"At CBU, I liked being a part of something new. We started off as a small group, and it was like a family all four years throughout the program.”
This 2017 graduate of the B.S. in Aviation Flight program currently serves as a pilot with SkyWest Airlines.
The Department of Aviation Science at California Baptist University intended the Bachelor of Science in Aviation Flight for students with no prior experience in the cockpit. Interested in being a pilot since the age of 14, San Diego native Hannah Biltz jumped at the chance and enrolled in the program.
A close-knit, supportive atmosphere, plus hands-on opportunities, helped her gain the skills and instructional experience to get where she is today — a first officer with SkyWest Airlines. Learn more about how this comprehensive pilot training program and CBU’s faith-rooted mission led her along this path.
Program: B.S. in Aviation Flight
Concentration: Aviation Dispatch
Graduation Year: 2017
Current Job Title: First Officer at SkyWest Airlines
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Current City: Imperial Beach, CA
Life at CBU
Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
I have wanted to be a pilot since I was 14 years old, so naturally I wanted to find a university that had aviation majors. The flight major was more in the direction that I wanted my career to go, so I chose flight. My father has been in the military my entire life, so whenever we flew to visit my extended families, I very much loved the plane rides. I loved going to air shows as a young girl, and I could never let go of this dream of mine.
What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
I liked being a part of something new. We started off as a small group, and it was like a family all four years throughout the program.
What did you think about your professors?
I loved my professors. They made this extremely difficult program FUN! They were personable and funny and all around made the program better.
Did you participate in anything else at CBU?
I started a Women in Aviation, International (WAI) chapter, called the WAI Blue Yonder chapter. I also participated in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) regional flight team competition.
How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
I was so busy my first three years in the program that my outside growth wasn’t as obvious as my fourth year. Educationally, I grew the most after becoming a flight instructor. Teaching others taught me more about myself and put my knowledge to the test. I think I grew a lot socially after succeeding in the program and building the confidence that it takes to be a pilot. I grew closer to my group of friends within the program. All of this could not have happened without spiritual growth as well. God was truly at my side through the ups and downs of the four years in the program, and He tested me in ways that only made me a stronger Christian.
Did your major help you figure out your purpose?
It helped me live my purpose entirely. I truly believe God wanted me to fly, but He wants much more than that. He has allowed me to use this passion of mine to influence and help others in this very secular industry. He has allowed me to use aviation as my mission field.
Life after CBU
What have you done since graduating?
After college, I obtained a full-time position as a flight instructor within the very program I completed. I then had to move three times due to my husband’s active duty military obligations. Meanwhile, I worked to get the experience needed for the airlines and eventually gained my current role as a first officer with SkyWest.
What are your current job duties?
As a first officer, I ensure the safety and efficient operation and management of the aircraft. I carry out pre-flight checks of aircraft systems and monitor in-flight data and ensure smooth operations. I navigate the aircraft across safe terrains and weather together with the captain.
How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
As I earned the certificates and built the knowledge I need for this job, the major has 100% contributed to my career today.
Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life
How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
I hope I am making a difference in the world by showing a life led by Christ in every secular world that surrounds me. Whether that be the military world or the airline world, I try to be a reflection of Jesus. I believe I am living my purpose by being a faithful and patient wife. I had to put my flight dreams more or less on “pause” for three years while we were stationed somewhere that did not have flying opportunities for me. God has been faithful in giving me the strength to persevere through the difficult times our situation brought and allowing me to eventually achieve my dreams of becoming an airline pilot. I am grateful and excited for what is to come!