James Onieal founded Raven Career Development in 2010 with the goal of providing aviation professionals with the tools and resources to successfully network, market, strategize, and develop their careers within the aviation industry. Focused on delivering high quality customer-focused services, James has helped hundreds of pilots and aviation professionals across all disciplines of aviation including corporate, charter, airline, and military segments. As an ATP certificated pilot with type ratings in King Air 300, Citation Sovereign, and Embraer 170/190 aircraft, James understands pilots and the many challenges they can experience during the career development and hiring process.
While still a senior in high school, James completed primary flight training in central New Jersey and obtained his private pilot certificate months before he even received his driver’s license. His passion for all things aviation led him to pursue an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Science with a minor in Air Traffic Control at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. During his time at Embry-Riddle, James became a flight instructor for the University and specialized in teaching commercial, multi-engine, and flight instructor candidates in addition to working with students experiencing challenges in their flight training.
Shortly after his time at Embry-Riddle, James began flying a turbo-prop for a regional carrier in the Northeast and eventually transitioned to a large regional jet prior to his departure to join a large fractional operator flying a Citation Sovereign. James flew clients throughout North America and the Caribbean, with extensive operations in and around challenging mountainous areas while also focusing on specialty projects to enhance safety and operational efficiency throughout the entire flight operation.
With the economic downturn of 2010 in full effect, James used his furlough status to perfect his planning, strategy, networking, interviewing, and negotiating skills, ultimately leading to multiple interviews with Fortune 500 flight departments throughout the United States. His own personal success in this arena led him to create Raven Career Development, to assist other pilots in developing their resumes, networking skills, career strategy, and interviewing techniques. The business began growing organically by word of mouth and clientele expanded as additional services were added, ultimately growing the client base across multiple continents and to other highly skilled industries such as finance, law, medicine, government, education, and hospitality.
During this period, James secured a position as the Director of Operations for a large Part 61 flight school and Part 91 management company in the Northeast, where he oversaw pilots, instructors, maintenance, hiring, and office staff. This management experience led James to accept a position as an Aviation Safety Inspector responsible for Part 121 Air Carrier oversight, with emphasis on international procedures training, ETOPS pilot training, and electronic performance programs. In addition to his focus on air carrier operations, James also performed accident/incident investigations, conducted pilot enforcement actions, and assisted in the oversight of international corporate and airline operators in foreign locales.
With years of aviation management and flight operations experience, James naturally transitioned to a new position as an Air Space System Inspection Pilot where he is currently responsible for certifying navigational aids, approach procedures, and airport lighting to support safe and efficient operation of aircraft using space and ground-based instrument procedures throughout the United States.