Arts Blog: What Secrets are Airline Pilots Keeping from You?

November 11, 2010  

Posted by Kassi Schmitt

We entrust them with our lives every time we board a flight expecting them to get us safely into the air and back down.  We hear their voices come over the speaker informing us that we will be arriving in 20 minutes or to stay seated with our seat belts on. But a lot of the time, they remain the mysterious men and women behind the locked door.

In this month’s Reader’s Digest, airline pilots have come out to talk about the secrets that most pilots don’t want you to know. Some are a lot more shocking than others but the word is finally out!

  • Fuel- One airline captain said that he was constantly under pressure to carry less fuel than he was comfortable with. So if he was in a thunderstorm or faced a delay, he could easily run out of gas and have to go to an alternate airport.
  • Delays- It’s not always the mother with four crying children or the rushed businessman that cause the flight delays. One pilot said that sometimes the airline won’t give the pilots a lunch break or even time to eat so they have to delay the flight just to get food. I guess there’s no such thing as grab and go for pilots?
  • Turbulence- Most pilots just avoid turbulence because it’s annoying versus dangerous.  You shouldn’t worry too much when the pilots put on the seat belt sign for passengers, but as soon as they tell the flight attendants to buckle up, it means things are getting pretty bad.
  • Compliments- Pilots take pride in their work just like everyone else.  So they say they appreciate an ego boost every once and a while when passengers compliment them on smooth landings.
  • Nicknames- Pilots have nicknames for a lot of their gear and things on the plane. Here are a few examples: 
                    Blue juice: The water in the lavatory toilet
                    Crumb Crunchers- Kids
                    Gate Lice- The people who line up right by the gate before boarding begins
                    George- Autopilot

Oh, and the pilots say there is no such thing as a water landing. That’s just called crashing into the ocean…

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