First off I'll give the answers to the two
questions I get asked every day: Yes, I grew up in England. And yes, my real name is English . . .
With that out the way, we can review my sordid
It is a vicious rumor that I somehow came upon this
earth after the circus train derailed into the toxic waste dump. I
actually 'grew up' in Rainham, Kent, attending Parkwood Junior School
Technical High School in the late seventies/early eighties. What
a cute kid. So what happened?
I read physics at the
University of Warwick,
England. Spent most of my time as a member and sometime manager of the
Students' Union Technical Services Group, providing lighting,
sound-systems, and general technical support for all university
concerts, balls, and discos. We worked several hundred
bands, from REM to a Simply Red album launch, from Gary Glitter and
Divine to Motorhead and The Damned. I also moonlighted as a nightclub disc jockey—DJ Dave Dynamite!
I came to America when I was 20, a week after graduating. After a
range of jobs—including exciting stints as a supermarket shelf stocker,
music store assistant manager, and car dealer negotiator—I learnt to fly at the
My first flying job was as number two reserve pilot for
the rock'n'roll air traffic patrol in Raleigh, North Carolina. I
rose to chief pilot there, and then moved on to become chief
flight instructor at
Spitfire Aviation, where I instructed military and foreign
students in various light aircraft.
After that I flew the BAe-3101 for Northwest Airlink for
ten months, then moved up to American Eagle in 1994 where I flew the
Shorts 360, SAAB 340, ATR-42/ -72 and the Embraer EMB-135/-140/-145. In
2003 I was fortunate enough to be hired at a (then) fast-growing (now major)
airline, where I fly the A320 as a captain. It pays my bills at the
In the past I have consulted for
ICAO as a member of a study
group revising international standards and recommended practices, but
now I'm more interested in people than procedures. Some of my research has been
published in a scientific journal:
English, D. & Branaghan, R. J. (2012).
empirically derived taxonomy of pilot violation behavior. Safety
Science, 50, 2, pp. 199-209.
Editor of a funny little book
Slipping the Surly Bonds: Great
Quotations on Flight, first published by McGraw-Hill in
The Air Up There: More Great Quotations on Flight,
in 2003. Also wrote a chapter of the book
Silverbird: The American Airlines Story.
I live in Phoenix, Arizona.
It's a dry heat. I'm married to the love of my life, Nancy, a beautiful Colombian.
We have a wonderful son together. I am indeed a lucky man.
Some of my other interests:
Jogging, hiking, biking, cooking, baking, reading,
swimming, surfing, soaring, 'blading, laughing, living, learning, loving, sharing, caring, doing,
Somehow slipped articles into magazines like Air Line Pilot,
Airliners, Airways, Aviation Consumer, Flight Training,
IFR, Professional Pilot, and Sky & Telescope.
I can be found on the Interwebs at:
Amazon.com (as an author)
(as a reader)
Above the clouds, I'll see you in the sky . . .