I knew I wanted to be a pilot when I was eight years old flying on a British Airways 747 from Philadelphia-Boston-London. Somewhere over Ireland the Stewardess (yes, that was the title then), brought me up the spiral staircase, through the piano bar, and into the cockpit where I sat on the captain’s lap. He was filling out a Junior Jet Logbook and he gave me my first set of wings. Watching the sun rising over the horizon while in the cockpit, I knew I would be piloting an aircraft someday.

After graduating high school, I packed my bags for my first step in an aviation career. While earning a private pilot’s license,  my instructor me asked me, “What are your future intentions?”  I said, “To become a professional pilot.”

I attended flight school at SIU and received my flight ratings and degrees. Upon graduation, I was immediately hired by Simmons Airlines flying Shorts SD-360’s to gain experience flying,  I would bring my flight duffel bag & type writer with me on all flights.  After each trip I would sit down and create another letter to American Airlines.

The DreAAm came true one early morning at the Days Inn in Muskegon, Michigan.  I had phoned Dallas Center-port Hiring Department.  A woman named Candy Doyle answered and put me on hold, which seemed like eternity.  When she returned to the line, she asked, “Are you sitting down?”  I stated, “As a matter of fact, I am.”

Then came the magic words I had been waiting to hear since I was 8 years old.  “Congratulations, you’ve been hired!”

Overjoyed, I asked “When does class start?”  She then asked, “Do you want the DC-10 training still?”  Without skipping a beat, I answered, “First available class, please.”  My choices were 727 in two weeks or DC-10 in three weeks.  I chose the 727, and my life at American Airlines began.

AA gave me the opportunity  to fly state of the art Aircraft, throughout my career,  advancing from B727, F100, B757/767, B777, A330, A319, A320, A321 and ERJ-190.

Thankful to all the many people along the way who stood beside me and truly let me spread my wings.



Kevin Loughlin, graduated the same High School as Dena Krenzien, and they both share their love of flying and traveling with everyone.  Congratulations Captain Kevin.  Hoping you are my Captain one day when I board one of AA’s fleet of planes.