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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Patrick Suess

Friday Fabulous Flyer

Born and raised in Germany, Patrick began his aviation journey, as a baby. He traveled across the Atlantic with his parents to visit his relatives in Brazil. At the age of three he wandered the aisles, hung out in the galley, and became friends with the Flight Attendants. I think they adopted him.

Patrick in his Fuji Aeorsubaro

Patrick's first cockpit experience was on a trip from Frankfurt via Dakkar to Brazil. He sat on the first officers lap in the Concord 707 and talked on the headset with the captain and ate cookies. The pilots showed him a little green dot on their screens, then lifted him up to window and said, "It's the city down there." Apparently he stayed in the cockpit for hours and his mother was worried until she realized they were over the Atlantic and there was no where for him to go. After this first cockpit experience, there were many more cockpit adventures in his future. DC-10, Lockheed TriStar, B747, B7676, B777 and A340. He became familiar with many different flight decks.

Robin 3000

One evening in the cockpit of a Varig B747, the captain played with him a bit by setting off an alarm. They switched autopilots. Showed him how the thrust levers moved by themselves. Changed flight levels. All while the passengers slept unexpectedly behind the door.

 Mooney M20

The stories that Patrick shared are endless, and fascinating. I was about to say, "the good old" days when passengers were allowed in the flight deck, but his most fascinating of his stories was from February this year.  He was admitted to the cockpit, and the pilots made jokes about the fuel. But they soon realized that planes were diverting due to weather and communication and fuel concerns became a reality. Then operations told the crew it was their decision if they should go for it. Flights had been going around. Their fuel was limited.  They decided an attempt to land, and made it in. Patrick learned that flying was far more than switching on the autopilot, ordering coffee and reading newspapers. Reading news paper? Allowing people in the flight deck? The good old days are alive in Europe.

We wonder why Patrick has a strong desire to become a pilot. Unfortunately at the age of 36, he's still not an airline pilot--- not from lack of desire. His father  had died at the age of 52 from cancer, and the  three years before that, he hadn't been able to work. At the age of 15 Patrick became the man of the house, and grew up quite fast. Due to lack of funds and adult responsibility, his dream to become a commercial pilot is just that, a dream.

After his obligatory stint in the German military he joined Siemens AG, and made an apprenticeship as a commercial manager, earned a double degree, studied abroad and finished best in his class. He earned his private pilots license along the way. His career has been progressing in management positions with various companies, and he has not given up on his dream of flying. These pictures posted are just a taste of what he's flown over the years.

2011 goals: Obtain his ATP!

Then he'd love to join an international carrier, or work in the Business Jet sector.

Patrick has graciously offered to fly women over Bonn Germany, in honor of the Fly It Forward campaign for  Centennial Of Women Pilots Don't forget to sign up on Fly It Forward. Tell me how many women you actually fly, and I'll enter you in the contest that number of times.

You can find Patrick on FACEBOOK and see more amazing photos of the many planes he's flown, and sites he's seen. He's also on twitter X2921294H

Patrick, thank you for supporting the Centennial of Women Pilots. I know all your dreams will come true. You have the determination and commitment, nothing will stop you. I'm hoping you'll respond to this post and tell us what inspired you to fly women and when your event will be held.

Enjoy the Journey!



  1. Patrick's story is fantastic! I love that the pilots let him in the cockpit. They no doubt had a huge influence on his desire to fly. It's a shame the world has changed so much that we can no longer do that. Bravo to Patrick for offering to participate in Fly It Forward!

  2. Thanks Heather. It is a shame we can't let them in. I had the chance to let my daughters fly with us in the cockpit on the 757 at Guyana. Quite surprised in foreign carriers they still can. But glad they can, too!

  3. Good morning Karlene and friends.
    I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.

    As I can see there are still some open questions related to Fly It Forward and my offer to carry people around :-)

    Why: I am in favor of gender equality and want to show women the beauty of aviation. Maybe they will get addicted too ;-) On top of that, I might have the chance to take away the fear many have when it comes to flying in small airplanes.

    When: I can not fix a specific date, as weather conditions are changing quite fast those days. Interested women should contact me and we will fix a date that will be suitable for all of us. I also depend on the availability of planes as I will have to charter one.

    Karlene really explained in an excellent way what are the current key drivers in my career towards a professional pilot.

    But I would like some small things to that. Concerning the possibility to access Cockpits here in Europe ... well, it did not change. So, we are not having the good old days here, but ... sometimes ... CPTs do not care too much about this policy, especially when they have the chance to figure out, that the person being so interested in that topic, has already been checked by the government. As in Germany every pilot (privat or professional) has to undergo a screening by local authorities, which make use of data they gather from police, governmental and military intelligence service, etc.. Something all private pilots in Germany are complaining about. As you have to allow them to access all kinds of data related to your person.

    So ... I also wish the good old days were back. As for all people not working in aviation or beeing private pilots, the chance to gain access and get the same experience as I did are close to zero.

  4. Patrick, that's interesting about the government doing background checks on pilots. Could make for an interesting discussion. We want our rights and privacy protected-- but could background checks ease crewmembers way through security, and enable private pilots into the flight deck? Interesting.
    Thanks for your comment Patrick!

  5. Another great Friday Fabulous Flyer, Karlene. You find wonderful people and wonderful stories. I hear background checks are something private citizens here in the U.S. might be able to opt into if they would prefer that to going through the current type of screening at airports. Haven't heard details, though.

  6. Thanks Linda. I would be willing to go through a background check to avoid screening. We definitely should do that. Thanks for your thoughts and comments too!

  7. Patrick's story is amazing! Even more so considering his background history and all the hard work he has gone through to make his way to where he is now.

    Koodos Patrick! And thank you so much for being such a great herald of the best profession in the world! Best of luck finding clement weather for your Centenial flights! Keep the blue side up!

  8. Thanks for the comment JD! I too hope he finds great weather for his centennial flight. He's got mother nature working on his side.


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