Former airline pilot who battled a storm to bring down a plane full of passengers has become a funeral director. William Baron was filmed in 2017 commanding the plane with unwavering nerve, as storms overwhelmed the United Kingdom. In footage aired across various news channels, the pilot turned funeral director, calmly kept control of the flight. His abilities and actions at the time won him praise, especially as the dramatic footage showed the plane taking several bumps off the tarmac upon final descent. However, with the coronavirus pandemic taking a heavy toll on global travel, the 39-year-old lost his job earlier this year.
After fourteen years in the airline industry, Mr Baron opened a funeral home in Derbyshire. He told BBC News, “I was always interested in the ceremonial side of funerals, the uniforms, the dignity and the respect that’s present. But I never imagined I would be switching from flight decks to funerals after 14 years of being a pilot…It’s quite a shock but within… the new normal in the UK, I think there are quite a few people in my position. We’ve had to readjust and re-skill as the economy and society change.” The former pilot also mentioned how he turned to his new career, after a succession of airlines no longer required his services.
During Storm Doris in 2017, the British Isles received an almighty battering from the elements. Mr Baron was at the helm of a Monarch Airlines passenger plane, returning from the Spanish city of Malaga. After being praised for his piloting skills, Mr Baron left the airline after it went out of business due to the pandemic. Following his departure from Monarch, the former pilot joined Wow Air and Virgin Atlantic, prior to becoming a funeral director. He declared, “If commercial aviation returns to pre-Covid levels [my family would] definitely like to see me return to flying.”