Dutch King reveals he's been a pilot for KLM for the last 20 years

King Willem Alexander flies passenger jets for KLM as a hobby.



He can’t just buy his own plane?

I’m not sure I would want my airline pilot to be one who does it part-time as a hobby. I would think a full-time professional would be more competent and thus safer.

“This flight 100% more Koninklijke”

Abdullah II is a helicopter pilot.

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson is a licensed airline pilot, and flies the band’s plane when they tour.

I’m sure “hobby” does not mean not fully professional. An airline would allow someone not fully competent and trained to fly. He’s a fully trained professional who happens to also be a king.

He’s only the co-pilot. But yes, it’s cool.

I love finding out stuff like this. I remember reading all of James Herriot’s books All Creatures Great and Small and reading an interview with him. He exclaimed about how lucky his life was and how wonderful that he got to do the exciting veterinary work and finally mentioned he had had to take a short break his vet practice. Nothing really, just a spot of bother involving the RAF, flying Hurricanes, WWII. It impressed me that he considered that a minor accomplishment next to treating animals.

So they really are Royal Dutch Airlines. That’s very cool, and good on him!

Kareem Abdul Jabbar used to do the same thing back when he played for the Lakers. He told everyone he was “Roger Murdock”.

Is that unusual? 20 years as a copilot? You’d think that anybody would expect a promotion to Captain.

Ace, he’s a King in his day job. The only meaningful promotion that is available to him is Emperor.

It’s good to be the king.

I’d still want my promotion to Captain. :smiley:

John Travolta flew for Qantas for awhile. He was fully qualified to do it.

The article suggests he doesn’t get many flying hours.

What does he need to decompress from as the king of the Netherlands? I would think being an airline pilot would be more stressful because the stakes are dire, tangible and imminent.

Actually, most of the time flying is routine and boring, that’s how safe and controlled it has become.

Even the most gonzo professional pilot is limited in how many hours per month he can fly, such that many of them have a second business on the side for their off days. Typical would be no more than 30 hours per week, which means a “full time pilot” is more 3/4 time or less compared to office workers doing 40-50 hours per week (or more, in some cases).

And while the Netherlands aren’t a world power I expect running a country (or rather, assisting in doing so) carries its own level of stress.

That’s exactly it: the stakes are tangible and imminent and his performace is measured objectively. He nails the landing and gets to the gate on time. Hands in a perfectly put together flight plan. Together with the captain he makes real decisions and performs the tasks needed with his own hands. Exhilaration. Focus on the here and now and not on 5 years down the road.

Meanwhile, heading a monarchy requires dealing with a lot of political BS and legacy protocol, signing off on assent to policy decisions by politicians you don’t care for, dressing up in white tie with sash and medals at least once a week to hear boring speeches at an awards ceremony for someone you’ve never heard of for something you didn’t even know was a thing, dreading that some royal in-law will be caught skimming from contracts…

Why does the Netherlands need a King and how do I apply for that job? Actually, scratch that, I would rather be a pilot just like he is.

I thought this thread title said Don King was a pilot for KLM for the last twenty years.:eek:

Gotta be a little weird for his captains, having to command their own king.