Pilot Michael A Chowdry, Chairman, President and CEO of Atlas Air, Inc.Goes Down In A Plane Crash


Pilot Michael A Chowdry, Chairman, President and CEO of Atlas Air, Inc.Goes Down In A Plane Crash  

Denver, Colo, January 24, 2001, In a private jet piloted by Michael A Chowdry, Chairman, President and CEO of Atlas Air, Inc.  crashed today in an open field in Watkins, near Denver, Colo. One other person was on board. Both were killed in the crash. No one on the ground was injured. The other person's name is being withheld pending notification of relatives. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of both Michael and the other victim," said Richard Shuyler, Executive Vice President for Atlas Air. "This is a great loss to us all." The plane took off from the Front Range Airport at approximately 11:25 a.m. MST for a scheduled 30-minute flight. It crashed in an open field in Watkins at approximately 11:27 a.m. MST.

The National Transportation SafetyBoard will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. Richard Shuyler, Executive Vice President for Atlas Air will assume Mr. Chowdry's chief executive responsibilities until further notice. Jim Matheny, Executive Vice President of Operations will remain responsible for the operational aspects of the company. Atlas Air is a United States certified air carrier that operates a fleet of B747 freighters under ACMI contracts. These contracts include the provision by Atlas Air of the Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance for many of the world's leading international carriers. Altas operates flights to 101 cities in 46 countries.


MICHAEL A. CHOWDRY BIO Michael A. Chowdry was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Atlas Air, Inc., an international air cargo company that he founded in 1992. His wife, two children, two stepchildren and one cousin survive him. Chowdry had 20 years of airline industry experience. Prior to founding Atlas Air Inc. he was Chairman and President of Aeronautics Leasing, Inc. (ALI), a company he started in 1984 to lease passenger airplanes to airlines around the world. Clients included such prestigious names as PanAm, British Airways, TWA, Continental and SAS.

Born in Pakistan, Chowdry’s interest in the airline business started shortly after he immigrated to the United States in the mid 1970s. He quickly learned how to fly and flew crop dusters and sold Piper airplanes to pay for his college tuition. In the early 1980’s he worked buying and selling landing and take-off rights at constrained major airports, founded the first Colorado commuter airline to have a United Airlines partnership and accomplished one of his first major deals -- purchasing seven 727s from Frontier Airlines and selling them to Flying Tigers, an air freight company. This transaction netted him the capital to start ALI. Chowdry, who was educated at the University of Minnesota, was a U.S. Citizen. In 1998, he became the youngest person to be inducted into the International Air Cargo Hall of Fame, in 1999 he was selected as the National Ernst & Young Service Entrepreneur Of The Year, and in February 2000 he was named Aerospace Personality of the Year by Flight International.

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