Kim Coryat

 Kim Coryat

Safety Committee Chairman & Board Member

A life-long aviator, Kim grew up with a family airplane, started lessons at 14 with a former WASP, soloed on her 16th birthday then pumped gas to earn her PPL at 17. She hasn’t taken a break since. 

While in college studying to be a mathematician, Kim started as an intern at the National Hurricane Center, assisting with statistical track forecasting. She spent six years with NOAA in weather research, eventually flying as a crew member in their WP-3Ds and specializing in data quality. Inspired to fly the heavies, she joined the USAF in 1983 to become a Hurricane Hunter flying WC-130s. Her follow-on assignment was C-12s in Okinawa, then C-5s in Dover, which she flew for 10 years, including Desert Storm. She retired from the USAF Reserve as a C5 Instructor and Check Airman in 2003. Throughout most of her USAF career, she was a safety officer and accident/incident investigator.

Kim started with FedEx in 1998 as a Flight Engineer in B727s. As a junior pilot, she spent a few years flying in the middle of the night, northbound in the winter and southbound in the summer. Fatigue was her constant companion. Then came the MD11, as a First Officer flying daytime trips to some pretty decent places. More seniority earned her the captain’s seat, with trips to Paris, London, Honolulu, Anchorage and other wonderful destinations. She also served as a simulator instructor, ALPA safety volunteer and safety analyst working with FOQA, ASAP, SMS and audit. 

Aside from flying for FedEx, Kim and her husband John run a small business. They realized that a small, but capable airplane could help their business grow. After considering several, she chose her Meridian and joined PMOPA in 2017 so she would have the best resources for flying it safely and efficiently. After retiring from FedEx in 2023, she volunteered to become the PMOPA Safety Chairman, so she could adapt and share the tools she used in the airline to help solve challenges in PA-46 safety. 

Retirement was but a brief interlude before Kim moved into her third career: professor and aviation program coordinator for the University of Memphis. “Capt. Kim” is now educating the newest generation of professional pilots, and working to improve the program for maximum student success.