Netherlands king secretly piloted commercial flights for KLM for 20 years

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands hasn’t been resting on his monarchical laurels, telling Dutch media he has been moonlighting as a copilot for a KLM airlines affiliate for more than two decades.

The king told Holland’s Telegraaf newspaper he co-pilots two KLM Cityhopper flights per month. And now he is training to fly with the big boys, Boeing 737s for KLM itself — coincidentally known as Dutch Royal Airlines.

“You can completely switch off and focus on something else,” he told the Telegraaf. He said it is impossible to fly a plane if you bring “problems from the ground with you.”

Willem-Alexander, 50, said he often walks through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in his pilot uniform without being recognized by his subjects. He said that, before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, cockpit doors were often open and some people peeking in “found it fun or amazing to see me” at the controls.

“After September 11th, the cockpit door is closed and there is much less contact between the cabin and the cockpit,” he said. “But yes, some people recognize my voice during the flight.”.. see more

source: usatoday

21