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NG1Fan
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Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:48 am

Just wondering on this one - why are pilots, irrespective of the airline they work for, dressed in essentially the same uniform of dark blue/black with white shirt & tie?

Why don't airline pilot uniforms reflect the branding projected by Flight Attendants? Is it a pride thing - is it a union thing - is it a tradition thing where they came from armed forces to start with?

Just curious!

NG1Fan
 
mpdpilot
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:53 am

I would guess that some of it has to do with the almost militaristic view of some of the people in charge. I know for my program at ASU there is an interview and the guys running it are ex-military and it is blue or black.
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LASoctoberB6
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:55 am

well jetBlue's pilots are in blue tees and a tie..although they are the only ones to have a different color it seems..
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aloha73g
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:57 am

Probably because like doctors, they want to present a professional image in line with the amount of training they went through.

Although, JetBlue pilots do wear dark blue shirts, and Delta has a double breasted jacket which is often talked about here in a positive way.

I could definately imagine some more variety (like a red tie for Delta, Blues for UA, Red/White/Blue for AA etc.) The problem with this is that pilots would end up looking similar to Male F/As.

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NG1Fan
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 am

What about the engineers then? IIRC, they are dressed essentially the same as pilots, only the colour of their lapels and whatever those gold/silver bands on the sleeves are called.

For example: Lufthansa pilots use gold, engineers use silver, right?

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bok269
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:11 am

Quoting NG1Fan (Reply 4):

Epaulets? I don't know about the differing colors (especially as F/Es are very rare in mainline ops these days), but (usually) Captain has 4 stripes and FO has three.

If you look at it, most male F/A uniforms lack color as well. I guess the airlines feel that a standard suit-type uniform is the most professional for a male crew member.
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a380us
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:05 am

can you imagin pilots in a light green for S7  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:34 am

Quoting NG1Fan (Thread starter):
Why don't airline pilot uniforms reflect the branding projected by Flight Attendants? Is it a pride thing - is it a union thing - is it a tradition thing where they came from armed forces to start with?

The traditional airline pilot uniforms have naval/sea-going origins. The dark blue or black colour, stripes on the sleeve, gold buttons, epaulets and hats. are very similar to the uniforms worn by officers on ships (both navy and merchant marine) long before airlines existed. Even the titles Captain and First Officer have sea-going origins. And the names Stewardess/Steward/Purser, once very commonly used for the cabin crew (now much less so but still used by a few carriers) were the names used for similar positions on ocean liners.
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:46 am

Quoting A380US (Reply 6):
can you imagin pilots in a light green for S7

Or if Braniff were still around with Ultra colors??? It would be almost like a 60's acid trip  drunk 
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:00 pm

Quoting NG1Fan (Thread starter):
Why don't airline pilot uniforms reflect the branding projected by Flight Attendants? Is it a pride thing - is it a union thing - is it a tradition thing where they came from armed forces to start with?

Imagine the poor DHL guys in that bright yellow and red!! They'd look like they work for KFC
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mandala499
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:11 pm

We already got Adam Air pilots wearing those orange shirts and no ties! (But the male F/As wear white shirts with orange ties)...

I'd say they look kinda "hideous"... Better the standard crew uniform with the airline colours on the tie (like Lion, the tie is of the same pattern colours as the F/A uniform).

Mandala499
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:04 pm

UPS pilots were brown paints, epaulets, hat and white shirt.

But for simple terms, most airlines uniforms are ordered through mass suppliers. Also the people running the big airlines are still stuck in the super professional straight cut airline style of the 50s.
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TreeHillRavens
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:10 pm

Well, not all airlines flight attendant uniform colors have anything to do with the airline corporate livery. MH and JL are one of them.

Green is the color for MH flight attendant uniforms (both male & female) and MH corporate livery is in red, blue, grey and white. There is no green.
 
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JBo
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:59 pm

In addition to different color ties, etc., sometimes the epaulets themselves will have different style stripes from airline to airline. Many use simple gold or silver stripes ... I know JetBlue has blue stripes to match the uniform ... and Midwest and Skyway have a burgundy stripe lined with silver or gold.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:32 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 11):
UPS pilots were brown paints, epaulets, hat and white shirt.

They look a bit like the old WW2 US Army Air Force uniform though.

Jan
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3MilesToWRO
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:36 pm

All your questionable examples are in fact trivial. American Airlines displays NAKED metal. Dodge this  Wink
 
JetJock22
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:56 pm

Have you guys seen the Skybus pilot unis? While everyone else is in black and orange jeans and t shirts, the pilots have olive green pants and a tan shirt. It's very WW2ish. They stick out like a sore thumb. And our (Jetblue) pilots don't wear t shirts, they are short sleeved button down shirts.
 
aauzou
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:38 pm

I imagine its a confidence thing, as a passenger you want pilot to fly the plane, not act as a walking billboard for the airline!!

Regards
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:10 pm

It's all in the presentation gentleman. The way you portray yourself is a direct impact on the way the pax feel about you as you walk up to the a/c. You have a couple, or perhaps hundreds of eyeballs scoping you as you walk to the jet, so why look like a slob? I can't stand guys who can't bother to get a haircut, tuck their shirt in straight, or shine their shoes once in awhile. You can generally tell an ex military guy from a civilian guy.

We're lucky in that we only wear polos and dark slacks, but that's corporate for you...still though, the standards for a crisp image apply.

DeltaGuy
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RussianJet
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:25 pm

Asiana pilots wear a kind of buff / tan colour uniform.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:50 pm

The WN pilots have american flag ties, IIRC.
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AlanUK
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:57 pm

Quoting NG1Fan (Thread starter):
Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Now now, we wouldn't want pilots to look like ground staff, cabin crew or other mortals, would we?

 duck 
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:06 pm

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 18):
It's all in the presentation gentleman. The way you portray yourself is a direct impact on the way the pax feel about you as you walk up to the a/c.

It would be very interesting to see someone adopt the Pan Am uniform from the 60's, complete with the white cap. That would be classy. Not likely, but classy.
 
positiverate
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:12 pm

Quoting Mpdpilot (Reply 1):
the almost militaristic view of some of the people in charge

The military isn't in charge of most airlines.

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 18):
I can't stand guys who can't bother to get a haircut, tuck their shirt in straight, or shine their shoes once in awhile.

Or, this is the big one, the rule at DL as I understand it is that pilots must wear their hats at all times in the terminal. I see lots of guys who don;t do that. The other thing that some guys at DL do is fail to button up their double breatsed uniform jacket. It looks terrible.

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 22):
It would be very interesting to see someone adopt the Pan Am uniform from the 60's, complete with the white cap. That would be classy. Not likely, but classy.

Delta's uniform is essentially the PA uniform, with the exception of the white cap.
 
777STL
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:28 pm

Don't Aer Lingus cabin crew wear uniforms similar to the green color in their aircrafts' livery? That's my recollection from visiting Ireland.
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yowza
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:34 pm

It's for the pax benefit. Just as most pax feel safer on a cleaner plane they feel safer if the pilots look professional. I would be less comfortable if I saw my crew stroll past in bermuda shorts and flowered shirts...

As for branding well they are safely locked away in the cockpit so they don't make much of an impression in that regard.

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falstaff
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:49 pm

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 8):
Or if Braniff were still around with Ultra colors??? It would be almost like a 60's acid trip

If I recall correctly UA pilot uniforms were brown in the 70s and 80s.

Quoting Aloha73G (Reply 3):
Probably because like doctors, they want to present a professional image in line with the amount of training they went through

I think that about sums it up. They do have a lot of training and they should stand out from the crowd. I think the average airline passenger likes to see the flight crew in a sharp uniform. It looks professional.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:10 pm

Quoting NG1Fan (Reply 4):
For example: Lufthansa pilots use gold, engineers use silver, right

Out here Engineers on Line Mx have the same Gold stripes with a thin purple line at the outboard end.In Major Mx it the Coverall.
regds
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floridaflyboy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:24 am

Quoting JBo (Reply 13):
In addition to different color ties, etc., sometimes the epaulets themselves will have different style stripes from airline to airline. Many use simple gold or silver stripes ... I know JetBlue has blue stripes to match the uniform ... and Midwest and Skyway have a burgundy stripe lined with silver or gold.

Very true. My father flies for ABX, and I believe their stripes are dark grey or black (Hard to remember), but they're not the traditional silver or gold.

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 22):
Pan Am uniform from the 60's, complete with the white cap. That would be classy.

Yes, the white cap was awesome! Classiest airline uniform ever.
Good goes around!
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:52 am

AA pilots should wear silver jumpsuits! Big grin

But I fear that WN pilots may look like prisoners in orange.  Sad
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:58 am

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 22):
It would be very interesting to see someone adopt the Pan Am uniform from the 60's, complete with the white cap. That would be classy. Not likely, but classy.

Ahh yes, the Good-boy look. That looked like something from the seafaring days. Juan Tripp had it right.

Quoting Positiverate (Reply 23):
Or, this is the big one, the rule at DL as I understand it is that pilots must wear their hats at all times in the terminal. I see lots of guys who don;t do that. The other thing that some guys at DL do is fail to button up their double breatsed uniform jacket. It looks terrible.

And alot of guys will give them shit for it, and rightfully so. It sets a bad tone for everyone who bothers to have their uniforms drycleaned, tailored, and worn properly.

Same goes for the military...I can't stand all the losers who get fat and still wear their uniform without regard to how it looks, or don't bother to put an iron to it every once in awhile. Unlike the airlines, our uniforms are free, so why not go get another one if yours looks like hell?

DeltaGuy
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extspotter
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:53 am

I would laugh if the First Choice/Skyservice colours were applied to the captain and f/o uniforms. Pretty in pink, white and green.

I feel sorry for the First Choice holiday reps who have to wear a horrid pink, white and purple suit or dress. On the aircraft before arriving at the destination airport, a film is shown where it describes First Choice reps are easy to recognise in the terminal in their "distinctive" uniforms. I nearly wet myself it looks so stupid.

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ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:24 am

This is from Wikipedia for Pan American World Airways (Pan Am):

The "Clippers"—the name harking back to the 19th century clipper ships—were the only American passenger aircraft of the time capable of intercontinental travel. To compete with ocean liners, the airline offered first-class seats on such flights, and the style of flight crews became more formal. Instead of being leather-jacketed, silk-scarved airmail pilots, the crews of the "Clippers" wore naval-style uniforms and adopted a set procession when boarding the aircraft.





Basically, it was under Juan Trippe's helm that airline pilots began to adopt a naval style uniform to convey a since of professionalism and safety... it no longer was some unrefined crazy daring air mail pilot flyin' you from point A to point B.... you have to remember, all the ocean/nautical influence was easy to adopt into aviation at that point because the main airline in the United States, Pan Am, was operating flying boats.
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jamesbaldwyn
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:37 am

How about an easyjet pilot Big grin
 
BoeingBoy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:12 am

Quoting NG1Fan (Thread starter):
Just wondering on this one - why are pilots, irrespective of the airline they work for, dressed in essentially the same uniform of dark blue/black with white shirt & tie?

Because they are Pilots - not a member of a football team - or Soccer team for you europeans
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FlyHoss
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:24 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 7):
The traditional airline pilot uniforms have naval/sea-going origins. The dark blue or black colour, stripes on the sleeve, gold buttons, epaulets and hats. are very similar to the uniforms worn by officers on ships (both navy and merchant marine) long before airlines existed. Even the titles Captain and First Officer have sea-going origins. And the names Stewardess/Steward/Purser, once very commonly used for the cabin crew (now much less so but still used by a few carriers) were the names used for similar positions on ocean liners.

I think Viscount724 nailed it. Also, as mentioned earlier in this thread, Pan Am's uniform selection really set the standard that other carriers chose to emulate.

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):
This is from Wikipedia for Pan American World Airways (Pan Am):

The "Clippers" the name harking back to the 19th century clipper ships were the only American passenger aircraft of the time capable of intercontinental travel. To compete with ocean liners, the airline offered first-class seats on such flights, and the style of flight crews became more formal. Instead of being leather-jacketed, silk-scarved airmail pilots, the crews of the "Clippers" wore naval-style uniforms and adopted a set procession when boarding the aircraft.

Basically, it was under Juan Trippe's helm that airline pilots began to adopt a naval style uniform to convey a since of professionalism and safety... it no longer was some unrefined crazy daring air mail pilot flyin' you from point A to point B.... you have to remember, all the ocean/nautical influence was easy to adopt into aviation at that point because the main airline in the United States, Pan Am, was operating flying boats.

Why change the pilot uniforms? Besides UAL's miserable (IMHO) brown uniform experiment, they really haven't changed much. Why should they? There's the cost of the change and the vast majority of the time, the pilots aren't in view of the passengers. There are much more pressing issues for air carriers to handle.

I'd be very happy to lose the tie, though.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
txkf2010
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:03 am

Love 2 see them Fedex pilots in the purple n white lol
 
MDW22L31C
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:21 am

UPS Brown and more Brown.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:08 am

Quoting InnocuousFox (Reply 29):

But I fear that WN pilots may look like prisoners in orange.

I know one that did...  Wink

Back in the late 1970s or very early 1980s, one of our departures off 13R at DAL hit a pelican at 6,000 feet, right on the nose. (Don't ask me what a pelican was doing at 6,000 feet, nearly 250nm from the Gulf). The bird hit the radome, went through it, hit the weather radar antenna (big buck$ there), continued through the 178 bulkhead, and came to rest behind the captain's rudder pedals, or at least the solid parts of the bird did. The non-solid parts of the bird kept going past the rudder pedals, and managed to pretty much cover the captain from the waist down. They reacted to the depressurization, and the F/O initially thought the captain had been injured (which he wasn't) due to all the bloody bird innards, and they returned to DAL and landed without further incident.

The captain, obviously couldn't continue looking and smelling like that, but didn't have an overnight bag with him since he had started his pairing at DAL and was to terminate there later. Not wanting to delay the flight any more than it had to be (due to an aircraft swap), the captain "Smiling Dave D.", went down the jetway stairs and into line maintenance, washed himself off in MX's emergency shower, and then borrowed a spare orange jumpsuit from one rampers, and then flew the last 4 legs of his pairing that way. After they put a new radome on N26SW and cleaned up the cockpit, it was maintenance ferried DAL-IAB unpressurized and the boys at Boeing did the repairs.

He did get more than a few comments...  Wink
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:35 pm

Quoting TXKF2010 (Reply 36):
Love 2 see them Fedex pilots in the purple n white lol

Considering their salaries and job security, I don't think they would even argue.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
ckfred
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:59 pm

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 26):
If I recall correctly UA pilot uniforms were brown in the 70s and 80s.

You are right. I remember seeing UA pilots in brown uniforms in the 70s and early 80s. This was part of the image change when UA went to the stylized U as its logo.

In the last couple of years, AA has allowed its pilots to wear a blue leather bomber jacket in lieu of the suit-style jacket and a dark blue overcoat or trench coat. I don't know if I like it. I like seeing the Captain and the F/O dressed the same. If only one of the pilots is wearing a bomber jacket, then it looks as if one pilot is dressed business casual and the other is dress business formal.

However, I do like the bright red lining in the bomber jacket. It's sharp.

And IIRC, the original Midway Airlines started out with the typical dark blue uniforms, but they later went to khaki uniforms with the corporate makeover.

I would assume that a khaki uniform was cooler during the summer, particularly when doing the walkaround. On the other hand, khaki is not my color of choice in the winter, when there is snow and slush on the ground.
 
MQrampBOS
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RE: Why Pilot Uniforms Not In Airline Colours?

Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:13 pm

Quoting JetJock22 (Reply 16):
All your questionable examples are in fact trivial. American Airlines displays NAKED metal. Dodge this Wink

Hmm... would make getting through security less of a hassle, wouldn't it?
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