Airline Pilot Interview – Ben Chapman


4 minutes to read

Success Story #15

Every Month a new story!

Airliner’s story again this month with a young pilot dominating the US skies! Ben at 27 finds himself at the left seat of the CRJ!

So let’s start with you, Ben!

Hello to all aviation enthusiasts! I’m Ben Chapman 27 years old.

I’ve had a lifelong obsession with aviation that began when I was a little kid. Growing up, I spent many hours sitting in front of the computer playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. On the weekends I would have my parents take me over to the local airport to watch airplanes taking off and landing. When I was 16, I started taking flying lessons in Lynchburg, VA.

Ben accomplishes a milestone in his career

I received my private pilot certificate at 17 years old, then went on to get my instrument and multi-engine ratings while I was still in high school. I took about a year off from flying during my first year of college as I began to pursue a degree in computer science. I soon realized that I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than flying for a living, so came back to flying and got my commercial and flight instructor ratings.

Ben During Flight Instruction

I transferred to Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus which allowed me to become a flight instructor full time while pursuing my bachelor’s degree online. I worked as a flight instructor in Roanoke, VA for about two years in order to obtain the 1500 hours needed to apply for an airline job here in the USA. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a flight instructor. I flew all sorts of light airplanes, but the majority of my time was spent flying the Diamond DA-20/DA-40/DA-42. It was very rewarding to be able to help aspiring pilots achieve their goals.

What type of aircraft do you fly these days and for which company?

In 2014, I had obtained 1500 hours of flight time and applied to my current airline. I began flying the CRJ200/700/900 as a first officer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina (KCLT). Our routes vary in length from 15 minutes to 3 hours, flying throughout the majority of the eastern United States.

The beautiful CRJ – 200

I flew in the right seat for about 2.5 years. Being a first officer provided a great learning opportunity. It not only allowed me to gain experience flying the CRJ, but it also allowed me to practice my decision-making skills that are needed as a captain. In September of 2016, I upgraded to captain. It is an absolute blast to fly from the left seat!

Captain’s Rules

Do you hold any other license?

I still keep my flight instructor certificates current (CFI/CFII/MEI). If I ever get enough free time, I would like to do some part-time flight instruction simply because I enjoy it.

View from the Diamond

Have you experienced any type of emergency that you want to share?

I’ve been lucky so far! I’ve had many maintenance issues come up in flight, but nothing that was truly an emergency. Hopefully, my luck continues!

People that you want to thank and inspired you?

There have been many people that have helped me along the way to where I am now. My parents and family were very supportive of me throughout my entire journey and I cannot thank them enough. My flight instructors along the way also helped me in invaluable ways – not only in the airplane but also in mentoring me into becoming an airline pilot. I still keep in touch with them now 10 years later.

Ben living the Dream

Can you tell us about your future plans?

My plan for the future is to fly for a major airline here in the USA.


What is your message to the upcoming pilots and your opinion about Airline recruitment in future?

Always remember that aviation is a lifelong learning experience. I honestly learn something every single day that I show up to work. It’s important to constantly try to increase your knowledge/experience. It will ultimately make you a better and safer pilot. Also, my advice to anyone who is looking to get into an airline career is to pursue it as hard as you can.

The CRJ 700

Here in the USA, the job market for airline pilots is looking excellent for the next few years. Seniority is everything at airlines, so get your ratings, get your hours, and get hired as soon as you can!

Thank you very much Ben, we wish you all the best in your life and in your career!

enjoyflying logo gold black bgYou can reach Ben on Instagram IG: @b.chapman7

Every Month a new story!

Stay tuned for more. Soon, surprises are about to come!