Member Focus: Scott Odle
Friday, March 21, 2014

NATCA/FAA career: I have worked as a Flight Test Engineer in the Flight Test Branch of the Aircraft Certification Service in Long Beach and Lakewood, Calif., since 1989. I have worked in the same branch of Aircraft Certification since I started with the Agency. Prior to this, I worked Flight Test at both Lockheed and Northrop Corporations for a total of about five years.

I have worked and flown numerous projects, including the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and MD-90, Embraer 170/190 certification for use in the U.S. by JetBlue and others. I worked Hush Kits on such aircraft as 707, DC-8, 727, Gulfstream G-II/GIII, and others. I also worked on the certification approval of many firefighting tankers such as the 747, DC-10 and S2-F, plus many modifications to aircraft and certification of new general aviation aircraft and helicopters.

I have been a member of NATCA and a Union representative for NATCA in one capacity or another since shortly after the AIR unit was certified in September 2000. I was also a member of the NATCA Multi-Unit Contract team.

Born and raised, other places of living: I was born, lived, and went to school in Whittier, Calif. Today, I still live in Whittier close to where I grew up.

Education: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Family: I have been married to Joy since 2003 (the Joy of my life). I have no children, but Joy has two adult children. I have two sisters; one lives nearby and the other lives near our parents in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Q: How did you become a NATCA member? 

A: I joined NATCA shortly after the FLRA certified our unit. I have been a member ever since.

Q: Do you have any family members who were involved in unions? 

A: My mother was member and at one time the President of the teachers union in the school district she worked here in California. I remember her actively working for the union, including contract negotiations.

Q: How did you get involved, and what are you involved in with NATCA? 

A: After our unit was certified, I was first asked to be a local representative. It grew from there. I currently have the following positions:

Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office Facilities Representative
Denver Aircraft Certification Office Facilities Representative
Transport Airplane Directorate Representative
NATCA Local EW1 President
Region X member of NATCA Drug & Alcohol Committee

I was also a member of the Multi-Unit Contract team in 2010-2011.

My biggest challenge was learning and eventually being able to first chair arbitrations. I have done arbitrations for employees in AIR and ARP. I currently also participate in PAR (Pre-Arbitration Review) for the multi-units.

Q: What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA? 

A: I was asked to take a role as the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office Representative after the AIR unit was certified by the FLRA. I looked at it as a new challenge and an opportunity to work for the benefit of my fellow employees. Little did I know, it would become nearly a full-time endeavor. I have chosen to focus on this work because it is so important that the employees’ voices be heard and their concerns and issues be addressed.

Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA? 

A: I have to say that being part of the Multi-Unit Contract team in 2010 and being able to secure the Blue Book was the best experience I have had.  Working with our team leads, Bryan Zilonis and Dean Iacopelli, was a tremendous opportunity for me and I learned so much from them as well as many others.

Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?

A: My advice is to not hesitate to get involved. Take the NATCA training that is available even if you never plan to be a Union representative. Go to all meetings and stay informed.  Take advantage of the opportunities that exist.  And never think that you have to take care of an issue alone, as members have many Brothers and Sisters in NATCA.

Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?

A: I used to spend much of my time whitewater rafting and kayaking. I also used to compete in whitewater kayak events.  I play poker and have entered, played, and cashed in several tournaments including last year’s million-dollar World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. I also enjoy shooting and going to the range with other members in the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office.

Let’s go beyond your involvement in NATCA.

My favorite comfort food is: Is beer considered a food?
The best place I've ever travelled to: I love Cabo San Lucas. But good margaritas can always be found in Las Vegas.
The one chore I absolutely hate doing is: Anything involving yard work. That is why there are gardeners.