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March 09, 2023 3 min read

Michael Della Polla
Delta Air Lines

It's an honor to dedicate this page to the Aviation Community and here is Michael Della Polla from Delta Air Lines featuring as our first Pilot Of The Month.

At Rodëo Drive -

“Our customers go beyond the business relationship for us. They are a part of our extended family.”

Hi, I'm Aniel Bakhru, engineer, entrepreneur, and founder of Rodëo Drive, an Online & Offline Airline Crew Store.

I have been associated with the aviation industry and have been working with Pilots and Flight Attendants since 1991. All our products have been evolved with crew inputs and insights over the years which has also helped us in getting recommendations from US Companies. Thank you for supporting Team Rodëo Drive and our artisan families.

Below are a few words and insights that we received from Michael Della Polla. So let’s begin!

1.Your name is?

I am Michael Della Polla.

2.When was the first time you flew an airplane?

I flew an airplane for the first time in college as a Sr. I was in a Navy Trainer being evaluated for AOCS to see if I was physiologically suited for flying (if I would throw up).

3.What made you decide to become a pilot?

My Dad owned car agencies and worked over 12 hours a day. He told me his definition of success was to “Do what you want when you want to”. The airline schedule of a pilot gave the best chance for his definition of success.

4.Since how long have you been flying?

I have been flying for 40 years. I don’t know how many flights I’ve taken.  Some have been more “exciting” than others.  Especially the one’s off the blunt end of a boat.

5.What change has flying brought in you?

Flying has made me humble but confident. You never know how well your next landing will be but you learn to believe in yourself and your abilities. “It’s not cocky if you can back it up”.

6.What does"Landing" mean to you?

Every landing is a new challenge.

7.You begin a "Takeoff" with?

Takeoffs for me begin with “Checklists”, lots of them.

8.What does your "Co-Pilot" mean to you?

My Co-pilot is my partner in a safe flight for our passengers.

9.What words do you live by?

The words I live by are “It’s not cocky if you can back it up”.

10.What does "Flying" mean to you?

Flying is a rush, especially clear day takeoffs.

11.Any prominent memory?

The one view embedded deep in my heart is the salute given to the catapult officer before a catapult shot.

12.One landing you'll never forget?

The one landing I will never forget is vertigo night landing in the Navy and a Heavy Rain landing at a very short field when the bottom dropped out and we touched down at a high power setting.

13. A flight event that changed you?

After a scary night landing at the boat, made me feel that every day after that one is “gravy”.

14.A heroic deed you have never spoken about before?

When I was a co-pilot on the 727, I would have kids sit in the Captain's seat and “Shoot the gun” which was keying the intercom button while I pushed the stick shaker check.

15. Ever had a difficult passenger?

One time I had a problem with a passenger, I sat down beside him and spoke very softly to him and he calmed down.

16. What's your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is being the best person I know how to be and not taking shortcuts.

17.What would you have done without Aniel and Rodëo Drive?

What would I have done without Aniel and Rodëo Drive! I have three of their leather jackets besides the 2 that I have purchased for past girlfriends. I think my closet would be empty.

18. Any advice for passengers or newly hired pilots in this COVID environment?

In this COVID environment, I would advise passengers and new hire pilots is what President Trump said, take precautions, wash your hands, wear a mask but “Don’t let it Dominate your life.”

Thank you for giving us your time and sharing your memories and experiences with all of us. We will look forward to associating more with you in the future.



Stay Healthy and Soar High!

Aniel Bakhru
Aniel Bakhru

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