krisyyz
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Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:00 am

I know a pilots ability and skill depends on their experience and personal attributes. But are there factors that make a group of pilots stand out among the rest?

Are ex-military pilots more "risk takers" or are pilots that have only flown commercially considered more accustom to flying pax?

Are there airlines that have a reputation for having really good or bad pilots?
For some reason I think of Cathy and IB respectively.

I've also noticed that some airlines have Captains in their 30s on heavies, and other airline only seem to promote Captains to B744/777/767/A330/340/MD11 after they turn 50 or so.

Any thoughts?

KrisYYZ
 
bond007
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:13 am

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Any thoughts?

Oh, you'll get plenty of thoughts  Wink

Of course you'll have Yes/No answers to all your questions.

Attitude IMO is a big factor on whether a pilot is 'good' or not.

Also, culture affects the performance of the flight crew. I know of many stories of where Asian flight crews had problems because of issues with seniority, and second-in-command not wanting to challenge the captain's decisons etc.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
col
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:18 am

I think one with the same number of take offs and landings is important.  crazy 
 
VEEREF
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:48 am

This ought to be interesting.......(sits back and pops open a beer).
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
timeair
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:57 am

easy...


the ones who don't crash and kill themselves ! duh!!
You can't get there from here.
 
jush
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:57 am

 drunk  3 replies and they're only saying:
Hey, this will get you interesting replies... *beer pops open*

Yep, and while I'm writing this stupid reply I realized that you have 4 replies now with no sense whatsoever  Wink

Regards
jush
There is one problem with airbus. Though their products are engineering marvels they lack passion, completely.
 
stirling
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:01 am

I was told Southwest Airlines had the best pilots.
Because they "Fly" the plane....
Delete this User
 
airtran737
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:01 am

One could argue that the military pilots are the best. They have been trained on taking aircraft to the limits, and how to push the envelope. One the other hand civilian pilots have been trained to fly airplanes the way they were meant to be flown. I know military and non-military pilots, and to be honest there really isn't a difference. The military guy can reminisce about doing CAT-Shots in an F14, whereas the civilian can reflect on flight instructing in a 152.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
laddb
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:07 am

How about crop duster or bush pilots? Acrobatic and test pilots? Or those that make it to pilot the shuttle or other space craft? Air Force One pilots? How can you say one is better than the other?

But of course everyone knows that THE best pilot in the world is Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell (Tom Cruise in Top Gun). He had the attitude down perfect.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:09 am

I'll have to throw my vote in for the ones that have yet to crash!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
flyf15
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:23 am

This is a pretty simple question with a pretty simple answer: I am the best pilot.
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:38 am

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Who Are The Best Pilots?



Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 9):
I'll have to throw my vote in for the ones that have yet to crash!

Second that.

Seriously though, I would think different pilots would excel with different aircraft. Example, a fighter pilot might be great with a fighter, but it may be a completely different story with a 747, assuming of course the pilot is trained for both. I think the question you are asking is highly subjective, it depends on ones view of "the best pilot."
 
A319XFW
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:45 am

The best pilot in an airliner is someone who gets you from A to B safely, in comfort and with a nice "kiss" landing  Smile

And to quantify, the best landing I've had was with an Airbus test pilot on an A319 (essentially you could hardly tell you'd landed) and the second best with a female Blue1 pilot on an RJ. So gender doesn't come into who is the best pilot!
 
pavlin
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:46 am

The fighter is the best way to fly. But I'm not sure if they are the best in commercial aviation
 
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N328KF
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:49 am

I will put in my vote for military pilots who have tanker or transport time. They're used to piloting similar aircraft, and no doubt get tons of hours. They are also probably used to long-endurance flights.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
bobnwa
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:52 am

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 7):
One could argue that the military pilots are the best. They have been trained on taking aircraft to the limits, and how to push the envelope.

Most military pilots do not fly fighters and have no experience taking aircraft to the limits. That being said, military pilots are probably the best because of the extensive training they receive on systems, electronics, weather,ATC and a multitude of other subjects.
 
IBERIA747
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:56 am

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
Are there airlines that have a reputation for having really good or bad pilots?
For some reason I think of Cathy and IB respectively.

That must be a very strange reason indeed.   . Don't worry, I'm not asking.

Just have to say that one of IB's strengths is the extraordinary quality and training of their pilots. I do criticize IB many times when I see something I don't like, but in this case I couldn't disagree more with your statement.

In fact, that's the main reason that makes me fly with Iberia...the sensation of safety and confidence that I feel every time I step on one of their aircraft. Safety-wise I know I am in good hands....good aircraft, good maintenance and excellent pilots.

And I am not saying that they're the best, but they're certainly among the best.

[Edited 2006-03-20 23:01:16]
¡¡VIVA ESPAÑA!!
 
elal106
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:00 am

The former pilots of the Israeli Air Force who now fly for ELAL, Israir and Arkia.
 
N766UA
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:01 am

I'll tell you one thing, the part 141 pilot factory guys who get hired with 200 hours TT sure aren't!
This Website Censors Me
 
CRGsFuture
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:06 am

Best pilots are the ones who land safely, aren't cocky, and know what they're talking about.

A pilot is a pilot, saying one is better to another is comparing fruits to veggies, all pilots are trained in the type rating and environments the airlines or Air Forces want. Like LX with training extensively with mountain and snow flying, pilots in the US trained with knowing every FAA procedure in the book. Tanker pilots taught how to keep a steady airspeed, all of these are meant to keep you the passenger or payload safe, and to their final destination weither MAD; or the side of a building.
Flying you to your destination; your girlfriend to her dreams.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:37 am

Quoting Elal106 (Reply 17):
The former pilots of the Israeli Air Force who now fly for ELAL, Israir and Arkia.

That sounds to me like a biased comment considering your username.

I don't know if you can say an F-16 pilot is better than the 59 year old dude flying a 747 coz they do different things with different stuff. Maybe you should have asked 'what makes one the best commercial pilot'. Anyways, the best pilot is the guy who get's you from point A to B but if I had to chose regardless of equipment, those blue angels suckers are pretty awesome. I just watched them yesterday and could give my left nut to fly one of those.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
mm320cap
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:52 am

Geesh,

What a question. There is no answer. No airline has the "Best" pilots. Every airline has some great pilots and some not so great pilots. You might be able to ask "Which airline has the best training?", but even that is really very subjective. I've had great training events at my airline, and lousy ones. Depends on the instructors, etc. etc.

As far as military vs. civilian. Again, from my experience, there is no correct answer. I've had some incredible military F/O's and some incredible civilian F/O's that came up through the commuter ranks. It just depends on the individual. Then again, how do you define a "good" pilot? One that flies smoothly? One that makes good landings? One that flies an iron cross ILS down to minimums? Makes excellent decisions? There is too much to quantify.

I warn you, fair readers, that there is more to your flight than the landing. I've flown with some guys that I would consider EXCELLENT pilots that just make average landings, and I've seen some guys/gals that kind of scared me who would press a pair of pants on the runway with their landings.
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:58 pm

Any bush pilot in Alaska who can land a plane on a glacier using ski's. As for the best "trained" commercial pilots, my vote goes to Alaska Airlines. They have to be flying around all of the mountains up here often in bad WX. AS was also the pioneer of the RNP/GPS technology. RNP = Realtime Navigational Performance which is now being used in Alaska and at other lower 48 airports such as SFO, DCA and RNO as I recall.
Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:14 pm

RNP = required navigational performance.



Honestly, what does "the best" mean?
Chicks dig winglets.
 
CO7e7
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:19 pm

Quoting Laddb (Reply 8):
How can you say one is better than the other?

I don't think one pilot is better than another. Because if they were't really good they wouldn't be pilots to begin with.
I'll vote for # of hours and experience.
 
rdwelch
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:27 pm

My grandfather was IMHO the best hands down. He started out in the civil air sector flying for Heinkel Air in W. Penn (I think they were eventually taken in by what is now USAirways), then went into WWII as an instructor company comander in the old USAAF at Goodfellow Field. I went there 40 years to the month after him for my tech school.

Anyhow, my reasoning is that he was recongnized by Jimmy Doolittle as the most technically and naturally gifted pilot he has ever known. (kinda a good endorsement I'd say) A little civ air, and little military, and there you have it.

When my dad and I were both getting our lessons, he would sit in the background and not interfere unless we asked him for advice, which was always. Our instructor went up with him in a 172 just for grins and giggles and he said it was the most enjoyable flight he had ever taken.

Ol George, as my dad and I called him was a man before his time.

Gus.
They say I have ADD, but they don't understand..Oh look! A chicken!
 
superhub
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:30 pm

If you mean best-trained commercial pilots or those who are most vigorously trained and have a high standard on safety and procedures...then CX pilots are definitely right up there.
 
n6238p
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:31 pm

My very bias opinion is that the pilots that come out of SIU are the best.  wink 

I do think the best pilots out there are the CFI's with the minimal flight time PPL student because they have to always be on top of everything. Especially on those first crosswind landings, the CFI's never seem to get enough credit for the job they do.
To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
 
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fxramper
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:43 pm

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 9):
I'll have to throw my vote in for the ones that have yet to crash!

what about the UA Sioux City Iowa flight crew. Are they not worthy? They survived!
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:12 pm

Quoting FXramper (Reply 28):
what about the UA Sioux City Iowa flight crew. Are they not worthy? They survived!

That was one hell of a landing. Not many pilots would have landed that plane. Heck, I doubt they could have done it w/out the DC 10 instructor on the plane as a pax.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
fly727
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:18 pm

Quoting KrisYYZ (Thread starter):
For some reason I think of Cathy and IB respectively.

Numero uno: You mean Cathay Pacific instead of Cathy, right?
Numero dos: Get ready for some good bashing from our Spaniard members.

This question is the equivalent to "Who are the best lovers in the world?" to which I just have a very appropriate thought on both matters:

I wish I had as much money as my friends think I have.
I wish I had as many women as my wife thinks I have, and...
I wish I could fly as great as I say I do.

RM  Smile

PS. Couldn't let it go without confirming my statement: Who's the best pilot? Of course I am!
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
nzrich
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:21 pm

Any Pilot that can fly into DUD Dunedin New Zealand on a bad day with all the crosswinds there has my vote had some very hair raising flights in to there ..
"Pride of the pacific"
 
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glideslope
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:24 pm

USMC. Down and Dirty.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:28 pm

LOL I'm Just waiting to hear somebody say "me!" oh the flamming they will get!  Wink
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
bond007
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:16 pm

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 24):

I don't think one pilot is better than another. Because if they were't really good they wouldn't be pilots to begin with.
I'll vote for # of hours and experience.

Of course that's not true. Any job that requires qualifications, from CPAs to Doctors to Truck Drivers to Chefs etc.. there are good ones and not so good ones. It has little to do with hours and experience. You could have a pilot with 10,000 hours that is no 'better' than one with 1,000.

You could have a 50 year-old pilot who's been flying for 30 years but cannot handle an emergency...and a 23 year-old that could save the day.

But, I'll join the others...what does 'better' mean. There is no answer to this question.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Euclid
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:17 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 33):
LOL I'm Just waiting to hear somebody say "me!" oh the flamming they will get!

It has been said in reply 10 already.
 
bond007
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting Mm320cap (Reply 21):
warn you, fair readers, that there is more to your flight than the landing.

Agreed. IMO how smooth the landing is has nothing to with how good a pilot is.

Whether or not you do a smooth landing or not is more luck than judgement (with exceptions of course  Smile)

A hard landing in a crosswind might be a great landing depending on the conditions.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Arrow
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:30 am

Definition of a good pilot: an aviator who uses his/her superior judgment to ensure that he/she rarely ever has to use his/her superior skills.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
IBERIA747
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:28 am

Quoting Fly727 (Reply 30):
Get ready for some good bashing from our Spaniard members.

No reason for bashing anyone here pal. I just told him that there was no reason to think the way he did/does...read reply 16.

Anyway...I pretty much agree with most replies on this thread.
¡¡VIVA ESPAÑA!!
 
N908AW
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:57 am

Best pilots are the ones that use pilot lingo to tell you where we are.
Best pilots are the ones who can stick a landing in 35kts crosswinds on 25L in LAS without being distracted by the beautiful sunset in front of them over the mountains, or the strip.
Best pilots are the ones who don't give you a grand tour of your 1700 mile journey.
Best pilolts are the ones who tell you whats going on.
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
 
CO787
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:32 am

In my opinon, the best pilots would have to be former fighter pilots with extensive commerical training. Anybody who can land a F-16 moving 180mph on an aircraft carrier that is moving in excess of 30knts, in 20-30ft seas, with 50-60mph crosswinds, with minimal lights on, stick the tow hook with in a 75ft strip of runway, within a foot of the centerline, and oh yeah, stop on a slick 750ft long runway, would seem to be a better pilot than a rookie out of flight school. Just my honest opinon.
 
mikkel777
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:36 am

The superior pilot is the pilot who, through the use of his superior judgement, minimizes the need for his superior skill.

And, I am 100% certain that it is not me Big grin
 
fspilot747
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:50 am

You wanted to know who the best is?
That's him. Iceman.



He flies ice-cold. No mistakes.
 
VEEREF
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 37):
Definition of a good pilot: an aviator who uses his/her superior judgment to ensure that he/she rarely ever has to use his/her superior skills.

Ding ding ding! Folks we have a winner! Couldn't have said it better myself!
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
bravo45
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:27 am

Well I think it depends on your defination of best. Some would consider those who fly smoothly,land smoothly and so on.
In my opinion you can't say a certain airlines or airforce has the best pilots, thats talking about groups that include those who may not be the best.
Generally the best are the ones that have:
The most training and/or the most experience.

"I have flown in just about everything, with all kinds of pilots in all parts of the world - British, French, Pakistani, Iranian, Japanese, Chinese - and there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between any of them except for one unchanging, certain fact: the best, most skillful pilot has the most experience."
Chuck Yeager.

In terms of groups of pilots, I would say probably test pilots may be the best.
 
SLUAviator
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:20 am

Quoting N6238P (Reply 27):
My very bias opinion is that the pilots that come out of SIU are the best.  

No way.... us SLU pilots are way better then anything SIU could ever dream of cooking up! HA HA! I have a couple of friends who went there, we get into this fight all the time!

Quoting CO787 (Reply 40):
Anybody who can land a F-16 moving 180mph on an aircraft carrier that is moving in excess of 30knts, in 20-30ft seas, with 50-60mph crosswinds, with minimal lights on, stick the tow hook with in a 75ft strip of runway, within a foot of the centerline, and oh yeah, stop on a slick 750ft long runway

Must be one hell of a fighter driver to land an F-16 on a carrier because I don't anyone has ever done that before. Big grin

I think you mean the F-4/14/18/all the other carrier fighters, not an F-16.
What do I know? I just fly 'em.......
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:49 am

Quoting CO787 (Reply 40):
with 50-60mph crosswinds,

They never have 50-60kt x-winds on a carrier. Jeez!!
 
panam92
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:10 am

The US Navy pilots who just have flown a night mission only to land their plane on a moving ship in almost total darkness.
 
barney captain
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:24 am

Quoting CO787 (Reply 40):
Anybody who can land a F-16 moving 180mph on an aircraft carrier that is moving in excess of 30knts, in 20-30ft seas, with 50-60mph crosswinds,

Too many movies my boy. And an F-16 on an aircraft carrier? Hmmmmm...
Southeast Of Disorder
 
seanp11
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RE: Who Are The Best Pilots?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:34 am

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 48):
Too many movies my boy. And an F-16 on an aircraft carrier? Hmmmmm...

Well, I think F-16s have an emergency tail hook, but the stress of landing on a carrier would probably cause the landing gear to collapse.  Wink

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