Tag Archives: Why We Call Pilots “Pilots” Why Not Drivers ?

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?