William Bayliss

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William Bayliss

William Bayliss

Senior Pilot / Goodyear
Embry-Riddle Class of 2007 & 2014
B.S. Aeronautical Science/ M.S. Safety Science


I had my heart set on becoming a professional pilot and decided I wanted to go to the finest school that could best prepare me for a career in aviation. ERAU-Prescott was particularly attractive due to the year-round flying weather and the added experience with high density altitudes, mountainous terrain, and a great variety of different wind conditions to hone one’s skills in the important art of landing. I was born in Norfolk, England and moved to the United States as a young boy. (My Dad worked as an engineer for an American based company in England). I grew up in Fresno, CA.

My experience at ERAU-Prescott was enhanced immeasurably by my time spent learning/practicing/competing with the Golden Eagles Flight Team (2005-2008). Putting in hours and hours of work after classes and all day Saturdays as a team led us to 3 NIFA SAFECON National Championships and built friendships that will last a lifetime! I gained leadership experience as the Chief Pilot in 2007 and as the President in 2008 (ERAU’s first ever back-to-back National Championship). We hosted events for the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters and were always helping out with tours during Parent’s Weekend and Admitted Student Preview Day.

The safety culture in the flight department is second to none. The fleet is always equipped with state of the art technology to give the student pilot the best training experience prior to their first job. The Master of Safety Science program is excellent. My aircraft accident investigation professor, Bill Waldock is always being interviewed by the media as one of their experts. Additionally, the classes I took in Ergonomics and Human Factors contributed to a well rounded understanding of Occupational Safety. Professor Maxwell Fogleman is an absolute asset to the program.


  • After graduation I worked for ERAU-Prescott as an Instructor Pilot, Check Airman, Flight Supervisor, and Adjunct Professor teaching a few classes on campus. I also continued on to build the skill sets  of our new Golden Eagles Flight Team members as Landings Coach.
  • Employed by Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Airship Operations in Carson, California. Currently a Senior Pilot, flying blimps.


  • [Working for Goodyear Airship Operations] “I really enjoy the team atmosphere, as it takes at least 15 crew members to launch and land the airship (not including the pilot!) so it is essential to recognize everyone’s critical duties in safe operations. When we are not flying as pilots, we are working the nose lines and carrying/loading ballast. We have specialized mechanics for both the airship and our ground equipment. We also have electronics technicians, that work as our cameramen, for the events we cover in the air and make sure the feed supplied to the network is just right on the ground. It is also nice to work for a company that helps to raise so much money for various charities by donating blimp rides, it is brilliant to see so many smiles on the days we get to provide such an experience to people!”
  • “Learning to fly airships was quite the challenge and I feel very privileged and honored to be able to fly such historical aircraft. Blimps were used extensively in WWII for patrol and convoy escort along the coastline. The first ever transatlantic airline flight with paying passengers was made by an airship in 1919.”
  • “When our GZ-20A blimp is retired, we might have the Gondola placed in the California Science Center! After the retirement we will be transitioning to the Goodyear Zeppelin NT which will be faster and more maneuverable. It is longer than an Airbus A380! Years from now I would like to come back to ERAU as a professor and pass on as much as I can to future students of aviation.”
  • “The extensive experience of all of my professors [benefitted me most]! I vividly remember stories from all of them. My aerodynamics/turbines professor flew F4s, my aircraft performance/flight safety professor flew F5s and went on to work for NASA, my flight technique analysis professor flew U2s and went on to be an airline chief pilot, my Domestic/International Navigation and EFMS professor flew as a navigator on P3s in the Canadian Royal Navy, my advanced avionics professor worked for TWA, my aircraft systems professor was a B52 navigator, my crew resource management professor was a United Airlines Chief Pilot, and my career advisor helped introduce the A6 and OV-10 into Marine aviation!”



“Stay strong in math and science! I use both every day whether it be in an airship or an airplane!”