Sep 04, 2019 7:00 AM
Mark Hanson
Logistics, In the Air

Mark Hansen Aviation Bio


Mark’s interest in flying was sparked in 1974, when his kindergarten principal taught aviation 101 to his class.  This culminated in a hands-on tour of a Northwest Airlines DC-9, and after 5 minutes in the cockpit, he was hooked.


While completing his flight training and bachelors degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the late 1980’s, Mark got the teaching bug, and instructed there, and then chased his now wife north to Chicago, where for four years he taught flying, managed flight schools at Palwaukee Airport, and flew any and everything he could, including on-demand charter operations, flying mainly freight at night.


In 1994, Mark began his passenger airline career with Great Lakes Airlines, d/b/a United Express, flying turbo props around the Midwest out of United’s Chicago-O’Hare hub, as well as Minneapolis and Denver, finishing his seven years there as Chief Pilot for Great Lakes’ O’Hare and Minneapolis pilot domiciles.


In 2002, Mark returned to his freight flying roots, this time for FedEx Express, spending 5 years flying the B-727 around the Americas, and the last 12 years flying the MD-11 long-haul freighter to many places near and far.  Mark is based in Memphis, TN – the FedEx Global Super-Hub – but commutes from his home in Fort Sheridan, where his wife and son often wonder when and where his next trip will take him.  To date Mark has logged over 13,000 flight hours, much of it drinking coffee under the stars, planning his next layover adventure, while the world below is fast asleep.


Before a FedEx Express package lands on your door-step, it typically has had quite a ride before it ever sees your delivery courier’s truck on it’s final leg to you, and has been “sorted” several times.  While you are having dinner, it is likely on its way to the origin city’s departure airport where it will be sorted, and then flown, sometimes half-way around the world, to a FedEx hub airport, where it will be sorted again while you are turning in for the night.  It will then get a second plane ride to an airport near you, arriving while you are hitting the snooze button, and will get it’s final sort to a truck headed for your neighborhood in time for your late morning snack.  Your package is one of 15 million pieces handled by FedEx every day.


The FedEx slogan is “The World On Time.”  A FedEx pilot’s slogan is “The World Safe and On Time.”

Host: Mike Edelberg