Incredible Pilot: Jessica Koss – Plane & Pilot Magazine | Aviation


There are many trailblazers to celebrate in the world of aviation. Some well-known names wrote the first chapters of aviation history decades before each of us fell in love with the sky, and their accomplishments and pioneering are well worth celebrating. It’s also important to recognize the men and women making history today—many of them forging paths and inspiring the next generation of pilots.

Jessica Koss, lead transportation pilot and safety coordinator at Garmin in Olathe, Kansas, is one of those quietly opening the doors to that next generation, whether flying with her three daughters, nurturing the skills of pilots she trains at Garmin Aviation, or introducing young people to aviation through the company’s outreach efforts. 

Koss became interested in flying in high school, when her dad took her to an air show.. She started taking lessons at 17 when her uncle helped her connect with an instructor. Koss stayed in Iowa for college, and earned her certificates and ratings. She worked as a flight instructor before joining Garmin 14 years ago in August. She started out in support and training, worked in public relations for the company for about seven years, “and then I transitioned to the hangars in July 2020,” first as a pilot and safety coordinator before moving into her current role.

The job allows for some variety in responsibilities. On any given day, Koss might be teaching ground school on the Garmin campus, giving lessons in the air, flying work missions in one of the company’s many aircraft, or meeting high school students or younger members of the local community to give them their introduction to aviation. 

Flying the different types of aircraft in the company fleet is a joy and challenge for her. “I may go from flying a Citation or King Air to flying a Bonanza the next day—or maybe even later that day—or a 182,” Koss says. “It keeps you on your toes. You don’t get bored easily.” 

The Beech King Air 350 is…

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