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Airline Pilots: Does Flying Ever Get Mundane?  
User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7828 times:

Commercial Pilots: I've always been impressed by anyone with the ability to pilot these massive machines so fast through the sky and then bring these flying behemoths down to a (usually) gentle roll.

If I were a pilot I would want to bring the aircraft to the gate and then step outside onto the tarmac and admire what I just accomplished with such a massive machine (a sort of pat on the back so to speak - tell myself "see - what I did, and I did it a pretty good job of it too! Even got the landing gear for my 757 to line up exactly with the line on the apron that marks the position a 757 should be in at the gate!")

You commercial pilots seem to not be nearly as impressed with the "accomplishment" that each flight is. Most of the time the pilot parks it and is just as eager to get off and go home as everyone else is, doesn't want to talk about the plane, the trip, Nada! On departures I've seen the pilots casually reading the newspaper while the a/c loads, not at all concerned with the huge task they are about to embark on.

So my question to those with commercial experience is this? Does the flying get boring or dull at some point? Are you not impressed/intimidate by the task of piloting a big commercial airliner anymore

Curious to know...

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7685 times:

It's a matter of getting used to it. I bet these guys' first solo in a tiny 1500 lbs airplane was a bigger achievement to them than doing their third JFK-ORD trip for the day.

johan



Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
User currently offlineIfly2eat From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7644 times:

It is boring. Mind numbing boring. That is exactly the challenge- keeping your skills and awareness sharp enough while being completely bored.


Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7600 times:

ifly2eat: Mind if I ask what it is that is so boring? Is it just repetitive and easy? Does every takeoff and landing come so simply now that there is no "thrill" anymore? I imagine it must have been "exciting" at one point wasn't it?



User currently offlineN323er From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7563 times:

Things are always interesting just got my commerical rating. As for the big jets I am sure not every flight is the same even if it is something small I think the excitment comes from being on top of the game and making good choices quickly. It could anything from S-Turns on final, or max speed through the outer marker to best rate etc. Therefore in my opinion I think it the excitiment is greater then the boardem IMO

RYAN AIRTRAN(BWIOPS)



RYAN SCAIFE
User currently offlineCalPilot17 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7488 times:

My father is a COA 737 CAP and he has about 20,000 hrs and he still loves going to work, althought as the years go by seems more like a job, I have about 400 hrs and I love it Althought I would rather be doing diffrent flying for example non SEL flying and telling students more right rudder get kind of old


Gear Down For max career Advancment
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7449 times:

Few years ago I was talking with one Finnair A320 Captain and he couldn't imagine anything as great job as being a pilot... he told that during his 20yrs career he hasn't ever really been thinking that flying is job for him it is more like a passion or hobby which you even get paid for. That is very admirable attitude in my opinion... People are different and I guess if aviation has always been passion to you then you never get bored with it. I have also talked with pilots who hasn't any enthusiasms like that and those pilots have told that being a pilot is just as boring job as anything else.

In my opinion if you really love aviation you don't ever get bored as being a pilot. Of course all jobs has disadvantages, but pilots has less than many others. It also depends have you ever done "real" jobs before or is being a pilot your first job. I have been as an aircraft cleaner and also "ramprat" so I really know what the hard working is. When I'll get my ATPL-license in the future you can be sure that I don't complain...because I know that things could be worse.

Regards,
Finnwings


User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7336 times:

I still get thrilled by every takeoff and every landing. I love it. What has become mundane is the traveling, the layovers. I've been to every major city in the U.S. many, many times, and it just does not excite me anymore.

User currently offlineIfly2eat From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7317 times:

Aguilo:

To answer your question, it the repetitive nature of it all. I still enjoy the low visibility days, thunderstorms, the stuff that I feel still test me. The clear blue skies with light winds days can really get boring. Also, it is usually the same cities over and over and over again that add to the boredom. Don;t get me wrong- I am not complaining about the job but it really does get boring at times.



Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7224 times:

You described precisely one of the main reasons why I want to become a corporate pilot.

'Speed


User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2444 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7067 times:

Corporate pilot jobs can be boring also. Our company has a fleet of corporate jets. Many times our crews fly a plane somewhere on a 1 1/2 to 2 hour flight early in the morning. Sit around all day. Then fly the group home at the end of the day. Three or four hours flying stretched over a 10 hour day.


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7051 times:

"Three or four hours flying stretched over a 10 hour day."

You'll see that with the airline flying, too. Only 18 hour layovers for a 4 hour flight sometimes.

One of my good friends flies A320's, and has been with the company for 8 years and still looks forward to "going to work." He says after a vacation he can't wait to get in there and "push those throttles forward and blast off."

I'm sure it becomes routine after a while, like everything else, but it's not the same kind of routine like a desk job.


FSP


User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6983 times:
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During an inflight cockpit visit on a Qantas 767, I was talking with the pilot who was a rather young former Australia AF pilot as well, flying the Orion's. He said that the weather in Australia is so tame that he gets the majority of his reading done in the cockpit.

So while he states he was relatively bored, he looked forward to the inclement weather.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 865 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6955 times:

Good Day Aviators.

Whereas I don't exactly spring from my bed at 03:00, electrified by the excitement of going to work again, by the time I'm in the car I'm well up for it (=psyched!).

Horrendous weather makes it even more rewarding, crosswind landings to limits being my favourite.

If a passenger wants to come up and talk flying after a flight, I'll shoot the breeze as long as he/she does. I really miss in-flight visits, and sharing my enthusiasm with anyone who's interested. When I was young, time spent in a flight deck was invaluable, and the pilots were Gods. (And now I'm one.... ONLY KIDDING!)

I do a max of four sectors in a day, and many is the spare moment I gaze out the window and think "...can't believe I'm being paid for this....".

If there is a fraction of a % of the time when I get bored, its any flight of over a couple of hours, with nothing going on, with a quiet F/O, when I'm sick of reading manuals, and I find myself thinking :- "There's no way I could put up with long haul!".

So no, its never mundane. It is for some poor lost souls at our place, but I can't imagine it ever will be for me. (Airline pilot since '95 in case anyone's wondering).

Regards - Musang

[Edited 2004-04-11 22:42:46]

User currently offlineBragi From Iceland, joined May 2001, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

You pilots have to remember how lucky you really are.

Imagine early, rainy, Monday morning commuting to a job you hate, and repeating it for the rest of the week.

I consider it a great privilege making money for doing something you love!
(As probably is the case with most pilots)



Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
User currently offlineEmiratesA345 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 2123 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

I recently met an ex Vietnam Airlines B767 FO who asked me if I had planned to become a pilot. When I replied he told me not to. I asked why and was told that the passion of flight wears off after a while and it really is difficult working in such an unstable industry.

EmiratesA345 Smile/happy/getting dizzy



You and I were meant to fly, Air Canada!
User currently offlineKYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6869 times:

Emirates, that doesn't sound like a normal pilot. I don't know of any pilots that would not encourage a young person not to be a pilot...


"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
User currently offlineDeltajax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6864 times:

If you're sick of being a pilot, find a new job and let the younger guys with passion for it step up (like me in a few years). I want to believe that pilots with a true love of aviation (and travel) would never tell someone not to become a pilot. I'm not saying they should never get bored, but don't let it become a 9-5 desk job.

User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1573 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6804 times:

Dear Friends,

There is a huge difference between you loving your job and still get bored at the same time.

I am sure every pilot you can think of will say they wouldn't want to do any other job and they also will say how boring it can become to fly with a non talkative pilot for 5 hour legs all night long.

Being an airline pilot is a very demanding job and can be unbearable if you don't have that "love"inside.Staying long days away from your family,killer simulator sessions,exams,recurrent trainings,medicals,reading boring technical books all your life(my father is almost 60 yo MD88 captain and still does it)adjusting your life for your absurd flight schedules(3 am one day and 8 pm next day etc)These are the things first come to my mind.If you don't have the love for it its very hard to do it.

On the other hand airline flying is nowhere near "feeling the freedom of skies" or " hero pilot saves the day" type excitements.It gets routine pretty quick.Not because its easy but because its all done within some strict rules and limits and procedures.

Flying in some hair rising experiences and all weather operations makes you "used to" to adrenaline rush.Which becomes part of an ordinary day at the office.

The most important part of my job as an airline pilot is "to take responsibility" rather than looking cool in fancy uniforms so if you think its fun every day you may well be disappointed.

KYIPpilot;
I love sharing my experiences and inspiring the "future pilots" (I am the reason my cousin started his flight training and he is few flights away from his CPL now)thats why I am here.But there are facts in this business(as there is in very part of the life) which actually what the ex Vietnam Air pilot said is true.This is a very unstable industry.Look what happened after 9/11.Caused lots of airline pilots loose their jobs worldwide.

To say as a last word if "I born again I wanted to be a pilot again"."I love doing my dream job." These are the words I keep telling myself as I struggle to get out of the bed at 2 am to fly a 12 hour journey across the Europe. Best Regards to you all and stay safe.WING




Widen your world
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6616 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6781 times:

I loved aviation before I got into it, and still love aviation now. A few das ago I flew as a passenger on a long haul flight, and I just stared out of the window like a little boy for much of the flight. I especially love the moment when the engines spool up and begin to growl as the brakes are released...brings a smile to my face every time, even if it's the 3rd sector that day. As has been mentionned, waking up at 3 in the morning or doing a boring longhaul is not that great, but every job has it's bad moments. Overall, however, nothing beats the feeling of flying with 400 people on board in stormy weather, max crosswind limit, and doing a good smooth landing at the end of it. Nothing beats that, even if it is after a long haul at 3 in the morning!!

User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1573 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6758 times:

Cxflyboy,

I used to see Cathay Pacific at Istanbul.Have you ever been to my home town?Not seeing it for a while though but I am now away from Istanbul for some time.

And I agree with you nothing beats the feeling of a good landing after an approach in nasty weather  Big thumbs up



Widen your world
User currently offlineSpeedbirdHeavy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6743 times:

I would think that flying the 747 can be an extremely thrilling experience. However, flying the 747 usually means long haul. I have to believe that it gets really boring on those 6-12 hour flights.


China Airlines...Come fry with us!
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6616 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

Wing,

I never visited Istanbul, as it was an Airbus destination, an aircraft I have never flown, and even the Airbus didn't go there for long. Maybe we will go there again one day...who knows. It's somewhere I would like to visit.


User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3529 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6410 times:

this topic is interesting...All my life i have loved airplanes, and it wasn't to hard to figure out that i wanted to be a Pilot. So i started flying in high school, then went to the college that offered the aviation degree...however Since i've started doing that...the whole flying for a career thing has become distant....and i really (as of right now) have lost interest in being a commerical pilot (flying for a living). i still want to fly...i still have the love, but i could see myself after doing this for a few more years losing that too. I don't ever want to lose that. I still love airplanes and i still love flying and all the associated things that go along with it. I still get that awesome giddyness whenever passing an airport in a car, whether it's a small rural airfield or a bustling hub like ORD or MSP. The sound of an airplane in the sky still prompts my eyes skyward, and every flight still awards that same great feeling. My fear is losing those things. I can think of nothing worse than losing those boyhood emotions that still carry into my adult years. I guess that is why i am scared of flying for a living.


Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6404 times:

Planespotting: I can think of nothing worse than losing those boyhood emotions that still carry into my adult years. I guess that is why i am scared of flying for a living.

Question: Is it worth having a boring job instead?  Wink/being sarcastic

If you really like what you´re doing, the bad aspects can´t really spoil it. I´m working in a different field, but the principle still applies.


25 Post contains images Barney Captain : After thousands of hours being bored and a few brief minutes being anything but bored, I've decided without further reflection that boring is GOOD! I
26 Post contains images Klaus : Barney Captain: After thousands of hours being bored and a few brief minutes being anything but bored, I've decided without further reflection that bo
27 BA777 : Well guys. As a future pilot (hopefully), I get the same buzzes as 'Planespotting' described. I've watched a few of the ITVV DVDs and videos and it do
28 Post contains images Barney Captain : "Okay, in that light: May you have nothing but boring flights up until your final, equally boring landing a long time from now!" Very nicely stated...
29 Post contains images INNflight : Now this is indeed a very interesting topic! As I just got my student pilot licence and I am looking forward to becoming a commercial pilot I read thi
30 SLCPilot : It may get old someday, and despite the enthusiasm we see here, I suspect many (if not most) flightcrews choose not to involve aviation in their time
31 Bobs89irocz : SLCPilot- I have herd that piston driven airplanes from Airline pilots are MORE enjoyable once you get into a carrier flying. Old AA MD-11 captain i u
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