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Old 11-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #76
Matt Williams
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by Maximum Rocknroll View Post
i heard once from a guy going to flight school that the takeoff is the most dangerous part of the flight. is this true?
I think crashing is the most dangerous part of flying. But that's just me.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:23 PM   #77
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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OP said after the 10th he will be off til 25th or w/e
So I assume thats when he will return
True I'll answer as many of them as i can. Been in the industry about the same amount of time.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:27 PM   #78
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Why are passengers required to put their seat backs forward for takeoff and landing?

Sorry, don't know how to do multiple quotes on the same reply. Not sure on this one, but i think it's when they do the emergency evacuation certification they have to state the space between the seats is xxxx inches and it would take longer if every seat was reclined.

Take a look at this video, i know that if a configuration of the plane is changed they get employees to come out and do another evacuation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIaovi1JWyY
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #79
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Are you a member of the mile high club?

Yes, but back in the general aviation days. Still happens quite a bit where a flight attendant will call up telling us they found a couple in the lav together.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #80
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

any idea what happened to that air france plane that fell out of the sky a few months back?
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:03 PM   #81
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

have you read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? he has a section about pilots and how certain countries based on cultural norms (how people deal with superior officers) can be a major influence if flight errors/plain crashes, do you think there is much merit to this?
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:18 PM   #82
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by Maximum Rocknroll View Post

i heard once from a guy going to flight school that the takeoff is the most dangerous part of the flight. is this true?
This would make sense. When taking off you are obviously the most vulnerable if something goes wrong, loss of engine(s), control issue etc. When you're at altitude you would have more time to find somewhere to land in an emergency. IIRC the glide ratio on a Cessna 172 (4 seater prop plane) is ~10:1, meaning for every mile AGL (above ground level) you are, you can glide for 10. If you're flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules) you should be able to find a highway/field/etc. to land. I only have my PPL, and I haven't flown in almost 4 years, so this could be way off.

Very interesting thread W0F0X.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:22 PM   #83
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

What's the deal with not using electronics during take-off and landing (and certain ones throughout the whole flight)?

Do they really interfere with your hardware? If so, to what extent?

Do some interfere more than others? Are some completely safe to use? (ie my headphones are battery powered and have an on/off switch, are these going to screw things up)?

What's the best way to get upgraded to business/first class?

What happens when people get caught doing it in the bathroom? Is it just a warning and "don't do that again" or are there harsher penalties?

Any interesting stories about someone falling ill on board and having to ask if there was a doctor on board?

What exactly happens when I press the "call attendant" button on my armrest? I ask because there are times when I press it and someone comes almost immediately, and there are times that I press it 3 times without a response, yet flight attendants have walked passed in a rush several times. Is it simply a matter of how busy the flight is, or what kind of mood the attendant(s) are in?

Thanks for doing this thread. One of the most insightful "ask me" threads I have read so far.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #84
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Flight attendants...easy or just pretending
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #85
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

how laughable is the sense of security that we have at airports
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:45 PM   #86
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Flight attendants...easy or just pretending
Easy for everyone else...pretending for him
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:47 PM   #87
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I love this thread. Thank you.

I hadn't flown in years until the past year or so. I've had about 12 flights since then. They've gotten easier as I've learned what to expect. I enjoy flying now for the most part as I love looking out the window. I just wish I wasn't 6'2". I can never fall asleep.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:58 PM   #88
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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On the other hand, the Airbus has had at least a few accidents because the computer decided it knew better than the pilot and would not, for example, allow for application of max thrust.
I think you are referring to the Paris air show accident a few years ago?

It wasn't that the plane wouldn't allow max thrust, the pilot just never selected max trust (TOGA detent on the bus). The way i understand it and they told it in ground school for the Airbus was that the test pilot was trying to show that if he pulled full aft on the stick the plane would automatically add TOGA thrust (ALPHA Floor protection would activate) and the plane would begin a climb. The problem was that it is inhibited below 100 feet on the radar altimeter to allow a flare and landing, otherwise everytime you tried to land it would start a climb automatically. If you watch the video you can see that he indeed pulled full aft of the stick since it bobbles up and down slightly (the low speed protection you referred to in the hudson river accident) and the thrust comes up at the last second when he released the plane wasn't going to do it and did it manually.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #89
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

how long have your people secretly controlled the world?
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #90
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I would think Burbank, CA (Bob Hope Airport) would be tough. Super short runway. Feel like a nosedive going in there and quick stop. Going out, they have to limit the amount of fuel to ensure the plane makes it over the gate. Southwest had one of their most serious accidents there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwe...es_Flight_1455
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:06 PM   #91
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Just want to say that this is a great thread by the OP...i'd love to be a pilot one day but I have atrocious hearing and that probably isn't the best profession for me, haha.

Also, the best times in a plane are flying into Wellington Airport in NZ. I don't think I can remember landing there without a vicious crosswind. Fun stuff!
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:07 PM   #92
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Have you ever forgotten to put the passenger cabin A/C on or accidentally left the "fasten seatbelt" sign on for a long time?
Leaving the seat belt sign on is extremely common but everyone ignores it anyway. It's really just a CYA switch for the pilots. If someone is up during turbulence and gets hurt they have less of a case if they were ignoring the seat belt sign. Still, in today's litigious world they will still probably get a settlement from the airline.

The A/C is a different story. Air conditioning and pressurization are run from the same system, so if you forget one, you've forgotten the other. Obviously, forgetting to pressurize can be embarrassing as the masks will fall when the cabin altitude reaches about 14,000'.

Both are run off of high pressure bleed air from the engine, which is very hot as it enters the system. It is cooled through expansion, providing the A/C. The sheer volume of bleed air provides the pressurization. Airplanes leak like sieves; they are not airtight by any means. They stay pressurized because we pump in more air than escapes.

I had a flight many years ago where we neglected to complete the "After Start" checklist, which includes putting the Packs on-line (the term Pack originated, I believe, with the acronym PAC which stood for Pressurization & Air Conditioning system). It was my place to do this checklist, but I was being rushed by the Captain to call for taxi clearance as we were very near the departure runway and he wanted to get into line ahead of a few other airplanes. It's a mistake when we both make it.

It was my takeoff and when I called for the "After Takeoff" checklist, the Captain neglected to actually check the Packs, which was on the checklist. His bad.

We were cleared to 24,000 and as we climbed through 10,000 we got an amber light and an aural alert, as well as a message saying CABIN ALTITUDE. I looked up at the overhead panel and saw the cabin climbing along with the plane. I alerted the Captain and we both recognized that the Packs were off. Recycling didn't do the trick so he pulled out the QRH (Quick Reference Handbook -- used for abnormal and emergency situations).

The airplane was climbing like a scalded ape and by the time I told the controller we needed lower, the cabin had zoomed through 14,000 and the masks dropped in back. First and only time I've had this happen. Naturally the passengers were concerned, though it was never life threatening. We descended to 10,000 (no O2 needed there) and finally got the system on line. We ended up diverting to change planes and continue to our destination. I was kind of surprised that all the passengers got on the 2nd plane. We didn't do a lot to imbue them with confidence in their flight crew.

Last edited by W0X0F; 06-18-2014 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #93
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

LOL great stuff! Especially 'climbing like a scalded ape'

Hahaha.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #94
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by steamraise View Post
The 9/11 crash where the bad guys had all the passengers move to the back of the plane.
Could that have moved the center of gravity back
far enought to make the plane unstable and hard to control.

How much flying involves using the rudder?
Seems just ailerons and elevator would get the job done most of the time.
Although the CG would be affected, it would not be enough to cause a problem on large transport category aircraft. If you had 50 or 60 people all get up and cram into the aft galley, this might cause a problem on a plane as small as a DC-9 (or MD-80) but probably not on a jumbo aircraft.

The rudder is essential on takeoff and landing (especially in crosswinds) but in flight we can fly with our feet on the floor (not touching the rudder pedals). In light aircraft, the rudder is used to help in entering a turn to keep it smooth and coordinated. Without using the rudder, the aircraft will initially yaw away from the turn (due to an effect known as adverse yaw when the aircraft banks) but will ultimately turn anyway.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:22 PM   #95
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Wait, is pilotmatt different than OP?
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:25 PM   #96
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Well, by definition, yes. I've seen things in the air I could not identify. But I never have seen anything that I thought was other-wordly.

I have, however, flown with some pilots who have stories and if I could relate them completely and correctly I would. Just recently I had a Captain tell me about an experience he and his FO had with a very strange sighting. I wish I could remember the details for you.

Back in August I did have a very strange sighting while taxiing out at JFK. We were headed to Malaga Spain and while number 6 or 7 for takeoff with the nose pointed Southeast on taxiway Charlie, we could see a UFO coming in from the south aimed right at the departure end of Runway 22.

As it got closer we could finally identify it: an ultralight aircraft. It was descending and crossed the numbers of 22 at about 200 in the air and continued to descend to about 20 feet over the cargo ramp, before turning to the south and climbing out.

We, as well as several other aircraft on the ground, had alerted JFK to this and they finally got 3 police helicopters in the air. But by that time the ultralight was probably 1-3 miles south and down low -- very hard to find. I never saw anything in the paper about this and never heard the outcome.

I wanted to call the New York Post from Malage on Skype when I got there, but the hotel internet was down (conspiracy? ;-) ) so I never did.

Terrorists testing JFK response? Or just some crazy clown flying where he shouldn't have been?

5 stars!
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #97
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Wait, is pilotmatt different than OP?
Yes, we are two different people.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:04 PM   #98
Matt Williams
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Why do planes fly so high? Are there parachutes on board for the flight crew? How hard is it to fly in fog? Do you ever lose your luggage or do you keep it w/ you? How do Hurricane Hunters get to the center of a hurricane?
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:20 PM   #99
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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what's with the "drunk pilot" reputation.
Not sure what you mean. If you're talking about me personally, I didn't do it, no one saw it and you can't prove it.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:29 PM   #100
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Wait, is pilotmatt different than OP?
YES.

PilotMatt, unfortunately, chime-ins from other people usually decrease the quality of ask me threads; until the OP goes AWOL that is. see "ask me about being a strip club DJ" for reference. it's nice to get a dialogue going, and OP did put is neck on the line after all by creating this thread. unless i'm greatly overruled here, i think it would be best to tell some good related stories (mile high club LDO) but leave the answers to "why do we have to recline our seats" to one person.
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