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Question About Uniforms Of Airline Pilots.  
User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13159 times:

Personally I think that a star and 4 strips for a captain looks great, distinguished form the first officer who have 4 strips. However in the pictures I have seen very few airlines with this smart configuration. Captains have only 4 strips on their shoulders which doesn't look that impressive. What do you think? What are the unifroms of the airlines that you know?? Also, what about the hat? And I think that the arms of the suit that pilots wear has the same things that they have on their shoulders. Am I right? PIA has the star for the captain and 4 strips with the exception of the F-27 captains. First officers have the four stripes only.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKestrel From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2002, 93 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 13107 times:

The Captains at the airline I work for (MyTravel Airways, previously Airtours) have 4 gold bands on the sleeves of their jackets and on their shirt epaulettes, but no stars. They do wear a different design of hat, it has gold embroidery on the peak (all flight crew members have a plain peak) as well as the gold hat badge with the airline logo in the centre - this is standard on all flight deck crew hats at MYT. Our Senior First Officers have 3 gold bands, and First Officers have just two gold bands! Our Flight Engineers have 3 gold bands which from a distance look the same as a Senior First Officer, but if you look closely the bands are separated by purple strips. All the Flight Deck crew have double gold coloured wings on their jackets, except the overworked and undervalued Flight Engineer who only gets gold half wings, as do the Cabin Crew.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30129 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 13087 times:

Actually I like the uniforms that Northern Air Cargo flight crews wear.

Flannel shirt and Carhart brown duck cloth bib overalls and jacket. There is also a Carhart overall set that is also approved???

You not see a lot of pilots wearing ties, pushing pallets of fish off a DC-6.

User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 13079 times:

My airline,SAS,has the following stripes:
Co-pilot first year (probation) has one single silver stripe.
First Officer 2-4 years 2 silver stripes.
First Officer 4-10 years 2 silver stripes with a third,thinner one separating them.
Senior F. O. 10+ years has 3 silver stripes.
Captains have 4 stripes.
No stars or anything beyond that.

Braathens (BU) has a star above the captains stripes.This signifies a Chief Pilot,Chief Instructor and Director of Flight Ops. only

"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 7335 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 13053 times:

Indonesian Airlines... grey pilot uniform... black pants, grey shirt, grey epaulettes with silver bars! Grey caps too.

Looks like 70s retro... but it somehow looks good on the female pilots ! better than the "normal ones..."  Big grin


When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6715 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 13056 times:

We have dark blue uniforms.

1 Stripe = Second Officer
2 Stripes = Junior First Officer
2.5 Stripes = First Officer
3 Stripes = Senior First Officer
4 = Captain.

We will shortly be issued a new uniform which is very very dark blue. Almost black. Stripes will still be gold. Strangest thing about it is single breasted jackets for the junior crew and double breasted for the Captains!!! Not sure I like to wear a single breasted jacket. The new uniform looks like a suit and not a flight crew uniform. It doesn't command the respect that the double breasted jackets command.

User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 12871 times:

I am not sure about the hats of PIA pilots, but all First officers are 4 stripes, Captain of F-27 have 4.5 stripes, and all other captains have 4 stripes and a star. The same configuration is on the sleeves pf their Jackets and on their shirt epaulettes.
So its seems like most airlines don't have stars for all captain.

One thing more guyz, I think normally the fashion is going towards single breast suits. What airlines that you know of use for its uniforms, single or double breast? Does any airlines gives the option to the employee?
To me double breasts looks cool.

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 12871 times:

Uniforms for airlines are derived from "service" traditions -
Either Air Force, or Navy...
And their old uniforms - military style, remained long in fashion...
With PanAm, we wore double breasted, Navy style uniform, white hat...
Many airlines got away from "military style" in the 1970s...
Even colors, blue or black, were changed to tan, or grey...
Some airlines dont insist on wearing a hat...
When I fly a cargo plane: as soon as in the plane...
Quick change to T-shirt and blue jeans... Adidas to play with the rudders...
In USA, nowadays, is the "barnstormer look" in fashion - leather jackets...
I saw crews from Alaska Air and from other airlines with such jackets...
My dream uniform coat...?
A long leather coat, Luftwaffe style, like Colonel Klink...  Wink/being sarcastic
I will even wear the monocle for Cat.IIIa minimums...
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 12861 times:

Like most UK airlines we have the same system as Kestrel mentioned:

1 Bar = Second Officer
2 Bars = First Officer
3 Bars = Senior First Officer
4 Bars = Captain

I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1467 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 12846 times:

At Lufthansa we have:

3 Bars First Officer
2 normal an 1 fat bar Senior FO
4 Bars Captain

the one and two bar ranking is for cabin attendants!
We are dressed in dark Blue and have the choice between a nice outdoorjacket or a dark blue coat. I took the coat!

User currently offlineD-aqui From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 205 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 12846 times:

B747skipper, I liked that remark about the monocle for CAT IIIA minimums.

Lufthansa still has the classical Navy-style uniforms with four stripes for the captain and three for the first officer and blue hat. However, as compared to the naval officer uniforms, the stripes, or "piston-rings" as we used to call them in the Navy are only half way round the sleeve.

As you have might have judged from my remarks I would rather be in favour of the traditional style than any fancy experiments where some would-be courtier has tried to invent a new style.


User currently offlineKestrel From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2002, 93 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 12819 times:

SQ325 : Ironically at Premiair, the Cabin Chief ALWAYS has three (narrower) gold stripes on jacket sleeves and shirt epaulettes - often one more stripe than a First Officer may have!

I agree with D-aqui that airlines should stick with the traditional style navy/black uniform for Flight Deck and although a pilot does look smart when wearing a hat (as does a stewardess), I personally would hate to have to wear one and I can fully understand why so many crew (pilots) avoid wearing them whenever possible...now if it was a Stewardess that was spotted hat-less, severe punishment is given!

User currently offlineA320FO From Austria, joined Oct 2000, 211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 12809 times:

My company (OS) has a fairly easy system:

2 stripes: third officer (copilot during initial line training, about 5 months
3 stripes: second, first and senior first officer
4 stripes: captain

The one stripe version was dumped quite a while ago.
Traditional dark blue uniform, double breasted, with silver buttons, stripes and embroidered wings. Add that with a white shirt and a red tie, what does make it look a little more colorful than other airlines.

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2599 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12747 times:

Hawaiian Airlines:
General uniform color dark blue, traditional style.
Captains, 4 stripes.
F/O's & S/O's 3 stripes.

Interisland pilots have open collars, no tie, no jacket. International (trans-Pacific) pilots wear ties all year, but only have to wear uniform jacket November - April (or during opposite seasons in southern hemisphere). Leather jacket (same style as Alaska & Southwest) may be substituted for suit jacket.

No, we can't wear shorts and sandals on duty.  Smile


One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineMb339 From Italy, joined Jun 2001, 238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12735 times:

At Alitalia:

1 stripe: Second Officer (about 1 year)
2 stripes: First Officer (from 2 to 5 years from hiring)
3 stripes: Senior First Officer (after 5 years from hiring)
4 stripes: Capitain
4 stripes + star: Senior Capitain

User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12694 times:

So we do have atleast one other airline that gives a star to a captain. BTW how much time does it take you to become a senior captain from a captain?
The star does look very cool.

Anyone got a pic of the Luftwaffe long coar that Skipper is talking about? I must have seen it but not from this point of view. I also think that airlines provide the long overcoats maybe not conpulsory but optional in winters. Does the overcoats also have the stripes on their sleeves?

One more question, especially on this forum, most pilots have a strong dislike for the hat. Any special reason? Is it very uncomfortable? I normally wear a cap for long times, I tried the hat of my father just to see the feel of it, and I found it to be surprisingly light. Whats wrong with it?

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12702 times:

Dear Jawad -
While "wearing a pilot uniform" is part of the attraction of many young future pilots, you will find that wearing that uniform is a burden after a few months as a pilot... Personally I was Air Force pilot prior to airlines, and that uniform was more comfortable to wear than my PanAm double breasted coat and hat.
Maybe the one fact I dislike about wearing a uniform in an airport, is being asked "where is the baggage claim area for Qantas..." or "which floor is the ticketing office for Lufthansa..." - I have no idea, I cannot memorize some fifty world airports, I already get lost at my own base airport...
As soon as I leave the airport in the bus to the hotel, or in my car driving home, off goes the uniform, the shirt stripes... and my hat is generally on top of my flight bag... definitely not on top of my head...
 Wink/being sarcastic
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12681 times:

Dear Skipper!
I am well aware of the fact as my father is serving Flight Purser in PIA with now more than perhaps around 20 years of service. But for pilots unlike the cabin crew, there is an advange that we have been discussing on the other thread, about getting easy after being in the cockpit. I remember you saying there that adidas get into action to play with the rudders.  Smile Well its atleast better than the cabin crew who have to be in their complete uniforms all the duration of the flight. The most they can do it to get their coat off. Personally, I won't feel good flying with even epaulettes for long. And I really hate tie, a nightmare to work on something with a tie on. But this is something all airlines have so just looking for what looks better.

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