The Master

Captain Robin B Keegan FRAeS

Robin was inspired to become a pilot following his first flight as a passenger at the age of 10.  He joined the Royal Air Force Air Training Corps (ATC) as a cadet at the at age 13 and stayed until aged 20 rising to Cadet Warrant Officer, the highest cadet rank.  Through the ATC he gained a RAF Flying Scholarship to Private Pilot Licence standard and his Gliding A & B wings.

On leaving school, he was selected for a Direct Entry Commission as a pilot in the RAF but did not take up the offer.  Instead, he entered executive aviation mainly flying a Beechcraft Kingair pressurised twin turboprop aircraft and through this was sponsored for both his Commercial Pilot’s Licence and subsequently his Air Transport Pilots Licence and Instrument Rating.  He stayed in corporate aviation for ten years and it was during this period he joined the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.

Leaving the corporate world, Robin joined Britannia Airways in the UK as a First Officer on the Boeing 737-200 flying around Europe and the Middle East.  Subsequently, Robin became a Training First Officer (TFO) on the B737 conducting both technical ground school for new recruits and accompanying them on their first line training sectors as a ‘shotgun’ First Officer.  After 7 years in Britannia, he was promoted to command on the B737, later becoming a Line Training Captain.

A move to the combined Boeing 757 and 767 dual-rated fleet in Britannia as a Type Rating Instructor (TRI) followed which offered a much greater range of destinations mixing both short and long-haul flying including transatlantic ETOPS operations and flights to India, the Maldives and Indonesia in order to operate Hadj pilgrim flights to Saudi Arabia with three pilots due to the extended sector lengths.  He became a member of the GAPAN Technical Committee which lasted for 20 years until the committee was reformed as the International Technical Forum.  Britannia were re-equipping with the Boeing 737-800NG, so another type-change led to becoming a Type Rating Examiner (TRE) on this aircraft until the opportunity to take early retirement beckoned some years later.  During his airline career, Robin was a member of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and through that was a Regional Vice President Europe for the International Federation of Airline Pilot Associations (IFALPA) for 10 years attending IFALPA conferences in Tokyo, Jamaica, Stavanger, Madeira, Sydney, Cape Town, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Mexico City and Auckland plus several European Regional Meetings.  

Robin is married to Eileen, and they have two adult children, James and Olivia.  They also have six grandchildren, four boys and two girls.  James is a doctor and regularly volunteers on an Air Ambulance helicopter.  Olivia works in Medical Education.  In his spare time, Robin is keen on field sports particularly deer stalking and riding his Harley Davidson motorbike.

Robin serves on several Air Pilot committees (including as a past Chair) of the Aviation and Education Careers (ACEC) and is a past Chair of Trustees of the Air Pilots Benevolent Fund.  He became a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1999 and has just completed 46 years as a member of GAPAN and the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.