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Why do student pilots have to wear uniforms?

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Why do student pilots have to wear uniforms?

Old 31st Jan 2015, 04:37
  #1 (permalink)  
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Grrr Why do student pilots have to wear uniforms?

Just think about it: Climbing out of a C152 with epaulettes, who wouldn't be laughing? My university that offers flying as a tertiary degree, requires students to "wear the academy's uniform at all timeswhile attending the university, particularly on roster."

I don't even think it's necessary at all. It is just like Air Force Cadets where the majority of the participants had inflated egos that could rival the fighter pilots at Top Gun (considering themselves fighter pilots) when they couldn't even get the plane up into the air.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 11:33
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For the same reason as all bus, train and ship drivers wear uniforms?
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 13:10
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To be honest i never understood that uniform thing in flying schools. Yes, on the job a uniform is ok, but even then i do enjoy the night mail and maintenance flights where i can turn up in civy clothes.

Now, i attended the major flying school in my country and there was no uniform at all, so no uniform to wear.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 14:40
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But as a student pilot? I do know uniforms ensure professionalism and gives pilots a sense of authority over responsibility and passengers/flight attendants. But for student pilots, it's really embarrassing, especially when you're not in a private flying school but a university that caters to all aspects of degrees.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 15:46
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As already mentioned it is to get students into the "ethos" of working for an airline (eventually, hopefully) ie turning up for classes on time and being smart and presentable at all time. This is what eventual employers will expect - better get used to it early. How many students at other educational establishments (college, university, etc) wander into lectures half way through dressed in all manners of garb.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 17:26
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Possibly to get used to having heavy stripes on each shoulder. We wouldn't want any chips
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 18:45
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So they will turn out like this guy?

Many, many years ago I was flying a Kingair 90 and I do mean 90, an original 90, short wing and no reverse, that kind of 90. Anyway, I was sitting at an FBO at one of the airports at Waco, forget which one and noticed a brand new Piper Seneca land and taxi in. When I say brand new, I mean the Piper Seneca was a new type aircraft, like this was the first year they were manufactured.

As it parked I noticed that the pilot, only person in the aircraft, was wearing an airline uniform. So I figured that some American or Braniff captain had bought the Seneca to commute back and forth to DFW, major airline captains made that much money back then. So, the guy gets out of the cabin, puts his coat on, four stripes on the sleeves and puts on the hat, the airline style hat with the scrambled eggs on the bill, then walks into the FBO.

When he walks into the office, where I am sitting on a couch reading a book, I notice that he is young, real young. Younger than me which at the time was not saying much. He tells the lady behind the counter that he is Captain so and so and inquired if his passengers had arrived or checked in. She replied that neither had occurred. So the 19 year old looking Captain looks around, see where I'm sitting on the couch and sits down on the opposite end. Now, he's not really sitting in a relaxed manner, more like sitting at attention, knees together with his hat, with the scramble eggs on the bill, on his lap being held by both hands.

'Self I say, don't say a friggin' thing, for once keep your mouth firmly shut, read your book and don't say a damn thing.' Course I never follow my own advice.

I look over at him, he staring unblinkingly straight ahead and open my mouth, "Uh, nice looking uniform, your company make you wear that?" I inquire.

He looks over at me and says, "Well, actually it is my idea, I decided that now we have moved up to more sophisticated modern multi-engine equipment, I should look more professional."


"Yes, we had a Cherokee Six before we got the multi-engine equipment. So now that we have an airplane that fly in the rough weather I needed to look professional." When he said that, it was one of the very few occasions in my life that I was left speechless, I couldn't think of a thing to say. Thank God just then my passengers showed up and we left.

Course now I figure that this kid finally ended up as a senior captain for a major airline flying 747s. Things kind of work out that way in my life.

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Old 31st Jan 2015, 19:03
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Even in airlines it is now becoming compulsory for candidates to wear uniforms for some or all of their simulator details. In the past it was rare to find such a requirement, since that type of training was outside of the public eye. However, there is a strong body of opinion that a pilots performance is likely to be enhanced If the environment is made as realistic as the situation allows, and to that end wearing uniform is a part of that realism.

Professional pilot flight schools gear up much of their day to day operations to prepare the candidates for an airline career. Their operations rooms, teaching facilities, flight planning, line operations, etc. are all designed to replicate as best as possible those likely to be found upon successful graduation. Obviously wearing a uniform is also an intrinsic part of that operation.

Had I won the lottery last night my soon to be appointed chauffer, butler and GV crew, would also have been bedecked in a smart new uniform. Even the bodyguard would have a smart suit.

If somebody wants to jump out of their C152 in a uniform of their own making, why should I care?
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 19:37
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Oh come on you pay your 100k you want to show off. My personal favourite is seeing them shopping in asda in full uniform. Cringe.
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 20:08
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Yea I know .........Asda.............. They should be shopping in Waitrose
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Old 31st Jan 2015, 20:25
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Would you expect a trainee RAF pilot to wear a uniform?

Where it kind of gets a bit grey in my eyes is if I as a crusty old private pilot decided to do my CPL as part of doing my FI ticket (which I keep toying with the idea of then decide to buy a new car or something) would I be expected to wear a uniform at the flight school? I must admit I would feel a total pillock if they expected me to wear one.

However a friend and I were looking round the Transair shop at Gloucester last weekend and we were sorely tempted to buy some four bar gold epaulettes and turn up at the club with them on...because hey, when I'm P1 I'm the aircraft commander...

Watch this guy's shoulder tabs during the vid. Incidentally, a great instructional vid as well.


Last edited by thing; 31st Jan 2015 at 20:39.
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 03:19
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Uniform is also a great leveler.

When I instructed in the ATC we had cadets from all different backgrounds, from spoiled kid with rich parents to the hardworking kid where the single parent could barely afford to cloth them.

In uniform they were equal - both extremes could or could not fly, were or were not intelligent , etc. but neither was judged on what the parent(s) could afford to cloth them in.
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 04:00
  #13 (permalink)  
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Ah, I see, it is to get the students into the working habit as well as promoting good work ethics. I guess wearing a uniform improves motivation and hence performance in a state of realistic environment. But guys, it's understandable to wear the academy's uniform during flying, but ground school surrounded by medicine, engineering, law and science major student sthat don't have to wear a uniform? It's awkward and embarrassing when theory lessons or ground schools require you to do that.

I would never wear the uniform to shops, period. It's equivalent to wearing a clown suit or a furry suit. The looks I will get and the sniggers, is definitely not worth it. I always change after classes when I go to the library to study or to go shopping.

You're right on, guys! Once, someone from WAAC wore their uniform to a nightclub, and I was like... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Old 1st Feb 2015, 09:53
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As it see it, what people wear is totally irrelevant unless they are a firefighter etc & need clothes which protect them.

Frankly, the bloke in the left seat could be sitting up there stark naked or in the loudest shirt & shorts one could imagine - as long as he can fly the bloody thing I really don't care. Give me a rough & ready bush pilot in slacks any day over some newbie with a well turned out uniform.

Often the fancier the uniform or clothes, the dumber the contents.

Similarly, my clients pay me for what I know & can do, not how I dress & if anyone ever says anything, they are firmly reminded of such & how it earns me in a day what they struggle to earn in a week.
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Old 5th Feb 2015, 04:52
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I was one of those arrogant types that believed that my opinion about uniforms was the only one and those who wore white epaulette shirts and navy trous were the nobbers.

I have grown ( groan) up a bit since then and don't pidgeon hole students so much these days, especially as the Academies require it. They say, students do, seemples.

I had a friend who was a casual dressing crop duster pilot like me and he was vehement about the Air Force types and their green suits, badges, wings and stripes. Then he became chief pilot some years later of a large aviation company that provided contract services to the military. He wore a flight suit, wings and badges, and fitted in very well. He became compatible to his environment.

As a kid I wanted to be an airforce pilot, flight suits, parachutes, helmets and oxygen masks were soooo cool, but not for me as I wore glasses and there fore medically unfit.

40 years later I go to work and put on a nomex flight suit, parachute, helmet and oxygen mask. We have corporate badges and wing insignia, rather than military ones. On occasions I don a white shirt some gold bars and metal wings when the company requires me to fly a VIP, or senior corporates, or even just those who expect a 'captain' to be sitting up the front.

I don't go up the pub all tooled up, or even shopping like that, but badges off, do have a mind improver or two at the aero club bar from time to time, after tools down on POETS day.

If the sprogs of today are told to wear a uniform, or even expected to wear one, so what. Let them, But FOUR bars is a bit OTT for a learner in any circumstances IMHO. Also shopping with bars, badges or name tags on is a bit over the line really.

My tuppence worth
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Old 5th Feb 2015, 07:12
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Oh yeaah!

Beginning to be a fan, Harley D!
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Old 5th Feb 2015, 13:09
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So, I've happen to meet this guy over a Cathay Cadetship forum. He had a photo of himself in a TAFE uniform in front of a 747 cockpit. Being curious, I've questioned him about the uniform actually being a requirement of the school. This was our conversation (VERY amusing):

Me: You have to wear a uniform?
Him: Yea. Do you have snapchat
Me: No. Do you have to wear it to theory classes?
Him: dont have to but we chose to, because lets be honest, the pilots uniform is a damn good uniform, and why not wear it, it looks better than a class full of casual wear
looks more professional
Me: Hang on, so they provide you with uniforms the first day you go to class or did you have to pay for it?
Him: pay for it
Me: I have to disagree. The uniform is not aesthetically pleasing enough for me to fork out my wallet for. Does it mean you have to wear it to school? Even when you're not flying?
Him: ahah i wore it every class
it wasnt that bad aha
Me: Wasn't it embarrassing? What about your other classmates?
Him: im not embarrassed, it is the best looking uniform, I have no shame in being a pilot in training
sure i had people stare at me when i walk past, but hey, they can do what they want to do, I am not going to stare at them when they are wearing their uniform

Well, just to let you know, my university does require me to wear it AT ALL times while attending whilst his school does not require him to wear it (maybe even against it). I guess my school would have been a paradise for ****** bars (like him). Even I would feel ashamed to wear it if it was actually a requirement to. It's creepy to think this guy is only a year younger than me. I guess he has some growing up to do.
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Old 5th Feb 2015, 14:35
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Ironically "students" at major airlines go in to their "annual sim beating" in casual clothes !
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Old 6th Feb 2015, 03:59
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If you are damn passionate about aviation, you don't need a uniform to feel like a pilot. It's definitely not the reason why I wanted to be a pilot.
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Old 6th Feb 2015, 04:51
  #20 (permalink)  
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A simple ploy to inspire them to continue their education, give them a sense of entitlement. They have no idea what is ahead.
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