight to an airport I never went to before. It was a small field with the FBO on one side and the “main terminal, if you can call it that” on the other. Being unfamiliar I went to the FBO, we used paper charts back then (no foreflight) and it wasn’t clearly marked. The lineman at the FBO were startled and unsure if what to do. I made an announcement to the passengers that said “well ladies and gentleman it appears I have brought you to the wrong side of the field, please remain seated while I make it look like I know what I’m doing, blame others for my mistake and refuse to ask for directions….just like any good man would do” it met huge applause and saved a-little face during that embarrassing time."
Whether it's you, or one of your hardworking co-workers, let's recognize the contributions of the FBO's workforce on our next newsletter here: http://www.x1fbo.com/x1workforcenomination
-Monica M. Sarduy