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He started his career as a ramp agent. Now he’s a pilot.

Justin Mutawassim was 5 years old the first time he took a flight. The Delta pilots on board invited him to explore the cockpit. ( More...

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Michael Wise 16
Congratulations, Justin!
mary susan watkins 15
wonderful story..i knew lots of guys who went from "rampers" to agents and even suoervisors,and some to headquarters,but none from ramp to pilot with lots of experience in between..i wish him the best..its a great story for anyone to read or to aspire to!
zuluzuluzulu 12
As an aircraft mechanic just prior to 9/11, a coworker had childcare problems and had to bring his 10 yr old son to work until his wife could swing by after work to pick him up. We gave the kid the gold star treatment. Let him look around cockpits, showed him the tools of our trade, sit at the table with the crew while we told jokes and funny stories. We had a tire change to do on a thru flight and the kid was sitting safely on the bag tug watching us.

You know what happened? Passengers watching from the terminal called: the gate agent, the airport police, and the airline to report child endangerment.

Everyone who responded apologized to us knowing the kid was having a great day with Dad and his coworkers but we had to keep him inside and out of sight for the next hour. It was humiliating to think people thought we were endangering the kid.

You want to ease personnel shortages at the airlines? Let ALL airport employees have " bring your kid to work" days. There is more to airlines than being a pilot. Loading an aircraft properly requires knowledge and is a safety issue. So many cool jobs at airports that would impress youngsters.
MSReed 7
That 10-year-old must still remember that day. Bringing kids to work is an excellent idea, and you're spot on about the variety of good jobs.
Steve Ortiz 2
ZuluZulu... I think that was A GREAT Story. I had similar adventures as a kid where some adult took time out to show this young kid what HIS job was like and what it entailed. I wish *I* Had been that kid... I loved aviation since as a kid a pilot saw my interest in his cockpit when we boarded for a family flight to the Caribbean. It sparked a lifelong dream of flying, although I never made it to becoming a pilot... I did make it to ground school and even made a Masters thesis about Airports and Aviation (Ground school in digital form) almost 25 years ago.
captainfourbars 13
The part that I find most significant is that on his first flight, aged 5, they invited him into the cockpit. If only people today released the lifelong impact a simple act of kindness like that to a young child can have. It is truly tragic that the terrorists have 'won' as they have. They have prevented us from doing so much in life, including the unparalleled impact of a child witnessing 'the pointed end' in flight, and so much more. At least when flying as private pilots we can always invite plane-spotting children to come and sit in 'the driving seat'. And, of course, youngsters of families we know we can take aloft with us. Who knows how many of them end up as commercial pilots as a result of one such act.
Don DENGER. iF you are depressed with this page, please go elsewhere. Don't waste your effort to try and change us. We like ourselves!!!
DonDengler -4
I don’t get depressed. I just regard you as a loser ciao !
DonDengler -7
Charles Davis 2
Thanks for seeing something then doing it. Persistence beats resistence.
Charles Davis 1
Charles Mattina 2
I once heard that what you need to succeed is to believe in yourself-and one other person to believe too. How great Justin found his one other, and along with alot of hard work, saw his dreams come true. Inspiring story
Joel Payne 2
My son went from 20+ years on the ramp to pilot for AMR. In fact, he is a NEW International Capt. on the Narrow Body Air BUS @ DFW.
Seb Seb 2
The American dream is alive and well for those willing to work hard. Way to go Justin!
Rick D 2
Is there a way to get certain posters banned from inane, and very unsmart comments? I won't down vote this poster as it will give it some demented sense of pleasure. But it it beyond rude, and the posts are an embarrassment to the aviation community.
Willem Janson 2
Ny son was 10 years old when he was invited into the cockpit of a Singapore Airlines flight form Singapore to London. After wards he came to me and told me he wanted to become a pilot. When he grew up he was more determined in his choice and he qualified from the flying school in Calgary with honors. His first job was flying DC3's in the Arctic he did this the for 7 years. He than moved to Europe and started flying the holiday crowd on Boing 737s later the 767 as a captain. He moved to SriLanka where he became an Airbus captain and flew for them for 6 years. Presently he flies for a Portugese company called HiFly on the Airbus 340. For this company he was stationed in Australia for 6 years. We are very glad that we gave hime the chance to follow his vision. Presently he flies for Hi-Fly to Angola in Africa.
Jeff Dobson 1
Excellent writing and congratulations to Justin for achieving his goal!
DonDengler -1
It’s a familiar dream. Flying like law enforcement is a life long passion. It’s not a well, maybe I’ll apply to be a pilot or a cop. Fact is these 2 professions go hand in hand. Many pilots are also reserve police officers. 2 flight attendants who were murdered on United on 911 were previously police officers. Point is flying is a passion. Not a job.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Erik Bruner -7
Cockpit? Really, we all it the Flight Deck these days, and have for many years
Etienne Daniels 4
When he was 5, so 21 years ago it was still cockpit later in the article they mention flight deck.
Russ Brown 3
Well let's see, planes are aircraft or ships, have port (red)and starboard (green) running lights and a (flight) deck. Maybe it should be called a bridge; and oh yeah, there is also a Captain. Fun.
zuluzuluzulu 4
Capt.Kirk sat on the bridge on the USS Enterprise. You may be on to something!
Russ Brown 2
Thanks, great reference. I may not be a pilot, but I love to fly.
Bill Butler 4
To me, it's always been the cockpit. Probably always will be. Too old to change stuff for the sake of change.
Russ Brown 4
Saw a video of an all female crew for a C-5. They called it The "box Office." Gotta love a great sense of humor.
Mark Henley 1
I also saw an article several years back that said it's now sometimes referred to as some sort of cave...
Russ Brown 1
Saw a video of an all female crew for a C-5. They called it The "box Office." Got to love a great sense of humor.
DonDengler -3
Well, aren’t you the cool dude!


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