Dutch King Has Secretly Been Co-Piloting KLM Flights For 21 Years

Image courtesy of romanboed

Sure, they call it KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, but who knew royalty was actually flying the planes?

While many people in the Netherlands know that King Willem-Alexander is a trained pilot, they didn’t realize that he was frequently sitting in the cockpit of KLM jets.

In an interview with De Telegraaf the Dutch monarch revealed that his stress-reducing “hobby” involves co-piloting KLM flights about twice a month.

He’s stepping away from co-piloting flights on the airline’s fleet of Fokker 70 planes for the moment, and is now retraining to fly Boeing 737s because the airline is phasing out the Fokkers. (FYI, “Phasing Out the Fokkers” is not yet the title of a Ben Stiller movie, but give him time.)

And although he never introduced himself by name, Willem-Alexander says some passengers may have recognized his voice. He is the king, after all.

“The advantage is that I can always say that I warmly welcome passengers on behalf of the captain and crew,” he said. “Then I don’t have to give my name.”

He admits, however, that when he does make announcements, “most people don’t listen anyway.”

[via the Associated Press, BBC News]

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