Jonathan K. Mack
Helicopter pilot, software engineer, academic tutor, aerospace engineer
I was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, in 1975. I grew up in and around Morgantown, West Virginia and went to Morgantown High School, graduating in 1993. My first three years of college were at West Virginia University (WVU), in Morgantown. At the end of my third year, I decided I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a commercial helicopter pilot, so I spent my fourth year at the University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, as a commercial aviation and mathematics major. Near the end of that year, it became apparent that becoming a pilot would be too expensive there, so I decided to return to WVU to finish my bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, so I could pay for flight lessons with an engineer's salary. I did so, graduating in 1998. I then worked as an engineer at Robinson Helicopter Company, in Los Angeles, CA, from 1998 to 2000, engineering helicopters during the day, and flying them in the evenings and on weekends. By the summer of 2000, I had accumulated enough pilot ratings to be able to fly professionally full-time, so began to do so.
Until 2000, I worked as a helicopter pilot for various companies in various places around the US, doing everything from flight instruction, tours, and traffic reporting to drug interdiction and powerline patrol. In 2001 I began working for PHI, Inc., doing offshore oil support flying in the Gulf of Mexico for two years, followed by a year and a half as an EMS pilot. During 2005, I worked as a tour pilot in the Grand Canyon.
I enrolled in graduate school in 2006, graduating with a Master's Degree in Computer Science from West Virginia University in 2008.
Since 2009, I've worked as an EMS helicopter pilot for Air Methods Corporation at various bases in West Virginia and Ohio. I've been (self-)employed in various capacities as a math and science tutor since 1993.
|General||(Helicopter) aviation, math, science (especially physics), technology, and tutoring.|
|Books||Nonfiction: most anything in the history, math, science, or technology genres. Fiction by Douglas Adams, Richard Bach, William Goldman, Frank Herbert, Nick Hornby, Terry Pratchett, or J.R.R. Tolkien. Graphic novels by Alan Moore, and newspaper comic collections by Berke Breathed, Gary Larson, or Bill Watterson.|
|Music||Most anything that favors substance over style. Favorites include Bach, Barenaked Ladies, Jonathan Coulton, Nanci Griffith, Tom Lehrer, Mozart, MC Frontalot, Paul Simon, They Might Be Giants, The Wailin' Jennys, and Gillian Welch.|
|TV||Long-form dramas or documentaries, like Ken Burns' The Civil War, Firefly, The Wire, and Breaking Bad.|
|Movies||Anything by the Coen brothers, Studio Ghibli, or Pixar. Among many other favorites: Empire Strikes Back, Inception, Secondhand Lions, Serenity, Sneakers, The Usual Suspects.|
|Other||National Public Radio, especially All Things Considered, Marketplace, This American Life, Fresh Air, Radiolab, and the TED Radio Hour. (International) travel. Museums, theater, and live classical music.|