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Meet Travis Lukens

Travis’ passion for aviation was first sparked by spending hours flying remote control planes with his father. Working at Boeing, one of the largest global aircraft manufacturers, his dad was always eager to share his love for airplanes with his son. In turn, Travis admired the way his dad could identify the makes and models of every airplane they’d see. Needless to say, before even graduating high school, Travis acquired his private pilot license.

Joining the NetJets Family

For almost 30 years, Travis has channeled his ambition into becoming a highly respected pilot known for being both professional and personable. He joined NetJets because of the company’s momentum and commitment to safety, as well as for the opportunity to fly the newest, most cutting-edge aircraft available. After 20 years as a dedicated NetJets private jet pilot, he has additional reasons to stay. First, the people—some of the most fascinating he’s ever met—and the fact that he feels the company fully supports his decisions when it comes to the safety of his flights. He also respects that NetJets requires simulator training every six months (the rest of the industry only trains annually). In fact, Travis firmly believes NetJets leads the way in safety training.
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“For training at NetJets, I go every six months to a simulator. We go through all the different scenarios you can think of—and the ones you can’t think of.”
Travis Lukens, NetJets Captain, Challenger 650Quote Closed

Doing his part

When Travis isn’t flying, he’s helping wounded warriors and people with disabilities to water ski. On the morning news a few years back, Travis saw a story about a man who lost his arms while in Afghanistan. The veteran’s passion was kayaking, and with the use of prosthetic arms he was able to enjoy the sport again. Travis wondered if he could share his love for water skiing with people with disabilities. After learning how to use adaptive equipment to water ski, Travis first skied with a 12-year-old wheel chair-bound boy. While they were on the water, Travis noticed the boy gained confidence in himself; perhaps feeling, for the first time, like he was cool. Travis was hooked. He went home, bought equipment, gathered a crew, and created the nonprofit organization, Colsac Skiers.
Like NetJets, Colsac Skiers prioritizes safety. All events are sanctioned by USA Water Ski, which means all members are certified boat drivers, instructors, and safety coordinators. A variety of equipment is always on hand to safely meet the different riders’ needs. The volunteers are regularly trained and rotate through the positions (dock, in-boat safety, etc.) to keep everyone alert. And overall, the team is adamant about putting in the extra time and care needed for pre-planning and set up—all to guarantee that the rider feels 100 percent safe and comfortable.

Travis has been committed to Colsac Skiers for more than five years. He has been able to share his passion with hundreds of people. And as Travis proudly reports, it is the most rewarding thing he has have ever done.
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“He looked up at me like it was the first time he felt cool. And there’s nothing more important to a 12-year-old boy than being cool.”
Travis Lukens, NetJets Captain, Challenger 650Quote Closed
Find your place
Learn more about what it takes to become a pilot at NetJets.
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All images and videos were captured prior to COVID-19. NetJets is currently following all CDC guidelines.