View Full Version : If we didn't call them Captain...

Buster Hyman
7th May 2004, 15:19
Captain, I assume, is a carry over to nautical references when aviation was in it's infancy. In our "enlightened" society, is this still necessary, or has it become historical? (We've always called them that!)
One could argue that the person is in command of the aircraft and thus qualifies for the title, but so do many others. Leading hands, engineers, load controllers, ATC, flight ops even management all have "command" over what that aircraft does, at some stage or another. Granted this is to varying degrees, but the fact remains that only one person bears the title captain.
If we were to move away from this honourific, what are the alternatives? Driver? Failsafe 7? What would you call this person?

Onan the Clumsy
7th May 2004, 15:21
Well 'Doctor' is already taken...

7th May 2004, 15:25
Backup ? I always seem to get their..........:p

7th May 2004, 15:26
Childspeak..The man who steers the noisy tube thingy ma bob
Husband......I wish
Wife.............So do I!!!!

7th May 2004, 15:26
Isn't he called a Captain because he is in charge of a "(air)ship" which essentially represents the sovereignty of the country it is registered in (just like a ship) ?

One of the definitions of a captain is "a subordinate officer commanding under a sovereign or general"

Sorry, i think this thread is to serious for jetblast and will soon be deleted :E

Flip Flop Flyer
7th May 2004, 15:33
Lemme see ... yes, hows about:

"Overpaid button-pusher"?
"Glorified busdriver"?
"Over-sexed skirt chaser"?
"The ugly bloke with the small d1ck and big Breitling"?

Duck ................ and cover :E

On a slightly more serious note, innit it supposed to be "Commander" in JAR-speak?

Buster Hyman
7th May 2004, 15:37
Sorry matt, you're probably right, but there was nobody awake over on Freight Dogs.....:E

7th May 2004, 15:42
If noone is prepared to "pipe" him aboard the aircraft, then perhaps the use of the term Captain should be limited to just sharing the 4 stripes of his seaborne ancestors... ;) Mind you, I would not recommend anybody calling the chief pilot "driver" these days. You could end up in jail very, very quickly on terrorist charges! :}

Buster Hyman
7th May 2004, 15:47
Let's not forget that the Captains name isn't under his/her side window!:ooh:

Maybe it should read"Correct change please"!!:E :p

7th May 2004, 15:49
Captain = 'Senior Pilot'
First-Officer = 'Pilot'

...or is that just too simple and easy? :ok:

7th May 2004, 15:50
Buster, I would use up the rest of your frequent-flier miles ASAP before word gets around... :p !

Buster Hyman
7th May 2004, 15:56
I'd love to airship, but 6000 QF FF points only allows me to call the taxi...sod all else!:ugh: :( :sad: :{

7th May 2004, 16:01
Is "skipper" ever used to refer to the captain on the flight deck or is this exclusive to the maritime professionals?


PS: I vote for "Left Hand Seat Driver"

7th May 2004, 16:04
How about the Chief Executive Officer of a small corporation upon whose success on a daily basis depends the lives of several hundred people based on decisions which are made in real time with little or no reference to any external support systems - all this to be done in a manner which on most occasions will generate an operating profit for the company concerned?

Buster Hyman
7th May 2004, 16:07
Wouldn't be a Captain ther would ya Bob???;) :p :D

Ozzy. I still used skipper, even though some of the Icelandic chaps gave me funny looks.:confused:

7th May 2004, 16:21
Oxford Concise Dic. [pun intended]

· n.
1 the person in command of a ship. the pilot in command of a civil aircraft. a rank of naval officer above commander and below commodore.
2 a rank of officer in the army and in the US and Canadian air forces, above lieutenant and below major.
3 (in the US) a police officer in charge of a precinct.
4 the leader of a team, especially in sports.
· v. serve as the captain of.
– DERIVATIVES captaincy n.
– ORIGIN ME: from OFr. capitain (superseding earlier chevetaigne ‘chieftain’), from late L. capitaneus ‘chief’, from L. caput, capit- ‘head’.

If you want to get their attention, "Oi. You. Yes YOU. You with the scrambled egg on your shoulders ..." :E

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

7th May 2004, 16:21

My god, thats a perfect description if an Engineer, thanks :ok: .

We like to use either first names, or, if thats not known. P1 and P2.

Ciao for now


Biggles Flies Undone
7th May 2004, 16:22
Can't say I've ever battered an eyelid either. Are they tasty and do you deep or shallow fry them? :E

7th May 2004, 16:30
Commander of Aeronauts?:O

DX Wombat
7th May 2004, 16:32
Coconuts , try "batted" ;)

tony draper
7th May 2004, 16:52
The formal title of a Captain under the Red Duster,is Master Mariner,ie a person who holds a Master Mariners ticket and is in command of a vessel, Captains are generally refered to in the crew list ect, as Master.
Holding a Master Mariners ticket does not however entitle one to be called Master, as all first offices and a lot second officers for that matter also held a Masters certificate, only command allowed that title.
However he was generally addressed as Captain in everday conversation and called the old man in his absence interestingly no body was addressed as Sir under the red duster,except by the apprentices as they were the lowest form of marine life and were obliged even to address the Galley boy thus.
Incidently should the Captain or Master be slain in a battle with pirates or be eaten by a sea serpent, twas the Chief Engineer who was next in line of Command ,not the first officer.

Perhance Pilots in charge of a airyplane should be refered to as Master Aviators
Skippers were people in charge of fishing boats or Tugs,and were greatly looked down upon and scorned, one could be skipper of a rowing boat.

Incidently being the proud owner of a British beginers road safety certificate (6/10 year old)entitled one to command a vessel in the Greek Mercantile Marine.


7th May 2004, 16:54
Firefly... You missed the bit about how you built it yourself as well.

7th May 2004, 17:01
Lots of jokes can be made about Captains. Some funny stories can be told about them as well..... ;)

Still, most of them actually live up the honorific bestwowed on them. If you have time on your hands and are genuinely interested in what it entails to be the boss on a civilian airliner, have a look at post no 15 by Bealzebub on this (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=128378&perpage=40&pagenumber=1) terrific thread in the Safety & CRM forum.

7th May 2004, 17:02
That may have been so back in the old days....but nowadays those shiny flying aluminium tubes virtually fly them selves don't they!
I mean - auto pilot this and auto that....I've seen loads a films where the stewardess (OK flight attendant) have landed a plane....and that's supposed to be the trickiest bit isn't it?

Captain is just an anagram of I Cat Nap so how about Puss??!!

I'm already out the door with me flak jacket + helmet on Hee Hee

7th May 2004, 17:08
Incidently should the Captain or Master be slain in a battle with pirates or be eaten by a sea serpent, twas the Chief Engineer who was next in line of Command ,not the first officer. So the next time the Captain succumbs to the in flight food, does this mean the computer takes over and the person in the right hand seat has to sit and watch?:E :E


White Bear
7th May 2004, 17:11
It is my understanding that the use of the term "Captain" referring to the pilot in command of a civilian aircraft, came about during the late 20's or early 30's when Juan Tripp, the owner of Pan Am, wanted to impress the passengers who flew on his new Flying boats. He called the pilot in command "Captain", and dressed all the flight deck personnel in military style Navy blue uniforms, complete with gold stripes. In short it was a Pan American marketing exercise, that has since become formalized.

7th May 2004, 17:30
Certainly, on the occasions that I have been on the flight deck (pre 911) I always addressed them as Captain or Sir, not least because of the difficulty in hearing their name clearly when introduced to them by the CC!

Of course one captain I address as "Oi, laddy, git yer @rse over here." At other times, I just call him "Nephew". :)

7th May 2004, 17:37
What about "cappo"?

"Hey Cappo! Whats going on?!" ;)

a is dum
7th May 2004, 17:42
"Sir"/"Madam", if you wish to draw attention to 'the person' but like in any other profession you call them by their working title: "Waiter", "Officer", "Captain", "Driver", etc.

The flying person(s) are called "Captain" regardless of seat location, in my experience. (and ofcourse, IMHO)

Now, if you did not call them Captain, then probably no-one would know for surewho you were talking to.
No big deal really, it would sort itself out.

Eventually...... :}

Boss Raptor
7th May 2004, 18:37
generic term 'Flight Crew' seems to surfice :rolleyes:

a is dum
7th May 2004, 20:01

I might be wrong but a person is not called "Flight Crew"

Maybe 'surfice' means something I'm not aware of? :}

7th May 2004, 20:07
"Skipper" is the reasonably casual term given to QF captains.
The SO has been known to be called the "Captain's sexual advisor" or the "stage coach driver" depending on who's saying it.

I would call the captain I was flying with by his first name or nickname as appropriate. If I was talking to the refueller/agent/opso/public on a formal matter, then he'd get called "captain". If I had to ever get his attention urgently, he'd be called "captain".
eg "Captain, you must listen" pertaining to a persistant unstable approach with no corrective action taken.

I have used the male vernacular here as I haven't flown with a female captain yet. :D

7th May 2004, 20:33
How about "Bubba?"

As in, "Say, Bubba, would you be kind enough to stop doing PAs while I'm sleeping?"


7th May 2004, 21:57
With the fetish for large and heavy watches that the drivers have, Knuckledragger would be quite fitting.

Ascend Charlie
8th May 2004, 00:40
In Air Niugini (commonly known as Ass-Grass Airlines) the captain is addressed as Bikpela Bosspela Long Smok Balus. (Smok balus = smoke aeroplane=jet).

8th May 2004, 02:10
Upon returning to Blighty from an umpteenth Transatlantic flight as SLF (cattle-class as ever, employer please note) last week, Mr United Airlines Captain said goodbye to each and every pax as we self-unloaded, I know this because I could see him when I was still sitting in the back waiting for all the other hoi-polloi to git orff.

I thought this was good;
for him to stoop to speak to the minions who contribute to his wages. So seeing the 4 bars on epaulette, I wished said Captain a good morning, and stated that he must be a good egg for waiting for everyone to leave first.

To which he replied
"As Captain, I am always the last to leave"

My opinion of Airline Captains went up at that moment.

Question: how many 3-bar employees performing the same function get mistaken as Captain?

Capt Claret
8th May 2004, 03:28

Some airlines use three bars for a Line Captain and four bars reserved for Training &/or Check Captains and the Chief Pilot.

Buster Hyman
8th May 2004, 06:10
Hence the reason all FO's want to "bar up".


8th May 2004, 11:56
Master Draper wrote: Perhance Pilots in charge of a airyplane should be refered to as Master Aviators... Which would be fine for anyone except Bates... ;)

(just filling in for A. Carn)

a is dum
8th May 2004, 17:38
Is A dum, or was the original poster trying to pose a real question?

Replies sofar have ALL been a bit way off.................:confused: :confused:

Buster Hyman
9th May 2004, 07:32
a is dum........;)

9th May 2004, 10:14
Not really about Captain but... Recently talking to a bloke in the pub (friend of a friend) who had been introduced as being a pilot and that I was interested in flying. Guy had a PPL, and was being a bit pompous about it, "I'm in charge of the aircraft" etc, so I decided to wind him up a little:-

Me "My son did some GA flying but he never did get a licence. But his job does have an aviation connection."
He "Why, what does he do"
Me "He's in the RAF"
He "What's his job"
Me "He's a driver"
He "He must get close to the planes at least. What does he drive?"
Me "A Tornado"
He "Oh"

:E :E :E

We ended up getting on fine.

9th May 2004, 14:59
A bit off thread, but....

I remember in the 60's in Papua New Guinea the wife of a newly promoted DC3 Captain answering the telephone "This is Mrs Captain XXXX speaking"