He was hired by American Airlines in 1987 and earned the rank of captain in 2000. He retired from American Airlines on September 2008 after 21 years of service. He has type ratings in the Boeing 727, the Boeing 737, the MD-80, the MD-11, and the Airbus 300; logging over 15,000 hours of flight time.
He is the 2005 recipient of the Lt General Harold L. George Civilian Airmanship Award from the Order of Daedalians for heroic acts and outstanding airmanship during an engine fire after takeoff on July 30, 2005. This award is presented annually to the pilot, copilot and/or crew of a United States certified commercial airline selected by a Federal Aviation committee to have demonstrated ability, judgment and/or heroism above and beyond normal operational requirements.
In addition, Capt Tolbert was awarded the 2007 Order of the Eagles Trophy which is the highest honor bestowed upon a crewmember by the American Airlines flight department.
Capt Tolbert has been an active member of OBAP since 1990. In addition, he is a member of the First Baptist Church of Ft Lauderdale where he serves as a deacon and adult Bible Study teacher. He and his wife Judy have been married for 33 years and are the proud parents of three grown children.