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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, June 17, 2011

Friday Fabulous Flyer: Curt Alexander

Curt Alexander
Like father like son, Curt hadn’t always wanted to be a pilot. But growing up in an aviation family with an Airline Captain for a Dad and a mother as an ex-flight attendant, you know that it was in the back of his mind. Yet he was undecided and searching. I seem to remember his dad, Bob Alexander, searching too.

Curt said, “Of course my parents were supportive of whatever I would choose. My dad just said to do what makes you happy.”

Curt Jumpseating with Bob in dad's A330 at Delta
Bob Jumpseating with Curt on Compass

Accepted into Central Washington University (C.W.U), he still wasn’t sure which direction to go. He decided to join the Army Airborne. Unfortunately after months of training he discovered that he had a stress fracture that would take many months to heal. He had the option to stay in and spend six months or longer attempting rebuild is leg, with a high probability of it breaking again, or he could take a medical discharge.

He opted to be honorably discharged because he realized that he, too, wanted to become a pilot. A far better career flying planes than jumping out of them. Within weeks, at the age of 19, he was enrolled into the C.W.U. aviation program in September of 2000.

He earned a four-year degree and obtained his flight ratings then became an instructor at Wings Aloft at Boeing Field. It wasn’t long until he was flying charter flights for them, too. Charter flights and instructing wasn’t quite enough to pay the bills, so like all dedicated pilots he held down a second job— one that most pilots would envy as a brewer at Mac and Jacks.

Mac & Jacks

Great fortune occurred when Curt got hired at Mesaba. But unfortunately after about a year and a half he was furloughed. Unfortunate might not be the right word in Curt’s case.

When he was first hired by Mesaba airlines, he didn’t have enough hours to work for Compass. But his year at Mesaba, he earned that much needed experience and time. And then it gets better—Compass was giving preferential interviews to Mesaba’s furloughed pilots. Within three months Curt slid on over.

He’s now based in Minneapolis flying as a First Officer at Compass Airlines. He's been there since February 2010 and loving his career choice.  

Curt and BoB... flying in dad's footsteps
What was life like with a dad for a pilot?

“As for growing up with a pilot as a dad, it was definitely different. There were stretches of time where he was gone, and a few moves while we were young. But my parents made an effort to keep my sister and I in one place once we were a little older, even if that meant a commute for my dad. We were fortunate enough to see much of the world as a family. I would say that gave me a different perspective on the world growing up. And it definitely gave me the travel bug at an early age. By ten I knew how to bargain with the street vendors in Hong Kong to get a good price on a watch. Overall I admired my dad and how he pursued his dream. He simply said, ‘I am going to be an airline pilot’ and did.”

What is Curt’s favorite thing about flying?

“Well that would definitely be the traveling. Not many jobs take you to so many places. A lot of them I would never have thought of visiting. I also enjoy the ever-changing schedules. I would never fit happily into a 9-5 setting. I look forward to flying internationally in the future though.”

Curt’s parents were wise enough to allow him to find himself—Apparently a central theme through the generations of Alexander men. And this amazing young man never looked at the misfortune of a broken leg, a furlough, or hard work, as something to stop him from pursuing his dreams. And with each setback, another door opened. A great lesson everyone can take away with his story.

Fly safe Curt and continue to enjoy the journey you call your life. I know your dad is proud of you too! I’m looking forward to flying an international trip with you one day. It will happen. 

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. Way to go, Curt! The fact that Curt and his sister got to travel and see the world as a family with their parents is huge, and enviable! What a perspective. Sounds like Curt is on his way to a long and fulfilling career in aviation. Very cool.

  2. I love that Curt's parents allowed him to find his way to his dream. That is the best way to come across it! Best of luck to Curt, and thank you both for sharing his story.

  3. Things my parents need to read. Thanks for posting. :)

  4. I am proud of him that he is very goal-oriented person.Also his parents seems pretty great.I do hope that his dream of international pilot achieve.Thank you for sharing story.

    Have a great weekend,

  5. Pilot's kids who can fly around the world really make a difference in life. He is very lucky. Thanks for your comment Linda.

  6. Heather, letting your kids find themselves is the greatest gift you can give them. Curt's had a great opportunity and more good fortune to come. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Christine, you might have to send them this way. But then they'll read your comment. Oh, sometimes you can never win. :)

  8. Thanks so much for your comment Jun. Yes, he's very goal oriented and so are you. It's hard not to make your dreams come true when you are focused. Have a wonderful week!

  9. What a great article on Curt. I'm always excited to see people continuing the family tradition in aviation. It can be a hard route to follow at times but can and is extremely rewarding! Also neat to see someone else flying the airplane I do. Compass is a good company and represents Delta well. Good luck Curt and hope to meet you some day!

  10. Daniel, I'm thinking that you and Curt will be a new hire class together. Wouldn't that be fun! Thanks for the comment. Yes.. rewarding!


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