Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

Kent Wien is a New York-based 757 and 767 co-pilot for a major airline with more than twenty years experience both as a domestic and international pilot.

Kent is a third-generation airline pilot from a family that pioneered flying in Alaska. He enjoys writing about his flights while using video and photography to capture a glimpse of life behind a cockpit door.

He currently writes the Cockpit Chronicles feature for Gadling and previously answered a lot of questions in a now retired Plane Answers feature for Gadling. He occasionally covers the airline and aviation industry in between.

You can reach him through the Cockpit Chronicles Facebook site at kentwien.com or via twitter.

The Cockpit Chronicles

Cockpit Chronicles: Hitching a ride to Kentucky in Concorde

Cockpit Chronicles: Hitching a ride to Kentucky in Concorde Occasionally, when pilots are together, the subject eventually will come around to airplanes. Specifically, just what airplane we'd most like to fly. While I have a rather long list that includes the Ford Tri-Motor and the Spitfire, solidly at the top of the heap lies...

Cockpit Chronicles: Landing an airline pilot job just got harder, but here's one way to do it.

Cockpit Chronicles: Landing an airline pilot job just got harder, but here's one way to do it. Last year H.R. 5900 was signed into law requiring the FAA to set a new 1,500 hour minimum flight time requirement for any new airline pilots including small companies hiring co-pilots for their 19-seat airplanes. The law is mandated to take effect by August of 2013 and...

Cockpit Chronicles: A farewell to Boston

Cockpit Chronicles: A farewell to Boston April was my last month flying from Boston. It was also the month that our company chose to eliminate the last remaining non-stop flights from Santo Domingo and San Juan to New England. These were markets where we'd flown for decades. Fittingly, on the 2nd and 4th of...

Cockpit Chronicles: Flying with my brother (Part II)

Cockpit Chronicles: Flying with my brother (Part II) Continued from Part I We were both tired after arriving at the airport hotel in LA, so we didn't meet up for dinner, as it was too late anyway. Instead we parted to our separate hotel rooms on the same floor and vowed to meet up at 7 a.m. the next morning. After...

Cockpit Chronicles: So what's it like when your brother is also your captain?

Cockpit Chronicles: So what's it like when your brother is also your captain? The temperature was fifteen degrees in Anchorage and it was getting dark. But we didn't care, we just wanted to fly. My older brother Kurt and I were inside rushing through the final steps to build our styrofoam rubber-band powered Citabrias. Once finished, we still had...

Cockpit Chronicles: Is it time for pilots to ditch the hat?

Cockpit Chronicles: Is it time for pilots to ditch the hat? Call it civil disobedience. Or, for some, it's a way to express displeasure at management. Maybe the hat just doesn't work well with their haircut. Whatever the reason, pilots have been ditching their hats lately at airlines across the country. Some companies have heard...

Cockpit Chronicles: It's official. I'm moving to Germany

Cockpit Chronicles: It's official. I'm moving to Germany Apparently I've run out of things to complain about, aside from the occasional gripe about the glossiness of the paint on the office walls which was supposed to be flat. There is little in my life that I can truly complain about, especially in light of the current events...

Cockpit Chronicles: Six surreal sights seen by pilots

Cockpit Chronicles: Six surreal sights seen by pilots I've said it before; the office view from the pointy-end of an airliner is something that can only be matched by an astronaut's view. But that's not to say we don't get to see a few celestial sights of our own. No, I'm not going to touch on the rumored UFO sightings by...

Cockpit Chronicles: Alaska flying - then and now: Part 2

Cockpit Chronicles: Alaska flying - then and now: Part 2 Continued from Part 1 Navigation In the twenties, the most popular map used for flying was a dogsled trail-map that showed the 'roadhouses' where mushers would rest and feed their dogs. For a pilot to rely on of these maps is ironic because early mushers justifiably...

Cockpit Chronicles: Alaska flying - then and now

Cockpit Chronicles: Alaska flying - then and now Last week I found myself flying to London with a captain who had started his career in pretty much the same way I did-he too had worked for a couple of airlines in Alaska, albeit more than a decade before me. As we headed out to dinner, we happened to run into another...

Cockpit Chronicles: Airline de-icing

Cockpit Chronicles: Airline de-icing Not only does the frosty precipitation add weight to an aircraft, but it also disrupts the flow of air over the wings and tail and can cause an accident if the circumstances are just right. The FAA and NASA have gone through great lengths to teach pilots about the adverse...

Cockpit Chronicles: A new year's eve to celebrate in London

Cockpit Chronicles: A new year's eve to celebrate in London When I was in high school, I got to know a sweet and charming exchange student from Germany named Linda. We hung out together and I did my best to show her around Seattle before she had to go home six weeks later. I regretted not having the opportunity to get to know her ten...

Cockpit Chronicles: Nearly a near midair collision

Cockpit Chronicles: Nearly a near midair collision "Traffic, Traffic!" Announced the computer voice from the speaker on the ceiling just above me. This is something we hear frequently enough, perhaps once every three or four flights when an airplane in close proximity is climbing rapidly with a clearance to level off...

Cockpit Chronicles: How to bypass U.S. Customs with Global Entry

Cockpit Chronicles: How to bypass U.S. Customs with Global Entry Sometimes it seems like there's more time spent standing in line than actually flying when you're traveling. There's a line at check-in, security, customs and immigration, the gate, and on the other end while deplaning, going through customs and immigration and finally...

Cockpit Chronicles: Avoiding bird strikes

Cockpit Chronicles: Avoiding bird strikes On the season finale of the TV show 30 Rock, Alex Baldwin says to a pilot, played by Matt Damon: "You're a pilot, huh. I should pick your brain. I'm developing a daytime talk show with Sully Sullenberger." "Yeah, I met that guy. He's not that great." Matt Damon, the...

Cockpit Chronicles: FOQA kept these pilots out of trouble in Panama

Cockpit Chronicles: FOQA kept these pilots out of trouble in Panama I was excited, thrilled really, to fly with one of my favorite captains for five, 4-day trips over the next month and a half. If you had to work with just one captain for so many days in a row, it may as well have be someone you consider a close friend, and Dave fits that...

Cockpit Chronicles: Navigating Paris with an iPhone GPS

Cockpit Chronicles: Navigating Paris with an iPhone GPS I've lamented on Cockpit Chronicles about my distaste of four-day trips. I've come to realize that I shouldn't be flying such long trips after I came home once and I could actually see the growth in my two daughters. But when a rare (for the Boston base anyway) six-day...

Cockpit Chronicles: Frank's final flight

Cockpit Chronicles: Frank's final flight It was time for Frank to go. Not because of a federally mandated retirement age, or because of a change in pension laws or fluctuations in the stock market. No, Frank had long ago decided that he was going to retire at the age of sixty. And he was sure of it. Even when...

Cockpit Chronicles: Come along and enjoy the view

Cockpit Chronicles: Come along and enjoy the view "Descend to 1-3-0." "Descend to 1-2-0." I found myself listening to London Control while admiring one of the all-time greatest views I've ever seen. "Slow to 220 knots. Fly heading 1-7-0." As we banked to the right, I looked over my right shoulder at the London...

Cockpit Chronicles: "Flying Drunk" by Joe Balzer

Cockpit Chronicles: Most people would question their career choice after working for five different airlines in their first six years as a pilot. But the early '90s were a turbulent time in the industry, and I was simply happy to be working, even if it was as a flight engineer on the 727....

Gadling Features

Most Popular

Categories

Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

La Convención: A Festival Of 'New Circus' In Buenos Aires
The S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup
Disappear From The Map On These Independent Islands
Moynaq, Uzbekistan
Dallol, Ethiopia
Svalbard: The World's Northernmost Inhabited Place
The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum
10 Islands To Visit Next
Revere Hotel Boston Common

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport code
If different
POWERED BY
POWERED BY

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport code
If different
POWERED BY
POWERED BY

Weird News

DailyFinance

FOXNews Travel

Engadget

Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel

Joystiq