Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The actions of others

Personality and habits. Everyone has them. Some are good. Some are bad. All in perspective.

I've learned a lot in just my almost 3 years at my airline. I've flown with many Captains that are a joy to fly with and truly care about the profession. These Captains have enlightened me on countless topics about flying, the airline and just life in general. I'm truly grateful for being able to glean information from them. There are however, a handful of Captains that make the job harder than it should be.

Being in a small base there are a fairly small number of Captains and First Officers here. I've flown with most, but not all of the Captains. A few of the Captains have bad habits and personality traits that I don't care for. They make the job harder than it should be. I used to let it get to me and their actions would directly affect my mood and my duties. That stopped about a year ago.

Since then I just do my job and perform the required duties. No small talk or chit chat. Just doing my job. Makes for a long day sometimes. There is only so much sky and ground to look at before it all blends together.

I feel bad for the few that have had such a horrible life that they feel the need to spread such doom on others.

From these few I take notes. Things I will not do when I become Captain. The list is somewhat long. Not as long as my list from the great Captains though.

Steven Slater, (former?) flight attendant for Jet Blue, is being heralded as a hero by flight crews everywhere. Passengers have become more and more unruly lately. They feel that they can do whatever they like nowadays. Some passengers take circumstances personally and flight crews and airport employees are ripe for the picking.

Flying is fairly easy. You take your seat, turn off your electronics, fasten your seatbelt and relax. That's it. Not hard. Passengers make it hard.

"Airplane Mode" is not off. Flight attendants advise of FAA regulations that state devices must be off. "Airplane Mode" is not mentioned by the FAA. Off. Off. Off. Simple. I turn my stuff off. How long does it really take to turn it back on after takeoff or landing?

Seatbelt sign. It's on for a reason. Passengers are injured more and more by standing up before the sign is turned off. They think because the plane has stopped and they can see a terminal that it must be safe. It's not. There have been occasions where the Captain has had to slam on the brakes, even at a low speed, while taxiing into the gate. If a passenger was standing up they would be thrown forward. Taking off your seatbelt takes what.... 1/2 a second? Once it's off passengers just stand in the aisle anyway. Really?

From what I've read Slater has been a Flight Attendant for more than 20 years (he worked elsewhere prior to Jet Blue). I guess yesterday he just had enough. He let the actions of others directly affect his mood and duties. Flight attendants have a rough job. I couldn't do it. I truly appreciate the reenforced door between the flight deck and cabin.

Tomorrow is the big day. I get to use a new saying, "As both a pilot and parent,"

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