99

The stress comes from everything about the job that isn't actually flying the plane. Dealing with crew scheduling is the #1 cause of stress. If your phone rings with that special ringtone you assigned to them, you know nothing good is going to come of it. These calls often end with reassignments, changed overnights, different crew members and sometimes ...


56

My experience, speaking as a pilot who had to retire in 1999 from a small 747 carrier when the US age 60 rule was in effect, was that NONE of us close to retirement wanted to retire. More often than not, the attitude was, "It's hard to believe they actually pay us for this." We didn't want to quit; we were at the top of our game; the world was our playground....


53

In the US, a controller has the authority to treat any situation as an emergency, and they do. I have had controllers "declare" an emergency multiple times, even when I thought I did not have an emergency. There are some advantages to the controller. His work gets shed to others, and his supervisor is at his side to assist. At one point, after ice, ...


42

The cockpit of some airliners lacks a lavatory. Cockpit layout from AviationKnowledge.wikidot This is discussed in Skybrary: Flight Deck Security Locked Door Flight Safety Issues ... Physiological Need. Naturally, the need for flight crew to use toilets, access designated crew rest facilities or be supplied with food and drink, requires access ...


42

The amount, types, duration, and severity of pilot stressors vary widely. The individual airline, union involvement, scheduled versus non-scheduled, international or domestic, type of equipment, freight or passengers, everything has an effect. I look at pilot stress within the context of what I was doing the last 10 years of flying 747s on international ...


39

I don't know where he gets that. Regulation wise there's nothing stopping an airline pilot from listening to music as long as he/she can hear ambient sounds or communications and modern headsets make it easy to link an ipod to headphones that are also receiving the comms. Pilots are allowed to take naps in flight as long as they are awake within 45 min of ...


38

When I worked in the design department of an aircraft company, I had two types of coworkers: Those with and those without a pilot's license. You could easily spot the difference. In aircraft-related engineering decisions it was soon obvious. I mightily preferred to work with other pilots - they would have a much better grasp of "what looks about right" and ...


33

Flight hours are limited to 30 hours in 7 days, 100 hours in a month and 1000 in a year. Scheduling rules also say I need at least 1 day off a week, so 6 day trips are the max for me (121 US domestic scheduled). Let's look at a typical trip, which at my company tended to be a 4 day trip. You want good productive trips, but you can't always get them. On ...


33

Yes, Niki Lauda, former Formula 1 pilot and ATPL holder, founded Lauda Air, for which he also worked as PIC. Lauda returned to running his airline, Lauda Air, on his second Formula One retirement in 1985. During his time as airline manager, he was appointed consultant at Ferrari as part of an effort by Montezemolo to rejuvenate the team. After selling his ...


33

You are asking the wrong question. Ask yourself this: Do I really want to become a pilot? If the answer is yes, then you can become a pilot. You only require hard work, and a lot of money (but we are not talking about this). Having talent is subjective. Sometimes you try to learn something new and you get into that relatively quickly. Sometimes you don't. ...


32

I'm going to answer this in somewhat of a more general sense but first let's clear up a few things. During the night the runway is brightly lit and all the guiding lights are clearly visible, but the actual tarmac is more difficult to spot. This is not always the case. Maybe at large international airports the runway is quite well lit with lots of ...


29

Yes. For example, in the US (I don't know what procedures are used in Indonesia), controllers are instructed (see 10-1-1): If the words “Mayday” or “Pan-Pan” are not used and you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency. Because of the infinite ...


28

Well, a wristwatch can't be used to sneak around the requirement that IFR requires a clock mounted in the aircraft, FAR 91.205(d)(6). A missing or inoperative clock isn't likely in a modern airliner. As far as the FAA is concerned, a wristwatch is nothing more than jewelry. Ages ago, a wristwatch may have helped with calculating fuel burn and range, but ...


25

Do cargo pilots receive different training than airline pilots? First, cargo carriers are airlines just as passenger carriers are airlines, and cargo pilots are airline pilots. In the U.S. there is no difference in the training and certification of pilots dependent on whether they fly passengers or cargo. Also, be aware that airlines you generally think of ...


25

The pilot has 100% responsibility for how, where and when to fly/land. The movies make it seem like pilots are just mindless drones, under the control of ATC. In actual fact ATC are there as an aid to the pilot, helping stop big metal tubes from colliding with one another. This was borne out (to some extent) on US Airways 1549 where ATC were advising the ...


25

Capt left, 1st officer or copilot right. On older airlines with a flight engineer, he is behind and is called 2nd officer. It's the same as a ship. Capt is boss, 1st officer is second in command, 2nd officer if on board is 3rd in command. Capt always starts the engines and taxis the airplane since most airliners only have a steering tiller on the left, ...


24

The FAA provides the following reasons for which a pilot is allowed to leave their assigned duty station (i.e. their seat in the flight deck) in 14 CFR §121.543 Flight crewmembers at controls: (b) A required flight crewmember may leave the assigned duty station— (1) If the crewmember's absence is necessary for the performance of duties in connection ...


24

From what I know, airline transport pilots do not get large chunks of free time on a typical long-haul flight which you described. They may get small intervals of free time (e.g. 10-20 minutes), but for sure, not hours. They do need to constantly monitor if the airplane is flying on the correct course, on the assigned altitude, remaining fuel amounts and ...


23

Commercial pilots (in the United States) are usually not allowed to drink while on duty regardless of their flight status because, among other things, it would be frightening to any prospective passengers who might see them drinking. For example, American Airlines strictly forbids consuming alcohol or any intoxicant publicly while in uniform. Here is the ...


22

If a pilot is not rested enough to safely operate the aircraft, they should not fly. If a pilot is flying and falling asleep, they should switch out with another pilot or land. Current FAA regulations for domestic flights generally limit pilots to eight hours of flight time during a 24-hour period. For the Air Force, actual flight duty periods vary ...


20

It depends on the final product presented to the airline. If an airline had two candidates, one of whom soloed in 10 hours and did well in a Sim Eval but was self absorbed, didn't like to follow procedures if he/she knew better, and didn't work well with people, and a candidate who took 30 hours to solo but was a team player, can get along with anyone, was ...


20

While airliners don't have "model years" like cars do, they are certainly changed over time. There are major "generations" of some aircraft types, like the 737. The "original" (-100,-200) was replaced by the "Classic" (-300,-400,-500) which was replaced by the "Next Generation" (-600,-700,-800,-900) and most recently replaced by the "MAX" (-7,-8,-9,-10). ...


19

Honestly, every U.S. Air Force pilot I know, who wanted to retire to the airlines, got hired on with no problems. The ex-Air Force pilots I know have all gotten immediately put into the big planes: A380, 747, 767, 787, etc right from the start. This is because the airlines know that an ex-military pilot has had some of the best training and experience in ...


19

The first thing a pilot should do if they feel sleepy is Check the CO sensor. Drowsiness is the first sign of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Checking for CO poisoning only takes a second, and can be easily mitigated and remedied. NOTE: Apparently a Pulse Oximeter will not indicate a CO poisoning problem. Hopefully, it is not CO poisoning, and they just ...


19

Again, since there has been a sparsity of answers, I'll try to add to Simon's excellent answer and give a bit of a different perspective. My answer is dated in that it comes from flying 747-100 and -200 aircraft in the 1990s at the last airline I worked for. Given what I am sure is a wide variability of cockpit crew & cabin crew communication practices ...


19

Depth perception is always better in daylight. You can see the entire surface and surroundings, not just a little spotlit patch ahead of you, which fades to black, then with bright lights in your peripheral vision. Landing at night is a little bit like landing with tunnel vision.


18

Not many jobs where you can kill hundreds of people or lose your entire career by making a simple mistake. And your every move is being recorded. Add to it that you're doing nearly the same thing over and over, but can't miss any tiny detail.


18

The title of Captain designates that he(she) has final authority during the flight, and First Officer is assisting. Ultimately, a Captain may make critical decisions regarding the flight. In practice and ideally, the Captain and FO will work collaboratively, and there won't be a need to "pull rank". The terms Pilot and Co-Pilot are actually rarely used ...


16

Been waiting for an answer but none coming so - guesswork and experience, since no citations or direct knowledge. It's a mixture of both. Often, cockpit to cabin communication is one to one. Rather than use the cabin address, the crew will call a specific station for example, the rear galley. So if the captain wants a coffee, they will not use the cabin ...


16

At the top of the Primary Flight Display (PFD, the one with the artificial horizon in the center), there is a so-called Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) with several columns indicating currently active and armed modes of flight guidance: The first line shows active modes (in this case: SPEED, ALT, and HDG) in green color. The second line has additional ...


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