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Monday, March 4, 2024

“36 Years of Delivering Hope and Relief: Meet Two Dedicated UAE Pilots”

In 1978, Col Al Hashimi recognized an opportunity when the UAE Air Force needed pilots and training slots were available to train citizens for these vacancies.

From Fighter Pilot to Humanitarian Aviator

After completing his fighter pilot training in Italy from 1978 to 1982, Col Al Hashimi returned to the UAE to begin his career as a fighter pilot, flying Lockheed Martin F104 and French Mirage jets.

Embracing the C130 Hercules

When the UAE acquired the C130 Hercules in the early 1980s, Col Al Hashimi took on the role of flying this aircraft, which he humorously refers to as his “second wife.”

Expanding Roles: From Pilot to Humanitarian Leader

Rising Through the Ranks

Over the years, Col Al Hashimi rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the chief pilot and taking charge of the squadron responsible for flying the C130 with the Dubai Air Wing.

A Career Dedicated to Humanity

His responsibilities expanded beyond flying, and he became a key figure in organizing and piloting humanitarian missions around the world.

Choosing Service over Commercial Airline

Although he was the first pilot approached by Emirates Airlines when it was established, he chose to remain in the military.

Flying Hours and Humanitarian Missions

Col Hashimi’s career has included accumulating 13,800 flying hours, with 70% of that time dedicated to serving humanity.

A Partner in Service: Col Al Ghanem: Pilots

The Other Master of the C130

Col Al Ghanem, another experienced C130 pilot, joined Col Hashimi to fly the cargo plane while serving in the UAE Air Force.

Commitment to Humanitarian Missions

His career also saw a strong focus on humanitarian missions.

Delivering Hope Around the World: Humanitarian Missions: Pilots

Global Humanitarian Missions

Both pilots have completed numerous missions, delivering aid to regions affected by natural disasters and crises.

A Memorable Journey: From Chicago to Karachi

One memorable mission involved flying aid from Chicago in the US to Karachi in Pakistan, which lasted nearly 14 hours.

In the Midst of Crisis: Dedication to Service: Pilots

Humanitarian Flying in Crisis

In times of crisis, their schedules are filled with air-delivering humanitarian aid, with mealtimes and prayers happening on the fly.

Navigating Change: Technological Advancements

From Manual to Digital Navigation

The early years of their careers required manual navigation, and missions could take weeks.

Efficiency Through Technology

With the introduction of GPS and INS technology, air travel became more efficient, especially after the C130 aircraft was updated with the latest digital instruments in the mid-2000s.

A Lifelong Love for Service

Approaching Retirement

As Col Al Hashimi and Col Al Ghanem approach their retirement age in a couple of years, they express their deep love for their work and their loyal companion, the C130 aircraft.

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