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Talking To Pilots....  
User currently offlineFlyB6 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8211 times:

This is not bashing pilots but has anyone here come across a pilot that does not want to talk to you? I really do understand them I mean would you like to talk about planes after flying all day long? Thats the last thing you wan to talk to about.

Today at MCO on my way to ORF i was talking to a pilot from United express very very very friendly person talked to me about everything I asked him awesome guy. Unlike the continental pilot i was alking to just blew me off.

I just want to hear about good or bad experiences with pilots and in no way do i wanna hear bashing cause no matter wha they are awesome. They do get us to where we have to go. How would you like to hear about your job after a very very very long day,

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7233 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8168 times:

Never had a bad experience with an NZ based pilot yet.

User currently offlineSafetyDemo From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8171 times:

I have to talk to them all the time, and believe you me, there are some you wish wouldn't talk  Wink

All joking aside, in an airline uniform, you're an easy target for all kinds of conversations and questions and opinions. Some days, you're deadhead from Point A to Point B might be the only peace and quite you get, not to mention the only time you get to catch up on the sleep you missed when weather wreaked havoc on your four-day trip and you had one (or maybe more) minimum rest overnights in the last four days. The last thing you want to do is talk to anybody, regardless of who they might be.


Please direct your attention to the flight attendants in the cabin...
User currently offlineWingnutMN From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 8106 times:

As a pilot, I don't mind the conversations most of the time, but i do get tired of everyones comments/attempts to be funny, but end of saying the dumbest things. Do you say stupid comments/ bad one liners to your doctor everytime you see them? That's my only complaint. I got into this business because a NW pilot talked to me and let me look into the cockpit of a 727 back in 1987 going to florida.

I especially like the kids who come in and say hi on boarding and deplaneing


Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
User currently offlineMSNfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8041 times:

Most of the time, I go up to the cockpit to say hi, or snap a picture, and the pilots are always willing to chat or answer questions. Some are obviously less talkative from others, but all but one of them I can remember have been friendly. I had a particularly nice and interesting FL captain who told me about his days at Eastern flying the 727, DC9, A300 and L1011 (the L1011 was his favorite by the way). I also had a NW pilot who took me out to the jetway, to chat and wait until the passengers cleared out, and then took me back to the cockpit to see it even taking my picture in the captain's seat (when I was a little younger). I did have one who did not seem interested at all, and when I asked to take a picture, simply stood behind me and watched, and then just walked away. Maybe he had another flight to get to or was done for the day or something. Looking back, I felt kind of bad for even asking, but hey, he let me take the pictures...To be honest, I am actually surprised how nice pilots have been considering all of the things they are busy with. Especially on my recent NW DC9 trip/TR, as crews were especially interested in talking about the DC9s and the DL merger, and allowing pictures.

Dentistry: Because everyone smiles in the same language!
User currently offlineWESTERN737800 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 695 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8042 times:

I did some part-time flying for a small company (I'm out of medical now). After work we'd have cookouts at co-workers' houses. We kinda made a rule during the cookouts to not talk about flying because we were around it all day. Now when I'm with friends who aren't around aviation and they have questions I am more than happy to answer their questions. I have a couple friends who wanted to get into flying and I gave them my old books and tried to help them as much as I could. I can identfy with both groups of pilots who do and dont want to talk about it. I have many days where I get up at 3:30 am and some days where I dont get home til 3 am. Luckily I didn't have to do many overnights with the flying that I did. I dont know how the airline pilots can live out of a suitcase. Being away from family can up the stress level pretty quick. From my experiences the pilots who may seem to be in a bad mood are usually the ones who have flown all day and are trying to get to the hotel to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep and do it all over again. Usually the same pilot who blew you off one day would be nice and friendly the next. Almost everyone in every profession is gonna have a bad day once in a while. The vast majority of pilots are some of the most polite and nicest people out there.

Bring back Western Airlines!
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3176 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7896 times:

I'm usually more than happy to talk to a passenger. Sometimes though, you just want to be left alone or you're simply too busy to talk. It can be hard to get everything done in the 30 minutes you're on the ground.

User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7874 times:

Quoting FlyB6 (Thread starter):
Unlike the continental pilot i was alking to just blew me off.

You just gotta be careful of when and where you're talking to them. NEVER interrupt a pilot that's preflighting a plane, making a run for a gate, etc...

User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3831 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7843 times:

Unlike many of you I'm not big into cockpit visits and chatting to flight crew between flights, or at the airport. I'm never sure if they are too tired, too busy, or are in a rush to turn the aircraft for their next leg. However, the one time I did get to visit the cockpit post flight was exceptionally memorable. A friend of the family who works in rostering for BA was able to arrange for Captain Mike Bannister (chief BA Concorde pilot, or words to that effect) to be on my one supersonic flight. I didn't even know it had been arranged until we were taxiing in at JFK and I was paged and asked to remain in my seat. After a couple of other brief cockpit visits had happened I was given the grand tour and Captain Bannister and the remaining cerw felt like they would have spent all day with me there if I wanted. They were expecting me and treated me like a long lost relative! After 10mins or so of chatting about flying, the beginnings of his career (at the time I was looking to go into aviation too) I called it a day. What a class act!

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"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7717 times:

Although I'm a lowly regional pilot, I'm always more than happy to entertain questions and chat with passengers. As someone else stated, I usually don't appreciate stupid or facetious remarks that are ultimately demeaning or condescending, but I will always welcome honest questions and a friendly personality. I encourage all to visit the cockpit and ask questions - especially those afraid of flying!

User currently offlineAcey559 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1629 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7682 times:

I'm an even lowlier Commercial pilot in college working towards that regional job, but I love talking to people about flying. For me, it's like giving something back to the people that were in my shoes only a couple of years ago. I always try to take advantage of preview days to talk to prospective students about what to expect and what flying is all about. I've waited so long to get to this point in my life that I enjoy sharing my experiences with those going through it right now. It may wear off in time, or it may not, but knowing that I was in the same place not long ago really pushes me to help those people as much as I can to share my love of flying.

User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9320 posts, RR: 69
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7661 times:

Hi guys,

I am always up for a chat. I answer questions, talk to the people, explain them something - if time permits of course. I've had children on the flight deck (on ground only) and I always liked it, seeing the kids with her big eyes, being impressed of all those buttons and levers  Wink
Even after a long working day and even if I am tired. I am not at home on my couch relaxing, so I am still on duty somehow and that's why I am polite, helpful as good as I can, that is part of my job (in my opinion).
Nowdays I don't have chats too often with people anymore. No passengers  Wink But on my flights home from work (I am commuting) I still have my uniform on and I've been asked a lot of questions and I take my time and talk to them.

WILCO737 (MD11F)

User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1815 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7651 times:

Personally, I don't care to talk to pilots, especially post 9-11. Innocently talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time and your butt is in Federal prison on terror charges. I prefer to just get through security, get to my seat and at my destination collect my luggage and go home. The glamour and hay-days of flying are officially over. I think we as passengers should just treat flying like taking a metro bus.

"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6371 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7646 times:

A little Paranoid 'fbguy' !

Pilots are people with good and bad days, there are times I am happy to talk to people but when I am deadheading I put on civilian clothes to avoid conversation and have some peace and quiet..

The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineBartonsayswhat From Canada, joined Oct 2007, 445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7644 times:

I had very negative chat with a pilot last week. He seemed very bitter, impatient, and even used explicitives. If it wasn't for the fact that I had just shown him the big puddle of skydrol under his A319, i would have thought he was somekind of jerk.

User currently offlineFlyB6 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7397 times:

I am not a pilot myself but i can just imagine what goes on during there day. You have delays and rude passengers the last thing you want to do is talk about flying when you ahve done it all day long. The pilot I was talking to loves to take pictures and has flown with alot of a.netters and want to posts pictures online. So i was telling him how great this site is for that. His name is Max and flys 170s for UA express. We talked about FSX and how close the instrument flying is to real flying which was always my question but i get real shy to ask lol. He says he likes to keep is camera on him to cath a UFO which i thought was funny but how many pilots out there keep a camera for that?

User currently offlineSLUAviator From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 357 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7290 times:

I fly with a camera in my flight bag all the time. You never know when you will find something picture worthy. Like me in my little RJ flying above an AA 777 over Oregon.

As far as passengers go, if you want to come up and say hi when you board I encourage you to do so and ask questions. I am happy to answer them. Usually the F/A will have an idea if its ok to visit so please check with them first. With that said they don't always know if it is a good time so the one thing I ask is use some discretion. If it looks like we are busy there is a good chance we are. We could be running checklists or doing our brief or getting ourselves set up for the flight and may not have time to chat before we leave. If we are busy before we push, feel free to stop by before you get off. We usually have a few minutes to kill before we begin boarding. If we get off when you get off feel free to talk on the way out.

I for one appreciate the occasional cheesy one-liner. Before you deliver your best remember that we have probably heard yours before and please forgive us if we don't laugh at your comedic genius. HA HA!

The one thing I am wary about is passengers who come up and try to get us to say something stupid and then try to sell it to the media. For the most part, people trying to pull those stunts are pretty obvious. While I am doubtful people contributing to this site are that type of person, but if you are please refrain from trying. It makes everyone's lives frustrating.

What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
User currently offlineThePinnacleKid From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 748 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7202 times:

Quoting SLUAviator (Reply 16):
We could be running checklists or doing our brief or getting ourselves set up for the flight and may not have time to chat before we leave. If we are busy before we push, feel free to stop by before you get off. We usually have a few minutes to kill before we begin boarding. If we get off when you get off feel free to talk on the way out.

Well said man... to add to that.. if the F/A thinks it's okay and you come up.. DO NOT just start talking!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen first and if their is a Checklist in progress being run OR you hear a Departure Briefing going on (you will hear us talking about runway, taxi plan, departure, emergency brief, etc...) DO NOT INTERRUPT! I don't mean to be rude by this but these are two times when we absolutely hate being stopped mid-flow. Gate Agents have all too nasty a habit of interrupting as well!!! What most don't understand is that an interruption of a checklist most often results in the need to run the entire checklist again in its entirety. Trust me, most the time we are aware you are there and we're not trying to be rude, we simply going to finish the checklist, and then will be more than happy to chat with you!

"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
User currently offlineAirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1513 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6956 times:

I used to live with my father before his retirement from Air Canada. He retired on B767-300ER and got promoted to Captain before his retirement. He flew B747-400, L1011s, B727-233, DC9s and DC-8s My Dad flew mostly B767s 200 and 300 series. I always have the chance to sit in the flight deck for take offs and landings when my dad takes my sister and I on a short trip to LAX, or BGI or POS and ZRH. To be honest I rarely ask him any questions although I love aviation I just normally read from magazines and internets.

User currently offlineAirbuster From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6651 times:

you're always welcoming to come and chat with me in the cockpit before or after the flight or at the airport , at the end i too was the young aviation buff that had airline pilot dreams, i know how nice it is, been there, it is no sweat at all......and i think most pilots that love flying and have time don't mind.

User currently offlineTurboPropDrvr From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6516 times:

I enjoy people talking to me before or after a flight, though I find most people ignore me. The only time I might want to be left alone is when I'm deadheading, so I can take a little nap or something, but I find that is most often when people become very open and want to chat. I always try to answer any questions and be friendly and nice because if I am a jerk I might give people a bad impression of the airline and I don't want that.

Most comments I get are, "nice flight" or "good job" (I like those) but I'll also overhear the occasional, "he's so young" (I'm 22) or "I'm flying on THAT?" (1900D). I don't always like those so much.

First post btw

User currently offlineJcf5002 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6425 times:

I think there are two types of pilots out there: Those who feel flying is just a job, and those who fly because its what they love. The majority of pilots you'll meet are the latter. I can count the number on maybe one hand who told me that aviation wasn't a career field I should get into, and that its miserable. I look at them and think how selfish they are. Here I am, paying for my certificates and ratings myself, struggling for each additional hour in my logbook, and all they can say is: "you're better off sticking with what you studied in college (economics)."

On the other hand, I have met hundreds, if not thousands of pilots, who've inspired me to this day. Its those guys who I model myself after. Most of the guys (and gals) who sit up in the pointy end are very friendly, and realize they have the best job (and office) in the world. My flight instructor, who is a retired AA 757/767 Captain with over 14,000 hours as well as a Master CFI, took me on as a student under one condition: If I were to learn from him, I promised to pass along my tidbits of knowledge and enthusiasm (which I have plenty to spare!) down to the next generation of pilots.

The only two people impressed by a pilot are little kids and other pilots (which I guess are one and the same), but I plan on doing my best to inspire each and one of those little kids.

-Cheers, Jeff

Its always a sunny day above the clouds || CSEL, CMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI
User currently offlineAirJamaica From Jamaica, joined Aug 2006, 2670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6297 times:

At the end of the day I guess it all depends on the situation. Naturally if the Captain/FO are busy with their pre-flight check-list I can understand they not having the time to hold a conversation. Also if they are dead-heading with back to back schedules they just would like a bit of "my time" like everyone does at times. The only time I had a decent conversation with pilots in flight was on my way from JFK to MBJ/KIN on an JM A310 in 1998. Prior to leaving Havana airspace I asked the FA to check with them if it was OK for me to pay a visit upfront. ( I was in ATC at the time ). I waited for about 10 mins then they informed the FA to escort me. Sat in there all the way to MBJ and we had a good conversation ( prior to touchdown - landing phase is crucial which I was already aware of ) Thanked them for accommodating me and deplaned. Nowadays I just greet them when I am boarding and deplaning.

User currently offlineFlyin5glow From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

I used to work as a shuttle driver for a hotel close to the airport, here in Seattle. As a driver I was often driving pilots and F/A's to the airport. Most of the time the crew were friendly and were willing to talk, but there was always the one who, was just not happy to work as a pilot, this would think of aviation as just a way to make money. Which I think is sad, because I think flying is like no other job.


Go Huskies
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2881 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5587 times:

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 11):

Hey Phil - what if the plane you are on- and the people ask you questions is an airbus?  cheeky 

I love cockpit visits, since I do have crew logs, the pilots always fill them out and they always seem to give me the time of day so to speak. I also say to them too " I know you guys are busy up here right now but do you mind if I come back in (insert destination here)" and I believe that they respect that, heck last time when I did this I sat in the Capt's seat and when the Capt came in I offered to get up and he insisted I sit down, he said I looked better in his seat then he did!!  Cool

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
25 Flyboyseven : I was on a United flight YVR-SFO, but before we left it was cancelled due to a flat tire. There were no spares in YVR for a 737 so they had to bring a
26 Danfearn77 : Well said. Before you guys became pilots you were itching to get into that cockpit for a look and to ask questions, i was always the same when i was
27 YZFOO7F : The airline I used to work for encountered many delays with all sorts of upset passengers. Normally this was to be dealt with by myself and possibly o
28 Airplanenut : A few months before I started flight training, I spoke with an FL pilot at the gate as we were awaiting our plane. He was more than happy to give me h
29 Aviateur : If it makes you feel better, and for what it's worth, I have spent the past several years communicating with the general public -- airplane buffs and
30 Post contains images MD88Captain : Every day and every situation is a little different. Most of the time I am happy to make small talk with interested passenegers even though all the qu
31 Brettdespain : I always figure that anytime I'm in my airline uniform, I'm representing me and my company. I have never been rude to a passenger or fellow crew membe
32 AAH732UAL : I have usually not had any problems myself. Though my mom usually starts the chatting for me after briefing. So I got that working for me BUT I also k
33 Jessb : HI, This is my first post. To be honest, I would never have thought to bother pilots, but I guess I'm shy. I've always wanted to be a pilot and many y
34 SQ325 : There is not much to add to what my colleagues said. When on duty or still in Uniform I always try to be as nice as I can be. But sometimes after a 4a
35 GST : I've not ever been on an airliner cockpit since 1998 when as a kid i got to go up front on a 767 half way over the atlantic. I guess I just assumed th
36 MadameConcorde : Mike is a dear friend, a true gentleman and a great captain. He deserved his great career, so many years of experience on Concorde. I hope he will be
37 Tjwgrr : One very memorable cockpit visit I had. NW A320 in DTW. I poked my head in the cockpit door, and the captain invited me to sit in the FO's seat while
38 DeltaGuy : Gotta love the classic questions- "my brother's uncle's second cousin is a pilot, he flys these big things, do you know XXXXX?" Try setting up your pl
39 NWAJettjockie : I always try to be friendly to the customer, even if I am busy, because they put food on the table.
40 NWAJettjockie : My wife's Grandmother always flew Delta because she lived in Mississippi. She told my wife, who was a F/A, that she asked those "Delter" Stewardess i
41 HAWK21M : One can never generalise...There are Good & Bad apples everywhere.Including Pilots.Every Individual thinks differently. regds MEL
42 FlyB6 : That is true HAWK21M thanks to everyone for sharing your stories and personal experiences.
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