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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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Qantas Pilots Stand Down

Covid-19 Affecting the Pilot Community

Kirrily & Owen Zupp 
and Family

Owen Zupp is no stranger to this blog. As an avid writer and pilot I have been honored to featured Owen half a dozen times since 2012. To read those blogs, you can simply search his name in the search box. But today I'm not here to bring the news of another book. Today I'm sharing with you how Owen is dealing the Covid-19 crisis. 

It's hard to believe that one day you are living your dream, and then next day you received a compassionate letter such as this:

Owen and his wife Kirrily are both Qantas pilots and have about 6 weeks leave remaining, and then they will be with many other pilots "On Leave Without Pay." As Owen said, "I am head down seeking work." He's already secured some work writing. But he also has started a blog of his own, and will be sharing his journey through this difficult time. One day at a time. 

"With COVID-19 decimating the planet and air travel was dwindling, a “Stand Down” by QANTAS was always a possibility. The main issue is that both my wife and I are pilots on the Boeing 747, and it could be a very long furlough for us before it takes to the skies again, if ever.

There was a slight sense of Déjà vu as I was made redundant during the collapse of another airline in 2001 – but that was different. That was the end of the airline and passenger demand was still strong. This is a global crisis and hopefully only a pause in operations for QANTAS – even if ultimately our income dries up for a period.

Still, I remain positive and hopeful, so I thought I’d start a blog to share my experience stemming from the other side of aviation."  Owen

Join Owen's journey 
on the other side of aviation:

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Thanks Karlene, We're staying positive here. :-)
    Our kids are currently home schooling online at home. They're in their uniforms each day and very organised...thanks mainly to Kirrily. It offers an air of normality. Then, each night at dinner we speak about the day and the world...not from a panic perspective but from a balanced outlook.
    Cheers and stay safe. :-)

    1. Owen, Thank you for staying positive. I think what you are doing keeping the kids in their uniforms, is the best thing to do for them... to keep as much normal as you can. And the best dinner conversation too. Thanks for sharing and showing everyone your strength in adversity!


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