Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Sun Dec 24, 2000 8:27 pm

I have a question for pilots (not a technical one actually) :
What is the little moment in your "everyday" pilot life when you particularly appreciate being a pilot, is it during the flight or 20 minutes before or after the flight?Or is it during cruising and sipping a coffee, or on approach, or take off...?
Please share those thoughts and feelings you may have at these moments.

CX Flyboy
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Mon Dec 25, 2000 12:09 am

It is nice to turn the cockpit lights down at night, stare outside and watch the world go by, as well as seeing shooting stars.

It's also a great feeling as you set take-off thrust and you feel the power of the engines and feel the acceleration down the runway.....although it doesn't feel so great doing heavyweight takeoffs and seeing the red lights at the end of the runway rushing towards you quickly, with the airspeed still slowly increasing!
Gate Keeper
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RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Mon Dec 25, 2000 5:35 am

Mine has to be pulling up to the gate in a blizzard after a successful Cat III approach, then saying goodbye to all the passengers (many with Christmas presents in their hands). Feels good playing Santa Claus in a way. Then I realize the drive home is going to be much more dangerous.  

Seasons Greetings to all!
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 8:47 am

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:25 pm

Skimming across a cirrus layer around 340 indicated on climb or descent just prior to level off.

Aside from that, setting the parking brake blocking in on the last day, to go home.

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Fri Dec 29, 2000 9:16 am

For me it's got to be one of the following:
1. Watching the northern lights dance around while we're on our way to Europe.
2. Looking up and actually seeing the runway at the bottom of a low-minimums approach. I've been doing this for 35 years now and it's still as exciting now as it was the very first time.
3. What Ewr757 said, "Skimming across a cirrus layer around 340 indicated on climb or descent just prior to level off."
Oh and by the way, I'd be less than honest if I didn't say...
4. Cashing my paycheck. Somebody actually pays me an awful lot of money to do this! I don't know what I'd do if I ever had to get a "real" job.

Happy New Year everyone!


RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Sun Dec 31, 2000 1:59 pm

(1). Any successful night trap.

(2). Any successful plug. The baskets on the KC-135s always seemed to be bent all to hell, and it was hard to get the probe in there. The UK L1011 refuelers were awesome! KC-130s were slow.

(3). Any departure out of Pohang Korea.

(4). The Miramar O Club

(5). Oceana

(6). Graduating SERE school

(7). Australian Girls when I was still single!!  

(8). Hearing "cleared hot" from the FAC.
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RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Sun Dec 31, 2000 9:18 pm

Hi all!
I would just like to post one thought:


If your best moment as a pilot is setting the parking brake to go home, you'd better not fly... Go home and stay there.
The best moment in a cockpit is a dusk or clear night take off, and the most exciting, a CatIII or Xwind approach.

Best turbulences, and ENJOY FLYING!!!


Sun Dec 31, 2000 9:53 pm

What could possibly be more satisfying than setting that break after a long and successful flight?
Furthermore, how can YOU tell a commercial pilot to go home and stay there!!! Oh well... I tell ya' if I get to fulfill my dream, my best moment will be very similar to EWR757's and all the others aswell.

Regards: Sven
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:33 am

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Sun Dec 31, 2000 10:40 pm

Obviously I do not try to offend anybody.
But flight is (or should be) a PASSION and the best moment in a pilot's life should be while on the air. Here en Europe, it is unfortunately very difficult and expensive to reach to a pilot school, and if one does it just for another job, just for getting paid at the end of the month, just for turning it into another rutine (and thus putting his/her life and the passengers' in danger) should better leave it for people enjoying it more.
You could also say that the parking brakes after a successful, pleasant flight is the biggest satisfaction, along with the happiness of having safely transported 35 or 485 passengers to their destination, or maybe back home with their families, and I'll share it with you and everybody else.
But say this is the best moment in your job's life, is like rushing as soon as possible out of work when you finished, because you are tired, bored and don't know how many other ungrateful feelings.
This is more aproximately what I meant. Sorry if I caused any incovenient misunderstanding.
Happy new year, too.

Best turbulences.

Mr. Turbulence Sir

Mon Jan 01, 2001 1:49 am

I think it's safe to say that nearly all pro pilots
enjoy flying, but there are days that even the
most passionately entranced pilot notices that
it is actually a job. Fortunately, most of the
time it's nearly the rapture you imagine it
should be.

Imagine a day like this:

The aircraft is late due to weather. Once
you finally start boarding, a loud mouth
drunk causes a scene and you have to take
him off. After the agent leaves (cabin
door closed), The Flight Attendants call,
a mifed businessman refuses to turn off
his cell phone. Pushing back from gate
a tire gets punchered from FOD on the
ramp. 45 minutes later you're on your
way again, but due to the cummlative
delays - your flight plan times out.
After refiling, you get in line for
takeoff, number 18... while in line the
aircraft behind you spots an open access
door, so it's back to the ramp.
Door closed and back in line you make
your way through the line, but not before
one of the Lav flush motors fail.
You take off about 3 hours late and
start to settle in when dispatch sends
you a message...
Your destination now has a disabled
accident aircraft on it's primary runway,
and you cannot use the much shorter
secondary runway. Dispatch directs
you to an alternate airport, where
buses will take your passengers to
the destination.
Apon arrival at the alternate it takes
30+ minutes to get a parking spot and
mobile stairs to get the people off, all
of the lavs are maxed out and stink.
During exiting, A wine bottle falls from
the overhead and cracks open an older
ladies head, paramedics are called.
As you get into the terminal, you
see the scene, one lone agent, all of
your passengers and NO buses. It's
Since you are now out of duty time,
rest is your only option - after 20 minutes
of calling local hotels you still haven't
found anything... 2 other airline flights
had diverted here as well.
An hour later, after the buses leave,
the lone agent finds you rooms on the
far side of town - a small family owned
place. Now, all that's left is to wait yet
another 40 minutes for their van...

But... tommarow... we'll dance on
laughered silvered wings!

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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 9:10 pm

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Mon Jan 01, 2001 3:56 am

My personal favorite is to find the runway straight ahead and red over white(VASİs) after an ILS approach inside the clouds ,crappy weather and rain but stillmaking a good landing. Setting the parking brake shows your relief for bringing your passengers and yourself safely on the ground for their loved ones.Everything gets routine in life but shooting an approach at limits never looses its adrenalin .You can't have the same passion every single day the same as the first day but that doesn't mean turning into a routine means putting your and passengers life in danger
And money what happens without it?Nothing.Having a well deserved paycheck of course brings you satisfaction.We are professionals and this is our job.
follow me on my facebook page" captain wing's journey log"
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RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Mon Jan 01, 2001 2:16 pm

Hey Turbulence being a pilot is a JOB Like all others of us I am sure pilots have bad days to!
The Ohio Player

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Tue Jan 02, 2001 3:38 am


The more I read your story, the more I like just haul'n them boxes!  Reminded me too much of my commuter flying days.

Happy New Year!

RE: Mr. Turbulence

Tue Jan 02, 2001 4:54 am

I can certainly understand your "passion" statement. No disrespect intended but are you passionate about your wine selling? Do you look forward to going to work everyday? I had that same "passion" or enthusiasm for flying most of my life. For the most part I still do but it's becoming more and more just a job.

Passion and enthusiasm for aviation are why most people get into this industry. Growing up I, like many others, read everything I could get my hands on about flying. A good time was hanging around the airport watching planes come and go while day-dreaming about exotic locals, far off lands and flying the widebodies on stormy nights to safe landings as the passengers cheered. I would then swagger down the terminal in my sharp nicely pressed uniform with complete admiration from all who saw me. Yep....that's how I had it figured when I was 16 yrs old.

Unfortunately, I got alittle older and reality began to rear it's ugly head. It's hard to explain to someone in a job sitting behind a desk all day, or an aspiring young pilot (daydreaming like me) about some of the pit falls of a career in aviation. They just don't see it. It's one of those, "You have to be there and live it in order to believe it..." kind of things.

Flying the airplane IS the fun part and I wouldn't trade that part for any other job in the world. In that respect I am truely living out a boyhood dream. Unfortunately, the actual flying part is a small part of the total job. Dealing with the everyday logistics and hassles of moving an airplane from point A to B is what gets very tiring and can take the "passion" out of the job real fast.

The constant pressures of maintaining a family life while being away on a trip for a week or more begin to take their toll. Missing major holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries because your in a hotel room half way around the world is a definite negative to the job.

Having to take recurrent sim checks and physicals every year are added stressors to one's chosen career that most people don't have to worry about in their career field.

Constant scrutiny from the FAA, news media and general public have tarnished a once respected career field. I've had folks who wouldn't know the difference between a pitot tube and a dip tube question (everyone seems to be an expert these days) every decision I make on how and where to operate my airplane cause they saw something on CNN.

Anyway, sorry for all the b*tch'in. Got me on a bad day I guess. Passion is why most of us get in the business but not why most stay in it.

My favorite part of a flight (getting back to the original question) starts from about a 5 mile final to touchdown. This is where technique meets finese and everything comes together in the search for perfection! I never get tired of that.

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Tue Jan 02, 2001 12:40 pm

Hi, I would say my best moment would be when, on track to destination, looking out the window and noticing the snow covered apline mountains as far as the eye can see, both to the North and South while maintaining a altitude just above the mountain tops. Just amasing. It really does make up for the bad days stuck on the ground.

Hmmm - nice day - bug is biting (flying bug!)- better go

Happy nu year to eveyone.
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:33 am

Excuse Me Please

Wed Jan 03, 2001 9:03 pm


I can understand that there's also difficult days when flying. I can understand some things about rutines and getting used to some parts of the work, which is a work, finally, but even though I could not separate it from the passion part.

You described, for sure, the almost worst possible day for a pilot, but for sure there are not too many like this one. I must confess that such a situation would be maybe too much for anybody, but my policy when things go wrong is take them easy and try to overpass the moment in the best possible way. Anyhow, in such a situation, the solutions come often from people around the pilot (technics, mechanics, traffic control, doctors, ground staff for coordination, etc.). His/her responsability is somehow limited to decide if taking off or not and in which circumstances. I mean that the pilot does not have to take drunks off the plane, does not have to change the punctured tyre, does not have to get provided new slots by himself, does not have to close the door. Does not have to fix the flush motor and has not to search for an alternate airport. Neither has he/she to organize the busses, nor to organize the paramedics or find a room to overnight.
As HeavyJet writes, flying the airplane IS the fun part of the work, but also is mostly the part executed by him/herself, and wil be executed only when everyone around will have properly done whatever must be done.
And thank you for the tittle of "Sir".

Yes, pilot IS a job. But unlike wine selling, where I fell almost without noticing it, and in the need of a job, being a pilot is something everyone has to struggle hard for, and (I hope) is because of a pleasure expected from it.

Heavy: although I "fell" across the wine selling job almost without noticing it, as I wrote above, and although I'd prefer too much to be flying rather than in a cave, I owe to tell you and everybody else that yes, I have a passion for this job, passion which I created to myself since the very first moment I was forced to start there.

To all of you:
Thanks to my passion, the touristic wine business has become of myself, and thanks to my everyday passion (still now, after 14 years) for it, learning also languages (I currently speak seven fluent ones and have knowledge of another two), I opened my market from just French and Italian clients to Belgian, Swiss due to the original languages, but also to all kind of ex-Sovietics due to russian, Greeks and Cypriots due to greek, Portuguese and Brazilian due to Portuguese, Germans, Austrians and rest of Swiss because of German, British, Americans, Canadians, Australians etc., due to English, and onother wide "variety", such as Netherlanders, Scandinavians, Turks, Yugoslavians, and even Japanese, thanks to intermediary languages.
And for sure I can tell you that I have more hard days than a pilot has, specially when after one day having slept very little because my 12-day old child was awaken all night, and going to the factory because I've run out of plastic degustation glasses, and going to the bank because I have to provide myself of coins for giving rests, and arriving late because a truck accident had blocked the highway under heavy rain, and calling the service because the fridge has stopped chilling, I find myself alone with a 65-people group in front of me, a box bottom opens, breaking three bottles on the floor, at the same time that the dataphone does not accept a credit card and the telephone rings, while some people want to pay in Pesetas (local currency), some others want to pay in French Francs, some other in Italian Lire, and some more in travelers' cheques, from which some are in Dollars, some others in Pesetas and some others in Euros. And another one asks if he will be getting the rest in dollars when paying in dollars, and to what rate I count them, the day the radio said the exchange had had a big difference with the previous day, and that person does not accept my suggestion of rate, which I otherwise take directly from my bank and do not decide by myself. All of these in a peak touristic day like 28, 29 and 30 of December, when, instead of having three or four groups as in normal high season, there's a continuous flow (otherwise good) of sixteen groups concentrated in the two hours before and after lunch, reason for which I have remained with my hungry stomach empty, and with the guides arguing who's first or if the one who came in overpassed the turn of the one having arrived before. And the solution to all of this must come from my head and nobody's else just immediately.
Am I entitled enough for writing comments about the passion for the job or not?
As I stated before I did not try to offend anybody, but specially here in Spain, there are too many people who rush out of work as soon as possible. Maybe my idea of flying is a little bit too much poetic, as HeavyJet writes, but, despite difficult moments, being a pilot is one of the few jobs that TRULY respond to a passion since the very beginning (otherwise the "candidate" does not begin with it).

Hope I have clarified all what I meant.

Happy New Year to everybody

Best turbulences, too.
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 1999 5:37 am

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Thu Jan 04, 2001 8:20 am

My uncle is a pilot and he doesnt come to so i asked him what his favorite time to be a pilot is and this was his reply:

"When we reach our crusing altitude, and I look all around, and say, damn what an impressice office I have, sure beats the hell out of a cubicle"

I think of that everytime I hear a plane fly over.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear"
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RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Thu Jan 04, 2001 2:29 pm

1. On an overcast and dreary day, when I climb out of the soup and see the sun light shinning off the clouds and mountain peaks below.

2. On an ILS approach down to minimums and just making out the runway prior to reaching DH. After setting it down, the satisfaction it gives me to think that "I did that"
Posts: 1974
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2001 1:20 pm

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Thu Jan 04, 2001 3:07 pm

Rolling onto the taxiway after landing. Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!!
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Fri Jan 05, 2001 12:51 am

>>Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!!<<


Any landing you can walk away from is a great landing.

Any landing that they can actually use the airplane again is a good one. 
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RE:RE Turbulence

Fri Jan 05, 2001 2:45 am

It is a job not a religon.
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RE: Excuse Me Please

Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:00 am

Some of us who do this day in and day out, year over year, are not fanatics about airplanes. At least not anymore.

It doesn't mean I am one iota less safe or responsible. Isn't that the bottom line anyway?

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:23 am

Thank you for all those interesting and in-depth answers to my question
Actually, what does this sentence mean ? : "(8). Hearing "cleared hot" from the FAC."
Thanx and Happy New Year to all of you!
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 1999 5:37 am

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Fri Jan 05, 2001 6:52 am

I belive that "being cleared hot" was a term in Veitnam? by the Forward Air Controllers (FAC) allowing the fighters to attack a taget. I think thats what that means.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear"
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2000 3:31 pm

RE: Prefered Moment In Your Pilot Daily Life?

Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:25 am

FAC = Forward Air Controller - an Air Force personnel who is responsible for coordinating close air support between the ground units and the air units. They can be airborne or on the ground with the maneuvering unit.

"Cleared Hot" = Cleared to release/fire weapons once a target has been acquired.

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