Candidate Profile

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Air & Sea Safety Investigations
Captain Chris Rigby was trained by BOAC in the early 70’s but due to overstaffing he left to join initially Cyprus Airways and then Britannia Airways at Birmingham. It was with Britannia that he gained his command at the age of 27, one of the youngest jet captains in the UK at that time. After leaving Britannia and period of freelance work including corporate flying for Chris De Burgh, Nigel Mansell and other celebrities, he joined easyJet at its start up in Luton.

Four years later he moved back to British Airways at Birmingham and then 4 years after that back to Britannia Airways, now renamed Thomsonfly at Coventry Airport and was acting fleet manager during their start up. After Thomsons pulled out of Coventry, Chris joined Ryanair, based at Birmingham until he retired at the age of 60.

Chris amassed over 25,000 flight hours on commercial jets including over 20,000 hrs. as captain. He retired in 2011 and now runs a simulator facility, open to the public, at Coventry Airport. Flight Simulators Midlands has several jet simulators in which the general public and professional pilots alike, can hone their skills. He also runs regular Fear of Flying courses which have helped many people get airborne and join their cruise ships.

Chris regularly lectures on cruise ships with full venues for 5 years now and offers a range of lectures to do with aviation from Concorde to Airships to the Fear of Flying. He has worked with Cunard, P&O, Fred Olsen, RCL and Thomsons.
1. "Supersonic Flight"- Captain Chris Rigby takes a look at the history of supersonic flight from Chuck Yeager to Concorde and uncovers some surprising history.
This lecture covers firstly the technical side of the difficulties of supersonic flight in a way that the audience can understand. The history of supersonic flight using actual footage of many aircraft developed during the cold war period including the SR71 (Blackbird), the Valkerie Bomber, and the DH110 which crashed at Farnborough, is followed through to eventually Concorde and what may be in the future.

2. “Concorde – the inside story” - Captain Chris Rigby looks at the political inception and birth of this amazing aeroplane and delves into the problems that beset Concorde up to its final demise. It’s a subject that still fascinates everyone who is interested in aviation and many more who are not. Chris goes into some interesting details that are not often aired in public. It’s not always pretty.

3. "How on Earth Does it Fly"? - Captain Chris Rigby looks at the history of aerodynamics & flight and shows you how a modern day aircraft is controlled by the pilots. In this lecture Chris covers the development of aviation from China to the Wright brothers describing basic aerodynamics in a light hearted fashion. He describes how lift is generated and how that is applied to the building of modern day aircraft. He also takes a look at the phenomenal power of today’s jet engines and how the aircraft are controlled by the pilots.

4. "Come Fly with Me" - Captain Chris Rigby takes you on a flight using actual footage from a recent commercial flight. You are in the flight deck from take-off to landing and Chris will show you what the pilots do on their daily business. You will see how the pilots work together as a team in a well disciplined manner and learn some of the ways in which pilots control their aircraft, ensuring the passengers and crew arrive safely and efficiently.

5. "That'll be £1 For the toilet please Sir" - Captain Chris Rigby takes a tongue in cheek look at the seemingly unstoppable growth of the budget airline industry. This lecture is a light hearted but very interesting look at how the budget airlines have develop dover the years. Chris has worked for both easyJet and Ryanair as well as other companies who have put their toes in the budget water, so he knows the inside track.

6. “On a Dark Dirty Night” - Captain Chris Rigby talks about the weather and how it affects modern day aircraft. How do they find the runway at night in thick fog? Chris shows you actual footage of a ‘blind’ landing. This lecture takes a look at the environment of the pilot of today. Weather affects all of us, but for pilots, it is their working world and Chris describes not only how fog, thunderstorms and many other phenomena develop, but how pilots cope with them in their daily routine even down to a blind automatic landing in thick fog.

7. “The work of the Air Accident Investigation Branch” – Captain Chris Rigby talks about the work of the AAIB and relates that to recent day accidents such as Lockerbie and the Hudson River ditching. Chris selects a few crashes of recent times and goes through the way in which the AAIB was involved with them and the conclusions that were drawn. This is a very interesting lecture and the subjects popularity is demonstrated by how many people watch the Discovery programme ‘Air Crash Investigation’.

8. “Hot Air or Hydrogen” - a look on the development of balloons and airships over the years. From the Montgolfier brothers to the Hindenburg and look at what may lie in the future. Fascinating photographs and video footage of this great adventure in the sky.

9. "Are you frightened of flying"? - Captain Chris Rigby reveals why you feel afraid and how you can manage it. He wouldn't sit at the front if there was any danger! Chris regularly runs Fear of Flying courses at Coventry airport and anyone with this problem is recommended to contact him for details of the next course.

10 "HIJACK" - Chris looks at the history of hijacking or air piracy and takes a closer look at one of the great mysteries in aviation. A real who did it.

Chris is developing new lectures all the time and can produce more than the above 10 if required.

Captain Chris Rigby regularly lectures on the Fear of Flying and has ‘cured’ many people of their apprehensions. This is a full day course which is compressed into a single lecture and covers everything from aircraft durability to maintenance, security, air traffic control and may other topics. As emails received after previous cruises confirm, this lecture has helped many people to fly more comfortably.

Chris has now retired from full time flying but owns and manages a simulator facility which is open to the public, at Coventry Airport in the West Midlands.
Lectured with Cunard, Fred Olsen, P&O, Thomsons for several years. Always have very good audiences and always very complimentary.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Queen Mary 2 M739 Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing 9 New York Friday, October 20, 2017
Queen Mary 2 M627 2016 Big Band Ball Cruise, Westbound Crossing 7 Southampton Saturday, November 19, 2016
Queen Mary 2 M615 The Fjords 12 Hamburg Thursday, August 18, 2016