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Anyone hear? I was the last caller during the topic and Preston Westmoreland said, "Wow, I didn't realize you had to go thru all of that, you guys should be paid more than the CEO's and such!"
[/ QUOTE ] Damn, I missed it!
I was in the car at four and turned to 620 but they were talking about domestic violence so I figured it was over.
I requested an audio file from KTAR. If they take the time to send it I'll put it online.
never knew they did audio files - that's so kewl! let us know if you get it! would be great to get that entire hour cuz there was one lady bitching and the rest were pilots explaining how it "works"... actually quite a good segment that i was surprised it didn't keep going!
Doug - you seem to be a good ambassador to aviation - if I did not know so many pilots, and have a good understanding of not only what is involved to get there but what a day in their life is like - it would seem that they had a great deal. I think most people think all pilots only fly only big planes a couple legs a week, with all layovers in the Carribean for atleast 3 days, and be paid way over the top for it.
I think all of the 'pilot hatred' is our own fault. When we have visitors to the cockpit, some guys say stuff like "Oh yeah, it's just like riding a bike" or when we talk about going to Frankfurt, we always talk about how we flew for free in business class, but don't mention the fact that we haven't had a weekend off with the family in 6 months and spend more time with crewmembers than we spent at home with our families.
The traveler is a little more savvy now and doesn't need to be coddled with things like "Oh, the car ride to the airport is the most dangerous part, sir!" or "Oh yeah, I love it! I'd do it for free!"
Lots of people say stuff like that, but when you look deep down inside, it's urban legend. If someone asked, "Would you fly the MD-88 for free or mow lawns for $5/hr", I'd chose to mow lawns for $5/hr, be home with my wife and have the $5 to drown my sorrows in a 6-pack of Schlitz than performing a job of which I love for free and having to borrow the $5.
Tell him how you've either forked over $100,000-plus for training and a degree.
Or how you suceeeded in OCS, braved a 40% washout rate in Undergraduate Pilot Training and then spent countless hours getting shot at by bad guys flying low level missions in Iraq to get to where you are.
Or talk about years and years spent making less than $10,000/year as a CFI and barely a little more flying for a regional to build flight time. You know, living in a flea infested crash pad with 8 other guys with air mattresses (but cable tv!) in the upper penninsula of Michigan.
I told someone this at a party... "You're closer to death on an average day way more than you realize, but it takes a well-trained professional team to ensure you reach your destination unscathed. Yes it's training, and also experience and the ability to hold your cool when you might be scared yourself. Yes it's more dangerous to ride in a car, percentage wise, but the chances that an aircraft accident is going to lead to your flaming death is way bigger."
Of course he didn't want to hear that, but it's true. Some days go smooth as silk, other days things go wrong, 'best hunches' on how to circumnavigate an area of weather goes awry or you might have an inflight emergency.
The average Joe never hears about it because as long as we don't spill the 4 oz serving of coca cola on the passenger in seat 15C in coach, we, as pilots, figure that the truth and reality of what it takes to fly a $15,000,000 (a guess), 149,500 pound hunk of aluminum at 76% the speed of sound, with 142 passengers and 5 crewmembers would scare the bejezus out of him.
On top of that, a physical every six months, recurrent training every six months (once per year at some airlines) either of which if you fail, the clock starts ticking on the end of your career, and then you've got to hang up the epaulets at 60.
If someone asks you if flying is difficult, be honest. Yes it is.
If someone asks you if you're ever scared flying, drop the machismo thing and be honest. Yes, I have.