Aircanada
Topic Author
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What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:05 am

Hi there,

Quick question for all you pilots. What do you guys do up there? Doesn't it get boring on a 4 hour flight. I know you have to keep checking heading, speed, etc. but what do you do when you're cruising at 35 000ft with nothing to do? Read? Listen to music?

Andrew.
 
flightsimfreak
Posts: 698
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:08 am

Well, when I'm cruising at 3000 ft in a beechcraft skipper, I talk to my instructor
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:11 am

Calculate our monthly pay and trip expenses and pay. Look over and update charts. Talk about company and industry issues. Plan our layover activities. Talk to the flight attendants when they are not busy and can come up for a sit. Constantly change frequencies as we pass through many sectors and get handed off to new controlers. Check weather at destination and alternate airports.

At night I like to play with the pilot controlled lights at general aviation airports. You click the mike on 123.0 or 122.8 and watch below for the airports runway lights to turn on bright. Pretty boring but imagine the highschool couple making out at the local airport and the runway lights and approach lights all of a suddon becoming very bright ane then being turned off. Never knowing that the lights were being controlled by a bored pilot at 37,000 feet.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
ILS
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:12 am

Chat on unicom about college football with the redneck Cessna pilots.
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:13 am

From what I hear examining the back of eyelids is the most popular past time. Also reading Harry Potter is enjoyed by many crews, although AA (and I am sure others) do not allow pilots to read any material unless it is company related, which seems really silly, as what is the difference between Harry Potter, and an AA manual? Does an AA manual distract you less?
Iain
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:16 am

Harry Potter?
Maybe you 15 year old PC simulator friends enjoy this. Too funny!
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:21 am

Seriously it was recently very popular in flight bags over here! You need to fill your big flight bag with something, apart from the very little amount of stuff you take flying (and headache medicine [for hangover]).
Iain
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:23 am

I actually thought of responding to you stupid statement until I read you profile. Grow up.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:24 am

Grow up? Never!!
Iain
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:25 am

Okay, have it your way. You are probably a nice guy but if you actually want real pilots to respond to your questions get real.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:30 am

IAHERJ, it was a bit of a wind up, with a little amount of truth in there (The Harry Potter bit). I have numerous friends who fly for numerous airlines, a kinda know how it is!
Iain
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:32 am

Know how what is. You know how much crap they make us carry in our bags? Come over to my house with your infnate wisdom and tell me how Ican lighten up my 50 pound flight bag the should be empty by your assumption.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:35 am

Over here in the UK, a friend of mine will only carry a small folder when he goes on day trips, which include his logbook, medical, passport, license and pen. Everything else like headsets, charts, etc is kept on the plane.
Iain
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:43 am

Oh, that explains it. In the U.S., we as pilots have our own set of approach plates that take up to 3 books. We also have to carry our volume 1 of the flight manual for whatever aircraft we fly. Then we must carry the company flight operations manual, a flashlight, and the enroute charts. After all of that is put in, we can fill up our bags with the passports and other things we need like calculators, company propaganda, and yes, yes! Reading material for long legs.

So here we are, back at the top of the thread. I admit, we read from time to time on flights longer than around 1.5 hours as the other is monitering the aircraft and ATC. We have such an easy life. Just kidding! I actually think about how great the job is up there cruising along and can't believe that some would think it is boring to be crossing hundreds of miles of land at 37,000 feet traveling at 78% the speed of sound. Then ejoying yourself in a new city or a familiar one while staying at a nice hotel for periods of time sometimes exceeding 33 hours in a city.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
PPGMD
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:44 pm

Well for my flights, I play around as much as I can with out getting caught by ATC (private though), wing overs, what not. One of these days secure everything (and I mean everything stop at an airport that they don't know you and crawl all over making sure the entire cabin is secure), once up climb normally to 2000ft (thats the dead line for me) climb somemore to 4000ft then enter a mild dive to 3000ft to pickup airspeed pull up to about 15 deg pitch, now roll with the alerions cooridnating using top rudder (the foot that faces the sky) until in knife edge, use less top rudder until there is none while turning inverted, also during the turn inverted start slowly placing forward pressure on the stick, now your inverted. Give it some back pressure as you are applying the new top rudder, do this unitl you are in knife edge at this point your yoke should be centered, with as much as need top rudder to maitain pitch relative to the horizen, as you transtion to straight and level decrease the top rudder while place back pressure on the stick. Once your bank is back to normal just level her off and return to your flight. If this is done correctly you shouldn't have lost much alt and you should still be on about the same heading.

Thats one of the ways I pass time. But most of the time its thank god for the CD player.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:48 pm

Note for the above post that is banned at most flight schools, I also do not fly with Riddle so don't try narking on me there. Also do not try any substaional G figures (or any negative) in a non-aerobatic aircraft. I also suggest that you go though a full aerobatic school (I have) before trying that or any other aerobatic figure.

This is just a CMA post, I don't want to be hearing of some kid being kicked out of flight school because of it, I only do that in aircraft that I have the owners premission in and so should you.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
ryu2
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:51 pm

IAHERJ, pay no attention to Iainhol; he was a former aspiring BA pilot hopeful who decided that he couldn't hack the flying part and quit flight traning after he got his PPL here in the states. He's just bitter I think.
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:57 pm

Thanks. I figured as such. If I wasn't bored and on reserve this week I probably wouldn't pay so much attention. But I am bored and have way too much time on my hands and here I am. Arguing with a 16-20 year old who has a distaste for my profession. I'm actually dissapointed with myself for some of my posts.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
MD88Captain
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:58 pm

When I'm really bored, I cycle through the ADF freqs listening for a strong AM radio station. I prefer talk radio or news stations.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:00 pm

I've also done some things on reserve of which I am not proud. Reserve can make you insane.
 
DE727UPS
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:06 pm

Officially... we're not supposed to sleep...even the night freight guys....but I've seen it happen a few times...not all at once, mind you.

Officially... we're not supposed to read except for flight manual sort of stuff...haha, yeah right....

I've done Jepp manual revisions a few times but would rather do it where I have more room to spread out.

I've talked to guys crossing the Pacific who watched movies on a DVD player....

I fly short hops, mostly, so less than two hours. I can tell you it can get mindlessly boring sometimes. We're talking 4am and the frequency is quiet and the groundspeed is only 350 knots cause you got 100 knots on the nose and it seems like you're never gonna get there...
 
DE727UPS
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:10 pm

oh....and I know Iain and he doesn't have a distaste for our profession...somewhere along the line you misread him.
 
ywg_jy
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:12 pm

So that's why I have to call you guys 3-4 times at 4am, it all becomes clear Big grin
 
IAHERJ
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:14 pm

Ryu2 told me he did. It's all his fault. Just kidding!@
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:17 pm

On a more intresting note I found out that my cell phone works in the airplane(I left it on in my fly bag), though it was in the analog roaming and I was flying IFR (I Follow Roads). I called them back when I got to my destination.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 1:21 pm

I had the same thing happen. I was deadheading on the ERJ in the first or second row. My cellphone was in my flight case which was in the overhead bin. The flight attendant was ahving a hard time getting a guy in the back to turn his cell phone off after the main cabin door was closed. After a few pa announcements he turned it off. As we were bareling down the runway mine rang and could be heard by all those around. I just sat there and acted as though I was disgusted that someone could be so stupid.

During flight I had to check on some important things in my bag though Smile
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
61Heavy
Posts: 61
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 4:08 pm

Hmmm...at 350 I usually:

-Do revisions. They're never-ending, and who knows when you'll need that Deadhorse, Alaska chart.

-Talk to ATC.

-Check the winds, ride, and fuel burn at 310 and 390 to see if I can get there faster by changing altitudes.

-Eat. Good way to kill a half hour.

-Gripe about the meal you just ate (overcooked chicken).

-Keep an eye on the autopilot. Contrary to popular belief, the autopilot is not a set-it-and-forget it type device; it's more like an inexperienced copilot. It needs near constant crosschecking to make sure it's doing the right thing. (Letting it choose your descent point in certain planes can be big no-no.)

-Do company paperwork and maintainence write-ups.

-Do ACARS messages regarding connections, arrival time, gate information, Wx, NOTAMS, etc.

-Look at the airplanes around us and on TCAS and try to figure out whether we can beat them to the airport, or whether we should waste fuel by trying to beat them cause ATC will slow us down later as we get closer to the airport.

-Divert planning: If something goes wrong here, where will we go?

-On overwater flights, plot our position on the chart and make postion reports.

-Plan the arrival. There's lots to think about here: When should you start down? Will a crossing altitude and speed be involved? What's the weather doing? Any windshear? Precipitaion? CII or CIII weather? What kind of approach will we plan on? When should we start slowing?

-Brief the approach and landing with the other pilot(s)

Lots of other stuff I'm forgeting, but you get the idea.

61Heavy
 
61Heavy
Posts: 61
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 4:11 pm

Hmmm...at 350 I usually:

-Do revisions. They're never-ending, and who knows when you'll need that Deadhorse, Alaska chart.

-Talk to ATC.

-Check the winds, ride, and fuel burn at 310 and 390 to see if I can get there faster by changing altitudes.

-Eat. Good way to kill a half hour.

-Gripe about the meal you just ate (overcooked chicken).

-Keep an eye on the autopilot. Contrary to popular belief, the autopilot is not a set-it-and-forget it type device; it's more like an inexperienced copilot. It needs near constant crosschecking to make sure it's doing the right thing. (Letting it choose your descent point in certain planes can be big no-no.)

-Do company paperwork and maintainence write-ups.

-Do ACARS messages regarding connections, arrival time, gates, Wx, NOTAMS, etc.

-Look at the airplanes around us and on TCAS and try to figure out whether we can beat them to the airport, or whether we should avoid wasting fuel by trying to outrun them cause ATC will slow us down later as we get closer to the airport.

-Divert planning: If something goes wrong here, where will we go?

-On overwater flights, plot our position on the chart and make postion reports.

-Plan the arrival. There's lots to think about here: When should you start down? Will a crossing altitude and speed be involved? What's the weather doing? Any windshear? Precipitaion? CII or CIII weather? What kind of approach will we plan on? When should we start slowing?

-Brief the approach and landing with the other pilot(s)

Lots of other stuff I'm forgeting, but you get the idea.

61Heavy
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 8:28 pm

>>IAHERJ, pay no attention to Iainhol; he was a former aspiring BA pilot hopeful who decided that he couldn't hack the flying part and quit flight traning after he got his PPL here in the states. He's just bitter I think.<<

Not bitter; jovial!! My application is still in at British Airways, although it is frozen. I got passed the largest cut, which is the application stage, and waiting my aptitude testing. I am not sure how long it will stay frozen for, some guess it will clear up next year, however last time they froze the TPE scheme it took closer to 4. I have not given up flight training, I am currently a broke University student in a country where flight training is incredible expensive. I plan on getting my instrument when I move back CA. I personally think you should keep your gob closed when discussing other people affairs. Not only is it impolite, especially when you get it wrong!
Iain
PS You also spelt training wrong!
 
Airbus Lover
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:02 pm

Heya nice to meet you 61-Heavy, can you explain to me the following quote?

"Keep an eye on the autopilot. Contrary to popular belief, the autopilot is not a set-it-and-forget it type device; it's more like an inexperienced copilot. It needs near constant crosschecking to make sure it's doing the right thing. (Letting it choose your descent point in certain planes can be big no-no.)" I aint no pilot so am just curious why it is not reliable. What do you mean by certain planes?
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 3:29 am

>>and I know Iain and he doesn't have a distaste for our profession<<

I did not see this before, I just think it is kind of strange anyone would suggest that distaste flying careers.
Iain
 
Shawn Patrick
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 3:51 am

Anyways.

IAHERJ, I was looking at your profile and it says that you play the piano. That's cool! How long have you been playing? What level are you at?

Sorry it's a little off topic! lol
 
Guest

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 9:07 am

No answer from ryu2, no surpirse!
Iain
 
ryu2
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 9:20 am

That was the impression I got reading some of your posts here and on Jetcareers. If I'm wrong than sorry. Why don't you give us an update once you start flying again?

PS: You also spelled surprise wrong!
 
61Heavy
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2001 3:47 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 10:21 am

"Keep an eye on the autopilot. Contrary to popular belief, the autopilot is not a set-it-and-forget it type device; it's more like an inexperienced copilot. It needs near constant crosschecking to make sure it's doing the right thing. (Letting it choose your descent point in certain planes can be big no-no.)"

I aint no pilot so am just curious why it is not reliable.


I didn't mean it's not reliable, I just meant you can't turn it on and go to sleep or anything. Autoflight systems are computer driven, and anyone who's ever had a computer knows that sometimes they burp for no reason. Every once in while, for no apparent reason the autopilot will not do what it's supposed to. It's the pilot's job to notice and get it back on track. For example, I've been flying across the country before and had the FMC completely dump the route of flight and continue flying on the present heading and altitude. (Kind of like the "Blue Screen of Death" errors you sometimes get during windows.  Smile ) Definately the kind of thing you want to fix before ATC asks you where you're going.

What do you mean by certain planes?

By "certain planes" I meant that the autoflight system in different models of airplanes tend to have different little quirks. In the above quote I was mostly thinking of the 737-300/400/500 series which always tended to be off when it computed a descent point - the FMC always seemed to want to wait until the last possible moment to begin a VNAV (Vertical Navigation) descent. So even when you programmed it correctly to say, cross LOZIT intersection at 11000, 250 knots, it tended to leave you either high or fast. That tends to make Captains nervous, since it's their ATP on the line for failing to comply with the clearance.

Another example: the 767-200 autothrottles do a poor job of holding speed. They might cause you to overspeed the aircraft in mountain wave conditions if you're not watching them.

In any airplane I've flown with an autopilot, ask the autoflight system to intercept the glide slope from above or the localizer at too wide an intercept angle and you're asking for a mini-airshow.

Different airliners have different autoflight quirks like these. Those above are only some of the ones I've seen, but I'd expect that other people would have some examples too.

61Heavy
 
TurbineBeaver
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 1:12 pm

Iainhol,

"incredible expensive."

Last time I checked, that is improper grammar, no? So I guess you shouldn't be so quick to jump at Ryu2's spelling when you can't do too much better.

Regards,

TB
 
IAHERJ
Posts: 527
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 4:25 pm

Shawn PAtrick,

Yep, began playing at age 10 and kept it up through highschool. The football coach thought I was going to math tutor on thursdays. Anyway, I played the organ a bit and still play the piano for Christmas parties or when my buddies are out and enjoying an excess of cold beverages. My wife likes it and it is a good source of stress releaving especially with the aviation industry in the current state. I play by ear mostly now and can play anything Billy Joel and Elton John have ever written. I also play a lot of classical and just about anything from the 70's and 80's. Hotel layovers can be fun if the bartender offers the crew free drinks if I play. I'll never forget Columbus OH 1998 Christmas Eve!
Do you play?
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
 
zobatc
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 2:48 pm

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 6:21 pm

I think every pilot fools with lights enroute, and dicks with the ADF for radio stations!!!!!

I'm glad this didn't tun into a controller bashing session!!!  Smile
 
DE727UPS
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 10:55 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 6:31 pm

No one in their right mind would bash controllers....if there is anyone who everyone loves, it has to be the ATC guys. ATC problems are caused by management and the system....not the guys working the boards.

Now when Ceildih starts bashing pilots and says controllers deserve so much more...I gotta tell him about my ATC buddy who makes as much as I do and is home every night. He also has a Twin Comanchee as opposed to my lowly 172 seaplane....
 
hb-iqj
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 8:43 pm

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 10:19 pm

I already saw a pilot during crossing the atlantic, taking out his laptop and playing around or watching movies?

Is it calm enough to sleep there, will the co-pilot let you do that?
Can you just leave everything and go and sleep?
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 10:55 pm

Many guys have laptops and sort out their schedules. Some work on various projects, or books they are writing. Some listen to the BBC World Service, some read magazines or newspapers. I seem to just eat all the time, which is very unhealthy, but it keeps me awake.

Here at Cathay there is no requirement for us to carry all our manuals and stuff with us. We have to carry a passport, our licence, and a torch. That's it. All the manuals are in the aircraft library, so why would be want to carry a set around? So, planty of room for Harry Potter!!....not that I have seen any crew with one!
 
gocaps16
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Tue Nov 27, 2001 11:07 pm

On long intl. flights, pilots do sleep for several hours while the relief crew takes over.

I've seen a special report on NBC few months ago and they interviewed a US airline captain on pilot fatigue in the cockpit. The interviewer asked the captain if he ever fell asleep in the cockpit and he replied he did for 10 minutes.

I recommend you guys to get in-flight cockpit videos by JustPlanes. It's really helpful to this topic.

I found several AM radio stations whiling tuning in the ADF freq. and also love flying late at night and turning on the lights at smaller airports thru PCL.

As a general aviation pilot, All I do during cruise is plan my approach to land, look at the airport taxi diagrams to where I am parking at, cross checking the heading indicator to the mag. compass for errors, looking at the scenery and current charts, looking for other traffic in the sky, monitor and talking to ATC, and of course, often look at my watch for the time to see if I am on the right track and on course. I have all that to do and I am never bored on long cross country flights exceeding 2 hours or more.

Kevin/DCA
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Wed Nov 28, 2001 2:53 am

For my little charters that i do (Saratoga II TC... theres a pic of one of my companys planes on Airliners.net...Tail number is N32TE).. We have two Garmin430's and the STEC autopilot on the plane so it is quite automated... i generally just keep the autopilot and GPS in check during cruise (I handfly the climbout through about 3000 feet if the workload is light enough, sometimes i kick it on earlier, and handfly the descent below about 4000, once again, workload allowing), do the trip sheets, pilot expense sheet, and pilot pay paper work, as well as update my approach plates if need be. Plus since we have a secondary GPS system, ill mess around with programming that with differnet DPs/STARS/IAPs/routings and fiddle with the VOR/DME radials. During night flights i also like flickering the lights on the little airports down below me like IAHERJ.  Smile

The autopilot is there strictly for workload managment and smoothness purposes... it screws up at times and we have to keep it in check. Yesterday during one of the transitions between waypoints, it screwed up, and I had to take over...as well as it kind of porpoised on one of the altitude captures. Even though the pilot isnt doing the grunt work of handflying the airplane the entire time, it doesnt mean he isnt 'flying' the airplane... it enables the pilot to sit back and take in the big picture of things.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Airbus Lover
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:57 pm

Thanks 61Heavy, Now i get it...

What a/c do u fly? What airline? Based in?

Just curious. Thought u explained pretty well.
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:45 pm

Well, i know it isnt really the same thing, but I have taken watches on the bridge of ferries before, on the English Channel. I'm training to be deck officer, and i have spent a year at sea with P&O Portsmouth. I was on Pride of Le Havre, running form Portsmouth to Le Havre. Its a six hour crossing (kind of like LHR -JKF) and like in an airliner we have quite a good (but not infallible) autopliot system. The Master takes us out of Pilotage waters at about twelve miles from Portsmouth (less at Le Havre), and he sticks around for a bit to do some bits and pieces, then he goes downstairs. They leave the duty watchkeeper (me) and one other crew member if its fine and clear, but another watchkeeper if its lumpy. Anyway, the watches last about four hours give or take, and you sit on the bridge , and it is a lot like being sat on the flightdeck, only not as much fun. The autopilot system keeps out heading, and also a speed (which the capt. or first officer works out before we leave to get us there on time), which is determined by blade angle, and shaft RPM. We have a course already plotted in the INS, which just does it all for you, but we have it written too, and sometimes, i like to take her off the A/P (need supervision by another cadet usually) and do the turn manually. Then, the consideration of crossing the busiest shipping lanes in the world take effect towards the middle of the crossing, where we plot a course through the traffic (from about ten miles away- ships move agreeably slowly) and we go right through. Have to watch for course changes and speed changes though, so all the ships nearby crossing our bows, I use the Decca set to track and notify, which means you bring them up so that the set warns you in the event of a course change, or speed change. Normally they are ok, but it can happen that they decide to move towards you or increase speed and change course slightly, to go around a slower moving vessel ahead, and we have to adjust our course accordingly. Thers always something to do, adjust the stabilisers, or get a GPS positioning to log, or run a test check of the emergency lighting in the hallways, or fill in the paperwork form the IMO inspection yesterday for the Captain to sign, or a whole host of other things to do. We have a CD player on the bridge, and I personally like to listen to Music when i'm sat up there. Tracy Chapman, Dire Straits, The Smiths, etc.

On the whole, its pretty boring, though you do get the chance to pick up the bins, and have a look closely at some of the other traffic in the lanes, and also in our tracks north or south. Seen some pretty monstrous ships up there... Saw Kapetan Giannis, a greek registered ULCC bound for Rotterdam, pass within three miles (close). She is well over half a million tonnes fully laden, and getting on for half a kilometre long... That was fun. In terms of boredom, well its a lovely view (its about 35 metres high up there, ) and you can always phone down to the reception to have someone bring you a bacon and egg sandwich. We have a kettle up there, and there always the cadet to talk to. Lively football debates and so on...
Then, if its the day crossings, we soemtimes get a few passengers get shown to the bridge. Reception phone up and ask if its ok, which i always say yes, unless it really bad weather, and they come up. The first thing they always say is "Arnt you a bit young to be the captain?" Im not the Captain, of course, but they never seem quite convinced by a 22 year old at the controls : )
If its really bad weather, then its a different story. The english channel can get truly horrible in the winter, and even in the summer we get some gales which are not that nice. In bad weather, you have to stay on your mettle for the whole shift, for the radar is not as effective, as the waves give you returns on the screen which make it diffcult to see individual tracks. If you re-allign it, so that it scans above the wave height tne you cant see anything below that, like fishing boats, pleasure craft etc. In that case, then you have to have two people with binoculars at all times, and normally an officer on the bridge as well, in which case i have do the paperwork of duty watchkeeper, but dont get to actually take the watch : (
Seriously, though, if its nice, then there all the time in the world to read Harry Potter, but if its bad weather then its a bit stressful. A thirty three thousand tonne cruiseferry would run over a fishing boat and you'd know nothing about it.

Well i guess its kind of similar to airliners, only i get paid a whole lot less than you guys do, though we dress similarly, and have a lot of people depending on us to get them there safely and comfortably.

Still wish i'd applied to BA and not P&O though...

Best Wishes
CHRIS MORGAN
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
CHRISBA777ER
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 12:12 pm

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Wed Nov 28, 2001 11:35 pm

Looking back through some of the other posts again, it does sound quite similar actually!
Bet your stewardesses are better looking though, and the passenger are more inclined to let you do your job, rather than comment on the way the ship is moving and ask you if you have doen this that and the other. I hate it when they do that...

CHRIS MORGAN
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
CHRISBA777ER
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 12:12 pm

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Thu Nov 29, 2001 4:18 am

Do any of you guys know any good websites about pilot training?

Im not kidding

CHIRS MORGAN
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
flightsimfreak
Posts: 698
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2000 9:36 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Thu Nov 29, 2001 6:14 am

No one would notice if you ran over a fishing vessle, but if an airliner ingested a Cessna... I'm sure someone would notice. I remember an accedent a few years ago when a 727 hit a Cessna and they both came down in a neighborhood. For a good pilot training website, go to jetcareers.com
 
A330
Posts: 688
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 12:31 am

RE: What So You Pilots DO?

Thu Nov 29, 2001 7:50 am

CHRISBA777,

Let me assure you that being a pilot is a lot better than being on deck...
I have earned my sealegs as a maritime officer but changed to aviation for the reason that being 6 months from home and no women ( exept the filipino '''maid'') is nothing for me...

So you thing winter gales in the Finestere are bad eh, have you ever crossed the Atlantic in February?!

By the way, which academy do you attend? Surely not in Antwerp... Bristol maybe?
Shiek!

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