Christopher Orlebar

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Christopher John Dugmore Orlebar (born 4 February 1945) is a former British Concorde pilot with British Airways, and is now well known as a lecturer and writer and as a frequent contributor to TV aviation documentaries, on aviation subjects generally, and on the Anglo-French aeroplane in particular.

Orlebar, the son of Brigadier John Orlebar, was educated at Twyford School,[1] Rugby School and Southampton University. He learned to fly in 1965 with the Southampton University Air Squadron (RAF), and then finished his training in civil aviation, at the College of Air Training at Hamble. Orlebar joined BOAC (later British Airways) in 1969, and became a VC10 pilot, navigator and instructor. He became a Concorde pilot and instructor in 1976, flying the aircraft for 10 years. He went on to become a training Captain on the Boeing 737 from 1986, and retired from British Airways in 2000.

A liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Orlebar is in demand as a lecturer and as a contributor to radio and TV programmes.[2][3] Orlebar's expertise was called upon particularly following the crash of a Concorde in Paris in 2000.[4]

Orlebar's book The Concorde Story[5] has been a bestseller since its publication in 1986. Now in its seventh edition, The Concorde Story has remained the most complete record of the history of Concorde in print since it was first published.[6] Starting with Concorde's earliest development, it assesses other forms of supersonic transport and provides the background to Concorde's evolution. It reveals what it is like to fly Concorde, and the training procedures to which Concorde pilots are subjected. The latest edition (2011) brings the story up to date, with chapters on Concorde's final flight and decommissioning, advice on where to go to see Concorde at rest, and information on the Paris crash of 2000.

He is descended from the Orlebars of Hinwick, Bedfordshire,[7] and is married with two grown-up children.


  1. ^ Twyford School
  2. ^ Concorde at Brooklands
  3. ^ Innovations Report Concorde - We can rebuild it
  4. ^ BBC Concorde pilot quizzed Tuesday, 17 July 2001
  5. ^ Orlebar, Christopher. The Concorde Story. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2011. ISBN 1-85532-667-1.
  6. ^ Concorde Return to Flight
  7. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry England and Wales 1972 18th edition 1972