Skip to Content

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

Map of the world

pilot posts

Who's Flying The Plane? Aircraft Left On Auto-Pilot As Pilots Nap Together

Who's Flying The Plane? Aircraft Left On Auto-Pilot As Pilots Nap Together Sep 27th, 2013 at 11:00AM: Andrey Belenko, Flickr Even though we're all aware that auto-pilot is flying our aircraft the vast majority of our trip, it's always reassuring to know that there's a pilot sitting behind the controls, ready to spring into action in case something goes wrong. Even better, there are usually two pilots up in the cockpit prepared to take charge. So news that a packed airplane heading to the UK was...

Now Is A Good Time To Become A Pilot

Aug 29th, 2013 at 4:30PM: If you've ever wanted to become a pilot, now is a good time to follow through on that desire. According to USA Today, airlines are now preparing to face a pilot shortage that will leave the industry needing almost half a million new pilots by 2032. Three of the biggest factors behind this swelling need for pilots are expanding fleets for many airlines, more complex laws enacted regarding...

'Fake' Pilot Wanted By Police After Flying Jets To London

'Fake' Pilot Wanted By Police After Flying Jets To London May 10th, 2013 at 5:00PM: An American man found guilty of working as an airline pilot without proper credentials is on the lam after he failed to appear at his sentencing hearing in England last week, the BBC is reporting. Michael Fay flew for Libya's Afriqiyah Airways on false credentials, according to the news story that referred to him as a "fake airline pilot." It claims he forged his pilot's license and medical...

Cockpit Chronicles - Paragliding In Rio: Best Layover Ever! (Video)

Cockpit Chronicles - Paragliding In Rio: Best Layover Ever! (Video) May 8th, 2013 at 10:00AM: The adage goes something like this: The worst day of fishing beats the best day of work. Years ago, I knew I found the right job when I was a co-pilot on a charter flight in a 15-seat Twin Otter for a day of fishing on an Alaskan beach. I remember thinking of that adage, and telling everyone that it was the best day of work and the best day of fishing. How could it ever be possible to top...

Cockpit Chronicles: How I Fell In Love With An Airplane (Video)

Cockpit Chronicles: How I Fell In Love With An Airplane (Video) May 1st, 2013 at 10:00AM: The MD-80 just might be the Rodney Dangerfield of the airline world. It just can't seem to get any respect. But for those who really get to know the airplane, it offers some features, and admittedly a number of quirks, that has made it near and dear to many pilots. Against all odds, this Boeing pilot has fallen in love with the Mad Dog. Passengers either love the airplane or hate it. And much...

Cockpit Chronicles: A Captain No More

Cockpit Chronicles: A Captain No More Mar 7th, 2013 at 12:00PM: Occasionally, pilots seek out a better ride by climbing a few thousand feet. Sacrificing a bit of fuel to climb earlier than scheduled often makes sense as long as there's less turbulence at the new altitude. But it's frustrating to discover that the premature climb didn't help and then find yourself headed back to where you started. Discontinuing a takeoff roll or performing a missed approach...

Cockpit Chronicles: A Landing Fit For A King

Cockpit Chronicles: A Landing Fit For A King Dec 25th, 2012 at 11:00AM: Harriet Baskas from StuckatTheAirport.com asked a few of us to identify the "scariest airports" as seen through the eyes of pilots. I gave her a list of "challenging" airports instead. I told her about New York's LaGuardia and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan airports but I wondered if I should have mentioned Eek or Nightmute, two of my personal favorites from flying in Alaska, that attract only a few...

Video: A Crash Landing From The Pilot's Point Of View

Jul 13th, 2012 at 2:00PM: Talk about a crash landing. While flying over Cleveland National Forest, Larry E. Hockensmith, a student glider pilot and licensed power pilot of almost 40 years, thought he was going in for a smooth landing. Unfortunately, he didn't notice the nearby mailbox, which caught the right wing of the sailplane about 8 inches from the tip. While many would be embarrassed about the guffaw,...

Robots To Take On World Of Hotels (VIDEO)

Robots To Take On World Of Hotels (VIDEO) May 7th, 2012 at 4:30PM: The world of hotels may never be the same if iRobots has its way. Pilot programs in the target industries of health care, retail and building security are slated to start soon. Will a machine make our hotel bed in the future? What if I was asleep and it was time to change the bed? How might this affect me? "So much of robotics has to do with physical motion –navigation around our...

For These Ladies, Paragliders Offered The Ultimate View Of Iceland. (Video)

May 1st, 2012 at 5:30PM: Paragliding pilots have the ultimate perch to get out and see the world. For two Icelandic women, a planned camping trip to the highlands of their country turned into one of the most mesmerizing videos I've come across. In July 2011 two girls borrowed a 4x4, filled it with camping gear and paragliders and drove up to the Highlands of Iceland. They experienced a new side of their own country,...

Cockpit Chronicles: Ten tips for the new co-pilot

Cockpit Chronicles: Ten tips for the new co-pilot Apr 5th, 2012 at 9:00AM: Despite the fact that our airline is parking older and less efficient airplanes, senior co-pilots have been upgrading to captain at a pretty good clip. I thought the recent events would have put a stop to all that, but I was ecstatic to learn that I had finally reached the seniority needed to fly the MD-80 as a captain. This was due to the wave of pilot retirements we saw last fall. So as I...

Cockpit Chronicles: Captain on the MD-80? Why?

Cockpit Chronicles: Captain on the MD-80? Why? Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:00AM: Captain on the MD-80? Are you crazy? I received a comment from a reader recently to that effect. What was I thinking, bidding to an airplane that my company was rapidly retiring and choosing to go back on reserve, ready to fly at a moment's notice to places like Kansas City and Tulsa instead of Rome and Paris? And what about the commute to Germany? "Why would you do this?" He asked. I...

Cockpit Chronicles: What's not to like about the 757? I'll show you. (Video)

Cockpit Chronicles: What's not to like about the 757? I'll show you. (Video) Mar 8th, 2012 at 8:00AM: Powerful engines providing stellar performance and short field capabilities are just some of the features that set the Boeing 757 apart from the rest. But there has to be something that pilots dislike on the airplane, right? Well, there are two features in particular that I don't care for. I dream that someday someone from Boeing or Airbus will call me for advice on cockpit ergonomics. Each...

Cockpit Chronicles: Video—Food in the cockpit. How it's prepared and what is served

Cockpit Chronicles: Video—Food in the cockpit. How it's prepared and what is served Oct 12th, 2011 at 11:00AM: "I'm getting kind of tired of these chicken Caesar salads." I said those words just a few months into my career at American. The statement resonated loudly after I was furloughed and flying for a freight airline with barely a bottle of water on board, so I vowed that I would never complain about a crew meal again. In fact, when I came back to AA I nearly cried when a flight attendant entered...

Cockpit Chronicles: A captain's line check

Cockpit Chronicles: A captain's line check Sep 16th, 2011 at 10:30AM: Once every two years a captain is required to be observed by a check airman. And captains over sixty must be checked every six months. I touched on the line check in the last Cockpit Chronicles, and I've had yet another trip with a check airman performing a line check, making it two in the last eight days. Both of the captains I was flying with were over sixty. As a result of the change in...

Cockpit Chronicles: A 'new' pilot's first trip on the line

Cockpit Chronicles: A 'new' pilot's first trip on the line Sep 8th, 2011 at 4:00PM: To say it's been a long time since we've seen any newly hired pilots at our airline is an understatement. Up until now, the junior most pilots have been here for more than ten years. As I was riding in to work on the JFK Airtrain a few weeks ago, I looked up the crew list again on my phone. I was surprised to see that the co-pilot (I was the relief pilot this day) was listed as 'open.' That...

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. Jun 30th, 2011 at 3:00PM: 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 was one of the recommendations to come from the Colgan Flight 3407 accident in Buffalo, even though both accident pilots had...

Southwest Airlines pilot saves the day - turns screaming boy into honorary pilot

Southwest Airlines pilot saves the day - turns screaming boy into honorary pilot Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:30AM: We all know that flying has its challenges - and most of us know that flying when trapped inside the metal tube with a screaming kid only helps make things worse. That was the prospect facing passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to San Antonio earlier this week. When Captain Joe Gautille was preparing for his flight, he heard the screams of three year old Alex coming down...

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

Cockpit Chronicles: Is it time for pilots to ditch the hat? Mar 22nd, 2011 at 9:00AM: 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 enough complaints that they've changed their policy, making the hat optional for their pilots. In fact, effective March...

Video: pilot fakes fainting - passenger freaks out

Mar 8th, 2011 at 3:00PM: Consider this "pilot fakes fainting" video a "do not watch" if you are afraid of flying. For all others, you be the judge of whether the clip is fake of not. Either way, sitting in the back of a small prop plane and watching your pilot pass out, hearing the engine throttle down and starting to descend is a sure way to scare the crap out of anyone. And yes - we know the clip is slighly old,...

Gadling Features


Categories

Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News

DailyFinance

FOXNews Travel

Engadget

Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel

Joystiq