Flying wasn’t the original plan for Christina Rzeplinski. But after taking a private jet to tour colleges on the East Coast, the trajectory of her life was forever changed. Christina wanted to be a pilot.
“I was really lucky. A girlfriend from high school took me with her to tour colleges. We flew on a private jet to New York, Boston and Connecticut,” Christina said. “Most people get on a private jet and think, ‘I wish I could always fly on a private jet.’ I got on and said, ‘I want to fly this thing.’”
Despite college shopping on the East Coast, Christina ended up in Salt Lake City at Westminster College. They offered a Bachelor of Science in Flight Operations — the first step in earning her stripes.
Born and raised in California, Christina first visited the Seattle area during a college field trip. Her class toured Kenmore’s maintenance facility to learn about small companies that do their own maintenance.
“I saw the seaplanes on the dock and knew I wanted to fly them. So told myself that after I graduated, I’d come back and get my seaplane rating — right there at Kenmore,” Christina said. And that’s exactly what she did. Christina moved to Seattle, earned her seaplane rating through Kenmore’s Flight Instruction program, and never left. Although, she didn’t end up flying floats.
As with most pilots, Christina worked her way up the ranks. She was initially hired as a Customer Service Agent at Kenmore’s Lake Union terminal in January of 2014. Moving closer to the action in 2015, she joined Kenmore’s Dispatch Department — assisting with the company’s pilot and airplane schedules.
“Dispatch really let me see the interworking’s of the company and get a feel for the life of a full-time pilot,” Christina said.
While Christina loved flying floats, working in Dispatch gave her a unique appreciation for the company’s wheeled plane division, Kenmore Air Express. “I really liked that the pilots got to fly through the clouds. With instruments, we can take off and land with less ground coverage. And we can fly right through weather,” said Christina.
Named Assistant Chief Pilot in 2018, Christina has been flying the Express line for four years and, “Loves it just as much today as the day I started,” she said. Not to mention the fact that flying will forever be interwoven into her life. Her fiancé recently proposed during an empty leg to the San Juans. “I was getting ready to descend into Friday Harbor when I looked over and he’d pulled out a ring,” she said.
You just never know what kind of magic will happen aboard a Kenmore Air flight!
Quick Facts About Christina
- Name: Christina Rezplinski
- Occupation: Express Assistant Chief Pilot
- Age: 29 Grew Up In: Mendocino, CA
- Current Residence: Seattle
- Years Working at Kenmore: 7
- First Job at Kenmore Air: Customer Service at Lake Union
- Pilot’s License: 2011
- Education: Bachelor of Science in Flight Operations