I’ve been an airline Captain since 2001. With a recent airline change I’m a First Officer again. The copilot. Just like Kareem Abdul-Jabar… and the guy who sat next to […]
It’s the season for gift giving. That means it’s also the season for scrambling to pay off your guilt by dishing out gifts to those who serve you and make […]
I was on vacation during the month of July. I ceased all work related activities. I also didn’t… Read a USATODAY Eat airport food Shave Tell a passenger their flight […]
In many ways… Hollywood’s depiction of airline life is completely wrong. In some ways it’s spot on and I claim those scenes as just another day at the office. My […]
My work life and home life collided yesterday when my son complained that his toy Hess helicopter wasn’t working as it was supposed to. “My helicopter won’t fly anymore!” It […]
Do not read this if you are in a hotel bed. If you are in a hotel bed please tell me you removed the bedspread. Please tell me you didn’t […]
Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to be a pilot. “Wow, that must be so cool! I bet you’re really smart. You must have been good at math in […]
Filed away years ago as, “Well, that sure was stupid.” Once, I met Southwest founder and former CEO, Herb Kelleher in the airport. We talked at length and I got […]
Since the beginning, there have always been two pilots up on the flight deck. Had it not been for the Wright Brothers, maybe we’d only have one seat up there. […]
We obviously spend lots of time around the humans. We are in the service industry after all. Day in and day out we spend our time carrying you, your loved […]
I spend about a ten nights a month in hotels. I’ve been doing this job for fourteen years. I’ve slept (or attempted to sleep) in a hotel bed roughly 1700 […]
When I was a young airline pilot and new to ‘the road’ I ranked hotels by their proximity to good food and entertainment. Now, I judge hotels on two things: […]
This article was floating around Facebook today explaining why it is imperative you land a pilot. 6 reasons to be exact. Since I am a pilot, I figured I’d explain […]
It was a bright and sunny day on the island of Sodor and all the trains were running on time expect for one. Thomas the Tank Engine sat with his […]
As the new year approaches its time to evaluate accomplishments from the past year and set goals for the next. While I succeed each year with many of my Xbox […]
To my flight attendant friends I say this. “Yes, I know. When things get tough I get to close bullet proof cockpit door. Your job is way harder than ours!”
Judah has the aviation bug… already he has begun chasing planes around. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Specifically, it may have started when I was single digits sitting in my fathers office watching people fly RC airplanes in a field across the street. The obsession culminated during many summers at Space Camp not learning about poison ivy like most kids.
It’s a common question in the cockpit during a round of self loathing. “Are you going to encourage your kids to work for the airlines?”
In the morning we sit on the porch in our jammies and eat breakfast while the morning commuters honk at each other. Eight hours later we eat a snack outside and watch them return. Typically, we take a couple walks a day with one of the dogs and make sure the neighborhood is in check. We watch a little TV… “Two hours a day maximum, either educational or football. So as you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer things.”
A friend once told me that everyday he wakes up in a hotel it feels like waking up with a hangover. “I’m not sure where I am or how I got here but at least I have my pants on.”
Add in the fact that we stay in a variety of hotels with countless floor plans, alarm clock models and coffee makers and sometimes you’d think you were at a bachelor party the night before.
Throw in a 4:30am wake up call and that bachelor served nothing but “Mind Eraser” shots followed by Jagermeister to chase is all down with.
I returned to work yesterday from a three week vacation with the family. While at work and living on the road I have lots of downtime that I fill with ‘entertainment’ that I would never make time for at home. Bad movies on cable, aimless walks around Wal-Mart and celebrity gossip magazines.
I often attempt to “Identify and Cancel” when the baby monitor sounds from across the room. Unlike the airplane, there is only only color for the alarm – Red! No option to prioritize. The alarm is either Red… or Red. It’s too bad the monitor can’t give me a cautionary Yellow and Double Chime for “the diaper is full and it starting to leak around my thigh making my legs feel all sticky”. I’d put down my coffee for a Red warning and a Triple Chime for “a cat has crossed the 33rd parallel and is getting dangerously close to pouncing up into the crib with me.”
My job as a pilot is made much easier by checklists and routines. We do the same thing – the same way – every time. Our checklists are written in a way that is intended to flow logically as we set up the cockpit for each phase of flight. It’s the times when something upsets that flow – that checklist items are missed. You’re midway through a taxi checklist and a radio call breaks the cadence of the “challenge and response” and it’s easier (and safer) to start over rather then stumble back into it.
I’ve had periods in my life when personal hygene wasn’t on the top of my list. There were times when I’d use anything that lathered to wash my hair if […]
My wife and I have been splitting our new role as parents down the middle. I’ve been bidding weekend trips allowing me to be a stay-at-home dad for most of […]
I was asked this last night when looking for a table in Milwaukee. I haven’t heard that in years! It took a second to register what she was asking… and then I couldn’t remember what the alternative answer was. “Um… no. Last available? Er… Whichever is first – as long as it’s not smoking. Well… unless it’s going to be a really long wait. What is the divider between the two availables? If it’s that half wall, I’ll take smoking if I’m within a tables width of the divider. Where are the vents? Are they smoking near the bathroom?
On days when the air is still and fog forms over a river, it looks like the Great Wall of China is snaking its way across the Earth. Since many […]
5:30 am show in DC for a 6:15am flight to Kansas City and then Milwaukee for a 3.5 hour sit in the airport before our trip back to DC. And then, back to Milwaukee for the night. During the 3 and a half hour sit, I rested under a CNN airport news network TV reporting on overworked and underpaid regional pilots. I sat listening to experts compare the experience level of Sully on the Hudson and “commuter pilots.” (I’ve been a commuter pilot for 10 years and have stayed here while watching friends go off to the major airlines with the “experienced pilots” only to get furloughed as those major airlines give more flying to us… the regionals. When hired in 1999, my “Region” was PA. Now it’s the U.S.)
I wonder if other jobs have simulators that workers play while on break. I’m not sure who this guy is – but maybe he has a checkride coming up and his is just ‘training’? I doubt it. We’ve got plenty of aviation geeks that can’t get enough of it. I do like the fact that he carries a joystick with him in his bag for between flight – flights. I will admit that I have, on occasion, found myself playing a few psp flying games while on the pad awaiting a wheels up time – these are games though that involve guns and missles and things I can’t do in real life
This was our third leg for the day. We began in Omaha around 2Pm and flew Omaha to Milwaukee and then off to Boston. Boston to Milwaukee had us holding […]
I wonder if other jobs have simulators that workers play while on break. I’m not sure who this guy is – but maybe he has a checkride coming up and […]
The image of the lander suspended by its parachute has been widely spread online and in the news but it wasn’t until I was browsing through the Phoenix website that […]
With Susan off for the summer, I ‘bid’ to have some weeks off with her. I was awarded 6 weeks from the end of June through early August. Being anxious […]
sneaky Originally uploaded by stork123 Aside from bluffing my way into free internet access codes at hotels that don’t offer it FREE to crew – I enjoy the free breakfast […]
trips.png Originally uploaded by stork123 Just found this feature on the facebook Airline Schedule App. This is the same app that allows crews to upload their schedules and compare their […]
flight_track_map.gif Originally uploaded by stork123. I just learned about this site flightaware.com. You can watch in real-time or look back on flights and see the routes flown. Today this was […]
I often watch in amazement as gate agents in airports can so blatantly blow off our passengers in the their time of need. I know there are plenty of times […]
A four-day trip the week of Thanksgiving took me to Columbus, Ohio. Seeing as I was to spend the holiday alone in the hotel, Susan decided to drive up from […]
As I made my way down the aisle yesterday for my flight back from Tampa I saw two kids sitting in the row I was to take. They had the […]
Today was my first day in the new plane – the EMB 170. I’ve been stuck in a classroom for a few months and flew the sims around for a […]
LOST AND FOUND POETRY AT 37000 FEET I took a walk to the back of the plane in flight today to pee. This is something I try not to do […]