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probes
28th Aug 2013, 20:17
or so they say:
13 Secrets Airline Pilots Won't Tell You | ABC News Blogs - Yahoo! (http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/13-secrets-airline-pilots-wont-tell-122420158.html?vp=1)

I don't really know what to quote - maybe some more informed ones will do that?

or, maybe: "The truth is, we're exhausted. Our work rules allow us to be on duty 16 hours without a break. That's many more hours than a truck driver. And unlike a truck driver, who can pull over at the next rest stop, we can't pull over at the next cloud." -Captain at a major airline

rgbrock1
28th Aug 2013, 20:29
Why can't pilots pull a plane over to the next cloud for a rest?
That's what air ports are for, no? :}:}:}

vulcanised
28th Aug 2013, 20:50
That's many more hours than a truck driver


A truck driver who doesn't have the benefit of a co-driver.

SpringHeeledJack
28th Aug 2013, 21:09
I'm more concerned about said pilot driving home after a long day in the saddle, jet lagged and disorientated, perhaps for over an hour without the benefit of a fellow pilot and a mass of automation to fall back on. Think of all the potential accidents that could happen (but amazingly don't!).



SHJ

con-pilot
28th Aug 2013, 21:30
Was one of the secrets being that we have the best seat in the house, err, aircraft? :p

Dash8driver1312
28th Aug 2013, 23:41
Secrets? A load of BS trying to sound sensational.

Cacophonix
29th Aug 2013, 02:17
The secret depends on the airline and it won't be told because you know your wife needs that new car or even the sofa...

Caco

KAG
29th Aug 2013, 05:23
A truck driver who doesn't have the benefit of a co-driver. Yep, and doesn't have the benefit of a nap during the cruise...

KAG
29th Aug 2013, 06:00
"I'm constantly under pressure to carry less fuel than I'm comfortable with. Airlines are always looking at the bottom line, and you burn fuel carrying fuel. Sometimes if you carry just enough fuel and you hit thunderstorms or delays, then suddenly you're running out of gas and you have to go to an alternate airport." -Captain at a major airline Don't take off with less fuel than what you think is needed, as simple as that. We are our worst enemy.



"Sometimes the airline won't give us lunch breaks or even time to eat. We have to delay flights just so we can get food." -First officer on a regional carrier I have never starved as a pilot, and usually eat during cruise, then read the newspapers.




"We tell passengers what they need to know. We don't tell them things that are going to scare the pants off them. So you'll never hear me say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, we just had an engine failure,' even if that's true." -Jim Tilmon, retired American Airlines pilot, Phoenix As most passenger believe losing an engine means the airplane will stop flying, crash, and everybody dies, why misleading them? Tell them honestly what they need to know is the key.




"The Department of Transportation has put such an emphasis on on-time performance that we pretty much aren't allowed to delay a flight anymore, even if there are 20 people on a connecting flight that's coming in just a little late." -Commercial pilot, Charlotte, N.C. Most passengers don't want to be late and wait other passenger anyway, so there are no win win option here.




"The truth is, we're exhausted. Our work rules allow us to be on duty 16 hours without a break. That's many more hours than a truck driver. And unlike a truck driver, who can pull over at the next rest stop, we can't pull over at the next cloud." -Captain at a major airline A Captain at a major airline who thinks his job is more tiring than a truck driver, than tell hime to try for one year to be a truck driver.





"Some FAA rules don't make sense to us either. Like the fact that when we're at 39,000 feet going 400 miles an hour, in a plane that could hit turbulence at any minute, [flight attendants] can walk around and serve hot coffee and Chateaubriand. But when we're on the ground on a flat piece of asphalt going five to ten miles an hour, they've got to be buckled in like they're at NASCAR." -Jack Stephan, US Airways captain based in Annapolis, Md., who has been flying since 1984 They ve got to be buckled up because most of the time when you are taxing you are about to take off or you just landed, both most dangerous phases during which the flight attendants have to insure all passengers have fasten their seatbelt.



"The two worst airports for us: Reagan National in Washington, D.C., and John Wayne in Orange County, Calif. You're flying by the seat of your pants trying to get in and out of those airports. John Wayne is especially bad because the rich folks who live near the airport don't like jet noise, so they have this noise abatement procedure where you basically have to turn the plane into a ballistic missile as soon as you're airborne." -Pilot, South Carolina No this is not a ballistic missile when you climb at maximum angle, and no this not unsafe.




"At some airports with really short runways, you're not going to have a smooth landing no matter how good we are: John Wayne Airport; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Chicago Midway; and Reagan National." -Joe D'Eon, a pilot at a major airline who produces a podcast at flywithjoe.com Wich is good. A smooth landing is not normal operation, a firm one is.




"I may be in uniform, but that doesn't mean I'm the best person to ask for directions in the airport. We're in so many airports that we usually have no idea." -Pilot for a regional carrier, Charlotte, N.C.Who cares about that?




"This happens all the time: We'll be in Pittsburgh going to Philly, and there will be a weather delay. The weather in Pittsburgh is beautiful. Then I'll hear passengers saying, 'You know, I just called my friend in Philly, and it's beautiful there too,' like there's some kind of conspiracy or something. But in the airspace between Pittsburgh and Philly there's a huge thunderstorm." -Jack Stephan In this case we just tell the passengers we have weather enroute, and that's not a secret.





"You may go to an airline website and buy a ticket, pull up to its desk at the curb, and get onto an airplane that has a similar name painted on it, but half the time, you're really on a regional airline. The regionals aren't held to the same safety standards as the majors: Their pilots aren't required to have as much training and experience, and the public doesn't know that." -Captain at a major airline Statement to please the ones working at the top of the chain food to remind everybody only them are real pilots.



"Most of the time, how you land is a good indicator of a pilot's skill. So if you want to say something nice to a pilot as you're getting off the plane, say 'Nice landing.' We do appreciate that." -Joe D'EonThere is no way a normal passenger can know if the landing is a good (safe) one, smooth landing not being a good indicator.




"No, it's not your imagination: Airlines really have adjusted their flight arrival times so they can have a better record of on-time arrivals. So they might say a flight takes two hours when it really takes an hour and 45 minutes." -AirTran Airways captain, Atlanta How more margin and avoiding the passengers to expect an impossible arrivale time is a secret?



I have not read "13 secrets airlines won't tell you" here.

Wingswinger
29th Aug 2013, 07:39
I'm more concerned about said pilot driving home after a long day in the saddle, jet lagged and disorientated, perhaps for over an hour without the benefit of a fellow pilot and a mass of automation to fall back on. Think of all the potential accidents that could happen (but amazingly don't!).

They do happen. I know of a number of fatigue-related road accidents involving pilots driving home.

Loose rivets
29th Aug 2013, 09:41
When I wuz young, a lovely skipper used to ask for me if he had a weekend off worth driving oooooooop north. "Don't you land it!!" He'd say, as he started to nod off.

I'd unplug his headset and do almost all of the flight before asking the crew to bring him coffee. It worked for a couple of years, but then he had a terrible accident on the way home. He survived, but soon gave up flying after that.

Naps are important, and often we only need ten minutes, but I remember being prodded and having a finger wagged at me if I closed my eyes. Such a terrible lack of knowledge and plain wisdom.

Worrals in the wilds
29th Aug 2013, 10:05
Interesting points KAG, thanks for sharing them.
They do happen. I know of a number of fatigue-related road accidents involving pilots driving home.
True. This is a problem for other aviation workers too. A CS rep here had a bad smash on the way home after her seventh night shift in a row. After that the company changed the roster, but it was a bit late for her (injured but survived).

Whatever the job, shift work isn't easy and even with a good roster it needs careful management. Many rosters aren't good at all, which doesn't help :(. After too many years of it, my advice to anyone is don't drive a car if you're knackered. Have something to eat, a nap in the office, sleep for an hour in the passenger seat if you have to and remember that no inconvenience or :O incurred is worse than having a big accident.

rgbrock1
29th Aug 2013, 13:53
KAG wrote:

I have never starved as a pilot, and usually eat during cruise, then read the newspapers.

And you work for which airline? I ask because with your statement above I think I'll give that airline a miss in the future.

rgbrock1
29th Aug 2013, 13:58
KAG also wrote:

There is no way a normal passenger can know if the landing is a good (safe) one,

Well, I consider myself a normal passenger and as long as the aircraft doesn't become a lawn dart on landing I would consider anything else a good and safe one.

mikedreamer787
29th Aug 2013, 14:08
I'd be interested in finding out what papers you read Mr KAG.

One first officer (so-called) here was demoted to lower
equipment when he decided to play games on his tablet
during cruise and ignored the capts order to stow it after
he missed numerous radio calls.

Nothing wrong in reviewing things like FCOMs etc on
an iPad as it doesn't distract from one's primary duties.
But trying to get the highest score on War Thunder is
rather different.

mikedreamer787
29th Aug 2013, 14:10
as long as the aircraft doesn't become a lawn dart on landing

And that you use a terminal ramp to exit the aircraft rgb and not
an escape slide.

rgbrock1
29th Aug 2013, 14:17
mikedreamer:

After spending quite a bit of time exiting certain aircraft out the back ramp via static line and rip chord, anything else would be fine. Including via escape slide. (Not preferable but certainly doable.) :}:}:}

mikedreamer787
29th Aug 2013, 14:40
Here's the 14th secret RGB -

When we tell you "we are experiencing a slight problem with
our flight controls folks" this is what actually happens!

22DURT1mPH8

Start at 1:02:20. Stop at 1:06:05

rgbrock1
29th Aug 2013, 14:47
Interesting, mikedreamer because the Mrs. and I just watched that film last weekend!!!! A classic funny. :ok:

mikedreamer787
29th Aug 2013, 15:26
Yep it sure is buddy. The Stooges were my all time fave
of that era but I never turn down a good L&H flick! :ok:

rgbrock1
29th Aug 2013, 15:34
The Stooges, mikedreamer? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Hey Mo, he made a funny.

http://media.aintitcool.com/coolproduction/ckeditor_assets/pictures/4044/original/originalstooges.jpg?1319731019

BenThere
30th Aug 2013, 00:51
Actually, a sweet landing, especially in challenging weather and winds, is something to be proud of.

I've never seen a scientific study, but I think it's likely passengers can go through a turbulent flight, and be late even, but if the landing is soft they'll leave smiling and with a good impression of the airline. I've seen the smiles on their faces.

CaptainProp
30th Aug 2013, 06:31
A truck driver who doesn't have the benefit of a co-driver.

Doesn't really help if both pilots have done 90+ hours in the past 30 days and are 14 hours in to a flight....

CP

Mr Optimistic
30th Aug 2013, 13:56
It always pays to be polite. If the Capt is the sort who likes to see the pax on exit then nothing is lost by congratulations on a fine landing along the lines of "that was a great landing, are you going to have a go next time?". Cheers the crew up no end.

Teldorserious
1st Sep 2013, 16:43
The biggest secret is that most airline crews are so far behind the curve, that flights are just insured to such a level to deal with the financial aftermath rather then prevention. It's all about money. Everyone is just hoping that nothing goes wrong because when it does go wrong, time has proven over and over that the people they hire these days aren't up for scenarios that require thinkers.

OFSO
1st Sep 2013, 17:39
If you're a PAX in a 737NG and it hasn't *CRASH*THUMP*BANGED* on landing, you haven't landed yet.

mikedreamer787
2nd Sep 2013, 02:20
Another one - airlines now stick 200hr wonders in the RHS.

This means -

- He's designated second in command. This means if you are
cabin crew or SLF and anything happens to the captain, HE is
in charge. Scary huh.
- The captain, one top of everything else, has to nursemaid him
through CRM. I've noticed CRM is the major catchcry of these
Magenta kids who haven't a clue on how to properly fly aircraft.
Inexperience combined with a job that a kid doesn't merit through
ability leads to inevitable arrogance. Thus these children have no
qualms whatsoever in reporting a captain (and behind his back I
might add) for any perceived lack of CRM on his part. The CRM
module concerning Conflict Resolution seems to be a class most
(but I admit not all) 200hr wonderkids don't attend or conveniently
forget.
- If he greases a landing its sheer luck. His next one will no doubt
be a clanger.
- Only one person in the cockpit exercises airmanship because
the other hasn't got a clue what that is.

There are times I've flown with these kids and think to myself god
help everyone on board should anything happen to me! :uhoh:

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 02:23
Mike

Is that for real ?

Scary.

mikedreamer787
2nd Sep 2013, 02:50
Mate yes its for real. And yes its scary.

That's not to say every kid is tarred by the same brush.
Maybe one in ten have some ability to a minor degree.

Airlines in the past (except a handful of majors) had a
Second Officer system. This is especially in countries
where airline wannabees don't have a GA infrastructure
to gain valuable flying experience before joining. Cadets
would do 2 years basic training and emerge with a CPL
with ATPL subjects passed and an IR. He was then put
in ground school for the type (737, 747 whatever) and
put through the sim to FO standard.

He was then to spend the next 2 years or 2000 hours as
a Second Officer. He had his airline-assigned duties but
he was to observe and learn the day to day operation of
flying, and at certain times could occupy the FO's seat
IN CRUISE under the supervision of the captain. When
he was deemed competent enough he was trained to the
Second In Command level. If he passed it he was then
promoted to First Officer and given the seat he has now
merited through proven ability and experience.

It was very practical. With the advent of automation the
airline bosses worked out they could increase their own
fat bonuses by bypassing this costly method and bung
a meathead in the RHS and putting the responsibility of
the overall safety of the flight (ie to correct the inevitable
mistakes of said meathead) solely on the capt's shoulders.

500N
2nd Sep 2013, 02:54
I flew a fair bit around the world 78 - 82, although a teenager
I took note of what went on - and always went into the cockpit
during cruise.

I tend to fly Qantas where possible although often get bumped
to Jetstar now. At least in the past they tended to be like you said !!!

mikedreamer787
2nd Sep 2013, 02:59
QF have the SO system so you can trust the
ability of the SIC. Low cost outfits like the
one you mention I don't know so I can't say.
Probably not.

Its time for a Tim Tam Slam 500N. Yummy! :)

Anthill
2nd Sep 2013, 04:12
Maybe Mike should scare the passengers with the 'Seniority System'.

ie: that the most experienced pilot in the crew may not be the captain. I currently fly with captains who (although experienced and competent) were in school when I was flying around the world as a FO on B747s.

Maybe you could point out that when an airline goes bust, pilots have to re-build their career from scratch, some times even starting off again as a Second Officer. I am now building my career for the 3rd time.

The "200 hrs" neophytes that Mike speaks of just don't exist in my company, either as FOs or SOs.

I work as a "Senior First Officer". I have 14,000 hrs total time which includes 2500 hrs turbo-prop, 10,000 on heavy jets and 3000hrs + command time and a previous heavy jet command. Was a management pilot in my previous company. I am a current line and simulator instructor as well as a ground school instructor. Many of my peers who fly as SFOs have similar a background.

How about we let the nice folks down the back know that when the captain is sleeping in crew rest, a professional with 30+ years in the industry is up the front is looking after their safety and making sure they are having a nice smooth ride.

:cool:

Let's NOT scare them by pointing out that airline commands are offered to pilots based on their date of joining and not on their qualifications or experience.

:rolleyes:

mikedreamer787
2nd Sep 2013, 04:26
Ant I've been out of the Oz system for many years now.
I did admit I'm not familiar with the Oz system except in
the case of QF. Whether or not your outfit over there has
200hr kids I don't know as I said earlier.

Comparing say Europe and Asia with Oz is a bit chalk &
cheesish which is why I refrained from it.

I could've gone into many paras explaining what you are
speaking about but I posted in the general sense as I dont
wan't want to bore JBers with every detail. Yes a seniority
system does have its disadvantages as in your case. But
you well know as I do its more than just seniority for the
chance of command - if you blow it you're right back in the
FO seat. On most seniority lists with the majors (as against
crummy low cost ones) it takes some years for a command
slot to open up and by then a FO should have gained the
necessary experience and competency for command.

KAG
2nd Sep 2013, 05:39
rgbroke1: some airlines even approve their pilot to get out the cockpit to go to the toilets or take a nap. Now you are afraid hey? ;)

Just out of curiosity, may I ask you what kind of airplane and destination you are flying? It might explain some misunderstanding.

I personaly fly domestic China and international Asia, B737NG, and some of our destination requires 3 crews: 2 captains and one first officer, especially when we fly high altitude airports in high mountains area south west China. For this kind of flight during the cruise depending which leg I am not even staying in the cockpit. I hope you understand now.
This is true I didn't give all the details, and sometimes one basic short sentence cannot be accurate enough.

We have high mountains short runways airports in our destinations, in this case a sweet landing is not recommended.
And I don't think you are a normal passenger as you are a pilot and as such you can evaluate the flare and the touch down zone if you watch outside. If my FO lands firmly on the touch down zone, 1000 marks, I congratulate him, if he lands sweet a bit far I don't, especially on our short runway' high altitude destinations. A normal passenger (not a pilot, understand) has no way to know which one is a good landing, because a greased landing is not a good indicator.
Furthermore, each time one of my FO did something weird during the approach or flare, that's because he wanted to do a sweet landing to impress his GF working behind as flight attendant. I spend my time to try to remove the sweet landing obsession from their thoughtd, because it causes troubles more than please the pax, especially when I have to take over the control. What I want is a very stable angle from the 50' to the touch down zone, a firm landing at the right place, and a nice appropriate speed with an appropriate flare without floating, everything else it's for the girls. A sweet landing has never been my requirement, and will never be. Actually I do believe pilots obssessed with sweet landings have more hard landings (and bounces) in their files than pilot applying the standard requirement: firm landing, clean job, safe.

parabellum
2nd Sep 2013, 05:46
Yep, and doesn't have the benefit of a nap during the cruise...

No, as already pointed out, the truck driver does have the option of pulling over for a nap:hmm:

KAG
2nd Sep 2013, 06:06
Parabellum: alright but I will continue to be a pilot if you don't mind, as I appreciate my 17 days off a month, my salary, and I enjoy my raw data approach each time like it was the first time. But please go ahead, truck driver that's not a bad job anyway, enjoy and let us know how it is going. ;)
I know a very good friend of mine from middle school who is a truck driver, and he likes it. I like my job too, and won't exchange it thank you.

rgbrock1
3rd Sep 2013, 15:26
KAG wrote:

rgbroke1: some airlines even approve their pilot to get out the cockpit to go to the toilets or take a nap. Now you are afraid hey?

If I was in charge of an airline I would not allow my pilots to get out of the pointy end to go to the toilet. They can do it right there in the cockpit.

Nap? No naps authorized. Sleep with your eyes propped open with toothpicks, if need be, but no sleeping.

Now I'm not afraid, no? Are you? :}:}:}

Worrals in the wilds
3rd Sep 2013, 22:43
With the advent of automation the airline bosses worked out they could increase their own fat bonuses by bypassing this costly method and bung a meathead in the RHS and putting the responsibility of the overall safety of the flight (ie to correct the inevitable mistakes of said meathead) solely on the capt's shoulders.
21st century aviation in a nutshell, whether in the air or on the ground. :mad: Affordable safety from the 'she'll be right, so far so good' school of risk assessment :yuk:.

By the time there's an expensive cock-up the 22 year old management genius who dreamed up the MO has collected their bonus and exited stage-left.
Investigation: AO-2013-125 - Collision during pushback operations between Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YID and Airbus A320-232, VH-VGR, Melbourne Airport, Victoria, 10 August 2013 (http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2013/aair/ao-2013-125.aspx)

probes
4th Sep 2013, 06:03
An interesting case of 'who should have done what and was it actually possible (to do it)'. :sad:

GLuis103
4th Sep 2013, 19:09
Found this article on the Internet a few months ago, actually had a good laugh with some of the statements :)