In the popular imagination, being an airline pilot is one of the most interesting and glamorous jobs out there. Many of us have questions on what it’s like, so we asked five of those common questions, and here’s what a couple of pilots told us:
How long does it take to train as a pilot?
To start flying, about five. But the fact is you never stop training, because the technology advances and you have to keep up. Personally, I’ve been in training for 35 years!.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in the sky during a flight?
Seeing a rocket launched into space, just a few days ago. And before that, in flying school, a couple of tornados
What do you do when the automatic pilot is on?
Aside from enjoying the amazing views that anybody can possibly have while “at work”, you check to see that you’re right on course and you make sure all aircraft systems are working properly.
Does turbulence bother pilots as much as it does passengers?
I think not. On the flight deck we have real-time information about how the aircraft is reacting to flight conditions –noise, weather, etc. But remember that turbulence is just like waves in the sea. Not always comfortable, but nothing to worry about.
What’s your advice to passengers who are afraid of flying?
Keep in mind that there’s a simple reason behind every noise and movement, and we pilots know what we’re doing. At worst, a flight might be uncomfortable at times, but that’s routine, too. But there are good therapies out there to overcome fear of flying, If you have a bad case, it might be wise to sign up for one.