Employee story - Jason Thompson, Business Development Manager

by Jason Thompson on 11/30/2018

As a child growing up in the 80’s, one of my most memorable movies was Top Gun. I can still remember watching the dog fighting scenes and pretending that I was there. Although I didn’t end up pursuing a career flying a fighter jet, the love of aviation that Top Gun sparked in me stayed with me throughout my youth. Admittedly becoming a pilot was a feat that I largely thought was unattainable, but upon graduation from high school I decided to pursue a career path in aviation.

Four and a half years later I graduated from the University of North Dakota as a Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine Pilot (as well as a CFII) , and gained a BSc in Aeronautics Majoring in Commercial Aviation. Since graduating from college over 18 years ago, I have had the opportunity to provide primary flight instruction, teach pilots on the DC-10 and B737NG as a Ground School Instructor, and work in Business Development and Account Management at various establishments. However the vast majority of my aviation career has been spent with Aerosim Technologies/L3 in various management and development roles over the past 10 or so years. Each role has given me insights not only to the company, but also to our incredible industry.

I have many friends and past colleagues in the aviation industry including those that fly for airlines, and it provides me with a huge sense of pride knowing the training services I work with assist them through their training. About a year ago when I was on my way home from a business trip I noticed the pilot was an old friend from college who I hadn’t seen in several years. When catching up I mentioned who I worked for, and he recalled using our computer based training tools and told me how useful they had been during ground school; a great reminder of the impact we have and why I do what I do.

Another significant moment where I felt a great sense of gratification from the job was back in 2015 when I completed a sale of one of our lower level training devices, the Flat Panel Trainer, to the FAA William J Hughes Technical Center. This device is now being used for research and development testing as part of the NextGen initiative in the United States to modernize the airspace system. It’s a great feeling knowing that the work being done and the results provoked from that device will extend well into future generations.

If you asked me 20 years ago what I would be doing now, I probably would have guessed that I’d be a pilot. However, circumstances such as 9/11 and economic challenges that followed had a dramatic impact, and really steered my career into aviation training. It has been an incredible journey with such a variety of experiences, and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as we continue to provide products and capabilities to benefit of the whole industry.