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How Do You Make Time Fly By On The Flt Deck?  
User currently offlineINNflight From Austria, joined Apr 2004, 3765 posts, RR: 60
Posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9863 times:

Very pleasant evening to all of you,

A question that kept me curious for quite a while now is how do you pilots spend all the time inflight? I of course know there is the ever occurring need of checking instruments and systems, maintaining contact with atc, etc etc etc, but I'm sure there are quite a lot of other things to make e.g. 12 hours go by?

I'm asking because I once joined a crew on a jumpseat flight and after a couple of hours into flight one of them was playing Madden on his Playstation Portable  Smile

Any favourites of yours?

Replies would be greatly appreciated, thanks
Florian


Jet Visuals
48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9859 times:

Quoting INNflight (Thread starter):
I'm asking because I once joined a crew on a jumpseat flight and after a couple of hours into flight one of them was playing Madden on his Playstation Portable

Laptops and portable DVD Players are often found up the front however a good friend of mine says there is nothing better than a good book...

But a 12hr flight is vastly reduced for pilots... they have 1hr 1.5hr for takeoff, getting established in the cruise... then dinner... there is a 3hr rest period (depending on sector and airline), then breakfast or lunch and another 1-1.5hrs before scheduled arrival you have preps for descent and approach/landing...

so your 12hr flight has 8hrs wasted and you're left with 4hrs to burn...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9841 times:

Personally I never could stand to read on the flight deck. I have done it - someone hands me a magazine and says "read this" and for a few minutes the DME winds down unnoticed.

Down low I have never been bored. No, that's not true. In 1276 hours in Vietnam probably four hundred or so were spent "loitering" over one small patch of real estate. Trust me when I say that any ten thousand acres of rice paddy looks pretty much like any other ten thousand. I've been reduced to reading the parachute log. (repack - due date/repack - due date/repack-due date) Most of my low level flying (below FL180 has been interesting enough that I can't say I ever really got bored.

Transcontinental or transoceanic on the back side of the clock - let me just say I admire those folks at FedEx. I couldn't have made a career of that.

I could not say what I did to stay interested. I do think I have a higher tolerance for boredom or for lack of stimulation than just about anyone I know including most of the pilots I flew with. I'm bored but I don't mind that I'm bored.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9741 times:

Knowing that I am never more than 6 months from a checkride tends to keep my note cards and manuals close at hand. Once we are in cruise, required paperwork is a good way to kill a little time, and get done faster after landing. Jeppesen revisions are another. Sometimes we will play the "what if" game. What if we lost both engines right now? What if we lost all electrical right now? Figuring out where we will eat on the next overnight helps too. Sometimes you are just bored. Similar to what Slam said, Nebraska at night looks a lot like Texas at night, which looks a lot Iowa at night. Sometimes we do get the Northern lights to watch, and there have been a lot of meteors lately.


Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16994 posts, RR: 67
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9737 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 2):
I could not say what I did to stay interested. I do think I have a higher tolerance for boredom or for lack of stimulation than just about anyone I know including most of the pilots I flew with. I'm bored but I don't mind that I'm bored.

I'm the complete opposite. Total ADD. I will bring a book in case I have to stand in line more than 5 minutes.

My wife, on the other hand, used to swim 6 hours a day, 6 days a week (with a meet on day #7). So she had to learn "boredom management" while doing laps. She has told me she either did coursework review (such as French verb conjugations) or just zoned out.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineFlametech21 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9691 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 4):
I'm the complete opposite. Total ADD. I will bring a book in case I have to stand in line more than 5 minutes.

You sound just like me. I'd rather get punched in the face than endure more than five minutes of boredom.  banghead 

I have found that it is never a good idea to do anything aviation related to keep you busy on the flight deck. It is too easy to get mixed up between what you're reading and what is going on in the flight deck. That is just aviation overkill!

My solution: Laptop. I take it on every trip. I write software as a hobby, and the gentle hum of turbofans at 35,000 ft makes for an ideal coding environment.

I guess if you get too bored you could always play the "guess that circuit breaker" game, where one pilot pulls a random CB and the other has to guess which one it is from the 20 EICAS warnings that just popped up...  rotfl 



They build them to a higher standard at Long Beach!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9675 times:

Quoting Flametech21 (Reply 5):
My solution: Laptop. I take it on every trip. I write software as a hobby, and the gentle hum of turbofans at 35,000 ft makes for an ideal coding environment.

I know of a guy in my line of work (independent Crestron/automation programming) who is a commercial long-haul pilot by day (I want to say Japan Airlines, but I could be way off). From what I understand about the guy, he programs in the air and then makes the site visit to load the code either during the layover or non-revs to the site.

It doesn't sound like a half-bad way of doing things to me....Then again, there are days when I'm glad that I'm sleeping in my own bed.

As a passenger, I often solve some of my toughest problems in seat 14F. I have ADD, and there's something about being locked in a metal tube for 5 hours with nothing but you and your laptop that helps you focus and solve the problem. You can't watch TV, you can't go out and walk around, you can't surf the web...

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9671 times:

Well, I do most of my flying in Cessnas so outside of the big cities there really isnt alot of radio communication to handle, unless I decide for one reason or another to get flight following, and not alot of instruments to check, and double check.

If the plane has no autopilot keeping a hand of the wheel at least keeps me partially busy.

Tune the ADF to sports radio

Keep climbing to set a new personal altitude record(or find better winds)....on a recent flight I wrote about in trip reports I was near 13000 ft in a 172.

Talk on 123.45 if anyone is out there

Talk to ATC (flight following center) if it is a slow day

Hook up the MP3 adapter to the headset and listen to music

Watch the terrain, Oklahoma is very flat so seeing any kind of mountains around Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee is nice. Kansas corn fields are boring.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 9612 times:

Compose a few Emails for later Transmission.
Do some pending work.
Watch a Movie.
Chat with the Crew.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineOnetogo From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 9608 times:

This is a bit off topic, but I've always wondered how professional pilots keep their logbook times. Is there a Hobbs meter on large transport category jets? Do pilots keep their own logbooks, or is there some sort of automated system? How about determining night/actual/approach, etc. It seems to me that after landing the crew is off and running so fast to their next flight that they wouldnt even have time to update their logbook. Thanks in advance.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 9605 times:

Quoting Onetogo (Reply 9):
It seems to me that after landing the crew is off and running so fast to their next flight that they wouldnt even have time to update their logbook

Out here.Its the old fashion Book.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9537 times:

I get bored on the long trips and generally prefer a book or good conversation. Talking seems to make the time fly fastest since reading at 0' dark thirty just tends to put me to sleep. I mix it up between light and serious books and that helps. Sometimes co. stuff just to stay up on things. I don't carry a laptop since the co. is supposed to issue them in the spring. But really most of the time anything between the first and last hour is boring. As someone said the northern lights are good entertainment and if some of you guys haven't tried photographing them that is fun and can take some time.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16994 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9500 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 6):
As a passenger, I often solve some of my toughest problems in seat 14F. I have ADD, and there's something about being locked in a metal tube for 5 hours with nothing but you and your laptop that helps you focus and solve the problem. You can't watch TV, you can't go out and walk around, you can't surf the web...

Agreed. Being forcibly cut off really makes some sort of breaker trip in my head. I can relax and read a good book, catch up on some TV shows, catch up on my email, write my expense reports...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9466 times:

Quoting Onetogo (Reply 9):
This is a bit off topic, but I've always wondered how professional pilots keep their logbook times. Is there a Hobbs meter on large transport category jets?

On some of them, yes, on others it is just the aircraft log or the ACARS times. I keep a small notebook on a leg by leg basis, then transfer it into my main logbook at home.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9448 times:

Quoting Onetogo (Reply 9):
This is a bit off topic, but I've always wondered how professional pilots keep their logbook times.

Small planes: Hobbs meter keeps one sort of time; that is, engine run time or landing gear squat switch time. You learn which one your plane uses and adjust for that. For example, if it is weight-off-wheels then you can fairly log a tenth of an hour for each departure and a tenth for each arrival to cover the "aircraft moving under its own power..." part of the regs, added to the Hobbs total for the day. Some times it is forensic logging after the day is done. Kinda loose there.

Big airplanes pre-ACARS it was the job of the PNF or the job of the first officer to record OUT, OFF, ON and IN times.

Now ACARS records these events and you get a summary on screen or a printout at the end of each flight.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9447 times:

I asked the same question to a friend of mine who does fly the long hauls, well actually I told him that he must have the most boring job in life.
His answer: "yes, all I do is just watching the fuel passing by". Big grin



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9432 times:

There are lots of boring jobs. Most people have one - unless they really get into what they do. Boring jobs are one reason for office politics.

I had a rude passenger stick his head in to the flight deck once and ask "Is this all you guys do? Just run back and forth like this?" Not in the mood to do PR work I said we were going to the Virgin Islands next and asked him where was HIS office going today?

I spent nearly a year as a "strip puller in a stud mill" A stud mill is a sawmill that cuts nothing but eight-foot 2X4s. Wall studs. I stood at an outfeed table behind the edger and picked off the little strips at the edge of each "cant" that were not wide enough for the planer to make a 2X3 out of. I pushed these off into a conveyor that took them to the refuse burner. Eight hours a day, watching newly-sawn 2X4s go past.

Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? No!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? No!

Eight hours a day of this. Tuesday was identical to Monday was the same as September. The only variable was whether we were cutting redwood or fir or how long before we had another fire in the 440-volt starting compensator or whether the millwright would be drunk when he showed up or not until lunchtime.

I started doing math in my head. Changed myself from a D in remedial to a fair mathematician. Used chalk to create sundials on the walls. Kept up running jokes with other guys that sometimes took a couple days to run their course. Learned to do half the other jobs in the mill.

I never once thought it was boring.

Boring was not even an important part of the equation for me. For me merit in jobs has more to do with believing the employer worthy of my efforts at all, (otherwise I'll quit - today) and the job worth doing. All honest labor is okay. I'm not there to be entertained.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineOnetogo From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9378 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
Now ACARS records these events and you get a summary on screen or a printout at the end of each flight.

Cool, thanks very much.


User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9378 times:

Quoting Flametech21 (Reply 5):
I guess if you get too bored you could always play the "guess that circuit breaker" game, where one pilot pulls a random CB and the other has to guess which one it is from the 20 EICAS warnings that just popped up...

LOL!!! Excellent!  Smile



What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16994 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9342 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 16):
I had a rude passenger stick his head in to the flight deck once and ask "Is this all you guys do? Just run back and forth like this?" Not in the mood to do PR work I said we were going to the Virgin Islands next and asked him where was HIS office going today?

Revenge is indeed sweet. When asked if I mind flying so much for work I respond that the 2 free vacations a year using miles are ok. "How much did you pay for your first class tickets for your entire family again?"

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 16):
I spent nearly a year as a "strip puller in a stud mill" A stud mill is a sawmill that cuts nothing but eight-foot 2X4s. Wall studs. I stood at an outfeed table behind the edger and picked off the little strips at the edge of each "cant" that were not wide enough for the planer to make a 2X3 out of. I pushed these off into a conveyor that took them to the refuse burner. Eight hours a day, watching newly-sawn 2X4s go past.


Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? No!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? Yes!
Wide enough? No!


Eight hours a day of this. Tuesday was identical to Monday was the same as September. The only variable was whether we were cutting redwood or fir or how long before we had another fire in the 440-volt starting compensator or whether the millwright would be drunk when he showed up or not until lunchtime.

Dear lord... Well, whenever I get boring makework I always remind myself of the fact that my job really isn't that boring. It is more often than not mentally challenging, which is a good thing. It often launches me outside my comfort zone, which is also a good thing. I learn a lot.

Here's the thing: If you really hate your job, you should make a concerted effort to get a new job. Otherwise you have no right to complain. Much.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineINNflight From Austria, joined Apr 2004, 3765 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9166 times:

Thank you all very much for the interesting answers... had a good read and some smiles throughout this thread  Smile

Cheers and happy holidays!

Florian



Jet Visuals
User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9102 times:

This is what I do when I get board at work. Post responses to threads in Anet.  wink 

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

Quoting Airfoilsguy (Reply 21):
what I do when I get board at work.

Tell the truth now. Were you thinking about me working in a sawmill when you typed "get BOARD at work?"



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9016 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR




Quoting SlamClick (Reply 22):
Were you thinking about me working in a sawmill when you typed "get BOARD at work?"

I wood say so.


2H4





Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16994 posts, RR: 67
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8904 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 23):

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 22):
Were you thinking about me working in a sawmill when you typed "get BOARD at work?"

I wood say so.

Well, it seems you hit the nail on the head. Planely so. I was, verily, pining for your answer.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
25 Lowrider : It is well known that grammatical errors go against Slam's grain.
26 SlamClick : Been wondering, did Douglas fir become McDonnell-Douglas fir? Then Boeing fir? And since California has become so liberal since my youth there, is re
27 2H4 : Well, I hope you had good back support while standing at the sawmill for eight hours a day, SlamClick. It must have been hard on the lumbar. 2H4
28 SlamClick : In all seriousness, ear protection would have been a better idea. Why do you think I'm hanging out at a keyboard and monitor instead of out talking t
29 2H4 : Well, it's not cheap to provide each worker with good-quality ear protection. With an expense like that, the sawmill would likely be forced to make l
30 BAe146QT : What happened if you got it wrong and let one through that was too narrow? Did you you just hope that no-one saw you screw up?
31 Post contains images Airfoilsguy : You caught me, Butt buy the time I got back hear all the good puns were used up.
32 Post contains images HAWK21M : As long as it only blocks Low Frequency noise regds MEL
33 Helvknight : It looks like we're lumbered with a pun war here. I wood think so.
34 Post contains images BWI757 : I was logging onto a.net and saw ( sorry) this thread. Looks like we branched out from the original topic at hand. CLICK! SLAM! Hence another reason f
35 SlamClick : Of course in sawmilling that is a good thing - sort of like at a vacuum cleaner factory when your product does suck.
36 Post contains images Vikkyvik :
37 Post contains images FLY2HMO : I heard a pretty disturbing story that one of my friends ex-roommates routinely, *ahem*, played with himself on long solo cross country flights in our
38 Lowrider : Yes, but it does answer the original question of how to pass time in cruise.
39 AirWillie6475 : If you fly for a regional airline time goes by very quickly because as soon as you hit 10K you can start talking about your next job. Must be hard for
40 Post contains images HAWK21M : I've heard different.The Grass seems green on the other side. Its more to do with Seniority,Salaries & Benefits.A Comparasion is always present. regd
41 Triebwerk : And then the co-pilot responds, "I don't know. Let's find out!"
42 Sabenapilot : Just out of personal interest: how long does it normally take before your co-pilot turns his head and says: 'what if I just close my eyes for a minut
43 DocLightning : OK, speaking as a competitive swimmer who is like you, the sort of guy who gets all antsy if he has to wait 5 minutes, swimming is "boring" but after
44 Jetstar : Many years ago some bored pilots on a National Airlines (the original) DC-10 did the same thing, they started pulling some circuit breakers to see wh
45 CosmicCruiser : With most co.s it's a terminating offense. I knew a couple of guys that flew a Lear many years ago and they had the habit of pulling the Mach warning
46 Jawed : sounds neat, what kind of software do you write in flight? for me, most of my software tends to be internet related, so i'd have to think of another t
47 DocLightning : What? Really, it sounds like down time on any job. In residency, we killed down-time with cross-words, books, I would bring my laptop, silly gossip,
48 Boeing767mech : We flew that airplane up to about 5 years ago. I think that was N141AA when we had it. David
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