Alumni Flyer: Jeremy Degagne
Flight Operations: Class of 2004
From Malawi to Denali
by Krista Deangelis
Jeremy Degagne was bitten by the flight bug as a teenager. While on an introductory flight at age 15, he fell in love with aviation. Degagne decided the major airline route was not the path for him. Rather, he took a very unconventional career journey, his first “real” flying job was chartering fly-in safaris around Africa. “I’ve always been a free spirit. The thought of being tied down to a life of autopilot flying or sitting in the right seat waiting for a captain upgrade had zero appeal to me,” he said. “My first passion is travel, so I’ve been fortunate to combine this love with my aviation career.”
After graduating and serving as a flight instructor, Degagne headed for Malawi in southeast Africa. “Finding that job was a bit of a shot in the dark. I bought a one-way ticket to Johannesburg in hopes of finding a bush flying job and was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time in Malawi,” he said. Having flown in more than 15 countries and on three continents, he has already had an extraordinary career. After 14 months in Africa, he spent two years flying for a charter company in Juneau, Alaska, then returned to Africa to fly for AirServ, where he worked under contract for Doctors Without Borders in the Republic of Congo.
“My most recent AirServ job and working with Doctors Without Borders was not the most glamorous by any means, but flying doctors, nurses, vaccines, and doing medical evacuations in a conflict zone is certainly rewarding.” Degagne is a supporter of the career path he has chosen. “I would advocate the non-traditional career path,” he said. “It is an excellent opportunity to travel the world and learn about other cultures.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.