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Strange Habits of Your Captains

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Strange Habits of Your Captains

Old 26th Jul 2007, 05:42
  #41 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
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Interesting that you should consider yourself qualified to issue judgment on me MelbPilot85, but your illiterate post actually reveals far more about yourself than myself.
One of the very valid points Rainboe was making in his post, (#42), yesterday, which you seem to have missed completely, was that there are a lot of pseudo make-believe pilots on PPRuNe now, (yourself perhaps?) who will grab any scaremongering story, rush off with it, embellish it, repeat it and eventually bring scorn and derision on our profession. Back in the days of cockpit visits, (well before your time, I suspect), one would frequently have to debunk a passengers version of a publicised event which had obviously been exaggerated out of all proportion.

The good news for me MelbPilot is that I shall never have to fly with you , you are much too junior! Thankfully the hundreds, if not thousands, of F/Os I have flown with have not been troubled by the experience

Now, stop wasting the Moderators time and run off and play with your Flight Sim, you naughty little tosspot you! Next you'll be telling us how many hours you've got!

Last edited by parabellum; 26th Jul 2007 at 09:17.
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Old 26th Jul 2007, 09:04
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Come on, people

I believe this forum is called "Tech Log". If you want to mudsling, why not start up the same thread in "Jet Blast"? I am constantly amazed at the holier-than-thou attitude of some of the so-called "professionals" who have posted on this thread. Everybody is entitled to their point of view, but if you are mature AND professional, you should be able to put forward your argument without resorting to personal insults. This applies to Captains and First Officers alike.
I am not a high-time skipper (yet), but I have spent 13 years as a F/O. And as such, have heard many not-so-good things said about many operators (both seats). Interestingly enough, none of the people commented about ever thought that their crew thought badly about them. Just the opposite in most cases! I think it is human nature that we like to think we are admired and respected, to the extent that we sometimes block the negative. I recall being asked years ago "why do the crew never come out with us?". I couldn't truthfully tell the person concerned as I still had 3 more sectors with him, and figured that maybe it was me . Turns out virtually everybody felt the same about him. Yes, I was an F/O at the time, but this analogy applies to some F/O's as well. Human nature. Again.
Perhaps we should cut the insults and have a sensible discussion about why there is such a rift between the thinking of LHSeaters and RHSeaters? F/O's are, after all, supposed to be trainee commanders, and Captains once used to be F/O's. When we become commanders, just when is the god-complex bestowed? Is every F/O waiting with a pen to cross your name off the seniority list?
One of the things about the internet is that it is largely anonymous. I wonder if you would say some of the things said in this thread to the face of the person concerned? Personally, I doubt it. Unless you are one of the god characters..............
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Old 26th Jul 2007, 09:25
  #43 (permalink)  
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Man I'm glad I've just bought a wide screen laptop, gives me a better perspective on some of the massive egos being stroked on this thread. I guess some people go through life loudly DEMANDING their respect by virtue of their position, most others just quietly and humbly go about EARNING that respect every day.

To me it seems that being a captain brings out the best and the worst in people, the best in about 98% of people and the worst in the rest. Before all you old timers start burning out the batteries in your pacemakers, I don't think anyone here seriously is questioning the fact that a captain who is

(1) highly experienced, WHO IS ALSO
(2) properly socially adjusted
(3) conscientious with SOPs and
(4) approachable with all crew members

that kind of captain is indeed at the top of the aviation tree, and yes Rainboe you are completely right in your assertion that FO's will do well to role model on that kind of individual and learn from them.

I've just recently stepped from a spell of several years in the LHS with a regional and I'm now RHS on a medium jet. Woop de doo. Am I somehow less of a pilot than I was before? I have absolutely no qualms in admitting, looking back on my time with my previous company, that the standard of piloting in many many cases was higher from the guy in the RHS. Partly caused by the fact that so many of the good young pilots left and went to bigger things before they got command, but the main problem was several highly experienced long term captains who can be politely described as 'accidents waiting to happen'. Total non-adherence to SOPS, minima busting, lack of situational awareness, non briefing of approaches whatsoever even with inexperienced FO's, utter utter laziness with regard to basic aviation discipline such as tuning and identing navaids etc, the list goes on and on. Basically people who think the rules no longer apply to them because they've been flying the same old simple old aircraft on the same old route for 30 years. Admittedly they tend to be found more amongst the smaller and turboprop operators but they're out there, make no mistake.

I do wonder 411A, with regard to your cooler-than-thou assertion that the one guy who complained about you got demoted and spent 5 more years in the RHS - you do appear to be under the impression that that incident somehow proves something about the infallibility of your own judgment or captains in general, perhaps you'd care to elaborate? I can certainly relate a story from when I was an FO, there was a recently hired DE captain who'd scared the living bejeezus out of several of us in the short time he'd been there, a quiet unofficial word was had with another skipper whom the lads trusted and respected, and he took the matter higher - the 'turkey' was flown with unannounced by a standards captain who was so horrified by what he saw that he went to management and threatened to resign on the spot if that same 'turkey' of a captain was ever allowed to set foot in a company aircraft again either in the left or right seat. The guy was in fact sacked the next day and he's still barred from the premises as far I know.

Now Rainboe I'm all in favour of "adapting to different techniques" but ultimately I'd rather that we all had the same techniques, and that I learn my techniques from a TRAINING captain who has formally demonstrated their skill in passing on knowledge in a company approved manner, (and tends to be a lot more humble about how they teach it)! Most line captains make lousy trainers. There's a very fine line we have to walk sometimes with 'adapting to different techniques' of our fellow pilots, I'm sure you don't mean to say that FOs should have to sit there and tacitly endorse the behaviour patterns of someone who's rude, lazy or who likes to creatively interpret the SOPs.

If there's one thing I have learned in my time about how to deal with prickly characters and prima donna captains, it's to stay on the edge of my seat because invariably if the flight is going to turn to rats it's when someone with a big "I'm the Captain" ego trip is on board.
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Old 26th Jul 2007, 09:40
  #44 (permalink)  
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Well said, LST
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Old 26th Jul 2007, 10:39
  #45 (permalink)  
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"how can I gently remind him so it appears it was me that forgot?" Trouble with copilots these days is there is no finesse or gentle discretion anymore "

Rainboe, I'm a bit surprised at this post. I don't see it as my job to pretend for the captain's sake that he has not forgotten something. If I spot something which has been missed or something which I am not comfortable with, I air it straight away - in an open, polite, non-confrontational, co-operative manner. If I am wrong I thank the captain for clearing up the situation, if I am right it means I'm doing my job properly. The vast majority of captains I have operated with are mature enough to realise that questioning does not mean that I am doubting their judgement; they are also mature enough to not feel offended or embarassed when I point out something which they have forgotten.

Would your statement be more accurate as "Trouble with some captains these days is that they expect gentle discretion"?

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Old 28th Jul 2007, 09:40
  #46 (permalink)  
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"I don't see it as my job to pretend for the captains sake that he has not forgotten something"
In my opinion that statement exposes a lack of understanding of human factors and a definate lack of finesse. You don't have to pretend he hasn't forgotten, but if you give him a chance to realise and remedy his mistakes before pointing them out the whole flight deck environment will be better, communication will be better and therefor ethe flight will be safer.
you are part of a team made up of two or three people. People are funny machines , they have personalities that interact, there is no doubt that some interact with each other better than others in producing a safe and efficient flight deck with excellent communication and S.A.
Imagine if your FMS was like that, get on well with it and it does a great job, be rude to it and it only tells you the bare minimum of what you need to know.....told you we were funny machines.
So it might not be laid out in black and white that you are to do certain things but that doesn't mean you can't show a little 'finesse' in your effort to create a safer, more enjoyable flight. Who knows, people might look forward to seeing your name on their roster as well.
PS it makes no difference whether it's left or right seat either, the courtesy/ airmanship flows both ways.
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Old 28th Jul 2007, 10:30
  #47 (permalink)  
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I was refering directly to Rainboe's post (#24) which suggests that an FO should pretend to have made a mistake rather than highlight an error of the captain's. Don't worry, it was not my all-encompassing view of CRM, merely a rebuttle of someone else's post.
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Old 28th Jul 2007, 12:47
  #48 (permalink)  
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OK chaps, maybe use of the word 'technique' was incorrect. What I was trying to say was the long serving copilot learns to adapt to different 'styles' instead. Hopefully we have the 'techniques' sorted out- I did not mean the word in an operating standards type way at all. All pilots have different styles, and who's to say which is best. You should not read techniques with the meaning of non-standard operation.

The other post was a tongue in cheek reference on how he should be thinking how he can draw attention to an omission in a way that takes the blame on himself! I can't believe a little bit of humour is absent altogether from this thread, even though it contains expletive emitting Australians!

But frankly, we don't need a load of one sided stories about how stoic, heroic copilots took control away from a Captain about to kill them, any more than we need stories about copilots being prevented from killing a planeload of people! These stories rarely contain serious disaster scenarios in actuality, and the other side of the story may make some interesting reading. We all have temporary lapses- that is why there are at least 2. A temporary lapse (which every single pilot here has had) doesn't necessarily mean disaster was imminient. Sometimes, the observer can misjudge a situation just as much as the observed can be thought of to have made 'a mistake'. In reality, in 36 years professional flying, I've only had to once take control from a copilot who momentarily lost control at a difficult time. It's quite possible the same thing happened to me in my early days, I really don't recall- we're all there to learn and just try and do our best until pension time!
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 18:48
  #49 (permalink)  
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As a recently employed F/o on a jet I feel that there are definately attitudes towards the F/o's which exist in some company's and in others they do not. At my company, we are the last in the pecking order, and have zero respect.
I also feel very afraid to question a particular captain for fear of retributions.
The majority of captain's I fly with are superb operators and generally very nice chaps.
However, of late, we have had an influx of foreign direct entry captain's who are not the most popular and have an awful way of crm environment on the flightdeck.
It is as though we are not capable and stupid in the RHS.
Let me ask a question, if our ability to pilot that aircraft was in question, or our ability to follow company procedures at fault, should we really be there at all? - After all we got through sim, we got through circuits and through line trianing.
The sheer lack of involvement from some captains is shocking, we in particular, have a character who openly airs his relationship, in crew rooms and on the cabin whilst on duty, but then commands all manner of 'respect' when on the flight deck. - Just because he is has the position of captain.
Remember the captain has to be the leader and in order to have the respect from your colleagues, you need to act in an example setting manner, else don't be suprised if your not flavour of the month.
Just my little slant on things, sure many f/o's have had the same thoughts.

Last edited by wingbar; 30th Jul 2007 at 18:58.
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Old 30th Jul 2007, 19:06
  #50 (permalink)  
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Wingbar- I'd say don't be too quick to make a personal judgement on someone you may not like. He has shown he, too, has the ability, skill....and experience. You don't have to like him. But you do have to ensure you bend to provide him with effective support, no matter what your personal opinions are. That's the fact of it- you are going out for a multi sector day with him, whether you like it or him, or not. He has to provide an environment for effective work to proceed (and some people have peculiar styles!), and you have to ensure it happens. It's not a popularity contest- you don't have to like him, and he doesn't have to like you, but you do have to ensure between you that an effective work environment exists. That does not mean he has to kowtow to everything you say, and at times you will feel you have been humiliated, but it's your responsibility to ensure you get the job done despite that.

Can you believe at this stage it's actually good for you to fly with bastards, bores (and some here would say people like me!) and people you don't like? You have these years to develop a style of your own that produces the goods, even under unpleasant conditions. The end result is when you are in the lhs and you fly with an extremely unpleasant so and so in the rhs (yes, they do exist!), you will have the maturity to shrug it off and still get the job done, and not have the operation come apart. I would fear for you if you only flew with nice people (like prune moderators). Always remember there are many ways to skin a cat (should you want to), and surprisingly, you don't always know which ways are best (I find it better to boil them for a minute first, then the skinning is easier).
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Old 31st Jul 2007, 20:16
  #51 (permalink)  
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In the beginning was the Single Pilot, and he was called Captain. After a while Captains began to have accidents, like CFIT, and overruns, and forced landings when they got lost.
And so They invented the Co-pilot, to keep the Captain out of trouble, and help him on dark and scary nights. And Lo the accident rate has declined ever since.
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Old 2nd Aug 2007, 13:20
  #52 (permalink)  
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No thank you. Your job (especially at the ripe age of 21) is to sit there, shut up, adapt to different techniques, and start learning the job, and not criticise the people who have to work with you, worthless that you are. You will meet many different types of people, all of whom have shown they are fit to command an airliner. A few hundred hours do not make you an ace. You have no basis yet on which to make judgements of people, so temper your derision and criticism until you know more!
FO's job is to sit there and shut up, what sort of captain says that?
The last time I checked, airline operations were 2 crew (minimum), You should be setting a cockpit atmosphere that asserts your authority and encourages team input, not discourages it. Your first reply implies that you have a very negative attitude for low time FO's. Sure, they have a lot to learn and a long way to go before they too become ready for command, but you need to remember that you were once in that seat too, and im sure that you would not appreciate a captain thinking that you are just there to sit down and shut up.

Last edited by command; 3rd Aug 2007 at 00:11.
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Old 2nd Aug 2007, 15:35
  #53 (permalink)  
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Command, that is the best post yet sir!
Finally someone who realises what an MCC environment is about, we aren't in the 70's anymore!

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Old 2nd Aug 2007, 15:48
  #54 (permalink)  
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When one was a buck first officer, some years ago, one used to carry a little notebook in which one wrote down all the little peccadilloes of each captain. This made crew resource management much easier from the right hand seat.
As a captain one used to give each first officer with whom one flew, on the first flight ever, a brief on how things should really be done and what was the approved method of operation for this captain in his cockpit to which the first officer had been invited, as an unwanted adjunct to flight operation, by the company.
Now it is much easier just to hand out a couple of roneod sheets of paper with personal SOPs listed thereon. That way there is absolutely no ambiguity at all and no basis for argument with the dictum that today's squeaky newbie flight appendix should never be allowed to touch anything below ten thousand feet.
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Old 2nd Aug 2007, 18:35
  #55 (permalink)  
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Cavorting Cheetah said:
couple of roneod sheets of paper
Now there is a word I haven't heard used by anyone in about 30 years (and then it was by a 40 year old)

Add the two together I would presume that you are approaching your 2nd or 3rd retirement date - maybe that explains somethings .....
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Old 3rd Aug 2007, 22:36
  #56 (permalink)  
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My modern (Now acient)days

I thought the days of the MASTER and SERVANT where long since gone. Don't know which outfits you guys are flying in but I honestly feel sorry for everyone which has to quote like that.
A few really bad examples aside, I learned to fly in a 2 crew (not the hat thing) enviroment and I have to say that my first officers always where and are the bst of all life insurances!!!
Arrogance kills the the pilot
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Old 4th Aug 2007, 05:28
  #57 (permalink)  
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I wouldn't take it too seriously 16down2togo. A lot of what has been posted here is tongue in cheek and just as much has been posted with the deliberate intention of 'winding up' those FOs who are naturally stroppy, it only takes a couple of sentences or well known phrases and the obvious few bite every time!
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Old 4th Aug 2007, 06:48
  #58 (permalink)  
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What an extraordinary set of posts! Go away for a couple of days and out this stuff comes from the woodwork!
My response to:
Cause to be fair, we're not the only people who do daft things.
No thank you. Your job (especially at the ripe age of 21) is to sit there, shut up, adapt to different techniques, and start learning the job, and not criticise the people who have to work with you....
because sometimes, I am convinced this CRM training has gone too far, and people are coming out of school clutching their CPLs and 250 hours or whatever, and they've been told that whatever they don't like, they must stop, whether they have any basis to make a judgement or not. Well believe it or not, they know zip all, so sometimes it's better to shut up and see the operation and learn! They think 2 pilots are a partnership- they're not, no matter how 'clever' or 'highly experienced' they think they are at 21. I've flown with quite a few new ones, and there's sometimes an arrogance there that 'I've made it, I've got the uniform, and now I'm here, so listen to what I have to say ('cos that's CRM!)'. It actually takes quite a while before they become a positive asset on the FD. So I really don't like to listen to those comments mocking the lhs, because it is making them lose respect for the boss, and when that happens you have a bad and unsafe operation.

We've had
Respect is to be earned
! Stuff and nonsense! You respect the Captain who has shown he has the ability to do the job long before you were even flying (or born)! I don't see many Naval Captains having 'to earn respect'. If you don't 'respect him', your Naval career goes up in smoke. Where did you guys get these ideas? It's that damn CRM again! Thank God the navy hasn't gone down this road! You 'respect' the position until you show you are up to the standard to 'earn' your own respect boys! And have the experience (and maturity) to make a judgement. And here's the difficult bit (obviously for some of you judging by your attitude), even if you don't have 'respect' for him, you bloody well hide it and make sure you are the best copilot there is, or the work relationship breaks down and people may well die. So keep your derision/disrespect/animosity so totally well hidden it's not true, because you let that out, or he catches wind of it, and you have destroyed a working relationship and spoiled the operation.

That's why I don't like threads like this, from either angle. That, and the other reason is one has the feeling that one is really talking to a flight simmer who thinks he knows it all. There are too many pretenders here these days who like wasting time.

Atishoo- what are you doing here? You are a shivering, tantrummy wimp of a nervous flyer! You have no 'respect', even as a passenger fer goodness sake. Show you have some backbone before you interject where you are positively not wanted (and have so totally no business).
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Old 4th Aug 2007, 07:14
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
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If a captain regulary pulled up on stand and without an APU/GPU shut both engines down, thus plunging the aircraft into relative darkness how would this sit with most people? Are there any legalities(health and safety) that would affect such a procedure?

Any replies appreciated.

Regards Tonker
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Old 4th Aug 2007, 08:46
  #60 (permalink)  
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Woaahhh there Rainboe! I completely agree with your comments on Newbie f/o's but no one here is mocking the LHS as far as I can tell!

As you say, Captains rightfully deserve respect for the position they are in but they can sure as hell throw that away in a heartbeat with one flippant or derogatory comment to the f/o or any other member of crew for that matter, and although you think that "Damb CRM" is a load of bollocks, it has been proven that "Damb CRM" has raised safety levels to an unprecedented level since it was introduced!

You may think that "this CRM training has gone too far" but all it has done is to increase safety levels. Massive cross cockpit gradients have been reduced and flying has got safer!

Arrogance on either side of the cockpit must be eliminated, especially in those new f/o's with 250 hours climbing onto a shiny jet (dont even get me started on how wrong I think that is), but that doesnt mean your F/O has to hide his dislike from you. He/She shouldnt have to!! If you are arrogant and hard to work with, you are comprimising CRM and ultimately the safety of the flight and you should expect to be put in your place!

At the moment, I think your integrity as a Captain is treading on thin ice mate.
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