Kimberly-Clark flies a Gulfstream G550 based at DAL and a GV from ATW to oversee business worldwide

This 145-year-old company makes personal and health care goods, manufactures in 63 countries and sells its wares in over 175.

Flight dept personnel

Sr Capt Stacey Kotrla flies the G550 based at DAL and serves as the department's safety officer. She played a key role in setting up the department's SMS.

The K-C Dallas base is supported by 4 pilots who fly an average of 30 hours a month with 6 to 7 RONs. All pilots are typed as international captains upon hire. Crews attend FlightSafety Intl (FSI) for recurrent training every 6 months and international ops training every 2 years. They also train in upset recovery, hypoxia, emergency evac and CPR.

Crews enjoy a predictable schedule and seldom have pop up trips or fly on weekends or holidays.

Scheduling takes place in Wisconsin and trips are dispersed to the bases. DAL pilots fly more overseas missions than their ATW colleagues. "Our operation is very diverse," declares Jason Ideus, K-C chief pilot. "However, we don't do any recreational trips, we strictly fly executives, managers and customers on company business all over the world."

Sr Capt Don Trekell grew up in Arizona watching crop dusters fly. Although fascinated with airplanes, he planned on becoming a farmer. He earned his private pilot license for fun while still in high school. When a drought ended his farming future, he turned to flying professionally. Early on, he flew as a crop duster and taught other pilots to crop dust. "It's a hard job flying at 500 ft all day with high payloads and sharp turns close to the ground," says Trekell.

His 1st bizav job was flying a Beech Duke for an oil rig company. He continued his corporate career primarily working for oil companies flying Learjets, a Cessna 210, Cessna 414 and a Turbo Commander. When the corporate work dried up due to oil industry challenges, he joined Continental Airlines. Not caring for the airline lifestyle, he returned to corporate flying and joined K-C in 1990 as a King Air 200 and Challenger 601-3A captain. Today Trekell is the G550 lead senior captain.

In addition to flying duties, Trekell manages daily operations of the DAL base. In 2010, he started working on the original K-C flight ops manuals that led to the department's 1st IS-BAO certification. "I love my job," he says. "I get to fly for a company where we're always treated as professionals."

Mx Tech Yvan Chouinard has been with K-C since 1983. In addition to turning wrenches, his job requires significant digital analysis.

Trekell is a FAA Foreign Pilot Examiner and worked part time as a flight examiner at Simuflite, now CAE, from 1993 to 2012. He has a BS degree in marketing from Northern Arizona University and an AA degree in liberal arts from New Mexico Military Institute. In 2018 he will celebrate 50 years of flying.

Sr Capt Robert Parks is based at DAL. He started flying at age 15 and soloed in 1969 on his 16th birthday. Early on he worked at a local airport washing airplanes in trade for his flying lessons. After earning his ratings, he flight instructed for 4 years before moving into a corporate job. He has flown a variety of aircraft including a Beech Queen Air, King Air, Mitsubishi MU2 and a variety of piston aircraft. While working for another operator, Parks flew to Sylacauga AL where K-C had an operation to support a pulp mill.

K-C was opening a base at PDK and the local chief pilot in AL asked Bob if he was interested in joining the team. Parks joined K-C in Aug 1983 as a Citation pilot, but his role has varied over the years. Currently he flies in the G550 and is a backup pilot for the GV.

He also mentors the other pilots. Parks is the longest standing pilot at K-C across all bases. He attended college at Mt San Antonio Junior College MSAC in Walnut CA and served in the ATC program while working on his flight ratings.

Sr Capt Steve Afeman joined K-C in Aug 2014 flying the G550 and is based at DAL. He began his flying career out of a love for aviation, flying night freight, corporate and then 16 years at an airline. Prior to K-C he flew Turbo Commanders, Falcons, Challengers, Learjets and a Gulfstream III.

A vintage aircraft aerobatic pilot, Afeman flies his WWII SNJ (Navy version of the North American T6) in airshows when not flying for K-C. He learned how to fly aerobatics in an Aeronca Decathlon and knew from that time he would always fly and own airplanes. "I would fly anything for money in order to fly everything for fun," declares Afeman. "To this day my job supports my sport aviation activities."

Sr Capt & Safety Officer Stacey Kotrla joined K-C in 2014. Stacey began flying for fun while studying to become a veterinarian. Her father was a corporate pilot and she grew up around aviation. She switched career tracks after spending a summer towing banners on the beach in a Piper PA18 Super Cub.

Kimberly-Clark's flagship products include iconic brands such as Huggies, Cottonelle, Kleenex, Scott, Viva, Depends and Poise. K-C is the leading producer of personal care paper products.

Kotrla went on to build time flight instructing, flying for the Civil Air Patrol, transporting freight, giving air tours in NC and flying Bombardier CRJ 700s for a regional carrier. Desiring to fly corporate, she joined Cardinal Health flying a Falcon 2000. Working on expanding her career, she relocated to 8 different states before settling in Dallas with K-C, where she flies the G550 and serves as the DAL base safety officer. Her duties include coordinating annual table top drills, emergency response plans and examining hazard reports.

Kotrla joined Women in Corporate Aviation (WCA) in 1998 and became one of their 1st scholarship winners. Through this scholarship she was awarded a Citation CE500 type rating from CAE in 2001. In all, she earned enough to pay for her college and most of her flight training in order to make her dream to fly a reality.

She encourages prospective pilots to seek out scholarship opportunities to offset the high costs of training. "Many people don't realize how many scholarships are available," says Kotrla. "There is a lot of help if only they will put in the time and effort to find these opportunities and apply for them." She has remained committed and involved in WCA serving as scholarship chair, newsletter editor and president.

Kotrla has a BS degree in animal science from Angelo State University and an MBA from Franklin University in Columbus OH. She earned her Corporate Aircraft Manager certificate in 2014.

Chief Pilot Jason Ideus joined K-C as a Challenger 601 FO in Oct 2007. While still in school, Ideus met a few pilots and joined the Experimental Aircraft Association. As a hobby he earned his pilot's license while working on his Master's degree. He quickly discovered he really liked flying, so he switched fields to pursue an aviation career.


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