Terence H. Fontaine is a native Houstonian and a product of the Houston Independent School District, graduating from Bellaire High School in 1978. After graduation, Fontaine entered the United States Marine Corps where he began a career in aviation. During his seven-year tenure in the Marines, Fontaine worked in aviation operations, learned to fly and studied aircraft maintenance while serving his country stateside and abroad. Fontaine lived and studied abroad while working towards earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University.
In 1986, after an Honorable Discharge, Fontaine enrolled in Rice Aviation School to become a licensed Aircraft Technician. He also attended Cliff Hyde Flying Service to continue his flight training. In 1989, Fontaine joined the Technical Operations Division of Continental Airlines in Houston, TX. While at Continental Airlines, Fontaine worked in many capacities including Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor and Project Engineer. In 1994 he became a direct report to the V.P. of Technical Operations. As the Manager of Maintenance Operations and a member of Continental’s on-time performance committee, he focused primarily on maintenance performance. During his tenure, Continental Airlines achieved the highest headstart performance rating in company history.
In 1996, Fontaine transferred to the Flight Operations Division where he worked as a Pilot Instructor on the Boeing 727 and 777. After joining the training department, Fontaine continued his education and achieved an Airline Transport Pilot’s License, the highest rating an Airline Pilot can achieve. During his time as an instructor, Fontaine completed Boeing 777 Pilot Training at The United Airlines Pilot Training Center in Denver, Colorado. He is proud to have held a Pilot Training Department record for having every student he taught, pass the required FAA oral examination on the first attempt.
In 2001, Fontaine was asked to oversee a team charged with rewriting the complete pilot training program at Continental’s regional carrier, Continental Express Airlines. As a management pilot, Fontaine flew several inaugural flights and enjoyed his time in the cockpit until his departure in January 2004.