Meet your support pilots
By Kristi DePaul
You may be wondering how it’s possible to fly without fear. Imagine that you’re boarding a flight on a very cloudy day. As you take your seat by the window, you’re flooded by thoughts of what may transpire.
“Will it be a bumpy takeoff? Just how safe is this weather? …should I be worried?”
Now picture an off-duty pilot on standby to answer all your questions.
That last part? It doesn’t require your imagination. You can log into your SimpliFly app today and chat directly with a pilot who will answer all your questions. This feature is currently only available for subscribers who purchase sMiles (each sMile = 30 seconds of chat time). SimpliFly offers expert commentary on a variety of topics such as encountering turbulence, common flight procedures, weather concerns and coronavirus safety. Premium users can unlock all media clips and save them to watch again offline.
Bringing the expertise of the flight deck into our mobile app
Aside from their periodic announcements inflight, most airline captains and fellow pilots aren’t often able to directly reach or assist passengers.
But what if they could? If doctors can provide 1:1 consultation services, why can’t a pilot? This was the question that our founder and career airline captain, Alon Pereg, sought to reconcile.
Today, we are giving off-duty pilots a platform to provide direct support to passengers on SimpliFly.
If you know someone who’s nervous about flying (or if that might even be you), check out SimpliFly and consider purchasing sMiles so you can Chat With a Pilot. You’ll have an expert at your fingertips, providing accurate flight information and responding to your questions or concerns.
Meet SimpliFly’s support pilots!
Our global team of experienced pilots is taking the support they can offer passengers to a whole new level. Below are a few profiles of the 50+ pilots in our support community who are sharing their insights on our app, with more joining us every month.
First Officer Ephraim ‘FUF’ Bar
Ephraim started his career at 18 and now has 46 years of experience. Today, he flies as a first officer for EL AL on the 787 Dreamliner. With 19,000 flight hours on his record, Ephraim has flown a range of aircrafts including the single engine Cessna 152 and the four-engine Boeing 747.
His passion for helping passengers overcome their fear of flying goes back to his training days with pilots and students. The desire to help people feel comfortable and relaxed when flying is the main reason why he joined SimpliFly.
“Flying is like riding a bus or cruising on a ship, the only difference is the media we’re traveling through. It can be better for passengers,” Ephraim says.
First Officer Carmel Beham Brecht
Carmel Beham Brecht has flown as a pilot since 2015. She is originally from Israel and now lives in Florida where she is a pilot for United Express.
Though somewhat newer to the cockpit, Carmel has had a lifelong love of flying. She began her career as a flight attendant and moved up to become a flight instructor, then a flight scheduler and now a pilot. Traveling and seeing the world from above are among her favorite things, and she hopes that she can enable more people to enjoy this spellbinding experience.
“I feel very connected to our passengers, and I want them to enjoy their experience and be able to travel with ease as I do,” she says. “I believe the methods taught at SimpliFly can achieve that for many of our customers.”
Jeremy Burfoot is an experienced pilot and author of four books including his latest release ‘Kiwis Can Fly,’ and an autobiography of his aviation career.
Jeremy has enjoyed a longstanding career from his time at Talair PTY in Papua New Guinea to Qantas Airways in 1984. He has also flown 747s as a pilot for Japan Airlines based in Anchorage, Alaska, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
He wants to help more passengers get a better experience when flying and through the SimpliFly app, and he can do just that by supporting our customers worldwide.
Captain Ofer Aloni
Ofer Aloni works as a senior B787 Dreamliner captain for EL AL. With over 47 years of experience, he has flown a wide variety of aircraft, including the B737, B767, B757 and B777.
Ofer has a deep passion for helping passengers overcome the fear of flying. Over the last 15 years he has personally supported over 200 passengers and he believes that through the SimpliFly app he can extend this service to many more.
Retired in December 2021 after 41 years of service with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as Senior Executive Vice President of Global Operations.His experience at AAAE over four decades included working with Members of the U.S. Congress/congressional staff and officials at the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Departments of Commerce and State, and U.S. Trade and Development Agency on various airport and aviation issues.