King Willem-Alexander, the reigning monarch of the Netherlands, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" reported that he regularly made flights on a subsidiary of Dutch aircraft carrier more than two decades.
Calling it his "hobby," the king says that he sat in the cockpit of the KLM Cityhopper - short-stroke carrier airline for more than 21 years ago. Prior to that, he piloted the aircraft for the Dutch carrier Martinair. King told the newspaper that he used the two-month flight with KLM to decompress from his Royal duties with his time, allowing him to focus fully on the task. "For me the most important thing that I have a hobby for which I need to completely focus," he said.
"You have the aircraft, passengers and crew, you have the responsibility for them, you can't project your issues from the ground to the sky, you can completely disconnect and focus on something else. This is for me the most relaxing part of it," he said. King Willem-Alexander said that he trained to fly the Boeing 737, which will soon replace the fleet of Fokker 70 KLM Cityhopper.
According to information provided by the Dutch Royal household, king Willem-Alexander first took to the sky for more than 30 years ago, while still a student. In the late 80s, his passion led him to Kenya, where he worked as a pilot volunteer, first to organize medical care, African medical research Foundation (AMREF), and then to service Kenya wildlife.
But the Dutch king is not the only Royal couple with a story about planes. The British heir to the throne, Prince Charles, is a qualified pilot, and his two sons, William and Harry, operated the helicopters in their previous military career. According to reports, the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah muizaddinu also sometimes slipped into the cockpit, carrying out governmental flights.
sections: Society, World News, Accidents