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Taps: Bernie Watson

June 15, 2021

COL (Ret) Gerry Silva forwarded this email from Hawaiian Airlines. Kimo Watson is Bernie and Sue’s son.

Aloha all,

It is my sad duty to report that Captain Bernie Watson passed away yesterday (6/13/2021) after a long battle with lung cancer.  Bernie came to Hawaiian Airlines in 1970 after serving in Vietnam as an Army Aviator and rose to be the Chief Pilot at Hawaiian while achieving the rank of General in the Army National Guard. 

One of his prouder moments was when we pinned his son Kimo with his 20 year pilot wings here at the Koapaka offices.  Bernie retired in 2003 and remained the anchor consultant of the Flight Operations and Training Departments for many years thereafter.  I soon learned the answer to most questions regarding Ops Specifications and the myriad Regulatory Compliance/FAA issues was – “Ask Bernie”.

Bernie – we will miss you, 

Kimo – please accept our sincere condolences

You don’t train until you get it right. You train until you can’t do it wrong.


Retiree News extends heartfelt sympathy to Bernie’s family and friends. We will post more information about services when it becomes available.

From → History

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