Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his congratulations to Mr. Eli Ukulele Seumalo who was recently selected for an airline pilot position with Hawaiian Airlines.
After a rigorous interview process with the commericial airline, Eli has been offered a position at 1st officer on the Airbus A330. He will begin flight training this week in Honolulu, followed by simulator training in the mainland and a probationary flying period.
Before beginning his 18 year career as a pilot, Eli set his sights on the profession as a young boy growing up in American Samoa. He was inspired mostly by his father, Ukulele Seumalo, now a retired Master Sargeant in the U.S. Air Force with 31 years of service. His father, a military veteran of the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II, was also a flight crew member on Convair B-36's and Boeing B-52's in the Strategic Air Command.
Pursuing his dreams of becoming a pilot, Eli enrolled in Pilot Training at AeroMech Professional FlightTraining school in Scottsdale Arizona, where he earned his Private, Instrument Commercial and Multi-Engine Pilot Ratings. Since then, he has flown thousands of hours on domestic and international flights.
Eli has piloted for several companies including Desert Sky Aviation, Copperstate Air Service, Native Air (where he attained his Airline Transport Pilot Rating), Ryan International Airlines (where he attained his Flight Engineer rating), Swift Air Group, Polar Air Cargo, and most recently XOJet where he flew as Captain on a Citation X (CE-750). Although the Citation X has been the mainstay of Eli's career, he also holds five additional type ratings in the following aircraft: Jetstream 3100, Citation V, Citation VII, Boeing 737 and Boeing 747. Eli’s future aspirations are to make Captain and serve a long career with Hawaiian Airlines. He also hopes to be able to inspire our younger Samoans along the way.
Born and raised in the village of Vailoatai, American Samoa, Eli is the son of Ukulele Seumalo of Vailoatai and Ilalia Aiumu Seumalo of Pago Pago. He is a graduate of Leone Midkiff Elementary, Leone High School (1988), American Samoa Community College (1990), and a former member of the U.S. Army Reserve in 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 100th Battalion 442nd INF based in Tafuna. Mr. Seumalo is married to Christie Lynn Seumalo. They have one son, Atali’i, who is three years old.
“As American Samoa’s representative in the U.S. Congress, I am sincerely proud of what Eli has accomplished in his past 18 years as a pilot and I congratulate him and his family today on his most recent achievement. As Eli begins his training this week in Honolulu, I have every confidence that he will continue to serve with excellence in his new endeavor. I am certain that as he continues to give his best effort in his new position, he will soon reach his ultimate goal of becoming Captain with Hawaiian Airlines,” Faleomavaega added.
“I am also certain that as Eli progresses in his career, he will continue to be a shining example for our young Samoan men and women who have set their sights on accomplishing their dreams. Eli is a perfect model, and I wish him all the best in his career,” Faleomavaega concluded.