George Chiulli recently joined Elite Air as co-captain of the management company’s Legacy 600. Chiulli is an experienced airman who spent 20 years with U.S. Airways before a temporary retirement in 2006.
Among other accomplishments, Chiulli soloed in an aircraft at 16-years-old, was licensed at 17, and started his career as an airline pilot at 23. He has experience on the aircraft management side of the business, having started and run his own Part 135 charter business near Mammoth Mountain in California.
In addition to flying for U.S. Airways, Chiulli has spent time as a captain for ExpressJet, Skybus Airlines, and Indigo Airlines in India. Brought out of retirement by a sudden divorce in 2008, Chiulli brings more than 24,000 hours of flight time to Elite Air, as well as more than 15,000 hours as pilot in command.
“I’ve had the opportunity to fly with George, and he does a really nice job of flying the airplane—he lands it almost better than I do,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs joked. “In all honesty, though, we are extremely lucky to have him onboard in such an important airplane for us.”
Chiulli said he was attracted by the Legacy job at Elite Air because of the quality of the airplane and the opportunity to move eventually into the full-time captain’s role.
“I had never flown the Legacy, but I had flown the [similar] CRJ 200, and I actually prefer the Legacy,” he said.
Chiulli also appreciates being based out of Florida and flying frequently to Eluthera in the Bahamas, where he maintains a second home.
“I’m a beach bum at heart,” he said. “They say if you can cook, sing or fly, you’ll never go hungry. At least I have two of the three down.”