“I rode my push bike to work every day right under the tail of the Qantas 747.”
Families pass on their genes, their values and sometimes even their careers. For Tom Abbott, there was no question as to what business he was going into. It was always going to be Qantas. With several of his family members working for the airline, their stories always fascinated him. So, it's little wonder that he followed in their footsteps.
It all started in the 1960s, when Tom's uncle began working as the copy boy for Hudson Fysh, one of Qantas' founders. Helping with various errands, like filling up the inkwell on Mr Fysh's desk, his uncle then went on to work for Qantas in-flight scheduling.
Tom's mother also went into the "family business", working as a Qantas long-haul flight attendant in the 1970s. One of her favourite moments was enjoying low-level 747 flights over Antarctica. She was also a bridesmaid for the first mid-air wedding over Antarctica, which was hosted by Dick Smith and Ted Noffs.
As for Tom, his passion for flying began while watching the Qantas Dash 8s coming into land at Armidale Airport, where he grew up. So after completing flight training, he started work as a GA Charter Pilot in Longreach QLD. Tom loved riding his pushbike to work right under the tail of the historic Qantas 747. Just seeing the Qantas planes each day kept him inspired. Now, Tom captains Dash 8s in Armidale and loves giving people the opportunity to travel the world.
- Tom Abbott, Pilot