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February 12, 2014

Flying in: Lewis Cass grad makes living as commercial pilot

Lewis Cass grad pilots Boeing to Grissom for paint job

A Boeing 777 aircraft with American Airlines flew in to Grissom Aeroplex Monday afternoon thanks to pilot Jay Strauch.

The plane flown by Strauch, a Lewis Cass High School graduate, was scheduled to be painted at the Dean Baldwin facility at Grissom Aeroplex. Like many other planes, it’s being painted a different color scheme because of the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways.

After graduating from Lewis Cass in 1972, he went into the Air Force Academy where he graduated in 1976. He spent more than seven years in the U.S. Air Force and traveled about 1,800 hours as a pilot. When he became a pilot for American Airlines he was ranked as captain for the U.S. Air Force.

As a pilot with the airline for nearly three decades, he has flown 20,000 hours. Some 8,000 of those hours have been in the 777, Strauch said.

Before Monday, Strauch had never seen the area from the air. Strauch said it was cool being able to see Walton and the high school again.

Strauch, who has been a pilot with American Airlines for 28 years, flies international flights out of Dallas. He splits his time between Indianapolis and Dallas.

Before flying out of Dallas, Strauch flew out of Chicago. One of his daughters is located in Dallas, which was one of the draws of moving locations. Two of his daughters are seniors at Purdue University. He comes back to Indianapolis three or four times a month.

Strauch isn’t the only one in his family involved with flying. His wife, Laura, is a commercial and corporate flight attendant.

Another draw to flying international flights out of Dallas was the better destination options.

A few of the many international destinations Strauch has landed in include Delhi, Shanghai, London, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Madrid, Paris, Sol and Frankfort.

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