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UPS captain 'lifts off' every day for more than 20 years

Raymond Robinson learned how to fly a plane in the Air Force in 1992. Now, he's committed to educating the next generation of pilots.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — “It’s very simple. We pull back to go up. We push forward to go down or descend, and then we turn left to go left, and turn right to go right,” explains UPS Captain and MD11 Instructor Raymond Robinson. 

“We have some throttle to help us move through the skies, but it’s that simple,” he adds.

Simple might be a bit of a stretch for most of us when detailing the inner workings of a massive cargo plane, it’s second nature for him. 

“I love every minute of what I do in terms of coming in, moving, and delivering what matters all over the world for UPS,” Robinson said. “Every day I get a chance to go fly.”

Captain Robinson is a graduate of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He finished his pilot training in 1992 before spending years flying in the military. He then set his eyes on UPS for his post military career. 

“When the cycles of the economy go up and down, people will not travel, but, they will always send boxes,” he said. “UPS was the best suited for my family.

Robinson has been with UPS for more than 20 years. In addition to flying, he’s now an instructor for the MD11.

UPS is known for moving packages, but Captain Robinson has found a way to move people as well. At least, figuratively. He’s committed himself to creating the next generation of pilots through unique programs here in Metro Louisville.

“I think being able to open the pathway for others that may have not considered, or don’t necessarily see themselves doing what I’ve done, is important,” he said. 

“We take middle and high schoolers and put them in a small airplane, and get they get that sensation of what it feels like to fly. They sit at the controls and actually get to steer throughout the skies of Kentuckiana." Robinson said.

The impacts of those efforts are measurable and long-lasting.

“We’ve been fortunate over the years to have several people that have come through our program and are actually flying for UPS today,” Robinson said. 

“We’re trying to make sure young people that have any small inkling of a dream or inclination to do something know that anything is possible," he said.

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