Captain Craig Abernathy (Fedex Express) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, graduating in June 1977. That fall he entered the University of South Carolina on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He graduated in May 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and was commissioned as a Naval Officer.
He reported to NAS Pensacola in June 1981 and entered Naval Aviation pilot training. Receiving his wings of gold in July 1982 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field , Milton, Fla. He was then stationed at Naval Air Station Meridian, MS from 1982-1984 flying the UN-1N and C-1. After completing initial training in the CH-46, he transferred to HC-8 at Naval Air Station Norfolk, VA from 1985-1988, deploying once to the North Atlantic and twice to the Mediterranean. Job assignments included logs and records officer, Natops officer and detachment Officer in Charge.
From 1998-1991 he served as a primary flight instructor at VT-6 at Naval Air station Whiting Field flying the T-34C. Qualified to instruct in familiarization , basic and radio instruments and formation he also served as unit leader and assistant operations officer.
Transferring to Naval Station Norfolk, he served onboard the USS Iwo Jima from 1991-1993 flying the UH-1N deploying to the Mediterranean and Adriatic.
After completing Ch-46 refresher training from 1993-1995 he was again assigned to HC-8 as a department head deploying to the Mediterranean once and the Caribbean twice. Job assignments included safety officer and instrument check pilot.
From 1995-1998 he served at Naval Air Station Whiting Field as the assistant operations officer again instructing in the T-34C. He retired from active duty in October 1998 with the rank of LCDR.
Beginning a second career in aviation in November1998 he joined American Eagle Airlines as an ATR-42/72 first officer based in San Juan , Puerto Rico and Orlando, Florida. In October 1999 he joined US Airways as a Boeing 737-300/400 first officer based in Philadelphia, Charlotte and Pittsburgh.
The devastating terrorist attacks of 9-11 forced a furlough and an involuntary separation from flying. Although personally and professionally disappointing, this period provided an opportunity to look in the mirror and do some much-needed revaluation on family and priorities in life.
In September 2002, he was offered and accepted a position at the Fedex Express Corporate Aviation flight department in Memphis, Tn as a Light Jet Captain / Heavy Jet first officer on the Learjet 45 and Challenger 601. His application package included a certification of character and trustworthiness by fellow Board member, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother and United Parcel Service international pilot Michael J. Fowlkes.
After 4 ½ years of corporate aviation service, in November 2007 he transferred to the mainline (“dark side”) of Fedex Express as a Boeing 727 second officer. In May of 2012 he upgraded to Airbus A-300 first officer and in October 2015 joined the training department as an Airbus instructor pilot. In May 2017 he upgraded to Airbus captain.
He continues to reside in the Memphis area, in Piperto , Tn.