Assistant Chief Pilot
Meet Carly Davidson, Global Air Charters Assistant Chief Pilot
Carly Davidson, one of Global Air Charters’ two Assistant Chief Pilots, tells about her favorite memory as a GAC pilot – rescuing 40 dogs and cats from Iraq – and how overcoming the COVID pandemic has created family-like bonds between GAC crew members. Read on to learn more about Carly.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Northfield, Minnesota.
What is your favorite thing about working for GAC?
My favorite thing about work is the people. My fellow pilots and cabin attendants are like family. We spend a lot of time together, and I am grateful to work with so many wonderful people.
In your opinion, what makes GAC stand apart from other private charters?
Again, it is the people. We are a small but mighty group of highly-motivated individuals who have come together like a family. We are always finding ways to make the charter experience better for our passengers and everyone we work with.
What is one specific moment with a customer that made you realize why you do what you do?
I think the Iraq trip was the perfect example of why I love what we do as charter pilots. We are able to provide a service to a multitude of people and organizations that other companies are unable to provide. We are a company of problem-solvers and mission-oriented professionals. It is inspiring to work with a crew who can safely and consistently transport people and special cargo such as SPCA rescue animals all over the world.
In your opinion, what makes a good pilot or cabin attendant?
I think critical thinking is one of the most important attributes any pilot or cabin attendant can have. Yes, skill and knowledge are essential to conducting safe flight operations, but the ability to problem solve and think critically both in the air and on the ground separates a good crew member from an excellent crew member. Additionally, being able to work as a team and demonstrate mindful leadership, as well as attention to detail, is essential to providing a seamless travel experience for our clients.
What is a memory you will never forget while flying with GAC?
The one trip I will never forget is when we flew to Erbil, Iraq, to pick up 40+ dogs and cats that had been adopted by US servicewomen and men and flew them back to the United States. Not only was the flying uniquely challenging (we had to receive special permission to fly into Iraq), but the mission was for such a great cause. We usually only fly people, so flying a bunch of animals was certainly different. Additionally, as an animal person, I loved it! It was also a pleasure working with the Iraqi ground support members from the SPCA to load the aircraft. They worked tirelessly to ensure each animal was cared for until the moment we closed the aircraft doors. Some companies would shy away from the daunting task of organizing a flight into Iraq and providing special care for 40 animals, but our team welcomed the challenge.
What is your favorite plane to fly?
I just started flying the GV, and I love it. The GIV will always be special because it was the first Gulfstream that I had the pleasure of flying. However, moving into the GV has been a fantastic experience.
What was the most fun you’ve experienced on the job?
Some of my favorite memories were during the early months of the COVID pandemic. We were all trying to adapt to constant changes – from hotels being closed to airports and entire countries closing their borders. While it was incredibly stressful, I was fortunate to spend this time with a fantastic crew, and we managed to figure out ways to make the most of our situation. We spent a LOT of time together, and I will never forget it!
What do you like to do when you aren’t flying?
I love spending time outside, whether hiking with my husband and dog, running on a desert trail, or finding new campsites. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, I look forward to traveling more and visiting some of the places I have only passed through while working!
What is your favorite travel destination? Why?
I always love spending time in London. There is so much to do and see, such as museums, parks, and historical sites. I also love the food scene and have enjoyed visiting different restaurants every time I am there.
What is your favorite occasion to celebrate while flying?
Birthdays, especially kids’ birthdays, are such fun. We picked up one group from Reykjavik earlier this year and flew a girl who was celebrating her 4th birthday with us! We had a lot of fun decorating the airplane and made sure that she felt special.
What do you enjoy most about your position?
Once more, the best thing about my position is the crew I work with. I have a unique role as a First Officer and also the Assistant Chief Pilot. This allows me to work closely with my fellow First Officers, as well as captains and the wider GAC network of professionals.
What motivates you to do the best on the job?
I am always focused on providing a safe and timely flight for our passengers and fellow crew members. I am motivated to ensure that we complete the mission safely each and every time.