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Gouabafla
5th Oct 2006, 11:01
This is a serious question - honest. At my time of life, I'm not a wannabe, more a willneverbe - and I'm actually very happy with my career. However, there is still a small boy inside me that would love to be a pilot. But when I think about flying it is always in a fast jet zipping through the Lake District at silly speeds, or perhaps a small bush aircraft hopping in and out of dirt strips somewhere in Africa. Flying a big Airbus or Boeing just doesn't seem to have much romance compared to smaller or faster aircraft. Somehow sitting in front of a massive bank of instruments for hours on end over the Atlantic just doesn't seem to be real flying. Yet, lots of people love flying airliners and it is clear from Proon that lots more people would like to fly them. It can't just be the money and the uniform!

Could someone who sits at the pointy end of those big aluminium tubes (I sit about half way back, generally) explain why flying big aircraft is so fascinating.

Please don't just dismiss me as stupid and ignorant. I am ignorant - that's why I'm asking the question, and I'm not stupid, because I'm interested enough to learn!:)

G-CPTN
5th Oct 2006, 11:11
Have you never wished to take the wheel of an enormous truck or military vehicle? There's REAL pleasure driving a 16 litre 100-tonne vehicle (especially when you're only wee yourself). Driving a London Transport Routemaster Double Decker 'at speed' around the Chiswick Test Track was almost as exciting (but the modified Routemaster with active-ride suspension was WEIRD. The pressurised suspension kept the vehicle upright however fast you cornered!).
44 tonnes 6x4 truck with 4 wheel trailer on 0.1 mu low-coefficient skid pan was exciting too. The bigger the better IMO.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Oct 2006, 11:23
There was a time when flying airliners must have been pretty good. Back in the '60s and '70s it must have been fun as a 707 or VC10 captain for BOAC; very good money, a nice class of passenger (no chavs!), top hotels to stay in for days on end in exotic locations, much less fight deck automation so flying skills kept sharp.

Then there was Concorde - a real pilot's aeroplane.

I think even the keenest wannabe would agree the job isn't what it was. Probably quite good fun for a year or so, but then....

Spui18
5th Oct 2006, 11:34
It can't just be the money and the uniform!

The uniform certainly NO. The money certainly YES, like any job, its very important.

I flew large cargo, which is terrible boring on long distances but the pre and post flight stages can be very interesting. Never flew pax and would not want to do that either. Although cargo is considered by some as the low echelon of flying, I (obviously) disagree and could not be bothered with the fuss of pax/cabincrew/airport routines, pax side etc. Rather park somewhere out of sight and get on with it with a team of about 6 people. The hours can be a bit antisocial but are probably not that much different from the long distance pax flights.
I did always get a kick out of the enormous power generated by 2 or 4 massive turboprop engines. Not the same feeling with jets.

I blame the Russians :rolleyes:

haughtney1
5th Oct 2006, 11:42
Gouabafla...
Well I guess its a bit difficult to describe as I only fly medium/largish aluminium tubes :ok: (757/767)
Im perhaps fortunate that I get a good variety of flying, and I get to fly to quite a few varied places..without too much maximum duty.
After the intial buzz wears off (it doesnt really ever wear off..but you do get used to it) it becomes a job, an enjoyable and fulfilling job, but a job none the less. It is perhaps one of the few proffesions that still exists as both a vocational and structured career and there are still plenty of "characters" that you meet along the way:8
The flying can be tedious, especially anything over 3 hrs in the cruise for me, and it can be very challenging, overall though, I would'nt change were I am today...or the journey I took to get here.
Picking up a point you made about wizzing around in fast jets or hopping about in small lighties in Africa; this brings to mind that I have lived in 3 continents, have 19 different a/c types in my logbook (and counting), and have held 8 different jobs! This is very very different to the majority of new airline pilots in Europe today, many of whom have come straight from training...and gone onto a jet or turboprop of some type....and I think they are poorer individuals for it.
IMHO flying big jets should be as much about the journey to getting there as it is to actually being there:ok:
Which brings me to the final point...I even get paid to do it..and reasonably well paid at that:ok:

Mercenary Pilot
5th Oct 2006, 11:44
If I had to explain, you wouldn't understand. :)

Solid Rust Twotter
5th Oct 2006, 12:15
Nope. It's the money.



Oh, and less chance of getting shot. You also spend more time at home and get to sleep in your own bed occasionally.

tony draper
5th Oct 2006, 12:20
One is with Mr Gouabafla in this,given the oportunity, gimmee a fast pointy thing and the Lake district to play in, yer could keep the big feckers.
:rolleyes:

Capt. Queeg
5th Oct 2006, 15:15
Says bored fighter jock to trash-hauler:

"Hey man can you do this?"

*trash-hauler casts eyes to the left and observes jock performing barrel roll, inverted flight, knife-edge, 6g break, etc...*

"Um, no. Wanna see what I can do?"

"Yeah go on," Says the jock.

Nothing

Nothing

Nothing

Finally.....

"Well what'd you think of that?"

"Think of WHAT?" Says the jock?

"Well, I just went back and had a dump, then heated up a frozo, chatted up the Flight Stupid and got a fresh coffee......"



I bet you're thinking twice about the pointy things now.....

waldopepper42
5th Oct 2006, 15:28
Since old jokes are in vogue......:)
I heard a slightly different version...
Says bored fighter jock to trash-hauler:
"Hey man can you do this?"
*trash-hauler casts eyes to the left and observes jock performing barrel roll, inverted flight, knife-edge, 6g break, etc...*
"Um, no. Wanna see what I can do?"
"Yeah go on," Says the jock.
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Finally.....
"Well what'd you think of that?"
"Think of WHAT?" Says the jock?

"I just shut down two engines"...:E

Loose rivets
6th Oct 2006, 07:02
It's the only working environment that I can wear a really really big watch.:cool:

Howard Hughes
6th Oct 2006, 08:18
It's the only working environment that I can wear a really really big watch.:cool:
If it's big watches your into, why not become a diver?;)

haughtney1
6th Oct 2006, 10:33
If it's big watches your into, why not become a diver?

Cos you'd have to make sure it was waterproof, and you'd have to sew gold braid on your wet-suit:}

parabellum
6th Oct 2006, 11:40
It's as previously mentioned I think. It is all about the journey. Very humble and hard living beginnings, be they civil or military, move up from the smaller stuff and move into the better regulated areas of aviation where your employer has to be honest, move on to bigger and noisier things, then move on to even bigger and even noisier things until you eventually arrive at the biggest noisiest thing in the air and that is for you! Your ambitions and ego are satisfied and your pension fund is, (hopefully), bigger.

The one line answer is that there is more kudos to be had from flying a 747 than an Aztec, but that is an over simplification.

Gouabafla
6th Oct 2006, 12:08
The one line answer is that there is more kudos to be had from flying a 747 than an Aztec, but that is an over simplification.

That makes sense. Is there more fun flying the Aztec or the 747?

Again, this is an honest question, not a wind up.

G-CPTN
6th Oct 2006, 13:21
I would imagine that if you fly a B747 you could ALSO fly an Aztec (for fun, at 'weekends').
Just as some car drivers also have a motorcycle.

Blacksheep
6th Oct 2006, 13:34
If it's big watches your into, why not become a diver?I know an Airboos skipper who dives as a hobby. His watch is merely 'average.'

...for a European, that is.

Farrell
6th Oct 2006, 14:50
It is my dream to buy a Piper Apache in a few years when I have saved enough cash.
It is such a lovely airplane.

I would have it polished down to the metal with some nice blue trim.

allan907
6th Oct 2006, 17:19
The student pilot sits in his Cessna 150 and looks down the taxi way at the Cessna 172 and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The Cessna 172 pilot glances enviously at the twin lining up and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The twin pilot waits for the corporate jet to clear and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The corporate jet pilot taxies past the 737 domestic and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The 737 domestic pilot queues behind the 747 and says "I wish I was flying that"

The 747 pilot on auto climb out looks out the window and sees a Cessna 150 downwind and says, "I wish I was flying that"

Gouabafla
6th Oct 2006, 17:27
Now I understand!!

Re-entry
6th Oct 2006, 17:33
No romance, but big paychecks+Lots of time off.

red3
6th Oct 2006, 17:49
Years ago I was returning from UK leave to a middle eastern country where they let me fly their jets.

After a stop somewhere I recognised the name of the captain and I finished up in the jumpseat for the last leg.

He suddenly turned to me and said 'It's a funny world isn't it, I'd love to fly fighters and I bet you'd like my job?...

I thought for a moment and said 'er, no'....

tony draper
6th Oct 2006, 18:36
Hmmm, don't fighter jocks need a HGV licence before they can fly big feckers?:rolleyes:

G-CPTN
6th Oct 2006, 18:46
More likely PSV (or whatever they call it nowadays). Yer USED to get a nice BADGE for your lapel . . .

Any way, they're all Bus Drivers (even those flying Boeings)!

AcroChik
6th Oct 2006, 18:48
No romance, but big paychecks+Lots of time off.

I guess you don't fly for a US regional.

haughtney1
6th Oct 2006, 18:57
Nope Aerochik......I fly for a profitable airline ;) :p

Dons ma biggles hard hat

Solid Rust Twotter
6th Oct 2006, 21:01
The well paying airline job would enable one to purchase and fly the fun stuff on days off. The bush stuff may look like fun but the operators pay peanuts and wondering whether 'tis better to rob Peter or Paul to pay the other tarnishes the shine somewhat.

Huck
7th Oct 2006, 01:52
Last spring I flew copilot on a MD-11 maintenance test flight - captain did all the flying until after the autoland touch and go - then he got it clean but the slats and said "All yours."

I maneuvered for the other runway, all visual with nothing, not even a VASI to back me up. Lined up on a 5 mile final, Vref about 150, stable at a thousand, clicked off the autothrottles at 100' and kissed the earth with 375,000 pounds of shiny metal.

I've flown (at last count) 60 makes and models, mostly light aircraft, but the biggest ones are the most challenging and the most fun to me.

tinpis
7th Oct 2006, 03:04
Gooby anyone will tell you the best flying job SLF wise is one where you get paid lots but hardly ever get called out

There is not a chance in hell anyone is going to pay you to fly one of these
http://www.travelcentre.com.au/travel/airshows/DC3/Images/P51-Mustang-controls.jpg

airyana
7th Oct 2006, 11:00
theres one way of looking at it,

http://www.oxfordaviation.net/skills/propilot.htm

and theres a good picture to help you understand:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=0174130&size=L&width=1024&height=652&sok=JURER%20%20%28cubgb_vq%20%3D%20%27174130%27%29%20%20BEQR E%20OL%20cubgb_vq%20QRFP&photo_nr=1

Say again s l o w l y
7th Oct 2006, 12:16
Big aircraft are fun to fly initially, but they can never give you the thrill that something light and powerful can.

I equate it to the difference between driving a sports car like an MX 5 compared to driving a racing truck.

The racing truck is powerful and fast, but unwieldy, whereas the MX 5 maybe slower but it puts a massive grin on your face.

Both are satisfying in their own way, but are totally different. The skills you use are different and so the enjoyment you derive from it changes.

A really challenging hand flown approach to minimas in poor conditions gives me a similar buzz to doing aero's. Some people get pleasure from flying a perfect ILS, others aren't fussed by a "normal" day. I fall into the latter category and got into flying because I enjoy doing something that could be described as "edgy." Something airline flying is never supposed to be (unless something goes wrong.).

I would love to have flown in the RAF (damn these eyes of mine....!) I can't imagine a more enjoyable job and airline fying does pale somewhat in comparison for me, but beggars can't be choosers and flying anything and getting paid for it is still better than working for a living.

Large a/c may pay the bills, but my greatest joy will always be just strapping on something manoueverable and powerful with just a throttle and stick, no FMC and ccertainly no auto flight system to get in the way of the pure sensation of flight.

G-CPTN
7th Oct 2006, 12:33
Big aircraft are fun to fly initially, but they can never give you the thrill that something light and powerful can.
LONG before 9-11 I was a passenger on a long-haul B747. A couple of hours into the flight I wangled a visit to the flight deck. A pleasant, but bored, crew were only too keen to answer my questions. In answer to the question about autopilot, the FO said "But if I do THIS, then I can do THIS and THIS . . . " and proceeded to initiate a few 'avoidance' manouevres, before saying, with a smile on his face "There, that should have woken-up a few back there and maybe caused them to grab their drinks."

Say again s l o w l y
7th Oct 2006, 12:58
And in today's airline world, that crew would have got a kicking on arrival due to the data monitoring....... They can see what you are doing whilst you do it now. No fun....

one dot right
7th Oct 2006, 15:15
Nope Aerochik......I fly for a profitable airline

Dons ma biggles hard hat

Aw Haughtney,you could at least try and get AcroChiks name right!:=

Craggenmore
7th Oct 2006, 23:39
whereas the MX 5 maybe slower but it puts a massive grin on your face.Only if you're a hairdresser :}

What's so great? In your time off you can actually afford to fly light a/c if you still wish! You get the best of all worlds. People seem to forget that :p

haughtney1
8th Oct 2006, 09:33
:} Aw Haughtney,you could at least try and get AcroChiks name right!

you missed the irony of the spelling mistake one dot...:ok:

Tinny! a "D" model..woohoo!

precession
8th Oct 2006, 10:18
The student pilot sits in his Cessna 150 and looks down the taxi way at the Cessna 172 and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The Cessna 172 pilot glances enviously at the twin lining up and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The twin pilot waits for the corporate jet to clear and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The corporate jet pilot taxies past the 737 domestic and says, "I wish I was flying that"

The 737 domestic pilot queues behind the 747 and says "I wish I was flying that"

The 747 pilot on auto climb out looks out the window and sees a Cessna 150 downwind and says, "I wish I was flying that"


The pitts pilot, sitting in is "office" with the nose pointing somewhere he can see base and final legs..
murmers under the cackle of the flat 6 "...... Don't wanna be anywhere else"

TopBunk
8th Oct 2006, 11:36
The pitts pilot, sitting in is "office" with the nose pointing somewhere he can see base and final legs..
murmers under the cackle of the flat 6 "...... Don't wanna be anywhere else"

.... yeah .... but there are very few Pitts pilots for whom the office (the Pitts) pays the bills. Therefore unless very rich it is likely they would need a real job - likely in a real office with four walls and a small window out to the world. Flying the heavy metal the flight deck window IS my window to the world, and whilst one can see some fantastic sights flying shorthaul, there is an even greater choice of fantastic sights to see on longhaul - and the Pitts is still an option as per the office worker.

So the choice is 747/777/340 vs 737/320 vs general aviation vs Mondeo on the motorway vs Floor 10 in an office block ...... hmmm... difficult.