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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Talon Air Pilot Profile: Graham Fig

Talon Air Pilot Profile: Graham Fig

Graham Fig began flying in Cape Town, South Africa in 1972 as a teenager.  Graham notes that flying in Africa is quite challenging as opposed to flying anywhere else in the world.  This is due to the rustic and  rudimentary nature of its many gravel and grass runways, many of which are situated on farms or within Safari Parks, which are often not serviced in terms of available  landing aids, maintenance or aviation gasoline for one’s plane!

One of his many African flying highlights occurred in 1976, when taking Talon Air CEO, Adam Katz, on his first flight around the Cape Peninsular, effectively introducing him to the wonderful world of aviation on the African Continent.  Little did either man realize at that time that someday Talon would offer Graham an exciting new career path!

After studying law at the University of Cape Town and a subsequent year of flying in the USA, Graham went back to South Africa where he was fortunate enough to join the national flag carrier, South African Airways in 1979, as a pilot.  Since then he has been flying airliners in Africa, Canada and Europe where he retired after 22 years with KLM, the Dutch carrier.  One of the more challenging situations he’s faced was landing a Boeing 727, which, due to its high-sweep-back wing design, required a special landing technique.  Another memorable career highlight had been delivering two Cessna Citations from the factory in Wichita, Kansas, where they were produced to Cape Town.  

Graham has spent 33 years flying for various international airlines flying a varied selection of airliners including Boeing, Airbus and McDonnell Douglas types and joined the Talon team in the fall of 2012 flying the Gulfstream G4.  This is his preferred aircraft, as it is the iconic business jet and “a dream” to fly.

Talon aircraft are flown by a select group of full-time pilots who proudly offer a  wide-ranging aviation and private charter experience, superior customer service skills and a professional demeanor, providing clientele with the safest, most luxurious and pleasurable flying experience possible.