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

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, 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.

Friday, May 6, 2016


My Friend Dick Verburg recently received Knighthood (Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau) in the Order of Orange Nassau. It was provided to him on behalf of their King, Willem Alexander of Orange Nassau. Dick received this Knighthood for his contribution to aviation in EPST and MPS. 

What it Takes to Become a Knight
Dick said, "I only got the story Tuesday but it basically takes 1 ½ years in total to go through the process. It starts with some people jointly making an application and subsequently they need a lot of supporting statements from people of some level. It was very nice to hear that many people were very supportive and wrote supporting statements/letter. The Mayor of the town we have the factory, someone from the Dutch CAA, an ex President from Transavia airlines, an ex ambassador, etc etc to many to mention. After that the office responsible is doing an in-depth investigation on my past behavior (they must have overlooked a lot …. Smile).

Finally to all goes to the cabinet of the King. They review the request and finally it is signed by the King.

The actual decorations are issued by the Maier of the city I live in, on behalf of the King. There is a public ceremony and the Maier reads the document stating why the Knighthood is issued, basically the good things I did to deserve this award. After that there is a party in the City Hall with officials, friends and family and after that we have a party at MPS with lots of friends and business relations. Lots of speeches, drinks and snacks.

This is just a summary. The trick is to keep this all a secret from the candidate to avoid disappointment etc.  Within MPS this was called “project X” of which I did not know anything.

Nice surprise."

Dick adds... 
"It was only possible with 
the great people from EPST and MPS."
"A ship cannot sail without a Captain 
but a Captain alone cannot sail the ship."
Congratulations Dick! 
Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Karlene, this is an amazing post about Dick. This was so refreshing to read after arriving back home. I remember when King Willem and Queen Maxima came to Grand Rapids to visit our Dutch community on their US tour. It was an amazing experience. And now,... Dick was knighted! Yes, a Captain alone can not sail a ship! Have a great weekend!!!

    1. Thank you so much Jeremy! I'm hoping that Dick takes his tour and slays a few dragons with that sword, for us all! :) Have a wonderful weekend!!


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