What is your greatest piece of advice

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
At my regional we would always stop the plane while taxiing if a passenger got up. It got me thinking- why the heck do I have to stop the airplane and who started this ridiculous practice? Can anyone hear site a regulation for me? I fly boxes now so I don't really care, but my advice for a new captain is probably don't stop taxiing just because someone got up to go to the bathroom. The FAs would always call up in a panic!
So... I used to request my FAs not tell me about the seatbelt thing unless they felt compelled to for some reason. Nothing in their FOM said they had to notify us.

I once landed on 24R in LAX, and the plane ahead of us was cleared from the high speed to cross 24L. As I exited towards the high speed (expecting them to clear it), they stopped short of 24L for a pax getting up. Unfortunately we were now behind them on the high speed, but still on the 24R side of the hold short bars. Tower had to send two 737s around behind me.

What’s more unsafe? Moving across the runway with dingleberry in the lav, or sending two aircraft around? Or can you imagine just stopping randomly in ORD? Yeah, good luck with that.
 

JordanD

Honorary Member
So... I used to request my FAs not tell me about the seatbelt thing unless they felt compelled to for some reason. Nothing in their FOM said they had to notify us.

I once landed on 24R in LAX, and the plane ahead of us was cleared from the high speed to cross 24L. As I exited towards the high speed (expecting them to clear it), they stopped short of 24L for a pax getting up. Unfortunately we were now behind them on the high speed, but still on the 24R side of the hold short bars. Tower had to send two 737s around behind me.

What’s more unsafe? Moving across the runway with dingleberry in the lav, or sending two aircraft around? Or can you imagine just stopping randomly in ORD? Yeah, good luck with that.
And unless it’s the Emergency chime, I’m probably ignoring the call until we’re in a lower workload environment like not crossing a runway
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
And unless it’s the Emergency chime, I’m probably ignoring the call until we’re in a lower workload environment like not crossing a runway
Agreed. It was a legacy airline too, so just because it’s the big guys doesn’t always mean common sense prevails.
 

JustinS

Well-Known Member
Always remember you can set the parking brake to figure out mx/release/rest/weather and whatever other issues. Don’t feel pressured to blast off without clearing up something you’re not sure about.

You WILL make mistakes. Just own up to them, and thank your FOs/dispatcher/rampers when it happens and they help bail you out. You will also catch their mistakes... Be gracious about it, as karma can and will strike back otherwise.

Try to relax and have fun! For whatever reason, one of the management guys came into our upgrade class and made it sound like the FAA was just looking for a reason to violate us. It really made me paranoid going into IOE, until the really cool LCA I was flying with us told me how untrue that is. As long as you’re trying to to the right thing, you’ll be fine. You’re going to be a bit paranoid going into your first few trips anyway, but you’ll soon learn to relax and have fun.

Always be honest with the pax and make sure to communicate. It sucks at first, but you’ll get better at it and most of them will really appreciate it, even when it’s really bad news.

Finally - As things start to unravel around you (ramp issues, company ops meltdowns, etc.), just relax and slow down. I ended up being pretty good at that and it made everyone’s life easier. The more things got screwed up, the more I basically just shrugged my shoulders and said whatever. We’ll be here when you’re ready for us (we’re paid by the minute!).
After being a captain for almost 2 years, you pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. No one will EVER fault you for doing the right thing even if it takes time. There’s always time. You’re the captain. Make time.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Oh, something else I forgot about this morning.

I use a long “retractable” dog leash leadership style. I’m not going to micromanage and I expect my first officers are going to make mistakes, discover “ooh! crap!” and then course correct back to where they should be. That way they learn, let their own “inner voice” develop and makes for a more cohesive operation. If they’ve “walked down the wrong alleyway” and are about to get hurt, I’ll step in right when I almost can’t save them and then we’ll talk about it.

However...

Some copilots will interpret an open, friendly, “make your own decisions and I’ll veto when appropriate” as an “I’m the alpha, anything goes, amma do whatever I want without regard to convention and procedure”. You’ve got to be swift to learn about the personality you’re working with that is going to misinterpret your “niceness” as “weakness” and think it’s their airplane. Don’t be afraid to confirm that you’re Alpha wolf if you have to. 95% of guys you fly with will flourish in an open leadership style, 5% of them might need to have corrective action. (“Hey, close the cockpit door, it’s cold”, “Are you asking me or are you telling me? If you’re cold, close the door, but either way bring a grey bag from the galley” and then smile widely so he doesn’t really understand if you’re serious or being sarcastic)
 

learhawkerbe400

Well-Known Member
Less is more on the PA. During normal ops be brief, don’t yell into the mic and don’t give the pax the altimeter setting.

I commute out of a junior regional base. Their PAs are cringeworthy. And nonstop. I don’t need to hear you 4 times on a 40 minute flight.
 

Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
Less is more on the PA. During normal ops be brief, don’t yell into the mic and don’t give the pax the altimeter setting.

I commute out of a junior regional base. Their PAs are cringeworthy. And nonstop. I don’t need to hear you 4 times on a 40 minute flight.
Lol I don’t know if you fly out of one of our bases, but I hate making some of the PAs company wants us to make. Like the required pilot PA in case the FAs forget to play the automated PA for the seatbelt sign etc are annoying to have to make.
 

Autothrust Blue

"Duuuuuude."
Lol I don’t know if you fly out of one of our bases, but I hate making some of the PAs company wants us to make. Like the required pilot PA in case the FAs forget to play the automated PA for the seatbelt sign etc are annoying to have to make.
We are f* overjoyed to be a part of your journey!
 

woodreau

Well-Known Member
As you fly with your FOs you get better at figuring out their capabilities and limitations. One thing I try not to do is taxi any faster than the FO. Because the FO does a lot of stuff. Some FOs are better than others. Sometimes you’ll have the guys just off IOE and he is still not totally confident in his abilities, so taxi at his pace so that he stays in the loop and can still be a functioning member of your crew.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
As you fly with your FOs you get better at figuring out their capabilities and limitations. One thing I try not to do is taxi any faster than the FO. Because the FO does a lot of stuff. Some FOs are better than others. Sometimes you’ll have the guys just off IOE and he is still not totally confident in his abilities, so taxi at his pace so that he stays in the loop and can still be a functioning member of your crew.
“We need one to taxi, two to take off. If you’re going to be task saturated, crank them both, but the timing on the second engine start is yours alone”

Meanwhile, you’re #2 for takeoff and your copilot has his phone out on the side panel texting something.

“You may want to advise tower you’ll need about three minutes and then a few more minutes to run the appropriate checklists, but after you’re done texting, please take your time as it appears more important”

“OMG!”

(Haaa! GOTCHA!)
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
As you fly with your FOs you get better at figuring out their capabilities and limitations. One thing I try not to do is taxi any faster than the FO. Because the FO does a lot of stuff. Some FOs are better than others. Sometimes you’ll have the guys just off IOE and he is still not totally confident in his abilities, so taxi at his pace so that he stays in the loop and can still be a functioning member of your crew.
I was a total piece of crap to ground about this. You're giving me a runway change with a brand new FO? We need to stop so we can both check the box. That's a problem? That's fine, send us where ever you need, but your inability to plan traffic off the airport isn't my problem, and screwing up the box for departure ends poorly.

We found a lot of errors, TOGETHER, doing that.
 
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