A Pilot’s First Journey Across the Atlantic
“The highs can get really high, and we saw that through 2016 into early 2020 . . . and one thing can bring it all down for who knows how long,” he said, referencing 9/11 as an example.
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic’s effect on the industry, Fuller recognized the most challenging part for him has been watching friends in the airline industry struggle, and also “the young people that were coming into the aviation industry . . . [just] to have it crash,” he said.
“I was a student at Conestoga College [in Kitchener, Ontario] on September 11, 2001. So, I got to see that cycle, too.”
He added: “As high as the highs can get, and as low as the lows can get, there’s always going to be that in between, and it hasn’t changed in 100 years of commercial aviation.”
His advice to students currently considering flight training: “There will always be peaks and valleys,” you just have to learn “to ride it out.”
Today, as chief pilot of Private Air, a fast-growing Canadian charter and management company (created by Levaero Group), Fuller said he’s living the dream — piloting Private Air’s Bombardier Challenger 605, escorting VIP clients across Canada, the United States, and Caribbean destinations.
And Fuller admits that the “intangibles” for a private aviation pilot go “way beyond salary.
“I’ve been places that I would never be able to afford to go, or even think to go on a family vacation,” he said. “[In most cases], you can make more money, in the long run, with the airlines. But I don’t know that the money outweighs the experience.”
And, yes, he still attends airshows.
“Now, being a pilot myself, knowing what they have had to go through to get where they are — to be able to perform to such excellence — it’s pretty fascinating to watch.”
Watching his children react to the fighter jets as they soar through the sky, “vibrating their chests,” Fuller said he still feels a familiar pang of excitement — mixed with a bit of jealousy, he admitted.
And as far as what tops his bucket list… “It’s not even close,” he laughed. “It’s the fighter jet.”