When Kym Rambo entered the private aviation industry, she didn’t know that one day she would be responsible for transporting a baby seal lion on an international voyage. But that’s exactly what she did. The little pinniped needed a ride from Canada to Seattle, and Rambo’s team at independent jets made it happen, arranging for a plane and safely bringing the animal to its new home.
“No day is ever the same, ever,” Rambo says. Her Jackson-based company arranges private jet transport for a wide range of clientele, including royalty, movie stars, corporate executives, ’80s hair bands—and one small marine mammal. Over the holidays, she will often transport families who realize flying in a private aircraft can be quite affordable compared with the number of commercial tickets they need to buy. Her services aren’t membership-based, so people can select just what they need. Sometimes, she even coordinates with prisons to transport inmates to court alongside armed guards, which she says the industry dubs “cuff and gun” charters.
“The thing I like the most is one day is never like the next,” she says. Some days, she’ll help plan romantic getaways for clients, while other days she’ll handle ground transportation and catering requests.
Her work is complex, and her clients’ needs are ever-changing. Not every plane can fly in every condition. Sometimes, a client will add more people to a trip at the last minute, requiring a different aircraft. Some planes even need “hush kits” to quiet the noise when traveling to and from certain airports.
Rambo’s job can be stressful. A normal Tuesday can quickly erupt into chaos if a storm interferes with air traffic. On these days she can be found with a phone pressed to each ear, working in overdrive to handle the complicated logistics that go along with her line of work. When the phone rings at 3 a.m., she answers it. “You’ve got to love the adrenaline rush,” she says.
Her military background helps her embrace the ever-changing nature of her work. She served in the U.S. Army for nearly a decade, continuing to work for a military contractor after she left the service. She worked in reconnaissance and traveled to obscure locations and can’t talk about much of her work. But she does talk about what she gained from it. “It definitely molded me into who I am today,” Rambo says. “It gave me the inner strength to see what I’m made of.”
Her company also helps out with relief efforts whenever possible, including assisting with disaster relief in Japan and Haiti.
When she isn’t working, Rambo spends time with her two daughters, aged 18 and 20. Her older daughter attends college in Colorado while her younger one is a senior in high school.
While Rambo’s days are always different, and her schedule constantly changing, she enjoys the thrill of things coming together. “I love the challenge,” she says. “I love making things happen.”