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Old 22nd Apr 2010, 10:48
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Far Side
Posts: 297
One of the reasons that pilots have fallen behind in relative pay is that we have made it all so safe, and apparently so simple. Back in the days when cockpit visits were allowed, the most common remark by punters was, "is that all you do". In the back of his mind was "I could do that".

The only time I got a "wow" was when I had a university professor on the JS on a miserable windy snowy night into JFK. Even getting up to the gate was a task. He admitted he had no idea "all that went on".

This job is one of the few where you are sometimes called upon to manage a number of unpredicted simultaneous problems within very finite time constraints, and sometimes little or no access to outside help. Room for error, close to nil.

One plans the whole flight with possible foreseeable problems before leaving the briefing room, and usually the whole flight goes right to plan; any emergencies are swiftly and quietly deal with so that a JS rider would not even be aware that a problem had occurred and a major change of plan had taken place.

Every once in a while, all hell breaks loose, and one is confronted with something unplanned for, and not covered by any standard procedure. You have to identify the problem, and deal with it sight unseen so to speak. And you have to get it right.

Thats what airmanship is about, but is hard to explain to the average punter (and politician) (and beancounter)
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