30 Commercial Airline Pilots That Tweet From 30, 000 Feet

Photo from Emirates cockpit taken by Dubai-based Captain Karim Nafatni.

From their offices in the sky there’s a new wave of professionals taking to the 140 character medium to share their enviable views. Aviator extraordinaires, air travel writers and published pilot authors and bloggers from near and far; these are the pilots that Tweet from 30 000 feet.

1. Julian Hall, British Airways

Julian Hall, or @TigerJools as he’s known on Twitter, is a passionate BA 747 Pilot based out of Heathrow. According to recent Tweets, his roster sees him doing a lot of Transatlantic flights – flying from Terminal 5 at LHR to Las Vegas, San Francisco, and beyond. He mentions South Africa as another long haul destination he flies too.

2. Johan Khairuddin, AirAsia

Malaysia’s only Radio DJ, Music Producer & Professional Airline Pilot, Johan Farid Khairuddin (or @jfkjohan) is a Senior First Officer at AirAsia X. While his initials ‘JFK’ remind one of one of the busiest airports in the world, Johan is based in Kuala Lumpur and started flying in 2005 to solve his jet setting dilemmas. Johan is something of a celebrity at home so be sure to follow him on Instagram too as he regularly posts scenes from his exciting life.

3. Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel writer, and the host of askthepilot.com. He’s also a published author and his book, Cockpit Confidential, is one of the best reads available for aviation geeks everywhere.

4. @si_65, British Airways

An Airbus A380 captain for British Airways, the nameless SkymanA380 provides a real time account of steering Airbus’ bulkiest behemoth. Rugby Tweets too … though he is a fan of the Rose-emblemed team.

5. pilot_airbus, Unknown

The anonymous Twitter feed of Airbus Pilot provides insight into the daily life of an Airbus-A319 pilot who started in 2014. He/she is also an avid aviation photographer so expect to see loads of interesting snaps from the cockpit.

6. @KELaidler, British Airways

Kate Laidler is living her dream as a First Officer & Flight Manager for Airbus fleets at BA. She trained with CTC Wings in the United Kingdom and in her role as a real life pilot she’s flown celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. She cites final approach as one of the favourite parts of her job: “The approach to land is my favourite part of flying. It’s like a puzzle you have to solve.


7. Karim Nafatni, Emirates

Although he’s not yet using Twitter, we couldn’t exclude Karim Nafatni – an Emirates Airline Captain and photography enthusiast based in Dubai. Addicted to height and a fan of architecture, he climbs the highest skyscrapers in Dubai to take his pictures, sometimes more than 300 metres above ground! As the top of the biggest buildings in the world is not high enough for him, he carries his camera with him during work to document his daily routine in “his Office” and shoots from the flight deck. Stay up to date with his awesome photography at knxposures.com. Karim Nafatni

8. Ben Whitworth

@benwhitworth1 is a 747 Pilot and business partner at AirlinePrep – a website which was set up to provide both aspiring pilots and current airline pilots with exposure to airline recruitment methods and testing.


9. Nonhlanhla Radebe, SA Express

Nonhlanhla Radebe is the co-founder of Vukani Aviation and a pilot for South African Express. Nonhlanhla on what inspired her to become a pilot, “I grew up in a township where I could see the Durban International Airport for years. I wanted to do something different and exciting with my life. I simply and madly fell in love with everything about aviation.


10. Dave Axenty

Dave Axenty (@axenty) is an American airline pilot and an FAA-certificated flight instructor. He also collaborates on an app called PilotPro – the ultimate pilot logbook app. Keep up with him on his blog axenty.com.


11. Karlene Petitt, Delta Air Lines

A mother to 3 daughters, Karlene has been a pilot for 8 airlines including Tower Air, Northwest and most recently Delta. She is the author of Flight For Control and Flight For Safety and has flown Boeing’s and Airbus’ in her long and illustrious career. She documents her life on her blog and is also a sought after speaker, motivator and artist.


12. Paul Green, Trainee Pilot

Aspiring aviators will love following Paul Green (@paulgreenld) – a Trainee pilot studying at CAE Oxford Aviation Academy. He also writes about his career on his blog – The Road to an ATPL.

13. Brad Tate, American Airlines

Pilot blogger currently on hiatus from his website Airline Pilot Chatter, Brad Tate or @AAFO4Ever, first caught the aviation bug after an unlikely encounter with a real pilot when he was still at school. Having cut his teeth on the apron as an aviation mechanics assistant, Brad’s story is one of old school ladder climbing on the road (or thermal?) to commercial aviation glory. Now in his 15th year at AA, Captain Tate spends his hours in the air crisscrossing the United States, Canada and Mexico.

14. Fatima Jakoet, South African Airways

@FatimaJ is a Senior First Officer at SAA and the founder of Sakhikamva – an aviation awareness and skills development initiative for young aspiring aviators. Fatima has described her admission to SAA’s cadet pilot program as an arduous journey having endured a nail-biting 12 months before she was selected.

15. Ivan Paredes, Nok Mini Airlines

Thailand based Training Captain for local Nok Mini Airlines and blogger in chief at Cockpit Chatter, Ivan Paredes is an Argentinian whose commercial airline pilot career has taken him from his native South America to Africa and South-East Asia.

— CockpitChatter (@CockpitChatter) January 16, 2014  

16. Pat Flannigan, Endeavor Air

@patflannigan is an airline pilot and founder & editor of AviationChatter.com. A licensed flight instructor, Pat has been flying for 14 years and is currently working as an airline pilot in the United States. Pat also wrote Hold Here, an iPhone & iPad app for pilots that assists with holding patterns.


17. Eric Auxier, US Airways

@capnaux on Twitter, Eric is a US Airways A320 Captain and award winning pilot novelist from Phoenix, Arizona. Coming from a diverse range of aviation backgrounds including a stint as an Alaskan bush pilot and as a Captain for a Caribbean seaplane operation, Captain Auxier writes on his blog capnaux.com and is the author of Code Name: Dodger.


18. Golfcharlie232, Unknown

Flying short and medium haul routes as a First Officer on the Boeing 737, the mysteriously named @Golfcharlie232 shares photos, videos and stories on his blog, Live from the Flight Deck. The blog includes older entries he wrote during his commercial pilot training, flying Kingairs, tow planes, Cessna’s in the US and gliders in Europe. He still flies gliders, light aircraft and tow planes in his spare time.


19. Rob Mark

Rob Mark’s Jet Whine blog won a 2008 Webbie award for what judges called “bold opinion on a wide range of aviation topics providing insight into the industry.” His Twitter feed includes a wide range of aviation news postings, insight into how the aviation industry works and back-and-forth discussions with readers that reflects the sometimes chatty world of air professionals.


20. JC Kidder, Alaska Airlines

A Boeing 737 Captain, @CaptJCKidder is the proud pilot of more than 20 000 accident free hours and his Pacific crossings take him from the snowy landscapes of Alaska to the contrasting  sceneries of Hawaii.


21. Jai Dillon, Ryanair

Going by the Twitter handle @jaidillon, Manchester-based Jai is a First Officer at Ryanair currently operating on the Boeing 737-800. He is also one of the youngest pilots in Europe and he has said that he views his day-to-day tasks as “one of the best jobs in the world.”


22. Chris Spradlin, United

Tweeting as @EjetPilot, Chris Spradlin is a self-confessed 747 lover and pilot on a major US commuter airline.


23. James May, Cadet Pilot

20 year old James (Tweeting as @TheMrMay) is on his way to becoming a commercial airline pilot. He documents his career journey on his blog – theaviatorblog.com – where he inspires other aspiring airline pilots to follow their dream.


24. Felix Gottwald, Lufthansa Cargo

@PilotFelix is an MD-11 Pilot for Lufthansa Cargo and aviation photographer – see some of his work on his website. Felix sums up his career highlights on his blog – “Aviation has been my passion since my first flight a little child to Tunisia in 1992. Since then I have pursued a career as a commercial pilot. After taking control of a small aircraft for the first time in 2006, I finished my training at the Lufthansa Flight School in Bremen, Germany and Phoenix, Arizona in 2008. Only a few months later did I start flying passengers around Europe on the Airbus A320 fleet of Lufthansa. In 2011 I changed over to Lufthansa Cargo to steer the wonderful McDonnell Douglas MD-11.


25. Laura Groves, Southwest Airlines

Laura Groves is a major airline pilot, published writer, amateur sailor, kayaker, and a self-proclaimed “food truck groupie”. She provides a good perspective on things from a pilot’s point of view from @flygirl737700 on Twitter.


26. Jeff Nielsen, Unknown

Capt. Jeff AKA @airlinepilotguy captains a major U.S. airline from his base at the world’s busiest airport. When he’s not hurtling through the air he’s the host of his own online show called “the view from my side of the cockpit door” where he talks about piloting, aviation safety, layovers, industry news, travel-related stuff, incidents, accidents, and more.


27. Sami Laine, Finnair

@sami1laine is a Pilot at Finnair with a strong safety background. Flying long-haul and short-haul flights for Finland’s national carrier, FO Sami is also editor-in-chief of Finnair’s Safety -magazine. His inspiration comes from open minded thinking and observing different cultures.


28. Simon Burnham

A British Pilot from Devon flying in Durban South Africa, @pilotsimon208 started his flight training in 1999 at British Airways Flying School in London. At the moment he is converting his UK license to a South African one and cites a flight to Port St Johns on the Wild Coast as one of his most memorable.


29. Dave Wallsworth, British Airways

A380 Pilot for BA, Captain Wallsworth attempts to answer questions about British Airways and flying through his @DaveWallsworth Twitter profile. On flying over London, “‘London is an amazing city to fly over. Taking off from London City, the plane points directly towards Canary Wharf and the Docklands. As soon as you’re airborne you get an excellent view straight down the River Thames. You pass just west of the Olympic Village, then head towards the Severn Bridge and South Wales.


30. Brian

US Pilot Brian documents his journey of his renewed airline pilot career on his blog, renewedpilot.com. Since 1996 he has worked as a professional pilot in the United States flying for a commuter airline, a major airline, a fractional and then back to that same major airline. Brian’s blog chronicles his journey through new-hire training and life as a first year employee at a new, innovative airline.


Many agree it’s the best job in the world and if you’re a fellow #AvGeek then we hope our list of some commercial airline pilots on Twitter will help budding Captains and current aviators connect on a whole new level.

Here is a public list of airline pilots on Twitter.

On a mile of highway, you can drive a mile. On a mile of railway, you can travel a mile. On a mile of runway, you have the whole world.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Excellent Photos that can make you appreciate more in nature

  2. Dear travelstart team,

    thanks for mentioning me on your site! Putting together a list of pilots that give people an insight in their jobs was a great day and I am proud that you selected me as well 🙂

    Best wishes from the MD-11 cockpit,


  3. Hi Travelstart
    Thanks for this, I fly a lot and all over, so its fun to follow some of these people. Looking forward to some interesting “inside info” and hope to catch a glide with one of them soon.

  4. Yes, Kent Wein is good, twitter @veryjr
    Thanks for showing me a few more good follows & photos.

  5. I’m honored to be mentioned at #17! Thank you.

    For the record: I NEVER Tweet and Drive! LOL 😉

    Not mentioned is my Amazon Top 100 novel “The Last Bush Pilots”: http://www.createspace.com/4053153

    1 honorable mention is the excellent tweet and blog from Swayne:

    @MartinsAviation and http://martinsaviation.blogspot.com

    He’s an up and coming teen pilot blogging about his progress toward chasing his dream as an airline pilot! Check it out 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback Eric. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Last Bush Pilots!

  6. Shucks people are slowly starting to tell me about this list. Such an honor to be mentioned here! Thank you once again, I am very humbled by this. God bless!

    • Thanks for your comment JFK! We salute you.

    • Glad to meet you. We’ll include you in our expansion plans for this list 🙂

  7. Hi Travelstart team,

    Thank you for including me in your list with such distinguished pilots! I am only at the start of my career but I hope to keep giving you all something interesting to read.

  8. You’ll need to develop the skill, knowledge and experience necessary to cope with flying in every kind of situation.

  9. Great post….I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Last Bush Pilots.

  10. Great post….I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Last Bush Pilots.

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