nitepilot79 From Turkey, joined May 2008, 269 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2935 times:
I realize that this is probably a silly question, but do pilots (on average) have better car driving skills than non-pilots? Aircraft to car is one HELL of a step down in terms of skills required for operation, so does it stand to reason that pilots, on average, are better drivers? It would be interesting to conduct a study.
Rara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2731 times:
I've driven with pilots a lot, and I can't say I've noticed any correlation.
Though there are some peculiarities. Usually they have a pretty good sense of direction, in particular with the cardinal directions. They seem to have a penchant for car manuals. Also they communicate more than other drivers, stating their intentions and requesting feedback.
Once I got in the car with a friend of mine who's a pilot. He started driving, on an empty town road. Suddenly he hit the brakes, with no obstacle to be seen. To my inquiring look, he simply said "brake check".
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3006 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2697 times:
Every work day for many a year I spent time driving down the same road that ended at the FAA center in OKC.
Each day I would arrive at work wondering about the abilities of many a driver that was headed to the center. Since the FAA seems to do a pretty good job then I would say no correlation as far as traffic control is concerned.
tugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5506 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2693 times:
The only thing I can reference is the fact that my pilot friend is very careful regarding anything that can affect his career. So driving after drinking is something he is very careful about (as in make sure a driver is available if needed or don't drink, etc.). I don't know what else driving-wise can affect a pilots license and career but I saw in another thread a comment that certain speeding tickets might also be an issue.
So I don't think necessarily they are "better" drivers but I do think they can have more on the line per se and so may be more aware of that and more careful in some aspects of driving.
[Edited 2013-09-04 17:14:34]
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type-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4984 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2657 times:
I think in some people the sheer precision required for flying crosses over to driving. After you have flown a plane over 300knts somehow driving a auto seems insignificant. But as we say in the aviation field, safety first! I haven't had any tickets since 1983 and the one before that was in 1972.
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AzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 756 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2534 times:
I had a buddy in the Air Force who was a C-141 pilot, and a very safe driver. He always did one thing that amused me when driving his car...he had a Camaro with automatic on the floor, with gears D, 2, and 1. As we'd be approaching a stop sign or red traffic light, he would yell "FLAPS!" and drop into 2nd...then as we neared a stop he'd yell "Spoilers!" and drop into 1st and come to a stop. He always described his driving as "flying" his car!
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6088 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2374 times:
Quoting offloaded (Reply 11): I had a pilot as a neighbour a while. He had a tennis ball on a string hung from the ceiling in his garage which he used to line up and use to park.
When I was a kid my neighbor was at pilot at Hughes Air West (he eventually retired from NW) and he had the same thing. I used to a have a 72 Cadillac and it just barely fit in my garage so I used his old tennis ball thing. When the ball got to the center of the windshield I would stop the car. It worked like a charm.
Aesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6601 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2363 times:
What is the European car being compared ?
I'd say the most important thing for good driving is being aware of what's going on around you, something a lot of people are very bad at, and also necessary while flying, so pilots should be better at this.
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jetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2784 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2335 times:
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Quoting evomutant (Reply 3): The standard of parking on display from my colleagues at work would suggest otherwise...
Completely agree. Parking at the airport by my school's flight operations is a joke. You'd think all those commercial pilots could park!
Quoting tugger (Reply 6): The only thing I can reference is the fact that my pilot friend is very careful regarding anything that can affect his career.
I find that to be common with all of my pilot friends. One sip of beer and they are having someone else drive home. Is it extreme? Yeah probably. But it's better than getting in trouble with the law.
Quoting AzoresLover (Reply 8): As we'd be approaching a stop sign or red traffic light, he would yell "FLAPS!" and drop into 2nd...then as we neared a stop he'd yell "Spoilers!" and drop into 1st and come to a stop.
I may have to steal that!
Quoting a321luke (Reply 9): Also, do pilots tend to drive faster than non-pilots?
From my experience they tend to drive just a tad faster. Which surprises me when you have airspeeds you are supposed to hit. There is a stretch of highway from the airport to the University by my school. Cops sit there all the time. You'd be shocked at how many pilots they grab on the way back to campus. Whenever my CFI and I would come back to the airport from the east he would look for cops sitting catching speeders so he wouldn't get a ticket on the way home!
I don't think there is a direct correlation. I know pilots I'm terrified to get into a vehicle with. But on the other side I know some who are the safest drivers on the road. I think it does help you're driving because you are wired to scan more and be alert of your surroundings. I have a couple habits I've taken over from flying. When I got my drivers license I had 35 hours in an airplane. I used two feet when driving, one for the brake and one for the throttle. The driving examiner didn't like that. I also tend to have one hand on the steering wheel and one on the gear shift the whole time even though I drive an automatic. It's just a habit.
You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
stratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (11 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2263 times:
A friend of my dads was the # 3 pilot in seniority at Trans Caribbean and was merged into American Airlines and he retired I think in 1985 my dad said he was the worst driver and could not even drive a stick shift.
klmd11l From New Zealand, joined Dec 2007, 123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2149 times:
Judging by the way they keep the nose gear exactly on the yellow line while taxiing, I'd say they're better than average drivers.
Quoting type-rated (Reply 6): I think in some people the sheer precision required for flying crosses over to driving. After you have flown a plane over 300knts somehow driving a auto seems insignificant.
B777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1331 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2055 times:
Quoting klmd11l (Reply 18): Judging by the way they keep the nose gear exactly on the yellow line while taxiing, I'd say they're better than average drivers.
Except, we don't. Keeping the nose-wheel right on the centre-line will mean you get a rather uncomfortable ride from driving over all the imbedded lights. Captains tend to taxi slightly to the left of centre, Effo's slightly to the right.
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bristolflyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1979 times:
Quoting type-rated (Reply 6): After you have flown a plane over 300knts somehow driving a auto seems insignificant.
Therein lies the problem...if you're all psyched up to fly the plane, you finish the flight then get in your car then you probably aren't concentrating as much as you could. There's some statistic that says something like 80% of car crashes happen very close to home - people start to relax and take things for granted when they're nearing home.
So my conjecture is that whilst pilots are probably better drivers due to their inherent abilities I would say they're probably more accident prone because they're often so exhausted (physically and mentally) from flying.
neutrino From Singapore, joined May 2012, 606 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1974 times:
Based on the totally irrelevant empirical evidence of a single example, no!
A colleague from my airforce days of long ago who went on to become a QFI (qualified flying instructor) took his driving test seven times over an almost 3 year period and flunked them all. (Most us non-pilots averaged 2.5 times within six months to get a licence) He finally gave up and only rode a bike.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39852 posts, RR: 74
Reply 24, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1916 times:
Quoting neutrino (Reply 23): A colleague from my airforce days of long ago who went on to become a QFI (qualified flying instructor) took his driving test seven times over an almost 3 year period and flunked them all.
Written or driving? I remember my written test and too many of the questions dealt with blood alcohol levels. He probably could have been a great driver, just that he probably breaks the rules a bit.
Those test do not tell the whole story.
Here is an example of a great driver but would probably fail a proper driver's test.
Although he isn't a pilot and do not condone what this man did, I must say this is incredible that he pulled this off without killing anyone.