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Old 06-14-2021, 11:36 AM   #9401
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Is there a thrust reverser on a seaplane, or is there a water propeller coupled to the engine that allows them to reverse?

I observed several seaplanes depart the docks near Canada Place and the ones that had to back out throttled up while reversing. I didn't see anything like a thrust reverser deployed and I've never heard of such a thing for a prop plane. I know they didn't simply run the prop backward (I'm not aware of that being a thing anyway) because when they started moving forward they didn't have to bring the props to a stop and spin them up the other way. My working hypothesis is a prop in the water that is either 1) mechanically coupled to the engine (although the more I think of that the less feasible it sounds), or 2) driven by an electric motor that is powered by a generator that is coupled to the engine.
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This was nagging me and I believe I found the answer: reverse pitch propellers. "Reverse pitch, in a variable pitch propeller or constant speed propeller, refers to a blade pitch angle that has a negative value."

Pretty cool, although I wonder if there is some kind of lock that prevents engagement of reverse pitch during normal flight operations.
Yes, you beat me to it. Reverse pitch is the answer. This is the same thing that allows a prop plane to achieve "reverse thrust" after landing and it's very effective.

To engage reverse thrust in the turboprops that I flew (JetStream 32 and 41), you would bring the thrust levers to idle, against a stop, and then pull up on an unlocking mechanism on the front of the thrust levers and bring them back across that stop, or gate.

It's been so long ago, I can't really remember if you could do that in flight or if it was connected to the "weight-on-wheels" logic to prevent inadvertent use while airborne.

Using reverse thrust, you could actually back up a plane on the ground (same for jets) but my company prohibited pilots from using this technique, and for a good reason. If you back up and get some speed up and then brake suddenly, there's a good chance the plane's momentum will cause a tail strike. Maintenance guys did sometimes back up a plane using reverse thrust, so I assume it was allowed for them.

American Airlines used to "power back" from the gate using reverse thrust, eliminating the need for a tug to push them back. I remember seeing that (and being on one of their planes doing it) many times. I think they ceased that practice long ago and probably for the same reason I mentioned above.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:06 PM   #9402
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Topic that popped up on my Facebook feed.

https://www.reuters.com/breakingview...oo-2021-06-17/

Do long-haul flights really need two pilots at the controls all the time? With technology making auto-pilots smarter and cash-strapped airlines trying to find new ways to save money, the answer may be no. Airbus (AIR.PA) and Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific (0293.HK) are working on a system to allow just one pilot on the flight deck at cruising altitude on long-haul flights, allowing the other to rest, Reuters reported on June 17 , citing industry sources. Currently, long-haul flights have three or four pilots...
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:07 AM   #9403
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

For some time (varies by jurisdiction, might still be in effect in some places) two pilots are required for anti-suicide reasons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanwings_Flight_9525
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:41 AM   #9404
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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The current situation is a little strange because we don’t know how long the planes will be parked. Consider all the planes we have parked on the south runway at Atlanta. That is not a long term parking area, so I suspect it’s just for the duration of this downturn in business. If this goes on long enough, I’m sure those planes will have to be moved elsewhere.

For long term storage, as when 727s were retired from airlines service back in the early 2000’s, planes are usually parked in the desert where the arid climate minimizes deteriorization. Planes parked long term are “pickeled,” meaning that fluids are drained, windows and intakes are covered, and other measures are taken to preserve the plane. The plane might ultimately be resold for parts or to fly again in another part of the world.

When I flew this 767 (tail number N1604R) to ILN, we taxied straight to a ramp area where a maintenance team marshaled us in to position and then put airstairs in place for us to deplane. I performed a normal shutdown and secure checklist just like we do after the last flight of the day. I was told that we were the first of 4 or 5 other planes coming in that day. (btw, I see that 3 more are going to ILN tomorrow.)

I believe these planes will be kept in a ready status for return to service. That means that the APU and engines will be started on some kind of regular schedule. When it’s time to bring them back, I will have no qualms about hopping back in and just flying it back. I’ll just check the logbook to ensure that it has a current Airworthiness sign-off and a Service check.

I hope that day isn’t too far off.
Sorry to read about your father, I read these posts from newest and go back. I have been checking in on the thread for years, may go a year or more without looking in. As a Delta frequent flyer, have bounced around the Delta metals but never made Diamond. A friends father is a now retired Delta Capt, retired off the same as you, 757/767, always loved hearing his stories, life of a pilot etc. I have always been fascinated with aviation, when traveling I follow along on flightaware, go back after and look at path we took, etc. looking at all the places a plane has been, just fascinating to me. When my friends dad retired i recall asking about it, he said something like "a few years out I was excited, a couple of years out I was pissed I was having to retire from what I love doing", toward the end of his career seems he was mostly on-call and spent most of his time at their lake house about 2 hours from KATL, he was always ready to pop a beer as soon as his time on-call was up!
Great to see this bird is back flying, albeit delayed today leaving LAS.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:03 PM   #9405
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Recently watched a documentary series on the history of late night television. Of course, Johnny Carson was a huge part of it, especially around his sign-off.



Do pilots ever do a special sign-off before hanging up communications for the last time?

Of course, you didn't know when your last flight was due to travel restrictions for corona. If the answer to #1 is yes, and you had known at the time your last flight was your last, what would you have said>

Last edited by golddog; 06-24-2021 at 12:04 PM. Reason: added video
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:44 PM   #9406
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Recently watched a documentary series on the history of late night television. Of course, Johnny Carson was a huge part of it, especially around his sign-off.



Do pilots ever do a special sign-off before hanging up communications for the last time?

Of course, you didn't know when your last flight was due to travel restrictions for corona. If the answer to #1 is yes, and you had known at the time your last flight was your last, what would you have said>
No, there isn't any tradition like that that I'm aware of. If I had known it was my last flight, I'm sure I'd have had to say something but it would be off-the-cuff and I haven't given it any thought. I always liked engaging with the passengers.
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:04 AM   #9407
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Missed hearing of your retirement. One time I was on Swissair and when we landed the Captain announced this had been his final flight; he received a prolonged round of applause.

Here is a prolonged round of applause since you didn't get one.
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:53 PM   #9408
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Thanks!

Yes, my last year (and last flight) did not turn out the way I would have liked. My brother has his retirement flight a year a half before I retired and I rode the Jumpseat for that flight. I got video of firetrucks spraying him as he tracked out at Grand Rapids, and again as he taxied in at Atlanta. I then took video of passengers deplaning and all wishing my brother well. I’m sorry I missed that experience.

I miss flying the Boeings tremendously. Kind of hurts to know I’ll push the throttle forward on a 767 again.
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:55 PM   #9409
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Here is a video that has some great stories. I’ve watched many of Kelsey’s videos and I highly recommend his channel for anyone interested in this stuff.

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Old 06-27-2021, 07:04 PM   #9410
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

That is good!

He talked about security at hotels etc in some parts of the world early on. Never occurred to me.

a) Have any stories about travels to sketchy parts of the world?
b) Are there places where someone has to stay with the aircraft overnight to prevent bad things from happening? I'm imaging in most of the world, the entire airport is secure enough that's not a worry. Not necessarily crew, maybe ground people or LEO-types.
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Old 06-28-2021, 10:07 AM   #9411
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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That is good!

He talked about security at hotels etc in some parts of the world early on. Never occurred to me.

a) Have any stories about travels to sketchy parts of the world?
On our flights to Lagos, Nigeria (which I never flew), the crews stayed in a secluded compound, protected by armed guards. The crew bus to/from the airport had a separate vehicle of armed guards to accompany it.

One of our crew buses (Sao Paulo, iirc) was hijacked on the drive to the airport. At a traffic light, armed individuals approached the bus and stopped it while their partners took everyone's money and all of the bags on board. This created quite a problem as they took the crews' flight bags and passports.

I made use of the subway system in Moscow. To use it required some familiarity with the Cyrillic alphabet as they don't post signs in English. I was careful and only went to well-travelled areas (e.g. Red Square). One flight attendant on my trip was on the subway and a man offerred to take a picture of her and her friend. When she handed him her phone, he simple ran through the crowd. Obviously this is not Moscow specific...could happen anywhere.

A common scam, which I have heard of in many eastern bloc countries as well as Turkey and Brazil, is to present an outrageous bill to the crew at a bar and not permit them to leave (threatening physical harm) if it's not paid. I'm talking $1000+ for some finger food and a few drinks.

I experienced this scam in Sao Paolo my first time there. I was with an Atlanta crew and they took me to a few low rent bars, the kind with bar girls wanting you to buy them drinks and offering their services. At the third one, these guys were buying drinks (red bulls) for a couple of girls. I was approached by another girl. I figured "okay I'll buy one drink and then get out of here. How much can it be?" It wasn't my kind of place, so after that one drink I told the other guys that I was heading back to the hotel. I went to settle my portion of the bill and was told that our tab was at $640!

I refused to pay and about four guys surrounded me at the front of the bar on the sidewalk. I told them to call the police. While we were arguing, the other pilots came out and when I told them what was happening, the Captain told me to take off and he'd take care of it. I think he felt bad/embarrassed that he had gotten us in this spot. I took off and the next day when we went to the plane, he told me that he got it straightened out. I didn't even want to know, so I left it at that.


Brussels was known for pickpockets. There are walking streets among the shops and restaurants, with kids kicking a soccer ball around. The kids will try to swarm a tourist and go after your wallet. I've even heard that they are pretty skilled at cutting the bottom of a back pocket to have the wallet fall out, but that might just be a good story.


Quote:
b) Are there places where someone has to stay with the aircraft overnight to prevent bad things from happening? I'm imaging in most of the world, the entire airport is secure enough that's not a worry. Not necessarily crew, maybe ground people or LEO-types.
The only case I know of where a plane has security is for El-Al's overnight aircraft at JFK. They always park remotely, never at the gate, and they have armed guards stay with the empty plane.

Of course, only authorized personnel are allowed on the ramp or near the plane. Even when I do my walk-around, I'm subject to ID verification and it's happened several times to me out of the country.
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Old 07-04-2021, 06:41 PM   #9412
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

If you were flying across USA tonight, would the fireworks shows be noticeable from the plane?

My guess is that, even though they seem very bright and large to us on the ground, you're too far up. Maybe takeoff or landing? Might be an interesting viewpoint, even though they're off in the distance.
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Old 07-04-2021, 07:54 PM   #9413
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Just saw this today. Cargo 737 ditched after losing at least one engine and trying to return to Honolulu Airport. Apparently pilot and co-pilot (only two aboard) survived.



https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-sunk-off-oahu
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:34 AM   #9414
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I've seen plenty of fireworks from planes.
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Old 07-05-2021, 09:02 AM   #9415
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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If you were flying across USA tonight, would the fireworks shows be noticeable from the plane?

My guess is that, even though they seem very bright and large to us on the ground, you're too far up. Maybe takeoff or landing? Might be an interesting viewpoint, even though they're off in the distance.
Yes, the fireworks are visible from altitude, and I'm sure many passengers have seen them out their windows, but they are very unimpressive from so high...just little pinpoint bursts. It gets a little better when you're down low on approach to landing. Back when I was flying the shuttle, I was lucky enough to be on approach into DCA during the fireworks and it was a pretty good view as we came down the river.

The most impressive fireworks display I ever saw, from the standpoint of duration (lasted a few hours) and coverage (they were visible in any direction you looked, over an area exceeding 100 square miles) was when I was on approach to landing in Mumbai on the first day of Diwali, India's biggest and most important holiday. We even saw one rocket burst above the cockpit as we got low enough. The smell of gunpowder permeated the air. After landing, clearing customs and riding to our hotel, the fireworks were still going in throughout the city. We watched from a crew room the hotel provided, with beer and food available for us.

Another big display I had the good fortune to witness (on the ground; we arrived early in the day), was after arriving in Paris on Bastille Day. The Parisians had prolonged fireworks in the area of the Eiffel Tower. They tend to be smaller bursts, not the large explosions we see on the mall in D.C., and there was a lot of firecrackers. It sounded like a war zone, with lots of small arms fire.
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:07 AM   #9416
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Just saw this today. Cargo 737 ditched after losing at least one engine and trying to return to Honolulu Airport. Apparently pilot and co-pilot (only two aboard) survived.



https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-sunk-off-oahu
That was an interesting video. The audio of the exchange between the controller and the crew was frustrating at times. Was this controller the only person in the tower at 2 am? Maybe so. But it seemed odd that she kept working all frequencies (Approach/Departure; Local control; Ground control). When an aircraft declares an emergency, they usually get the undivided attention of one controller and often on a discrete frequency. I will say that the controller kept her cool. When some guy on Ground control frequency commented that he hadn't gotten a response on that frequency, she pointed out that she had been a little busy.

Running checklists is important and normally the loss of an engine would be a "time available" emergency (as opposed to a fire on board or smoke filling the cockpit), so it's understandable that the crew accepted the vector away from Oahu to run the checklist (eliminates the worry about terrain avoidance, since you only have to remain above sea level). But when the other engine developed issues, they were quite a distance from the airport and couldn't make it back.

I was glad to hear that the YouTuber immediately corrected himself when he used the word "crash" and caught himself and said "ditch." A ditching is a controlled "landing" on the water vs. a crash which describes impact while not under control.

The reference to the other divert field that was slightly closer to them was kind of interesting. That field used to be a Navy P-3 base when I lived in Hawaii (1987-1989) and was known as Barbers Point NAS. It is now a civilian field and I did touch and goes there as recently as two years ago. But as the controller noted, it has pilot controlled lighting which was certainly a distraction this crew didn't need and that's why it wouldn't have been visibile to them at 2 am. I'm sure the runway lights were extinguished when they were discussing it. Honolulu, on the other hand, was completely lit up and had complete fire and rescue services available. Of course, if it had turned out that they could have made it to that other field to land, it would have been great and the controller is there to offer options to the pilots.

I'm interested to hear what the findings are in this case. For two engines to fail on the same flight, and so shortly after takeoff, makes me immediately consider fuel contamination as a potential problem. Next on my list would be some maintenance error. But for two healthy engines to both experience independent failure like this is almost inconceivable. The JT8D engines are very reliable. I had experience with that engine on both the 727 and the MD-88. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
More than 14,000 JT8D engines have been produced, totaling more than one-half billion hours of service with more than 350 operators making it the most popular of all low-bypass turbofan engines ever produced.

Based solely on what we could hear in the audio, I'd have to give both the pilots and controller high marks. They were both professional and fairly efficient. The controller's distraction with other aircraft was perhaps unavoidable (if she was alone in the tower) and she did seem to focus 100% on the emergency aircraft once they announced the problem with the second engine.

And, as I said above, running checklists is important. But you have to keep in mind situational awareness with respect to checklists. Often in the simulator when faced with emergencies down low (in the approach or departure phases of flights, but close to the airport), my direction to the first officer would be something like "You have the airplane and the radios. I've got the checklists. Get us setup on a straight-in approach to runway XX and let me know when we're inside 10 miles." My thinking is that we are both capable of flying the aircraft, but it's my job to manage and make decisions. By handling the checklists, I can make the moment-to-moment decisions on prioritizing the items in the checklist and what to tell flight attendants (not a concern on this particular flight). Then, once we're established and ready to land, I can dispense with the QRH and do the descent/landing checklist items needed for a safe landing.

And I'm not second guessing this crew. They might have done exactly that. Plus, they had the added consideration of a ditching. Yes, we practice ditching checklists and procedures in the cockpit, but the ditching checklist would be an excellent thing to pull out and review in this situation. It might include things like closing the outflow valve prior to ditching, to prolong the time the fuselage might stay above water. As low as they were, and concentrating on the engine out checklists, they might not have had any time to look at the ditching checklist. A landing on water at 2 am would certainly be a sphincter-tightening thing to consider.
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Old 07-05-2021, 08:37 PM   #9417
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

When I was searching for news on this yesterday I remember one piece saying both pilot and co-pilot were injured with at least one being critical due to lacerations. Getting out of a ditched jet cant be fun and thank goodness it wasnt a passenger jet.

Also - saw this today:

Both pilots, the only people on board, were seriously injured and were clinging to packages and the tail of the plane when they were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, authorities said.

Wow.

https://www.abc6.com/investigators-t...r-cargo-plane/
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Old 07-06-2021, 12:45 PM   #9418
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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When I was searching for news on this yesterday I remember one piece saying both pilot and co-pilot were injured with at least one being critical due to lacerations. Getting out of a ditched jet cant be fun and thank goodness it wasnt a passenger jet.
Not surprising for a night ditching. You've got your radio altimeter and the landing lights to help you gauge height above the water, but descending into the dark water would be a daunting experience.

As I've said before, if you've got to have a ditching, give me the conditions that Sully had: a long, straight, calm body of water in daylight with rescue craft minutes away. And this is not a knock at Sully; I am not worthy to carry his flight bag. But I'd much rather have Sully's situation than what these guys had to contend with. And full credit to the U.S.C.G for effecting the rescue so efficiently.
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Old 07-06-2021, 09:55 PM   #9419
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Those two bros have a shared experience that for them will never be topped.

For some reason it made me think of the Clint Eastwood ditch story (which I first heard about via radio from Paul Harvey ages ago).

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/...ect-of-search/
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Old 07-06-2021, 11:34 PM   #9420
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Those two bros have a shared experience that for them will never be topped.

For some reason it made me think of the Clint Eastwood ditch story (which I first heard about via radio from Paul Harvey ages ago).

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/04/...ect-of-search/
That is a great story! I had never heard of this.


This triggered a memory for me. When I was taking primary instruction (wow, that was 44 years ago!), my instructor and I were doing our first night flying. I was already aware of emergency procedures, such as for an engine failuer, but it was all daytime flying to that point. My instructor was telling me the difference for a nighttime engine failure. He told me to do everything the same as far as establishing best glide speed, but of course it would probably be impossible to pick out a landing spot, so he told me that the procedure was to turn on the landing light as you got low and if you didn't like what you see, turn it off. To that point in our instruction it had all been serious and so it took me more than a few seconds to realize that this was meant as a joke ("dark" humor, I suppose ). I remember my first thought was "What good would that possibly do?"
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Old 07-07-2021, 12:24 AM   #9421
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Good string of posts there. Very informative and interesting.
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Old 07-07-2021, 01:41 PM   #9422
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Eastwood has had at least two flying close calls. He was part of the group on a heli-skiing vacation in the Ruby Mountains of NV. that claimed the life of Disney president Frank Wells and others when one of the copters went down.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...417-story.html
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:22 AM   #9423
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Fasten Your Seat Belt

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/06/10133...ight-attendant

The film rights to Ms. Newman's novel have already been sold. A project has been greenlighted for production, so we may be seeing the Hollywood version of her story before the end of this year. Given the premise of her novel, plus Hollywood special effects, this could be a white knuckle movie experience.
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