After graduating from Bozeman High School, I spent several years practicing the art of ski
bum, trouble maker, hot rod engine builder and drag racer. I finally decided the best way to
go really fast and stay out of trouble was to fly airplanes. So, off to Reno I went, where I
trained for and started my flying career.

My first flying job began July 9, 1981 with
Summit Engineering Corporation out of Reno,
Nevada. I was with Summit for twelve years flying Cessna brand aircraft, which included a
C-206, C-210, C-310 and C-414. I learned a lot about aviation, computers, computer
networking, surveying, AutoCad and much more while at Summit.



















I then went to work flying for Great American Airways out of Reno. I worked there for five
years flying the
DC-9 and MD-80 series aircraft. During April of 1997 Great American
Airways went out of business.

After Great American, I flew for Southeast Airlines out of St. Petersburg, Florida flying the
MD-88.

Two years later, I went to work for
Allegiant Air flying the MD-82, MD-83 and MD-87. After a
year at the airline, I was promoted to a Check Airman position. Basically that made me
responsible for  training pilots for international over water flying, training and checking pilots
during initial operating experience for new hire and upgrade pilots, and conducting line
checks for new hire and recurrent training pilots. I was also flying the line as a Captain.
After two years I was offered the East Coast Chief Pilot position at the airline's
Orlando/Sanford base. I held that position for about two years when I decided it was time to
go home to Montana. I stepped down from the
Orlando/Sanford Chief Pilot position and
took a position in the training department. My duties were to train new hire and Captain
upgrade pilots in the flight simulator, conduct check rides in the flight simulator, and all of
the Check Airman duties on the line. In May of 2008 I took my old Florida position back, but
was going to travel back and forth from Montana for work. I figured it was going to be
temporary, but it ended up lasting several years. On June 15, 2011, I stepped down from
the East Coast Chief Pilot position for the last time and returned to the training department.
I also served as a tech or special assignment pilot, which means test flying aircraft that
came out of heavy checks/inspections.




















And finally, effective July 11, 2013 I retired from the airline business. I stay real busy with
photography, working part time at the
Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake and
flying part time for the State of Montana. Life is good!
Chris Gillette
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