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Old 09-08-2017, 07:33 PM   #7826
KennyJPowers
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Do long haul pilots use any substances like uppers to stay awake? Probably not but have you ever heard of it in the past or present?
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:53 PM   #7827
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Well, let's see. I'm 10 years older (which is a sobering thought; it starts to feel like the end of the runway is coming up).

Tell you what, I'll post a complete update when I get back to flying. I just had a another clear CT scan a couple of weeks ago and I'm now putting together a complete synopsis of my medical history and current prognosis for consideration by the FAA (with the help of the ALPA Aeromedical people in Colorado). I'm told that I have a very good case for getting my medical certificate, but the wheels turn slowly and so I'm trying not to get too anxious. I think shooting for the end of this year is realistic.

If and when I do get back to flying, I'm going to consider a change of airplanes since the MD-88 is being phased out from NYC. I could stay on the plane and switch to Atlanta, but I'm going to look at transitioning to the 737 or go back and fly as Captain on the 757/767.





de captain is right and you can read about it somewhere itt. But to answer your question, it is possible to get some bad habits. For example, you might find some technique that works for you during approach and landing in the software simulation that would be very risky in an actual plane (such as cutting power completely prior to touchdown, an action that could result in what we politely call a firm arrival).

Ok cool, That fourm de captain sent also was good. I just dont know how to add 2 quotes. 1 more question, how important is math? Hope you get that medical permit sooner then expected
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:26 PM   #7828
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Do long haul pilots use any substances like uppers to stay awake? Probably not but have you ever heard of it in the past or present?
You might find this hard to believe, but I've never known of any pilot doing this. But some of the otc pills for this are just doses of caffeine (at least , I'm pretty sure that's right), so I can't really see why it would be much different than drinking coffee. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I don't even know for sure where the FAA comes down on this and I'm kind of surprised myself that this has never come up in all my years of flying.

I know there have been occasions, especially on red-eye flights, where my natural circadian rhythms kick in and I need a quick power nap. Although it's not strictly kosher, if I really feel I can't fight it I'll tell the other pilot that I need a few minutes and he/she will take the plane and the radios while I catch a tight 10 minutes. But perhaps I've said too much.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:35 PM   #7829
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Ok cool, That fourm de captain sent also was good. I just dont know how to add 2 quotes. 1 more question, how important is math? Hope you get that medical permit sooner then expected
Well, I majored in math so I'm a little biased. It sure comes in handy and there are some pretty common applications in aviation, but none that require any tremendous, above average skill.

But I have flown with some pilots who are "math challenged" and practically incapable of planning a descent without completely relying on the FMS to do the calculations. I've even had to nudge a few guys to start down so we don't miss crossing restrictions.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:41 PM   #7830
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Do long haul pilots use any substances like uppers to stay awake? Probably not but have you ever heard of it in the past or present?
Just so you know, on really long flights, there are relief pilots. They switch out mid-flight.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #7831
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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You might find this hard to believe, but I've never known of any pilot doing this. But some of the otc pills for this are just doses of caffeine (at least , I'm pretty sure that's right), so I can't really see why it would be much different than drinking coffee. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I don't even know for sure where the FAA comes down on this and I'm kind of surprised myself that this has never come up in all my years of flying.

I know there have been occasions, especially on red-eye flights, where my natural circadian rhythms kick in and I need a quick power nap. Although it's not strictly kosher, if I really feel I can't fight it I'll tell the other pilot that I need a few minutes and he/she will take the plane and the radios while I catch a tight 10 minutes. But perhaps I've said too much.
Its kinda a loaded question but I think I heard of US fighter pilots using "Go pills" to stay focused which they blamed for any mistake made. Just wondered if it crossed into your area.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #7832
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Just so you know, on really long flights, there are relief pilots. They switch out mid-flight.
Thanks for mentioning that, pvn. I kind of whiffed on the "long haul" part of the question. On any flight of more than eight hours (and that's gate-to-gate, so it includes taxi time on both ends of the flight), we have three pilots. We're all up front for the takeoff and landing, but from a half hour after takeoff to a half hour before landing, we each cycle out for a rest break.

For flights in excess of 12 hours, we have four pilots and we get even more crew rest time during the flight. And, btw, we get paid our regular hourly rate even while on a rest break. Some pilots call it "dozing for dollars."
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:55 PM   #7833
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Its kinda a loaded question but I think I heard of US fighter pilots using "Go pills" to stay focused which they blamed for any mistake made. Just wondered if it crossed into your area.
Yes, I can verify this is true, based on conversations I've had with ex-military guys I've flown with. B-2 guys will fly missions in excess of 24 hours with two pilots and they are provided with pills to assist them. They also spell each other for naps, but I was surprised that they don't have a real rest facility on board.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:54 AM   #7834
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Well, I majored in math so I'm a little biased. It sure comes in handy and there are some pretty common applications in aviation, but none that require any tremendous, above average skill.

But I have flown with some pilots who are "math challenged" and practically incapable of planning a descent without completely relying on the FMS to do the calculations. I've even had to nudge a few guys to start down so we don't miss crossing restrictions.
Alright better start working on my times tables since i cant do that stuff lol
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:00 PM   #7835
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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I know there have been occasions, ...
This is one of those traits that make for the people that are the best at their jobs. The knowledge of how to adjust to real life when necessary (and not just make excuses to be lazy). It would be absurd to pretend like this is never an issue, and also extremely difficult to regulate properly.

In terms of the Delta Hurricane flight I need to reference a Mayday episode one more time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVj1-zGBdlI

Here's a description of the flight online: https://www.wunderground.com/resourc...tion/hugo1.asp

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In September of 1989, a NOAA hurricane hunter airplane intercepted Hurricane Hugo as it approached the Caribbean islands, ... The mission remains the most harrowing flight ever conducted by the NOAA hurricane hunters. I served as flight meteorologist on that flight, and feel fortunate indeed to be able to tell the story.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:50 PM   #7836
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Crazy video of a plane crash caught on surveillance cam. Tree catches it and places it wheels down. Pilot fine.



News report: http://www.wfsb.com/story/36336635/s...-in-plainville
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:36 PM   #7837
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Crazy video of a plane crash caught on surveillance cam. Tree catches it and places it wheels down. Pilot fine.



News report: http://www.wfsb.com/story/36336635/s...-in-plainville
Wow!
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:17 AM   #7838
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Big Plane Pilot Safety Training

Captain W0X0F:

Before I get to my direct question, I want to wish you luck in getting recertified for flying. I know you want to get back in the cockpit ASAP, so here's to hoping that the doctors (and the FAA) get off their duffs and give you a "thumbs up" for flying. I remember reading Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff". The one group all astronauts and military test pilots hate are doctors. Frank Borman even famously stated: "Give a doctor an inch and he'll take more than a mile." (Probably true ...) OK, to my question.

Maybe this has been covered previously, but I watched a video clip on the Fox News Channel about a commercial flight in which the Senior Captain suffered a heart attack [in flight] and suddenly the First Officer (a lady pilot) is flying the plane solo. While the FO was struggling to get the plane down ASAP to the nearest airport, the flight attendants were asking if a pilot was onboard? Luckily, it turned out that a pilot was onboard - an Air Force officer who flies the B-1B bomber.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOO_oYZF_B0

After the plane had landed safely, the Air Force pilot was promptly declared a "hero" by the media - an honor the B-1B pilot quickly played down. (He said, during the television interview, that all he did was "work the radio" and "help with the check list" while the FO was in command and did nearly all the flying, so she was the real hero. (Like a typical military pilot with the right stuff, he played it real cool like "Aw shucks, it was nothing really ..."

My question concerns pilot training for emergency situations where one of the pilots is suddenly incapacitated. Is it standard operating procedure (in long-haul "heavy iron" aircraft) for each pilot to be trained to fly the plane solo, if need be, or do the airlines hope and pray that this kind of thing doesn't happen too often? Saying it another way, when this kind of situation develops, is it SOP to have the pilot who is still flying ask the passengers if there is a pilot onboard?

I have a feeling the B-1B pilot probably realized, fairly quickly, what was going on and volunteered his services, so he didn't have to be asked. (I recall Denny Fitch, a senior check pilot for United doing the same thing in that famous 1989 crash of UA-232 in Iowa. Realizing the pilots were dealing with a very bad situation, he informed one of the flight attendants that he could help and Captain Haynes gladly accepted his offer.)

I would think one of the pilots coming over the PA system asking if there is a pilot onboard might alarm the passengers a bit, so I'm curious as to what the "official" airline policy is with regard to these type situations? I'm kind of assuming that pilot training anticipates this type of contingency as it is certainly not a routine everyday occurence, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility. I suppose the real question is: Just how difficult is it to fly (and safely land) a large plane solo - especially if you just happen to be in heavily congested airspace? How can a single pilot watch all the controls and all the instrumentation - and look out the window for other aircraft - all at the same time? I would think that would tend to introduce a certain amount of STRESS!!)

I haven't flown that many times commercial, but the few times I have flown I always look for pilots with a little gray around their temples. You guys make it look easy, but we passengers want folks in the cockpit who've been around the block (and around the world) a few times. The cockpit is no place for inexperience.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:18 AM   #7839
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Big Plane Pilot Safety Training

Captain W0X0F:

Before I get to my direct question, I want to wish you luck in getting recertified for flying. I know you want to get back in the cockpit ASAP, so here's to hoping that the doctors (and the FAA) get off their duffs and give you a "thumbs up" for flying. I remember reading Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff". The one group all astronauts and military test pilots hate are doctors. Frank Borman even famously stated: "Give a doctor an inch and he'll take more than a mile." (Probably true ...) OK, to my question.
Doctors can be capricious and, for that reason, many pilots find a "friendly" AME (Aero Medical Examiner) for their flight physicals. When I was at ACA, I used to go to Dr. "V" who, after his nurse had taken blood pressure, checked weight, and gotten a urine sample, would simply come in for a couple of minutes and ask how I was feeling. Maybe we'd talk about flying for another three to four minutes (he was ex-Air Force...flew the F-86 in the 50's), and I'd be on my way, good for another six months. Probably half the pilots at ACA went to Dr. V.

Quote:
Maybe this has been covered previously, but I watched a video clip on the Fox News Channel about a commercial flight in which the Senior Captain suffered a heart attack [in flight] and suddenly the First Officer (a lady pilot) is flying the plane solo. While the FO was struggling to get the plane down ASAP to the nearest airport, the flight attendants were asking if a pilot was onboard? Luckily, it turned out that a pilot was onboard - an Air Force officer who flies the B-1B bomber.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOO_oYZF_B0

After the plane had landed safely, the Air Force pilot was promptly declared a "hero" by the media - an honor the B-1B pilot quickly played down. (He said, during the television interview, that all he did was "work the radio" and "help with the check list" while the FO was in command and did nearly all the flying, so she was the real hero. (Like a typical military pilot with the right stuff, he played it real cool like "Aw shucks, it was nothing really ..."
He wasn't being modest. It really was next to nothing that he did, and his involvement was just as he stated (radios and checklists). His B1 experience puts him near the top of the aviation pyramid, but I'll still take the current and qualified FO at the controls of that plane in that situation.

His presence was not essential to the safe completion of this flight, but it provided the flying pilot with a resource to use for some of the mundane tasks. I'm sure she would have been fine without anyone assisting her.

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My question concerns pilot training for emergency situations where one of the pilots is suddenly incapacitated. Is it standard operating procedure (in long-haul "heavy iron" aircraft) for each pilot to be trained to fly the plane solo, if need be, or do the airlines hope and pray that this kind of thing doesn't happen too often? Saying it another way, when this kind of situation develops, is it SOP to have the pilot who is still flying ask the passengers if there is a pilot onboard?
There is no training whatsoever for single pilot operation of the airplane. We're all capable of flying the plane alone. The crew concept provides redundancy and reduces the chance for a bonehead pilot error (setting the wrong altitude or missing a crossing restriction). The extra pilot is really useful in IFR approaches to minimums. While the flying pilot stays "on the gauges," the non-flying pilot cross checks instruments and looks outside for approach lights and runway, calling them out when they're in sight. But even this isn't absolutely essential. We've all flown as single pilot in our pre-airline days and it was up to us to fly our approaches solo.

There is certainly no SOP on this topic; it's strictly a judgment call by the pilot who is still flying. If it were me, I'd probably ask the FAs if they knew of any company pilot on board and I'd take his/her assistance even if they were from another fleet, because they still know procedures and can assist me. My second choice would be a pilot from another airline, then a military pilot and, lastly, a GA pilot. Barring that, I'd probably just handle it solo. On a plane with excess FAs (e.g. our 767 international flights have eight FAs but only legally require five), I'd probably have one of them sit up front through the approach and landing, just to have someone to read the checklist and maybe be looking outside during an IMC approach.

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I have a feeling the B-1B pilot probably realized, fairly quickly, what was going on and volunteered his services, so he didn't have to be asked. (I recall Denny Fitch, a senior check pilot for United doing the same thing in that famous 1989 crash of UA-232 in Iowa. Realizing the pilots were dealing with a very bad situation, he informed one of the flight attendants that he could help and Captain Haynes gladly accepted his offer.)
When I'm flying non-rev and not in uniform, I introduce myself to the lead flight attendant and let her know I'm a pilot, available to help if they need it. I've never been asked to come up and fly the plane.

In the case of UA 232, it was really lucky to have Denny on board. He was (iirc) a check airman on the DC-10 and knew the plane and its systems very well. He ended up handling the throttles which was the only method available to steer the plane after all the hydraulic systems failed.

Quote:
I would think one of the pilots coming over the PA system asking if there is a pilot onboard might alarm the passengers a bit, so I'm curious as to what the "official" airline policy is with regard to these type situations? I'm kind of assuming that pilot training anticipates this type of contingency as it is certainly not a routine everyday occurrence, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility. I suppose the real question is: Just how difficult is it to fly (and safely land) a large plane solo - especially if you just happen to be in heavily congested airspace? How can a single pilot watch all the controls and all the instrumentation - and look out the window for other aircraft - all at the same time? I would think that would tend to introduce a certain amount of STRESS!!)
I would never do that. The message conveyed by such a PA ("I need help flying this thing!") would make me panic if I was riding in back.

Let's not overstate how tough such a situation would be. There are lots of GA pilots flying single pilot in congested airspace all the time. That extra pilot is there to reduce workload and provide a cross check and redundancy, but any pilot worth his salt could do the job alone if necessary.

When I was a First Officer at ACA, flying the J-32, I flew several months with one particular Captain who was quite a character. I really enjoyed flying with him and there was some good-natured ball busting from time to time. On more than one occasion, I'd say something to him during flight and he would cross his arms and say, "Well, now you've traumatized me. I don't think I can fly anymore." And from that point on, I'd be flying single pilot, handling the plane and the radios while he watched, arms folded. One time, flying into PHF (Newport News, VA), this continued right through landing and taxi in.

The whole thing was kind of an exercise to illustrate what would be involved in single pilot operation and it was actually a vote of confidence in me that Pete had me do that. I can still see him sitting there, claiming to be traumatized by whatever wise-ass response I had given him. And, btw, lest I leave you with the impression that Pete was some kind of immature prima donna, he was one of the best pilots I've flown with and extremely passenger oriented and, of course, he would have unfolded those arms in a second if he saw I was getting overwhelmed.

Quote:
I haven't flown that many times commercial, but the few times I have flown I always look for pilots with a little gray around their temples. You guys make it look easy, but we passengers want folks in the cockpit who've been around the block (and around the world) a few times. The cockpit is no place for inexperience.
My gray crept up from my temples long ago and took the high ground. A lifetime of flying has been a lifetime of learning. Right now, I miss it more than you could imagine. If my current appeal to the FAA is successful, I'll post a pic of my first time back in the cockpit.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:20 AM   #7840
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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I haven't flown that many times commercial, but the few times I have flown I always look for pilots with a little gray around their temples.
And if the pilots are both young do you get off?

I've never once thought that my flight would be affected one way or another by if the pilots were young/old, male/female, experienced/rookies, or whatever. If the airline and the government say they are qualified that's good enough for me. The safety record for airlines backs this up.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:03 PM   #7841
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Questions for Captain W0X0F:

First of all, I really enjoy reading all your comments and posts. It really inspired me to research what it would take to be a commercial pilot.

1. I googled for becoming a commercial airline pilot, and it looks like there are some paid programs which can take you from zero experience to regional airline pilot around 2 years mark. Would you recommend something like this for someone who wants to be a commercial pilot?

2. I'm in my mid 40's and working in computer software industry. I read that seniority is important for assignments, pay and advancement. Am I too old to to have an ideal pilot career at my age?

Thanks for your answers!
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:10 PM   #7842
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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He wasn't being modest. It really was next to nothing that he did, and his involvement was just as he stated (radios and checklists). His B1 experience puts him near the top of the aviation pyramid, but I'll still take the current and qualified FO at the controls of that plane in that situation.

His presence was not essential to the safe completion of this flight, but it provided the flying pilot with a resource to use for some of the mundane tasks. I'm sure she would have been fine without anyone assisting her.

{2}

In the case of UA 232, it was really lucky to have Denny on board. He was (iirc) a check airman on the DC-10 and knew the plane and its systems very well. He ended up handling the throttles which was the only method available to steer the plane after all the hydraulic systems failed.

{1}

Let's not overstate how tough such a situation would be. There are lots of GA pilots flying single pilot in congested airspace all the time. That extra pilot is there to reduce workload and provide a cross check and redundancy, but any pilot worth his salt could do the job alone if necessary.

{3}
Interesting how those posts are all sort of related.

{1}I read about the UA-232 example in Managing the Unexpected. And it really showed how expertise and luck can make such a difference. The Captain I believe mentioned that he never even saw the face of Denny, I believe. Luck that he was on-board and lucky that the runway they crash-landed at had practiced a mass-fatality incident within the past couple of years. I can't recall if it was that crash or another where the pilot commented about how at some point he transitioned from being a pilot of a flying plane to a passenger on a crashing plane.

{2} I imagine the B1 pilot would have proved handy if they had another incident on the flight, providing the FO with some capacity to respond to that.

{3} Reminds me of a quote from IT. 9 women can't make 1 baby in 1 month - where adding more people to a project that is already late will make it even later. The overhead of training the GA pilot, I would imagine would exceed the benefit provided.

Last edited by lacticacid; 09-12-2017 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Numbered.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #7843
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Questions for Captain W0X0F:

First of all, I really enjoy reading all your comments and posts. It really inspired me to research what it would take to be a commercial pilot.

1. I googled for becoming a commercial airline pilot, and it looks like there are some paid programs which can take you from zero experience to regional airline pilot around 2 years mark. Would you recommend something like this for someone who wants to be a commercial pilot?

2. I'm in my mid 40's and working in computer software industry. I read that seniority is important for assignments, pay and advancement. Am I too old to to have an ideal pilot career at my age?

Thanks for your answers!
(1) Yes I would, and get on it now. There are thousands of retirements coming up in all the major airlines in the next decade and advancement will be quick for the pilots who get hired in the next couple of years.

(2) Twenty years ago, the answer to this would be "probably." But because of the big turnover coming, you could still have a 20-23 year career with most of that time spent as a Captain. Just be aware that the first few years, with no seniority and low pay, can put a strain on a marriage and family life. I was in the software industry too and airline life is a completely different animal.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:52 PM   #7844
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Free air travel tho.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #7845
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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(1) Yes I would, and get on it now. There are thousands of retirements coming up in all the major airlines in the next decade and advancement will be quick for the pilots who get hired in the next couple of years.

(2) Twenty years ago, the answer to this would be "probably." But because of the big turnover coming, you could still have a 20-23 year career with most of that time spent as a Captain. Just be aware that the first few years, with no seniority and low pay, can put a strain on a marriage and family life. I was in the software industry too and airline life is a completely different animal.
Any you'd recommend in particular?
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:06 AM   #7846
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Any you'd recommend in particular?
No. My knowledge about specific schools is almost nil. I'm sure a little sleuthing on the internet can turn up very reputable choices. Check their job placement stats.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:21 AM   #7847
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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You might find this hard to believe, but I've never known of any pilot doing this. But some of the otc pills for this are just doses of caffeine (at least , I'm pretty sure that's right), so I can't really see why it would be much different than drinking coffee. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I don't even know for sure where the FAA comes down on this and I'm kind of surprised myself that this has never come up in all my years of flying.

I know there have been occasions, especially on red-eye flights, where my natural circadian rhythms kick in and I need a quick power nap. Although it's not strictly kosher, if I really feel I can't fight it I'll tell the other pilot that I need a few minutes and he/she will take the plane and the radios while I catch a tight 10 minutes. But perhaps I've said too much.
I feel safer knowing my pilot is dozing for 10 mins 36,000ft in the air than I would knowing they can barely keep their eyes open on the approach... don't worry, you're good.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:20 PM   #7848
LektorAJ
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I'm doing a translation about an airport at the moment and the original says something like "Between 1974 and 1977, the take-off and landing runway was extended by 1,100 metres."

In the translation I'm going to ditch "take-off and landing" and just call it "the runway" (it's probably in the original as the word for runway has a wider meaning, something more like "track") but it occurred to me to ask, is there ever such a thing as a take-off only runway or a landing only runway on a permanent basis?
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:03 AM   #7849
W0X0F
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Quote:
Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
I'm doing a translation about an airport at the moment and the original says something like "Between 1974 and 1977, the take-off and landing runway was extended by 1,100 metres."

In the translation I'm going to ditch "take-off and landing" and just call it "the runway" (it's probably in the original as the word for runway has a wider meaning, something more like "track") but it occurred to me to ask, is there ever such a thing as a take-off only runway or a landing only runway on a permanent basis?
Yes , but it's rare.

The only one in my personal experience that immediately comes to mind is from my light airplane days. Over thirty years ago, when I was flying a politician around the state of Virginia (excuse me, I mean the Commonwealth), I had occasion to fly into the Falwall Airport, a small field about five miles northeast of the Lynchburg Regional airport.

The first time I landed at Falwell, I radioed in for airport advisories when I was about 20 miles east of the field. After asking which way they were landing, the Unicom operator replied "You've never been here, have you?" I confirmed this and he said "We always land west and takeoff east. You'll see why."

Turns out that the runway has an average slope of 4.7% to it, which might not sound like a lot but looks ridiculous on approach and landing. It's unusual to find an airport served by airlines which has a slope of even as much as 2°. The approach end of runway 28 has an elevation of 828'. The other end of the runway, just 2900' away, has an elevation of 938'. The first part of either end of the runway is fairly level, but the part in between feels like a 30% grade, which it's obviously not but it's the steepest hill I've ever seen used as a runway.

Somewhere, sitting in a shoebox, I've got a photo I took before departing on runway 10 (old style Kodak 3x5, long before digital photography). It is pretty dramatic looking. The first 50' of the runway it's fairly level and then it just drops away. You can't see the remainder of the runway from that vantage point, just the trees in the far distance, below your elevation.

On takeoff, you reach that point where the runway slopes away and the plane begins "flying" long before you really have flying speed. As you stay low above the receding runway, essentially descending with the runway, speed increases quickly with the help of gravity and you can raise the nose and climb away from the runway. It's a unique experience for me.

There was another airport, somewhere in Iceland, that also fits this category of having a designated departure and arrival runway. My father told me about some place they used to go to in his Navy P2 days where the runway sat at the end of a narrow fjord. There wasn't enough room in the fjord to maneuver so you always landed straight in and took off the opposite direction, heading straight out the fjord towards the sea. They only used this airport in VMC because you have to maintain visual separation from the terrain and a go around is out of the question.

I'll be seeing the old man this Friday (89 years old, USNA '50). I'll see if he remembers more about it.

Last edited by W0X0F; 09-20-2017 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Added link to Falwell Airport
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:07 PM   #7850
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Of course you have a story about a random airport with a runway cliff and one on a fjord.
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