Megat Arizal

Airline Pilot and Digital Creator

Sporting salt and pepper chops, Ari’s the sort of person with enough charm to fill a room. Well travelled – 24 years with MAS and counting – he is also a content creator par excellence. When he’s not at the joystick of his A330, he’s an avid cyclist, photographer, and former motorsports enthusiast. He shares some of his thoughts:

Does flying ever get mundane?

I tell you what, it doesn’t feel like 24 years have passed with MAS. First of all you don’t fly with the same crew so you don’t get bored. Flying is beautiful but strict. We perform simulator exams twice a year to keep our license current where we practice multiple emergency situations. Its a non stop learning process. In fact, we perform simulator exams twice a year where they throw all kinds of emergency situations at you. Our performance affects our future, and its non-stop learning.

What was it like flying during the early stages of COVID?

Before it was properly identified, we were already advised to wear masks when flying into China. We thought it was going to be another SARS situation and then the first lockdown hit us – it was unprecedented. I was fortunate because I fly both the A330 passenger and cargo planes but even then it was only once or twice a month.

Movies like Flight and Sully – how real are those situations?

They come pretty close, but I don’t think that whole flying inverted scene from Denzel Washington’s Flight is plausible. But that notion that pilots party hard and have a tipple before or after a long flight is something out of the 70’s. Thing are very rigid and regulated now. But both movies get it pretty accurate that in the event of any emergency or ‘touch wood’, accident, pilot error is the first thing investigators dig into. If you remember in Sully, when he landed the place in the Hudson river and saved his passengers, the first thing they attacked was his decision making process.

Are you excited about being an A-Lister?

I’m hardly what you call fashion forward. They said to bring a white shirt for the shoot and the only ‘shirts’ I have are my uniform! My entire wardrobe is t-shirts and shorts. Plus I don’t live the whole baller lifestyle. So it was a surprise. I said ok, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my flying, I think it’ll be a fun experience.

Jacket and pants by Hugo Boss; Shoes by Coach; Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT with black coloured calfskin leather; Ikon Document Case by Braun Büffel

Subscribe Now

Get the latest updates on the A-List and other lifestyle news