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Old 11-08-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight
 
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Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I wasn't even aware of OOT until someone recently suggested I start this thread here. (I had posted a question about Vegas on B&M).

I have been flying since 1977 and have accumulated a little over 15,000 hours of flying time. Besides an Airline Transport Pilot license, I also have a CFI (Certificated Flight Instructor), and Flight Engineer license (not much use to me now since 727s no longer fly passengers in the U.S.).

Through the 80s I was strictly a light airplane pilot, accumulating hours wherever I could: Saturday junkets to Atlantic City in a twin engine Piper Seneca; flight instructing; flying a politician around Virginia; flying HAZMAT out of Dulles airport (Stinger rocket motors for the army).

I've had ownership (or part ownership) in 3 different airplanes: Piper Cherokee 180; Grumman Yankee; and Piper Turbo Arrow. I lived in Hawaii for 2 years and flew to all the islands out there, renting aircraft from the Hickam Aero Club. I also spent 3 months in Japan and flew with the Yokota Aero Club. At that time I was a computer programmer and engineering manager providing on-site support to the military (CINCPACAF, and PACFLT in Hawaii; 5th Air Force in Japan).

In early 90s I finally decided to fly full time and took about a $65k pay cut to go fly for a regional airline, Atlantic Coast Airlines, out of Dulles airport in Virginia. I flew the Jetstream 31 (19 seat turboprop), the Jetstream 41 (29 seat turboprop) and the Canadair Regional Jet (50 seat jet) while at ACA. I also did simulator instruction, line checks, and gave new hires their Initial Operating Experience (IOE) while there.

I got hired by a major airline in 2000 and 'flew sideways' for about 6 months (flight engineer on the Boeing 727) before moving to the McDonnell Douglas MD-88, configured with 142 seats. In early 2007 I moved to the Boeing 767-300ER (the ER stands for Extended Range...it carries more fuel than the standard model) and began flying international routes. Most of those have been to Europe, but I've also been to Africa and South America.

My older brother flies for the same company, on the same airplane, and at the same base as me. We've actually had 2 flights together (Amsterdam and Nice).

I love the job, but the profession sure ain't what it used to be. Now that I finally made it to a major airline (the "Bigs") after 20+ years of building time, pay has been slashed at most airlines and we've lost our pensions. At 54 years of age, I am pulling down about $110k. I say "about" because we are paid by the hour -- it's not a salary.

I do like the fact that the job affords me a great deal of leisure time. This month I was flying on the 1st and 2nd (completing a 3 day trip to Nice) then had a day off and flew a 3 day trip to Moscow (Nov 4-6), followed by my current trip to Sao Paulo (Nov 7-10). After that, I'm off until Nov 25th when I fly a 3 day trip to Vegas, my first domestic trip in over 2 years. That's 14 days off...pretty nice.

I also like the fact that I never dread going to work. I couldn't say that in my previous life as a Systems Engineer. The worst part about my job now is that I live in D.C. area but fly out of JFK in NY. That means that I have to go hop a flight to NY to get to work. Commuting is a fact of life for many airline pilots; very few of our NY based pilots actually live in the NY area.

Anyway, that's a basic intro and I'd be glad to try to clear up any questions/misconceptions about flying in general (either GA or Airline flying) or day-to-day aspects of the job.

BTW, let me say that when it comes to PAs to the passengers I absolutely hate the hackneyed phrase that so many pilots and flight attendants use: "Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight." So trite and to me it almost sounds like a cruel taunt.

Last edited by W0X0F; 12-14-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

How competent are most pilots? Ever flown with a guy and though "Thank God i'm flying this plane and not him"?

And i'm sure if i don't ask someone else will .... and this is OOT so......... Bang any stewardesses?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Why are passengers required to put their seat backs forward for takeoff and landing?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

How many times have you landed a number/girl using your uniform?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

what's the deal with airline food?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Its cool you like flying good for you. Were I you I would go back to a regional , private jet setting. I would chew off my left arm , strap myself to a duck, or drive up to 1500 miles to avoid spending a day like a jerkoff in an airport in todays environment. I feel bad for the skilled pilots who take it in the shorts, but the rest of the industry deserves to fail and spend eternity in bankruptcy.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

What do you think about the pilots who lost their licenses for overshooting the airport because they were on their laptops? Is this standard for a pilot and these 2 just f'ed up or was this out-of-line behavior?

How often during a flight are you actively flying? Kind of to the above question, what do you do during your "down" time in the cockpit?
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

From a professional standpoint, how impressive was Captain Sully landing that plane in the Hudson?
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #9
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

my dad just built one of those corvair things and we keep having one disagreement: for a small plane like that, is it better to fly in cold air or warm air? he contends that its cold air because the propellers "bite" better whatever the hell that means, but my position is that cold air is worse because it is thinner.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:09 PM   #10
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

How many stewardesses did you bang? Did you guys have orgies at every city? Did you have one mistress in every city or did you prefer to go on the prowl every night in a new city?
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:03 AM   #11
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Quote:
Originally Posted by zugzwang83 View Post
my dad just built one of those corvair things and we keep having one disagreement: for a small plane like that, is it better to fly in cold air or warm air? he contends that its cold air because the propellers "bite" better whatever the hell that means, but my position is that cold air is worse because it is thinner.
Actually it's the opposite. Warm air is lighter and the performance of an airplane goes way down as the temperature (Density Altitude) increases.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:27 AM   #12
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

PilotMatt, maybe you can answer some of these questions, because OP has all but disappeared.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:51 AM   #13
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

what is your take on the two pilots who overflew there destination a week or two ago
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:59 AM   #14
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Are you a member of the mile high club?
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:00 AM   #15
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Quote:
Originally Posted by 22803 View Post
PilotMatt, maybe you can answer some of these questions, because OP has all but disappeared.
OP said after the 10th he will be off til 25th or w/e
So I assume thats when he will return
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