Leadership From the Cockpit

22 Results for Tag ALP-Our Stories

Former WWII Army Air Corps pilot August Harvey “Augie” Martin flew part-time for several smaller air carriers before becoming the first African-American to fly for a major U.S. airline.

Like many couples, Pete and Cheryl Pitzer (both captains at FedEx Express) met on the job. “We met on long BQN layovers,” explained Cheryl. “We flew two months together then I moved to another aircraft type. From the start it was a long-distance relationship that was helped by the ease of travel, she said. “Pete lived in Memphis, I lived in Dallas; we would visit each other.”

A pair of “beautiful eyes” and an “innocent smile” during a flight engineering class for the 727 kicked off a near-three-decade long relationship for Walid and Cammie Nakib. Walid, a captain with Endeavor, says he was “very much taken” at their first meeting. The couple would go on to date for seven-and-a-half years, says Cammie (a first officer with Delta) before tying the knot. “We thought as pilots we would rarely be together at the same time and how could we raise a family,” explains Cammie. “But love won out and we decided we would make it work somehow.”

Ryan and Kat Pullis, both captains at Virgin America, met in Hawaii 17 years ago when Kat showed up to flight training with Ryan as the instructor. Three months into their budding relationship came the first airline-related roadblock: Ryan got his first airline job, entering the duo into a long-distance relationship. “Some initial challenges were learning the life of an airline pilot and the crazy schedules that come with that,” Ryan admits. “Also, learning how to cope with the trust issues that come with the career and distance.”

To help commemorate Valentine’s Day this year, we spoke to a selection of six pilot-pilot couples to learn more about their unique relationships. None of them proclaim to have a perfect marriage or believe that they have all the answers. Instead, their stories are meant to educate, to inspire, and hopefully even to provide a pathway for those in or considering entering into their own similar relationship. Today, meet Claude and Jennifer Buraglia.


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