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Hall of Fame 2010 - Chris Chapman

Chris Chapman

Chris was born in 1942. His father was a policeman and he was educated across the road from Highbury Stadium and remains a lifelong "gooner" (fan of Arsenal Football Club!).

Secondary education passed unremarkably and Chris's first job was cleaning tables before going to work at a freight forwarder, Thomas Meadows. Eventually, he was initiated into the world of air charter in 1959 working at Southend Airport based Tradair.

They ceased trading in 1962 and Chris joined Tradair founder Eric Hanks in a charter broking outfit called H Clarkson Air & Shipping Services. This went onto become Baltic Exchange member, Clarkair and a worldwide air charter broker.

After various other changes including working with another broking operation called Airmark, Chris worked with an Alaskan Hercules operator to manage their fleet as they were stuck in Chapter 11 whilst broking.

He called the broking company, Chapman Freeborn Airmarketing because as he says "he lacks creative imagination"! The other half of Chapman Freeborn at that time was Chris's colleague from Tradair, Clarkair and Airmark, Mike Freeborn (who later stepped back in 1978 although Chris kept the name).

The early mission was to find work for the Alaskan Hercules fleet which flew south to sunnier climes of Botswana, Bangladesh, Oman and Saudi Arabia. This all started in 1973 and the rest, as they say, is aviation history.

Chris notes that he has been superbly supported by his partner, Lisa, and 4 children who are now living all over the world. Chris himself divides his time between the UK and Bergerac, France where he also owns a restaurant, which serves the finest French cuisine.

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