Piloting his Life

Tyler posing in front of plane


It’s rare someone gets to live out their childhood dream, but it is a fantastic thing when someone can do so. Former West-MEC student, Tyler Beckham, may just be racing through the clouds doing precisely that at this very moment.

Beckham has been a pilot since 2017, officially becoming one by joining SkyWest Airlines in February of that same year. Earlier this year, Beckham joined Delta Air Lines, something he’s wanted to do from a young age. He was in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at West-MEC from its inception in 2011 until 2013.

“Being a pilot is always what I wanted to do, but it was something I always thought would be unattainable,” said Beckham. “Starting at West-MEC was the first thing I could do to get my foot in the aviation door and made me realize I love every aspect of aviation.”

While Beckham wasn’t in the air at West-MEC like he is now, he learned the ins and outs of an aircraft. This training helped him better understand what happens when a plane traverses the sky. Typically, pilots know some aviation maintenance skills, but being as well-versed as Beckham in that field as a pilot is rare.

A wide array of aviation knowledge has helped him achieve his dream of becoming a pilot.

“If I ever have to stop flying for any reason, I have an amazing backup plan to lean on, which is a nice feeling,” said Beckham. “That’s the biggest thing West-MEC provided me overall. It just provided a great foundation and was the confirmation I needed that aviation was in fact something I was interested in and wanted to seek out.”

After his time at West-MEC was finished, Beckham sought further education and attended Arizona State University, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Management Technology (Professional Flight). 

Combining his two experiences, Beckham was ready to soar to new heights, and he has loved every second of it.

“You have an amazing view at all times. I’ve flown with some really cool people. Every day is unique, it’s never the same,” said Beckham. “Every flight is different even if it’s the same trip, there are different conditions every time. I love it.”

Beckham is the only member of his family in the aviation industry. It’s something he discovered and wanted to pursue that was unique to him. Beckham had to work hard for years and put thousands of hours into his passion to be in the position he is in today.

Beckham moved to Seattle once he got the position to be closer to a Delta hub. He grew up his whole life in Arizona and attended Centennial High School in Peoria.

“My family is all from Phoenix, so it was a bit of a tough transition having to go somewhere else. But it’s been great so far and although it’s new I’m enjoying being in a different place,” said Beckham. “West-MEC was the stepping stone for me to be where I am at today.”