Category Archives: Pilots

Hilarious (But Real) Exchanges Between Pilots, Flight Attendants, And Passengers

This Flight attendant who had a pretty good point..
There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane1







What are the negative effects of being an airline pilot?

The downside to being an airline pilot is multifaceted and not all of us necessarily view it from the same perspective . So here is my personal take on the matter.the-pilot-shortage-is-real-and-airlines-must-change-before-it-becomes-a-full-blown-crisis

1- There is no such thing as Christmas, New years, Labour day or any other civic holidays as we may be called upon to work on any or all of those days.

2- If we operate on domestic routes which at times call for up to four or more takeoffs and landings followed by short layovers and at times involve up to three day cycles, it can become quite wearing. Of course with a bit of seniority you can avoid many of these so called milk runs, as you pretty much get to pick and choose. Remember that with most airlines pretty much all is based on seniority including choice of equipment, choice of schedules, destinations, time off and even vacation time.This applies to whatever position you hold whether you are a first officer or captain.

3- If you are affected to long haul overseas operation you now face a different set of issues.The major one in my mind is with time changes.When you fly from West to east and vica versa,you can experience several hours of time change, As an example, when you operate on the Atlantic from the east cost of North America to Europe ,you may cross anywhere from five to seven hours of time change.I will skip the technical details but suffice it to say that this can be very disruptive to your circadian rythme. Our body and all its functions is programmed on a twenty four hour cycle. When that cycle is disrupted it throughs a wrench into the whole system and your body is constantly trying to adjust itself. It takes at least fourty eight to seventy two hours for this to take place.While most of us adapt to this psychologically, the body has a more difficult time as seventy two or even fourty eight hour layovers are now mostly a thing of the past.Ah,it was truly a gentleman’s existence in those days.Oops, am I dating myself here?

4- There are a number of ancillary issues to be considered, but like any other line of work this goes with the territory.

In conclusion let me add this.Not everyone is cut out for this job. Some people far prefer to put up with rush hours stuck in traffic morning and evening, The nine to five grind over fourty years followed by the gold watch and finally, retirement when life really begins.If you are an entrepreneur and create something, that can be very challenging and satisfying. But be prepared to work your buns off and put up with a lot of stress.The bottom line here is that as long as you need to work for a living , being an airline pilot is a pretty nice way to go.In a future missive I’ll tell you about all of the positives which are considerable.

Here are a couple other bits of gristle to chew on:

  • Timing is everything. You may be the best pilot anyone has ever seen (besides Gordo Cooper), but your position within most companies will be dictated by when you were hired. Those hired before you are senior to you and will be until they quit or die. If you’re hired at the end of a hiring boom, you will likely be junior for a very long time. This limits your choices, such as which airplane you fly and what your monthly schedule looks like (along with when you can have vacation).
  • You’re a princess. Your health has to be very good to remain in a flying status. Should anything untoward occur, you may find yourself unable to hold your medical certificate and be unable to fly until you can clear things.
  • No such thing as a holiday, birthday, weekend, or anniversary. Be used to not being there for the important events in your family’s lives. In the beginning, you’re going to miss all of them most likely. Like everything else, seniority makes everything better.
  • Flying for food. At first, the pay is a lot less than what you think it should be. This is especially true if your company is moving you around to different bases and you can’t simply move to live there. Suddenly, you have living expenses in another city, along with your home.

There are other annoyances, but that being said, it’s the best job in the world.


1) It is an extremely stressful and tiring job.
2) Annual medicals, and you will have to prove your self every six months (both practical and theoretical stuff).
3) Unexpected delays might increase your duty time, even when flying for a regional.
4) Sometimes you have to be a part of the standby pilot brigade. You should be ready for a call, if an on duty pilot is unable to fly. On a plus side, you will get bonus for such a flight, some airlines pay quite a good sum actually.

I will include some plus points as well!

1) You will become a part of an elite group, I think only 0.1% of the world population are actually pilots, professional pilots are lesser.
2) Once you start to gain those hours, so will your pay and benefits.
3) You get paid holidays.
4) You have no home work, once you sign off, you are a free bird.
5) You are very much respected by the public.
6) Only an astronaut can beat the view you get right out of your office windows.

15 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Airline Pilots

Often described as having the best “view from the office” in the world, airline pilots are tasked with shuttling hundreds of passengers to and from domestic and international destinations. The responsibility is considerable, and so are the requirements: Commercial airlines typically demand thousands of hours of flight time and dues-paying in cargo and regional jobs before they’ll even grant an interview. And even then, the odds of making it to the prized “left chair”—the captain’s seat—are a long shot.

To find out what makes these top-class aviators tick, we asked three pilots for major commercial carriers about life in the skies. (Owing to their media-averse industry, none wanted to identify their employer; one prefers to be known only by his first name.)


Pilots don’t really get better employee perks than anyone else who works for the airline. While they can fly for free, they have to wait for a standby (available) seat to be open on a flight, and most pilots planning a vacation or structured itinerary don’t want to be at the mercy of that variable. “It’s too unpredictable,” says Patrick Smith, a first officer (co-pilot) and author of Cockpit Confidential. “If a baggage handler has more seniority than me, he’ll be ahead on the standby list.”


Eric Auxier, a captain with more than two decades of experience for a major carrier, says that most name-brand airlines prohibit taking anything into the cockpit that could serve as a distraction: no magazines, no paperbacks, no music, and no knitting. “We talk amongst ourselves,” he says. “That’s all we’re legally allowed to do.”


”But I can’t say it never happens,” says Tim, a pilot at a major airline. “At present, the regulations do not officially allow it, but sleep studies have proven that short catnaps, especially when flying in the wee hours, are actually beneficial to wakefulness. Unfortunately, the FAA hasn’t put anything in writing that allows this.” To avoid exhausted pilots, the FAA has instead issued a guide, FAR-117, that mandates minimum rest periods (like a full eight hours of sleep) and maximum working times for pilots—usually no more than 30 hours per week, according to Auxier.


Before the plane doors are shut, Smith says many pilots are happy to offer nervous fliers and kids a peek inside the cockpit. “People are more than welcome to come up and say hello before pushing off,” he says. “90 percent of pilots love it when people do that.”


The cockpit has what’s known as a “jump seat,” a retractable third chair that allows for FAA inspectors or trainees to tag along on flights. “If it’s not in use, it can be used by a qualified pilot,” Auxier says. Another professional perk? Sort of: In most cases—especially on long flights—a pilot would rather sit in coach. The chair is pretty uncomfortable.


Though pilots don’t usually have direct interaction with passengers, Smith prefers travelers who don’t perceive them as bus drivers. “Asking if we can land so they can get off, it doesn’t work that way,” he says. “One woman who left her medication in her checked luggage wanted someone to ‘go downstairs’ to get it.” Unfortunately for her:


Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford have misled the movie-going public into believing there’s an entire layer under a plane full of luggage, pets, and enough room to have a boxing match. It’s just not true. “You might have alcoves accessible under the cabin or cockpit,” Smith says, “but they’re the size of a closet.”


In theory, a pilot can live anywhere in the country, since they’re able to catch rides on flights that connect them to their “base” airport. But commuting takes up more unpaid days per month, requires them to take early flights to fill available seats, and generally makes a hard job that much harder. “If the airplane fills up with paying passengers, the pass riding employees will simply be left behind,” Tim says. “Sometimes it’s necessary to leave home the day before to ensure that you are in base in time for your trip. Commuting can really suck.” (Tim no longer does it: He moved closer to his base and now drives to work.)


According to Smith, kidney stones are a common occupational hazard. Pilots don’t always hydrate properly, and post-9/11 Federal Aviation Association (FAA) rules about entering the cabin can make a trip to the bathroom a chore. It all adds up to stress on the urinary tract. “The protocols for leaving the cockpit are very strict,” he says. “It’s inconvenient to get up when the cabin crew is serving refreshments, too, so we tend to hold it in.”


The “PEF” is pilot slang for travelers who tend to exaggerate the sensations of air travel. “Even in rough turbulence, the plane is never changing altitude more than 10 or 20 feet either way,” Smith says. “There’s this idea it’s plummeting hundreds of feet. Not true. Same with take-offs and descents. The nose is, at most, 20 degrees up or 5 degrees down. If I put you in a 30-degree nose-down descent, you’d know how steep that really is.”


Despite what movies and television would have you believe, a co-pilot is not some kind of subordinate apprentice who looks to the captain for all the answers. “Co-pilots are fully qualified pilots,” Auxier says. “They could just as easily be the pilot. That is solely a factor of seniority.” Smith bristles when media outlets refer to a singular pilot in stories: “We normally take turns. If one of us flies to London, the other flies back to New York. There are two pilots.”


Another pilot pet peeve: the idea they climb into a cabin and watch a computer do their job for them. “A plane no more flies itself than a high-tech operating room performs an organ transplant by itself,” Smith says. “There are routing changes, communications issues, navigational issues, monitoring fuel burn. There is always some task going on. We might not have our hands on the wheel as often as we did years ago, but we’re still flying it.”


“Pilots in uniform seem to receive more respect when flying overseas than in the U.S.,” Smith says. “Culturally, I don’t know what it is. In some countries, maybe it’s that air travel is not taken for granted as much. In West Africa, little kids come running over to you. All the crew members are addressed as captain. They’ll salute you.”


Major media has gotten a lot of play out of profiling pilots who are paid so little that they sometimes apply for food stamps in order to make ends meet. While this is more common in regional circles, Tim says it’s not far-fetched, either. “People always seem to assume that if you fly for an airline in any capacity that you’re loaded,” he says. Regional pilots can make as little as $21,000 a year, according to Bloomberg, while the cost of flight training can exceed six figures.


Owing to many flight techniques being computer-assisted, pilots tend to appreciate landings, which are still almost fully operated by the human hands in the cockpit. “It’s something that requires all of our skills,” Auxier says. “It’s where a lot of the job satisfaction comes from. It’s a volatile industry with no guarantees. You need to just enjoy the journey.”

Top 7 Athletes Who Are Airplane Pilots

These athletes are ready for takeoff! Make sure your setback and tray table are in their upright, locked position, because these professional athletes are also pilots. Several famous NFL players, race car drivers, and MLB stars have their silver wings. Some of these athletes own private jets, while others learned to fly helicopters. One famous driver even flies himself to important matches and events.

Who is the most famous athlete who is a pilot? Tom Brady tops our list. In 2009, Tom Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen began training for her helicopter pilot’s license. Brady reportedly followed suit and the couple plans to use helicopters to promote alternative sources for jet fuel. Tony Stewart reportedly has a pilot’s license. He also has a private jet. Greg Biffle is a pilot. He owns several aircrafts including a Cessna 210, a Dassault Falcon 50, a Dassault Falcon 10 and a Bell 206.

Driver Matt Kenseth learned to fly planes during the NASCAR off-season. He has been known to fly himself to important events. In 2006, Cory Lidle was flying a plane alongside his co-pilot/flight instructor Tyler Stanger, when he crashed into a New York apartment building. Both men died in the accident.

Would you like to train for your pilot’s license? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Wikimedia

In 2009, Tom Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen began training for her helicopter pilot’s license. Brady reportedly followed suit and the couple plans to use helicopters to promote alternative sources for jet fuel.

Age: 40

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: San Mateo, California, United States of America

Teams: New England Patriots, Michigan Wolverines football

Tony Stewart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Twitter

Tony Stewart reportedly has a pilot’s license. He also has a private jet.

Age: 46

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Columbus, Indiana, United States of America

Cory Lidle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Wikimedia

In 2006, Cory Lidle was flying a plane alongside his co-pilot/flight instructor Tyler Stanger, when he crashed into a New York apartment building. Both men died in the accident.

Age: Died at 34 (1972-2006)

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA

Teams: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, + more

Alexei Kovalev is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Reddit

Alexei Kovalev is a licensed airplane pilot and owns his own plane.

Age: age 42

Nationality: Russia

Birthplace: Tolyatti, Russia

Bobby Clampett

Bobby Clampett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Reddit

Bobby Clampett has been an active pilot since 1987. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours.

Age: age 55

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Monterey, California, United States of America

Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Imgur

Greg Biffle is a pilot. He owns several aircrafts including a Cessna 210, a Dassault Falcon 50, a Dassault Falcon 10 and a Bell 206.

Matt Kenseth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 7 Athletes Who Are Pilots

Photo: via Wikimedia

Matt Kenseth learned to fly during the NASCAR off-season. He has been known to fly himself to important events.

Age: age 43

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Cambridge, Wisconsin, United States of America


Ruthless exploitation of cabin crew by Ryanair is exposed today by a DailyMail investigation

Ruthless exploitation of cabin crew by Ryanair is exposed today by a Daily Mail investigation.

The budget airline’s stewards are being made to work unpaid for as many as five hours in a day, an undercover reporter found after spending last month as a trainee.

Under brutal conditions, they earn money only when in the air, as well as commission on in-flight sales. It means the many hours on the ground – cleaning, security checks and during flight delays – are unpaid.

The conditions apply to thousands of cabin crew hired by third-party agencies for Ryanair. Despite being promised ‘great earnings potential’, they typically take home about £11,000 in the first year, roughly equivalent to an £11,500 salary. Some rivals pay between £15,000 and £25,000.

The company – Europe’s largest airline – made post-tax profits of £1.14billion in the six months to September and its chief executive Michael O’Leary earned a pay package of £2.8million last year.

Ryanair cabin crew instructor Dorota Sowinska (pictured) was training new recruits at one of the centres

This is an example of the accommodation that some of the new recruits stay in while they get trained

Lawyers who assessed the Mail’s evidence accused Ryanair of ‘staggering sharp practice’. A probe has been launched by Parliament’s work and pensions and business committees.

The Mail investigation found:

  • Ryanair’s stewards are charged more than £2,000 for training;
  • Recruits pay for uniforms and are charged a fee if they quit;
  • Every year, some agency staff must take up to three months of unpaid leave when it is quiet;
  • Bosses threaten to relocate them abroad if they do not sell enough during flights;
  • They must be available for standby days where they are paid £3.75 per hour – less than half the minimum wage.

Staff issues have led to 700,000 bookings and more than 20,000 flights being cancelled by Ryanair this winter. Its pilots last night suspended a strike over union recognition. Ryanair has said it will recognise pilots’ unions for the first time. But cabin crew say they are still threatened with the sack if they strike.

The Mail reporter was taken on as a trainee by Crewlink, one of two firms that hire for the airline. Last year, it had more than 3,000 on Ryanair’s books. Overall, the airline has about 8,000 stewards.

The reporter was told she would earn a ‘premium’ hourly rate of £14.43, plus commission of 10 per cent of in-flight sales. But the hourly rate would apply only to ‘flight time’, from when a plane leaves the blocks till it is parked at its destination.

Recruits were told the unpaid work would consist of at least 45 minutes before the day’s first flight, time between flights, and half an hour after the final flight. Instructor Dorota Sowinska said they could work for ten hours in a day but get paid for only five.

Stewards hired directly by Ryanair get a basic gross annual salary of £9,616 with a lower hourly flight time rate. They have access to a company pension scheme and sick pay. Agency recruits can apply to be full-time staff after a year but many are kept on agency contracts for far longer. Many crew said they estimated only about 20 per cent of colleagues were on direct contracts.

The Mail’s reporter was told she could top up earnings through sales. Until 2015, Ryanair stewards earned commission on what they sold as a group. Now they earn on individual sales – and are given strict targets and a raft of hard selling techniques.

Agency cabin crew face costs of least £2,150 for training and £25 per month for uniform in the first year. They are paid a £1,000 allowance in the first year, but this can be claimed back if they quit in this time. A 2017 contract seen by the Mail states that a steward would have a £175 ‘administration cost’ taken from his salary if he left in the first 15 months.

Of seven airlines contacted, Ryanair is the only one that hires through third-party agencies which offer no basic salary.

EasyJet, British Airways, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, FlyBe and Lufthansa hire directly and pay staff basic annual salaries from £14,069. All offer free training, except Jet2 which charges £700.

The Mail’s reporter was told she must be available for standby shifts – at home, when crew are not paid but have to stay an hour from the airport; or ‘airport standby’, when they must be on site in uniform and can be made to clean and sell tickets.

The Hahn Training Centre (pictured) is on an isolated former airbase, with dozens of derelict barracks The Hahn Training Centre (pictured) is on an isolated former airbase, with dozens of derelict barracks

The conditions at the training centre apply to thousands of cabin crew hired by third-party agencies for Ryanair (pictured) 

For these eight-hour shifts, they are paid £30, or £3.75 per hour. Ryanair said this is lawful as total pay is above minimum wage when flight time and sales commission is included.

Edward Cooper, of law firm Slater and Gordon, said charging for leaving a job is ‘staggering and warrants further investigation’.

Lawyer Nicholas Evans, of Fletcher Day, said Ryanair could be breaking the law if it does not record stewards’ full work hours, adding: ‘The evidence indicates there’s a lot of sharp employment practices going on.’

Frank Field, of the work and pensions committee, said: ‘The dice are loaded in favour of mega-profitable companies who are willing to shamelessly exploit workers to obtain a competitive advantage … we will be investigating these allegations further.’

Rachel Reeves, of the business, committee, said: ‘These allegations suggest a company falling well short of its duty to staff.’ The transport committee’s Lilian Greenwood said: ‘Low prices can never come at the expense of fair, safe, legal treatment for staff.’

Ryanair denied any wrongdoing. It said agency cabin crew’s hourly wage for flight time covers all duty time, including on the ground, and full work hours are recorded as the law requires. It said minimum wage legislation does not cover standby duties.

The firm said it is entitled to put small numbers of personnel on unpaid leave in quieter periods and average pay for crew, including agency workers but not supervisors, is £21,140. It said recruits who stay for a year get an ‘annual uniform allowance’ of £396.

Crewlink declined to comment.

‘Flight delayed? The rules are you’re only paid for hours you’re in the air’

By Sian Boyle, Investigations Reporter for the Daily Mail

In a classroom on an abandoned airbase in rural Germany, Dorota Sowinska addresses 35 of Ryanair’s latest recruits.

The air stewardess, who is wearing the budget airline’s trademark blue and yellow uniform, is standing in front of a large white flipchart. At the top, she has written the words ‘FLIGHT TIME’.

‘You are only paid for the hours in the air,’ she announces. ‘If you have a delay and you are staying somewhere, you are not getting paid for the time on the ground.’

Miss Sowinska adds that in a ten-hour shift, the Ryanair stewards may end up getting paid for only five. This is because the work they do when not flying – including cleaning the plane, checking for explosives, boarding the passengers and filling out paperwork – will be totally unpaid.

Recruits at the training centre (pictured) queue to buy a snack at a daily bread van that visits once a day

The significance of this appears to be lost on many of the novices, who earnestly note down the instructor’s words. Some of them are just 18.

Also in the room is an undercover Daily Mail reporter, posing as a recruit. She presses Miss Sowinska – why aren’t they paid for so many hours of work?

The Ryanair trainer offers no explanation, simply responding: ‘It’s the rule.’

12 hours travelling and working – but paid for just 6 hours

Here is a typical day for a steward who was based at Edinburgh Airport (all times UK).

3am – Alarm goes off. Shave – shaving the night before is banned as stubble is against policy. Breakfast of cereal, coffee, Red Bull.

3.40am – Take night bus to airport.

4.15am – Arrive. Go through security and head to portable crew room. Fill bottles with 1.5L water for shift, and make instant coffee to take in flask. Meet with team including supervisor. Briefing on safety, passenger numbers, flight times, sales targets. Board.

5.10am – Onboard security checks, customer boarding and safety demonstration.

5.45am – Take-off. Only now is the crew member effectively paid.

5.50am – In-flight service. Hand out magazines, take food orders. Chance to boost pay by selling drinks, snacks, scratch cards, perfumes. Collect litter. If flight is long enough, repeat rounds.

7.45am – Arrive at Krakow. Payment ends. Turnaround procedure. Sweep plane for suspicious items, litter, baggage. Clean toilets (in severe cases, external cleaners used).

8.10am – Boarding procedure.

8.35 am – Flight departs. Payment period begins again. In-flight service.

10.35 am – Land in Edinburgh. Payment period ends. Repeat procedures for flight to Dublin, then another back to Edinburgh.

2.40pm – Land in Edinburgh. Payment ends. Turnaround procedure.

3.20pm – Supervisor checks sales results. Staff quizzed if targets not met. Debrief on any safety issues, what could be improved.

3.35pm – Catch bus home. Clean uniform (crew get only one blazer and two pairs of trousers).

7pm – Go to bed.

It is early November and the class of 35 has been flown to the six-week training camp by Crewlink, a third-party Irish firm used by Ryanair to hire cabin crew. In total, there are almost 300 recruits, split into eight classes.

The course is a fast-track to a career in the skies. Within hours of completing it, those who pass are flown straight to one of 84 bases across Europe. At the course attended by the Mail, trainees come from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and the UK – and are due to be posted to British airports.

They soon discover that Ryanair’s notorious cost-cutting extends to the conditions for recruits on the course.

The Hahn Training Centre in western Germany is on an isolated former airbase, with dozens of derelict barracks. The main training building consists of little more than threadbare classrooms. In the thick fog, one student describes it as looking ‘like a horror film’.

Between classes, trainees queue in the cold to buy food from a bread van that visits once a day. Inside, there is one vending machine. There is also a shuttle bus so they can get food from an airport terminal a mile away.

The closest supermarket is Lidl, a 40-minute walk away along a dual carriageway. To avoid high prices at the airport, most go to Lidl in the dark after lessons.

Their accommodation is a former hotel with a boarded-up reception, dank laundry room and one kitchen for up to 230 people. The showers are often cold.

The recruits begin each day standing in front of the class while their appearance is critiqued. Women’s hair must be worn in a French roll, or a bun up to 6in in diameter. Nails are checked for chips. Lipstick must match nail colour exactly. For men, facial hair must be no longer than 12mm.

If they get the job, the recruits face ‘grooming discrepancy’ warnings detailing any failures, such as ‘messy hair’. Getting too many of these leads to dismissal.

The course is very thorough. Hours are spent on safety procedures, training on dealing with bombs, fire-fighting and first aid.

Students are failed if they do not achieve 100 per cent attendance.

For every minute a student is late to a lesson, ten minutes are added to the end of the working day for the entire class. They are often forced to stay at the centre many hours into the night.

While the job is advertised as offering ‘great earnings potential’ and ‘great benefits’, the trainees face repeated demands for cash.

As well as more than £2,000 in training fees, often deducted gradually from their wages, they pay a non-refundable £435 registration fee and £625 for their bed-only accommodation during training. They will later be billed for an airport ID and uniform, and are charged a fee if they leave the job within the first 15 months. Crewlink hires hundreds of recruits a year for Ryanair.

Some 90 per cent pass the training, but up to 30 per cent of them have their contracts terminated within the first 12 probationary months. However, they are still legally contracted to pay back their course fees and any allowances paid to them.

Punishments for not hitting sales targets

By Sian Boyle and Glen Keogh for the Daily Mail

Ryanair cabin crew face being reprimanded aggressively if they do not sell enough to passengers while in the air.

They are threatened with being moved from their home base to elsewhere in Europe, having their shifts changed at the last minute and having their sales bonuses taken away.

Crew earn 10 per cent of all sales on board before taxes.

Targets can be up to an average spend of £4 per passenger. Some have been asked to sell at least a perfume, a meal deal item, a fresh food item and eight scratch cards per day.

Last month, crew received threats in letters from Crewlink and Workforce International, which hire for Ryanair. Stewards were accused of ‘poor performance’ for missing targets.

The letters added: ‘This is not acceptable and it is clear you are simply not doing your job onboard.’

One stewardess was told by the European bases manager that her sales were ‘very concerning’. Her letter said: ‘I have given serious consideration to moving you out of base.’ Others were told they had ‘drastically underperformed’ and that Ryanair ‘has no obligation to provide roster in these circumstances.’

One crew member said: ‘The abuse going on relating to sales is too much … they said we would have to change base or move as a punishment.’

Ryanair made £1.6billion in ‘ancillary revenue’ last year. A guide to working at Crewlink and Workforce told crew to ‘treat the airline’s money like it’s your own’. The Mail’s undercover reporter was told: ‘If you don’t sell, don’t complain if you don’t have a sales bonus.’

Sarah Foley was 18 when her Ryanair contract was ended.

Her father John Foley, who runs the website Ryanair Don’t Care, said the firm’s treatment of cabin crew was ‘disrespectful and humiliating’, with ‘inferior pay, benefits, and conditions’ compared with other airlines.

He added: ‘It is unacceptable to force them to work unpaid hours considering the company’s millions in profits.’

A Ryanair spokesman said staff were given training to help improve their sales, but ‘if they consistently and repeatedly underperform, their contracts will be terminated’.

Asked why they persevere with the course despite the grim conditions, one 20-year-old Slovakian said: ‘We’ve already paid enough to be here, and we have to pay it back if we quit. Besides … it is better money than in my country.’

A British girl added: ‘I’ve been ringing [my parents] complaining and they said, ‘By the sounds of it you’re not having a very good time for something you want to do’.’

Others spoke of how they planned to leave Ryanair after the first year and find work with another airline. But many said quitting was too expensive.

The airline said conditions at the training centre were ‘basic but acceptable’ and the school was certified by the Irish Aviation Authorities for holding training courses.

It said it provided €16 (£14) per night accommodation but recruits could choose to stay elsewhere. A spokesman said its grooming rules were ‘fair and balanced and typical of all airlines’.


What will happen if the pilot of a passenger airplane keeps ascending vertically?

Well, if you are thinking it going to go touch the moon and get back, you are right.

I mean, you are right about helping yourself to reading this answer.

So, lets assume:What will happen if the pilot of a passenger airplane keeps ascending vertically

The pilot goes crazy, and decides to ascend vertically with full throttles open.

Now, the engines might support the vertical flight up to a few seconds assuming the plane was flying way faster than its stalling speed, but only for a few seconds.

This is what might happen to a flight travelling at .6 mach at 38,000 feet when the pilot suddenly decides to ascend vertically.

  1. The Engine Stalls soon enough since it is not meant for such output and the pilot loses complete control of the aircraft soon enough.
  2. The Engine & the Airframe of a passenger plane is not built to take such aerodynamic loads. The Airframe may soon give away if engine does not stall and aircraft continues climb.
  3. At higher levels of the atmosphere, icing on the wings may lead to ‘no generation of lift’, which is again fatal.

A passenger aircraft is not meant to go against the gravity at such destructive angles of climb.

The systems will not allow the pilot to vertically ascend in the first place. Even if the pilot overrides the system, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

If the airplane is going perfectly straight up (nose pointed almost vertically), it will eventually stop going up, as thrust will be less than the weight of the airplane. This would happen to any airplane with an air-breathing engine eventually, as thrust decreases with altitude.

The plane would stop for moment, then begin descending backwards. Note that this is not a stall. The aerodynamic forces exerted on the plane when going backwards would attempt to flip the airplane around so it’s going nose-first again. If the pilot is very lucky, the airplane would end up in a very steep dive and would be flying aerodynamically again. If the pilot is unlucky, the airplane would be flipping about all 3 axes almost randomly, and would be ripped apart in a few seconds.

In this scenario, you don’t even have the minimal consistency of a proper stall or spin

Why We Call Airline Pilots “Pilots” Why Not Drivers ?

The term “drive” refers to driving horses, mules or oxen. Drive meaning to push forward the animal. In the days of horse drawn cariages, the driver would be in charge of the vehicle. A car is a horseless carrage and so borrowed from the horse terminology.

The trem “pilot” means to guide direction. We had pilots prior to air travel, for example a boat or ship may have a pilot. A ship pilot is in charge of plotting the course and navigation decisions. A ship coming into a harbour will take on a harbour pilot to guide the ship into port.

Since aircraft were never htiched up to a horse, it would have been odd to use the word “driver” to refer to the operator. An aircraft pilot does do the job of navigating. In addition, the first aircraft were not fixed wing planes, but balloons and airships. The airship crews borrowed much of their terminology and methods of operation from ships.

In some early media, aircraft crews are refered to a “aeronauts” in a similar way as we today talk anout astronauts in space. The word “aeronautic” is still commonly used to refer to things related to flight.

Thus we drive a car, truck, carrage or herd of animals but we pilot a plane, boat, ship or spacecraft.Why We Call Pilots “Pilots” Why Not Drivers

 Pilots and Bus Drivers, have similar, but very different jobs. They both have to think on their feats, they both must have a very clean appearance and both, sometime work long hours. Some people, will even call a pilot, a glorified bus driver, which may offend pilots, but as a bus driver myself, it do not bother me. I learn that there are a good amount of bus drivers, do like planes ( me being one of them ).

Now pilots, are considered a white collared job, where you need at least BA college degree, and for an major airline, you must a have pilot license with multi engines endorsements. To drive a bus here in the states, you need a class B CDL ( I have a Class A ) and a passenger endorsement, and it considered a blue collared job.

Both of their equipments, are similar but very different. If you look at the lay out of an airliner, it based on a bus layout, even the worlds current largest aircraft manufacturer, is named Airbus industries. Now an airliner, is likely the most complex thing made by man.

Now the beauty that I see, in be a bus driver, is that I tell people, that I operate a vehicle, that design like a plane, but stay on the ground like ship. I even joke a call my self a ground pilot.

So, could you compare and contrast these to jobs?

What is the best airline to work as a pilot?

Ah. Excellent question and one that’s on many pilots’ minds too.

I always say this:

  • You either fly at home, in your own country, and unless that’s a big place, there’s usually only one big airline, usually the national carrier. That’s the one to go for.
  • Or you fly “somewhere else”, and once you do that, you become a prostitute of the industry. You go with who pays you best or who treats you best, or a combination thereof that suits you.

What is the best airline to work as a pilotI’m a prostitute of the industry. I started off in a loyal marriage with my national carrier, building up seniority from very young, being proud of the company I flew for. Lo and behold, they went bust a few years later. So there I was, betrayed and lost everything I invested in them.

I think the days where you start in a company, stay loyal to it for all your active career, and then retire in the same company, are finished. You may get lucky, and I certainly wish that upon all pilots, but it’s likely you’ll end up like one of us expat pilots: wondering how to weld your personal life with your career, while looking for a contract that isn’t taking you for a ride.

The problem in an aviation career is that holy seniority that rules everything. A pilot can only make promotion, and can only get the nice flights or the leave he requests, with enough years working for that company. Switch to another one and you reset your accumulated benefits. I often make arguments that this seniority is actually working more against us than for us in the modern world, but hey, it’s not about to change soon. So you’ll have to take that into account.

It’s all good and well to say that it’s better working for Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines, but if you’ve already given 15 years of your life to KLM or Alitalia, you’re not going to start from zero there.

If you’re young, then you have better options. I would then recommend that you decide whether you really want to fly at home, where your family is, your friends whom you grew up with and you’re likely going to stay friends with forever, and possibly a partner. Don’t underestimate the importance of this in your life. They could easily be worth a big pay cut or the fact that you can’t say you work for a legendary five star carrier.

If you’re not too attached to home and are quite independent, then look further and keep in mind that you can play the industry like the industry plays you. Pay is important but not everything. However, if you leave home, you have to keep in mind that you lose the benefits that come with that: pension and free health care for example. So you have to be able to put enough aside to compensate for that. Usually that means that people rarely want to be a long term expat unless they make a lot more buck at the end of the month than they could at home.

At the same time you have to be realistic. Great, you want to work for Lufthansa, but you don’t speak German or don’t have the right to work in the EU. Tough luck. It’s all good and well to say that pilots in this and in that airline are better off, but to be honest, those are not jobs that you can normally reel in.

A lot of friends/colleagues of mine keep switching airlines as expat, playing the industry. I personally never wanted to do this. Instead I preferred to go somewhere where it’s good, and stay there a long time. The main reason for that is that I want to plan my personal life, and not wonder every two years where I’ll end up for the next two years.

All this to say that if you compare airline jobs, you have to realize that what’s best for one pilot isn’t the best for another. People have different benefits from their governments in their home countries and different pilots have different priorities in life.

So I’d split up your list. You need a list for who flies at home and for who is an expat. And you need a list for a young pilot seeking to make career versus a seasoned pilot who doesn’t want to give up his seniority anymore.

From word of mouth I’ve consistently heard this among colleagues (and keep in mind I’m a European flying in Asia, so the Americas are a bit off my sphere):

Best airline for young expats who have to make career:

  1. Emirates: fast growing, great conditions, great airplanes, wonderful ratings
  2. Easyjet: work hard but get paid well, fast career, move on to greener pastures if needed later, chose a base close to home
  3. Etihad: fast growing, nice atmosphere, good pay, great equipment

Best airline for seasoned expats who’ve built up seniority there already: (I will throw in an extra and do a top 4 here, since this is really my terrain)

  1. Cathay Pacific: the new contracts aren’t what they once were, but great lifestyle combined with a good pay and benefits. Live in Hong Kong or on one of their overseas bases.
  2. Emirates: a lot of my friends there may complain all the time, but wouldn’t dream of leaving to somewhere else for conditions that they consider puny.
  3. Singapore Airlines: prestige, great expat conditions for captains (not First Officers), great place to live.
  4. Cargolux: great benefits, great lifestyle, great destinations

Best airline for homeboys who are just starting:

  1. British Airways: fly everywhere in the world, prestige, great conditions
  2. Qantas: good career prospects, good conditions
  3. Air France: lots of destinations, good career prospects, good conditions and pay

Best airlines for homeboys who have seniority there:

  1. United: I keep on hearing this over and over, even though I don’t actually know anyone there, so there must be something true about it. Pick your own schedule and with great conditions. Seeing the age of their pilots and flight attendants in hotels where I have layovers, it must be true: nobody seems to retire there.
  2. Qantas: good conditions, good pay, good benefits
  3. British Airways: great pay, fly everywhere, good benefits

Now, please realize that this is my personal image based on the stories and the word of mouth I get from friends and colleagues and from where I’ve seen people go to – and stay – through my years in aviation.

I actually hope for feedback here, though I am fully aware that feedback from pilots will be more to deny their airline’s position in this ranking based on what’s all wrong in their godforsaken company, rather than to say where they would go if they had the option. Go ahead, shoot.

Day In The Life: What It’s Like To Be A Female Pilot At 40,000 Feet

Michelle Knoll likes to think her “office” has the best view in the world.

From her window, she sees the ruins of Rome, or some days, the Northern Lights.

Knoll, 44, is a corporate pilot and her Fortune 500 company’s first female captain. For six years, she has privately flown the company’s executives domestically and internationally to hours- or days-long business meetings.

It takes a certain kind of personality to do Knoll’s job. She has a thick skin (as a woman in a male-dominated industry) and she loves the novelty of constant travel: “The way I’m made, I really crave for things to be different. I like the unfamiliarity. I adapt well to change.”

Here’s is a snapshot of a recent day in the sky:


Prep Time

In preparation for a 10:00 a.m. flight from New York to Charleston, S.C. and a four-day trip, Knoll spends the evening before in her Jersey City, N.J. apartment, packing her suitcase and work materials (including her flight crew credentials and her pilot and medical licenses) and reviewing her flight and fuel plan and route options.

Being a pilot is a “24-hour-a-day job,” says Knoll, so sleep is important — getting eight hours per night helps her body adjust to time changes and long periods of sitting.


Off To Work

Knoll wakes up to her iPhone alarm at 5 a.m. and gets into her typical gray suit and Brooks Brothers white collared shirt (just like the guys she works with). To compensate for a rather sedentary job, she eats light: breakfast is fruit and granola.

It’s New York and there’s always traffic, so Knoll pulls out of her driveway at 6:30 a.m. to arrive at the company’s hangar by 8:00. She spends two hours “pre-flighting” the aircraft (which includes testing equipment and reviewing maintenance performed) alongside her second pilot and one flight attendant and the dispatch, line and maintenance crews. She personally welcomes her passengers (usually anywhere from one to 12 businesspeople), briefing them on the weather, time en route and expected turbulence.


Up In The Air

During climb and descent, to and from 10,000 feet, Knoll and the other pilot observe “sterile cockpit,” when all conversation is flight-related. During cruise (usually above 40,000 feet), the plane is set to autopilot, allowing for personal interaction.

“You get to know people very well when you sit with them in the cockpit for hours and hours on end,” Knoll says. “You become sort of a family.”

Knoll’s co-pilots are usually male — currently just three of 16 pilots in Knoll’s company are female. Overall, only 6% of commercial pilots are women.

In fact, people “all the time” assume Knoll is the flight attendant, particularly when traveling into countries less accustomed to seeing a women in such a role. One time, an on-site crew repeatedly directed all questions to Knoll’s male co-pilot, despite the fact that her co-pilot repeatedly deferred, saying, “She’s the captain. She’s the captain,” Knoll recalls.

But women make great pilots, according to Knoll, because women are natural multitaskers. And encouragingly, more scholarships and flight-instruction internships are being offered by groups like Women in Aviation, opening up the field to a wider group of women.

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6 Universal Qualities Cabin Crew Recruiters Are Looking For

6 Qualities Cabin Crew Recruiters Are Looking ForBy iHCC for iheartcabincrew – Each airline is different. Every airline wants to be unique so they may be looking for something a little different in their cabin crew applicants; be it physical appearance or personality type.

However, the universal role of cabin crew is the same no matter what airline. So, there are common basic qualities that all airlines look for in their candidates.

6 Qualities Cabin Crew Recruiters Are Looking For

1 Empathy

Empathy shouldn’t just be towards passengers but also towards co-workers.

On the day of the interview, show kindness to the other applicants. Smile. Talk. Help.

Give way to other applicants. Don’t ever try to put someone else down just so you could shine.

“Wanting to travel the world is not enough…You need to be an empathetic caring individual who genuinely wants to help people.

Be a human being. Be genuine.

2 Customer Service Orientation

You’ll be asked a lot of problem solving questions. Whenever you answer one, always keep the customer your top priority.

  • Describe a situation when you have delivered excellent service.
  • How do you handle a difficult customer?
  • Give me a time when you resolved a customer complaint.
  • Do you think customer is always right?

These questions bring out how good you are at solving passenger problems leaving them feeling satisfied, appreciated, and heard.

In your answers, show that you have the customer’s best interest in mind. Offer alternatives but don’t impose a solution. Let the customer choose the solution they desire.

A classic question that shows your level of customer service orientation is the Hotel Guest Question.

We’ll be discussing this in more detail and the best way to answer it in a later post.

3 Adaptability

Your plans to spend a weekend with loved ones could be an improbability due to changes in your roster. You’ll have standby duties and may have to be ready for duty within 20 minutes of being called. You’re definitely going to experience flight delays and cancellations.

You may expect to have 30 minutes to do your preflight ground duties but now you only have 5 minutes. You may not have all the resources you had expected to perform a job correctly. But you’ll have to be able to make it happen nonetheless.

Your company’s policies could change over night – not necessarily on your favor.

All these sudden changes do happen very often and recruiters want to see how well you can cope with disruptions.

Can you still ‘make do’ and make things work even under the stress and pressure of change?

Common questions for gauging your level of adaptability is:

  • Tell me about a big change you’ve had to deal with.
  • Give me a time when you had to improvise to a achieve your goal.

In your answer, tell a story where you welcomed the change. Mention the positive results from it. End by talking about what you’ve learned from the experience.

“Show that you think of change as an opportunity to grow, not an ordeal to endure.– James Reed

4 Teamwork and Communication

As cabin crew, you’ll work in teams of people you may have never met before. You’ll have to show recruiters that you’re very capable of working with total strangers towards achieving a common goal.

  • Tell me about a time you worked in a team.

Give a real-world example where everyone in the group pitched in resulting in a successful positive outcome.

Don’t try to sound like you’re the hero in your story. A good tip is to replace all the “I” with“We”.

For example:

Don’t say: I suggested that we start by arranging the chairs.

Why rely on luck when you can go prepared
Why rely on luck when you can go prepared?
All you need to know about the cabin crew interview.
All you need to know about the cabin crew interview.

Say: We agreed that we start by arranging the chairs.

5 Cultural Awareness

As mentioned above you’ll be working with a different set of team every time you go to work. If you work for a multinational airline like the ones in the Middle East, you’re bound to be sharing the workplace with people of other nationalities.

Cultures and ideals might sound absolutely strange to you but you’ll have to put all these aside and work together as one unit.

  • Name the nationalities that you’d love to work with.

This is a very tricky question. Don’t ever attempt to answer this by actually naming the nationalities you prefer to work – or not to work – with.

Show that you can work with anyone no matter the nationality, race, and religion. In fact, show that you’d be excited to work in such a diverse environment since it’s an opportunity for you to broaden your knowledge about humanity and the many cultures of this world.

6 Grooming and Grace

Flight attendants are the image of an airline. You must look the part.

Your grooming should be impeccable and your posture graceful. You’ll be working long hours and have to look just as fresh at the end of the flight as you did at the start.

Throughout the interview, keep a confident and poised demeanor. Watch for you grooming from your hair to your finger nails. Standards are really high in the airline business.

Keep these qualities glued to the back of your head throughout your entire hiring process. Starting from filling out the application form, onto the assessment day, and all the way to the final interview.

Whatever you say or do, always tailor your words and actions to these qualities.

[Photo supplied by Gina to I Heart Cabin Crew]