Meet Our Members

  Jeneal McKinleyMay 24, 2016  

Jason Kopp

Jason graduated from Midland, Texas and as all good Texans, was fully planning on going to Texas A&M, however at the last minute an opportunity arose for him to attend Pensacola Christian College with a friend.

Being last minute, he saw no way for it to work out but with the persistence of a dedicated mom and maybe a small miracle, he found himself on his way to Florida.

That just might have been his most fortunate change in his life, for it was there that he met his future wife. It didn’t take long for the couple to decide Pensacola wasn’t a good fit so they moved to Michigan where Angie was from.

They began a life there, Angie taking classes for cosmetology and he began his temporary career as a tool and die maker. He often talked about becoming a pilot, so one year Angie gifted him with a discovery flight. That only served to fuel his passion, so with a second child on the way, he enrolled at Regional Airline Academy in DeLand, Florida in 2002. After graduating a year later, he became a flight instructor with the same school as a way of building his hours.

In 2004 he got a job with ExpressJet Airlines, Continental Express, as a First Officer on the Embraer 135/145. In Dec of 2006, he upgraded to Captain, a rank kept even through the down turn of 2008. He worked with the Pilot Mentor Program, which provided guidance during a new hire’s first year at the air carrier. It was during this time he saw the importance of instilling leadership, integrity, and flight safety qualities in the next generation of pilots.

During the time between 2007 and 2010, he decided to try and expand his scope of experience by applying for opportunities both at Emirates in Dubai and Tianjin Airlines in China. They both fell through during this time. Although China contacted him later, his life had taken another side step.

One day in 2007 while his wife was at the community pool in Houston, she had a chance encounter that led to a friendship that would play an intricate role in their future. Angie’s new friend was married to a corporate pilot and it was through this connection that ultimately led to the family moving to Colorado and working for some company called OtterBox. In 2010, Jason had an opportunity to play a part in the startup of the company flight department. After meeting the owners, this calmed any hesitation to uproot his family and shortly thereafter the U-Haul was packed and the family was on their way. He was the second pilot hired and was in charge of building aircraft checklist and a flight operations manual. In 2012, the Chief Pilot position became available and Jason was chosen. He oversaw the expansion and transition of the flight department to Blue Ocean Aviation, LLC, an aircraft management and services company, from three Pilots and a Line Tech to at its peak, six Pilots, Director of Maintenance, Maintenance Lead Technician, Line Services Tech, and an Aircraft Scheduler/Admin. The fleet also grew to a total of 4 managed aircraft and also a new hangar was built. To say the least, he was busy.

With the foundational pieces in place and the dust starting to settle, you will find him continuing to learn and fine tune the operation. Also taking the time to be more involved in the local aviation community and lending his experience to help where needed. You’ll find that Jason has a list of quotes in his phone that he likes to use from time to time. Here are two you might hear:

“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” – Zig Ziglar
“Worry about being Better, bigger will take care of itself.” – Gary Comer

He is extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given in his current role, the people throughout his career that helped and gave advice along the way, an extremely patient and encouraging pilot’s wife, and being able to do what he loves while raising three kids in beautiful northern Colorado.