Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Connection Between Pilots And Musicians?  
User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2347 times:

Something that has interested me for awhile, it seems like out of quite a few accomplished musicians I run into, probably one in fifteen have been pilots in their lives. Then looking at professional airline and corporate pilots, at least from what I've seen, there's almost a similar ratio of accomplished musicians with more or less skill in the bunch. Some players I've seen in this group as examples:


Buddy Childers, former lead trumpet with Stan Kenton, flew charter for around three years in his life when the studios weren't in demand


Claude Gordon, famous bandstand frontman, was almost religious in flying airplanes


Not sure of the person's name (wow, do I make a case  Laugh out loud), but I know of an airline captain who has performed some of the legendary classical solos on trumpet, including the Hummel, in front of large audiences.


Guy Fricano, famous trumpeter in Chicago, licensed pilot who's been flying for at least fifteen years.


In my school, there's quite a few decent musicians in the flight department. They're not dominating, but the presence is there.


Then me, an aspiring ATP pilot who sat in with a professional big band last week for a performance during their second set and ended up playing lead at the end of the set.



Perhaps I'm dillusional, but being active in both arenas it seems like there is at least a minor connection between the two groups. The connection is subtle, but the presence seems to be there. Is this just random, or is there a coincidence? Perhaps this could be a doctorial thesis. Any thougts are appreciated on this matter, thanks!

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMITaero From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

Maybe it extends to engineers, too? (I'm a trumpet player  Smile )

User currently offlineJeffDCA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Tis but true here, pilot, guitarist, bassist and (attempted, anyway) drummer  Smile

Cheers,

Jeff


User currently offlineFSPilot747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2282 times:

Interesting. I havn't really noticed it. I used to be a drummer, haven't played in a while, and I play guitar once in a while.

None of the other pilots I know are musicians, though.


FSP


User currently offlineVidens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2267 times:

I'm not making a living as a musician anymore (I'm a bass player), and I'm not planning on a career in aviation, but I'm certainly planning on getting my private pilot license (time permitting, IFR), but the connection I see is along the decision making line. As a musician (especially when playing improvised music), everything happens in real time, and you have to make split second decisions that will affect how everything is going to come out... Boxing and motor racing are pretty much the same way... You better make the right decision at the right time, otherwise, things go bad REALLY quickly... Aviation is pretty much the same way. It's very easy to get a private pilot license if you have the money, but the good pilots are the ones that can get you out of trouble safely. And that makes fast and right decision making the key to it all...

User currently offlineVictor Hotel From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

A little off topic but another thing I have noticed is a significant percentage of pilots, about 85% of pilots I know and other people that know pilots who have also told me, is the is the interest in boating. Mostly sail, but also speed boats. Just somthing I found interesting.
VH


User currently offlineLorm From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2219 times:

Probably comes with the lifestyle  Big grin Money and the freedom of flight/boating/sailing.

User currently offlineSlamClick From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2057 times:

I think it might have to do with getting off your butt and doing something. Many of us have watched a guy play guitar and thought it would be cool to be able to do that, to make it sound like that. A musician is a person who went out of his way to learn how. The rest of us just stood around and thought it would be cool.

In similar fashion most of us have watched airplanes and thought it would be great to know how to fly one. The pilots among us did it. They went down to the airport and learned how.

It was not easy for either of us. If it was easy we'd all have done it. We had to spend a lot of time acquiring our art and perhaps most of our money went there too while we were students.

A few years ago I went to a James Taylor concert, outdoors at the Reno Hilton. I sat next to a friend of ours who is a professional musician - has a band that plays the casinos at Tahoe, Vegas and Reno. He picked the seats, right next to the sound man. He said we'd be hearing the concert exactly the same as the man who was running the sound equipment, therefore, it would be mixed as if for our ears.

RNO was landing south and during the concert planes continued to land right past the stage. Between songs he explained about lighting and sound mixing and the staging of the show and I explained things about the planes we were seeing. He has not yet learned to fly and I have not yet learned to play an instrument but we both have other arts, crafts, or fields of study.

I think people who will learn to do a thing like this are never content with what they know, what they can do. They will always be looking into some new activity.

Oh, I once did compose a short piece on my Atari 800 and while off on medical leave I learned to play Red River Valley backwards on a keyboard. Does that count?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

The late LH DC-10 captain and author (he wrote lots of books and magazine articles about flying, philosophy and traveling) Rudolf Braunburg used to play the saxophone. His trademark was a saxophone case and a portable typewriter on his trips. On layovers he used to play in locaol jazz clubs.

Jan


User currently offlineCitationJet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2017 times:

I was told by an airline captain over 20 years ago, that the best pilots he had seen had a musical or musician's background.
Having a technical or engineering background does not necessarily make the best pilots.
Also, being a doctor or a lawyer definitely does NOT make the best private pilots.


User currently offlineJeffDCA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1976 times:

A little off topic but another thing I have noticed is a significant percentage of pilots, about 85% of pilots I know and other people that know pilots who have also told me, is the is the interest in boating. Mostly sail, but also speed boats. Just somthing I found interesting.

It's the unwritten rule of being a pilot, you either sail or play golf... or both  Smile

Cheers,

Jeff


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1919 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I play guitar and I used to be in a rock band.

I'm now finishing up training for my PPL and my ultimate goal is to fly for a career.

So I guess it's true. However I am somewhat bothered by it. There is so much tragedy in music and much of it has to do with famous musicians dying in airplane accidents. I always found that odd and although it doesn't bother me enough to stop my passion for flight, I tend to draw that connection from time to time.

[Edited 2004-08-21 23:30:17]

User currently offlineSlamClick From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

Hey JeffDCA does it matter that I neither sail nor play golf? Of course I do live in the desert and that is not an ideal scene for either.

On a related note, I am somewhat artistic and if I was hiring pilots I would not hire pilots like me. I believe that I am a very good pilot but as a general statement I think I'd prefer to hire more pragmatic, less "creative" pilots. Maybe music is good creativity.





User currently offlineJeffDCA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

SlamClick,
I see in your profile one of your hobbies is skiiing, i believe this is fast becoming the third entry in the unwritten rule  Smile You're safe  Smile

Cheers,

Jeff


User currently offlineSlamClick From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1895 times:

Thanks Jeff. I'm also once-divorced from a flight attendant. That is pretty good bona fides too.

But I have never been a flight engineer or furloughed.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

Another thing I´ve noticed:

In the aviation industry there seems to be a disproportionate number of lefthanded people, esp. among pilots and mechanics.

Any input?

Jan (lefthanded myself)


User currently offlineSlamClick From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Yep. Left handed.

Don't think it ever made any difference.

Once read an article on "how to fly a Stearman" He gave the instructions: Grab throttle in right hand. Grab stick in left hand. If this maneuver was successful, stand up, turn around and sit back down - you are facing the wrong way.





User currently offlineVidens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

I made a living as a musician a long time ago, now I'm a show systems engineer looking to get my PPL. One interesting thing that was said above, and one of the main reasons why I want to become a private pilot is the good old "How does it work?" thing. In my case, that sometimes doesn't go any further, and in some other cases it goes to the highest levels of geekdom (Drooling when looking at the wing of an A330-340, a 747, MD11, etc...). I would imagine that operating such a complex piece of machinery requires quite a level of curiosity as to how things work, etc..., and not just going to a class room and/or simulator to learn it...
Any opinions from the airline pilots out there?


User currently offlineZKSUJ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

The guy from Ironmaiden is now a FO on the 733 for Astreus. I was a drummer and I am hoping to make it as an airline pilot.

User currently offlineInvictus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1841 times:

I usually become a great musician in the bar after a large number of beers with my mates! Actually, so do most of my colleagues...?  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1818 times:

Well, I know quite a few pilots, who´s knowledge about their plane ends in knowing which button to press at which time (last week I had to show a crew how to dim the indication lights on their A300-600). There are very few pilots who are interested in a deeper knowledge of the machine they are flying in, most of them are either "old timers" or have been mechanuics themselves.
The worst are those who THINK that they know everything and are trying to tell us how to do our jobs (apprenticeship, years of experience, licence exams etc.)

Jan


User currently offlineChrisEMA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1815 times:

Well, what of aviation enthusiasts??

I earn my living as a musician see my website www.chrispowell.org - I have met heaps of aviation folk over the years (and become good friends with many) who have music as a hobby or sideline. These have included a former chief Swiss MD11 Captain who's a brilliant classical organist, also a Cessna 182 pilot in NZ who's a dab hand with a keyboard, a United Captain and a retired ATC instructor from LATCC who was kind enough to show us round his place of work a couple of years ago. There is obviously some kind of common denominator in place....

Happy flying!

ChrisEMA


User currently offlineBaw2198 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1814 times:



I've been a trombone player for 12 yrs now, PPL for 6 and ATC for 4.
Play alittle bit of golf (not that good) and right handed.

Very interesting connection SST. Do you think its just an inside drive of the individual to always do something complex?


User currently offlineInfiniti757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 11 months 6 days ago) and read 1787 times:

Back when I was flying single engine cargo alone, I took to trying to learn harmonica in the cockpit. It would probably be painful for the guys I fly with to hear. I don't do it anymore, for crew comfort.

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Connection Between Pilots And Musicians?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Connection Between Pilots And Musicians? posted Sat Aug 21 2004 06:28:56 by SSTjumbo
Relationship Between DC-8 And DC-9 Fuse posted Sun Nov 26 2006 10:44:45 by Speedracer1407
Pilots And Mechs: Best And Worst Days At Work? posted Sat Jul 29 2006 11:18:42 by Matt72033
Pilots And Antidepressants posted Fri Jul 7 2006 10:10:34 by AR385
Random Alcohol Testing Of Pilots And Ground Staff posted Sat Jun 24 2006 01:48:58 by Julianuk
Differences In Aviation Law/ops Between US And GB posted Fri Feb 10 2006 21:12:39 by AC21365
Differences Between US And UK Air Traffic Control posted Fri Nov 25 2005 08:51:10 by Bruce
Pilots And Fear Of Heights posted Sun Oct 16 2005 21:53:18 by A346Dude
The Difference Between Flying And Surfing? posted Wed Sep 14 2005 02:58:18 by Ps76
Questions On Some Differences Between B737 And A319/320 posted Wed Jun 8 2005 06:15:55 by DCAflyboy

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format