It is my pleasure to introduce myself as the latest contributor for Airside from CAE. I am incredibly proud and delighted to be able to share my experience as a Professional Airline Pilot on the MD-11 and B-747 with everyone associated with CAE.
I was born and raised in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and after finishing high school in 1988, I started my aviation career as a student pilot at the North American Institute of Aviation in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. Following my flight school graduation, I worked as a Flight Instructor and Corporate Pilot in sunny California for several years. Working very long days for very little money in general aviation contributed to my overall learning and was very rewarding.
That experience allowed me to join a major Dutch airline called Martinair as a First Officer in 1994. It was an incredible experience to fly passengers and/or cargo in the B-767/300ER and the MD-11 to destinations worldwide. In my 22 years of flying for Martinair, I moved from the position of Captain to Line Training Instructor, Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner, Senior Examiner, Human Factors Instructor and Director of Human Factors. During my time with Martinair, I conducted proficiency checks, type recurrents, remedial training, quality improvement training, type rating course training, CRM training and was responsible for the MD-11 delivery and acceptance flights.
Unfortunately in July 2016, Martinair was forced to retire the complete MD-11 fleet, resulting in massive furloughs including myself. However, this gave me the opportunity to share my experience as a Captain and Instructor with a startup airline named Global Africa Cargo, where I flew MD-11 Full Freighters out of Dubai, UAE for one year. This was followed by a two-year flying adventure on the MD-11F at one of the fastest growing cargo operators named Western Global Airlines. I feel enormously privileged and grateful to have flown the legendary MD-11 for 23 years, in which I accumulated a total of 12500 hours of MD-11.
In 2019 I had the opportunity to return to Martinair to fly the B-747/400ERF and BCF. Currently, we are flying cargo to destinations in Europe, Africa, South America, Central America and North America for Martinair and KLM Cargo.
One of my other great achievements was publishing the ‘Martinair MD-11 Aviation Legend’ book in 2017. As the Chief Editor, Author and Initiator of the book, I was able to share all my knowledge about, and experience on, the MD-11 with aviation enthusiasts worldwide. All 2500 copies of the book sold out in just a few months.
As a contributor for CAE, I will share my MD-11 knowledge and experience through articles discussing aircraft systems, training and instructing, line-flying, operations, human factors and ultimately my transition as a Pilot moving from the MD-11 to the B-747. My very first article will be a brief history of the MD-11.
George de Waard
MD-11 & B-744 Airline Pilot
Follow George on Instagram: @legendarycargopilot
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