The last time Atlas 767 Captain Chase Ross and 767 First Officer Danny Taylor piloted a flight together, they were earning their wings in the U.S. Army flight school.
Recently, the two veterans reunited for the first time since those training days on a flight from Portland, Oregon to Riverside, California – their first flight together for Atlas Air.
Chase and Danny met in flight school almost a dozen years ago.
“We were in the same primary class,” said Chase. “We did all of our training together, starting with initial rotary, then instrument and then finishing up with combat training.”
Both also learned how to fly Black Hawk helicopters. Danny went on to fly fixed wings (airplanes) and piloted a King Air 200 and the Dash 7.
After 14 years in the Army and National Guard, which included a deployment to Afghanistan, Chase returned home to California and flew for a regional airline. In 2016, he joined Atlas as a First Officer for the 767 and upgraded to Captain in 2019.
Danny spent nine years as an active duty Army aviation officer and was deployed to the Middle East and Africa. After leaving active-duty, his family settled in Texas. He joined Atlas in February 2019, after hearing how much his army buddy Chase loved working for the Company.
“I was looking to move into the civilian world and reached out to Chase to hear about his experience. He had great things to say about Atlas, and so I decided to apply,” said Danny, who continues to serve in the Reserves. “I was thrilled when they offered me a First Officer position on the 767.”
Chase said “This job is a lot of fun; it’s the best in the aviation industry. We get to fly all over the world, carrying all kinds of cargo as well as the military, which is an honor.”
In fact, one of Chase’s favorite moments as an Atlas Crew member was during a charter flight he piloted in 2017 transporting troops overseas to the Middle East. When he landed, he realized that some of the troops he was flying were the same soldiers with whom he deployed when he flew helicopters for the Army in Afghanistan.
“It was a true full-circle moment for me,” said Chase.
Reflecting on his reunion flight with Chase, Danny said, “It was great to get to fly together. We only flew one leg, but we are hoping our schedules match up soon, so we can fly together again.”