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The Public Perception of Modern Pilots

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The Public Perception of Modern Pilots

Old 6th Dec 2012, 09:29
  #81 (permalink)  
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silly me...

i always thought the key was 'self respect'

and then next factor was the respect of one's co-workers; the only ones who can truly understand.

and were not the very first pilots borderline insane in the estimation of others?
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 09:47
  #82 (permalink)  
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What comes over on this thread, contrary to what I know to be true for the majority of pilots, is that there are quite a few arrogant ones on here that have greatly over-inflated egos.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:18
  #83 (permalink)  
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I'm sure they would be....

At the moment we do 2 X recurrent sims every six months, very much practicing for, as Huck rightly says, "the bad days". The rest of the time the flying we do on the routine sectors helps maintains the skill base we might have to call on for the bad day when we have to don the cape

If you are suggesting your proposed combined cabin crew member/safety pilot only retains competency in the simulator then how many times a month do you think our potential hero/heroine would need to be "in the box" (and away from the drinks trolley!) in order for them to maintain the required standard of flying they might need for the "just in case"?
On reflection, I'm sure you're right :-). The pilot-steward idea probably isn't practical - the pilot on the ground option is much more feasible. The idea of having someone on board trained for ground operations might fly (or rather not, of course) if you'll forgive the pun, but otherwise no.

You do make more excellent arguments for why the ground-based crew should be ATC/airspace based rather than airline based. An airline's ground pilot may never actually have to do anything in the real world, provided these mooted automatics that BEA are testing are up to the job. Airlines maintaining their own fleet of pilots to sit twiddling their thumbs is going to be expensive and wasteful, much more cost effective to centralise them.

Centralising them of course will also neatly sidestep the existing pilots union agreements with the airlines of course - new employer, new role, new contracts.
Have you any idea how much a modern simulator costs (because more simulator sessions means more simulators), and do you know how much they cost to run (I'm sure someone here knows)?
No idea, other than 'incredibly expensive'. Since variously over time this place is full of people moaning about how basic flying skills are what is lacking in modern pilots, I've often wondered if throwing 'em up in a light aircraft once in a while might not be cheaper than doing everything in the sim. Type training needs to be in the sim of course, but a Cessna would seem equally effective at teaching basic airmanship. That's another discussion of course.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:25
  #84 (permalink)  
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Incidentally, anyone hoping the insurance industry will save their jobs...

...what are you smoking?

I've been to Lloyds of London, and have had the pleasure of dealing with insurance underwriters, and in my experience they tend to be a decidedly unromantic bunch. If they think there is money to be made, they will insure it.

What tends to make insurers suck the air through their teeth and say "it'll cost you" is as soon as you say "well, that bit depends on skilled professionals doing their job properly."

Your average insurer loves automatics. They don't need to work 100% of the time to be insurable - they just need to work a relatively predictable amount of the time to be insurable.

Anyone who does think that insurers will refuse to be a part of this needs to answer the following simple question first: How does Air France maintain its insurance coverage?
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:46
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On the other hand, a thinking person might consider that a pointless and irrelevant comparison.
Well Dave, that is the point isn't it. It is wrong to say that someone is better than another based upon any of these factors. A mechanic or ground crew or engineer designing a wing is just as important in the chain of people getting things right as much as the pilot is. But it is relevant and worth pointing out that a pilot, if not competent, could very easily, cause the immediate deaths of a large number of people, whereas a doctor usually only has only one patient at a time under his care. Both roles are complex 'undertakings', but one is certainly more dramatic than the other in terms of scale of responsibility when you consider just what could happen in an instant if a pilot is not careful.

It is a huge responsibility. Most people would acknowledge that.

Last edited by Flytiger; 6th Dec 2012 at 10:47.
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 11:34
  #86 (permalink)  
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Wasn't thinking of trains

In terms of public paradigm shift I meant 'I Robot' type intelligent cars, busses etc capable of being driven by Siri or Otto whatever, stuff John and Jane Q either currently handle themselves or can see their operator at the controls.

I see that kind of thing happening much in advance of 300 people being remotely flown across the Atlantic (just the thought gives me )

And ditto on public perception. Like everything else, the loudest squeekers are often the most ignorant and don't represent the majority. Check those same squeekers when turbulence hits - they look to the cockpit door.

Idea: gather all those folks who think pilots do very little and let THEM be the guinea pigs
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 23:42
  #87 (permalink)  
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I've been to Lloyd's of London, and have had the pleasure of dealing
with insurance underwriters,
and in my experience they tend to be a
decidedly unromantic bunch. If they think there is money to be made, they will
insure it.

Which suggests you are either a Lloyd's broker or the insured, since you won't get near a Lloyd's underwriter in the Lloyd's building otherwise. It is true that there is a saying in the market that,"There is no such thing as a bad risk, only a bad rate" but even the biggest underwriters will run out of reinsurance layers on this one. The actual insurance rate would be uneconomically high.
I had nearly three years with the largest aviation broker there is during a lay-off from flying and still keep in touch so not smoking anything, the market simply aren't interested.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 06:10
  #88 (permalink)  
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Personally I think it has all gone to rat**** since captains stopped wearing white gloves for landing..
Not to mention many airlines that have dispensed with the wearing of hats as part of crew uniform - I think that's when it started going downhill
Airline Pilots -v- Train Drivers

As a young co-pilot ( many years ago ) I remember a Captain talking along similiar lines, and suggested that we not only wore a uniform to be identified, but also to instil confidence in our passengers. He rightly reckoned that he could actually fly the aircraft naked, it didn't take a uniform to be able to fly a Cat III approach on a crummy night, but if he wore any old gear a passenger might think that the pilot looked like himself on a day off, and he - the pax. - couldn't fly the aircraft so could the guy up front who looked like any average Joe ? Bull**** Baffles Brains.

The same Captain went on to remind me that during the 20's and 30's the London to Glasgow ( or similar ) express train drivers were regarded as the elite of the elite amongst the travelling public, crowds parted, women swooned, schoolboys ached to be a train driver etc. etc. but now they were just a bunch of scruffy workers in greasy overalls carrying their lunch to work in a tin box, and he reckoned that we were embarking on the same downward slope as we let our standards slip.

My generation vowed not to act like the many martinets from the Second World War that we encountered in the left hand seat - I was once chastised for addressing the co-pilot by his christian name " We DON'T Use Christian Names On The Flight Deck - MR XXXXXXXX " I was told, maybe we needed to lighten up a bit, but did we take it too far ?

Last edited by ExSp33db1rd; 7th Dec 2012 at 06:14.
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Old 7th Dec 2012, 09:04
  #89 (permalink)  
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Since 9/11 banning flight deck visits and if you were lucky sitting on the jump seat has done the industry more harm than good. The locked cabin door has isolated the crew even more from the passengers.
I learn't much from my father sitting on the jump seat and it instilled good airmanship in me which I was able to use in my gliding instructing days.
Everybody now takes the crew for granted and they are not really praised enough in testing conditions. I gave a thumbs up to the Ryanair captain at Luton this week as I was walking to the terminal. I'am sure he appreciated it as it was a good landing.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 15:59
  #90 (permalink)  
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T-21 has a valid point . To the level cabin crew feel a disconnect from the cockpit crew . Every time we interact with the cabin crew we are usually in non critical phase of flight asking for papers and coffee. So if their perception is pilots are jockstraps pushing button the general public has even a more myopic view . Most airlines no longer allow cabin crew to be in the flight deck for take offs or landings
This is probably last generation of commercial pilots who will be considered as professionals. LCC carrier growth has meant cut in the authority ,respect and perks for captains.

I am pretty sure in another ten years I will be telling new first officers the lavish lifestyles and perks we had today compared to what they will be experiencing
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