Saturday, May 06, 2006

Off the Radar, In the Spotlight

I think that most of my readers are also regular visitors at Cockpit Conversation; if you're not, do yourself a favor and read the last month or so of posts. Aviatrix has a new job as a charter pilot wayyy up north in a remote section of Canada, and it's really fascinating reading. The area she is in is very "off the radar," so to speak, so her observations as a newcomer to living and flying in that environment are quite interesting to those of us not normally exposed to it.

Prospective commercial pilots are often lured to an aviation career with the promise of beauty, adventure, challenge, camaraderie, and travel to the interesting parts of our world. To be sure, aviation still offers all this - but it's not really at that coveted airline job. The most interesting stories about interesting people and airplanes involve jobs most people have never heard of - sometimes in your backyard, sometimes in obscure corners of the globe. Some of these pilots are just passing through, working their way to "bigger and better." A few have already been there and decided it wasn't for them. Many have known no other lifestyle and do not wish to.

To be sure, airline flying has its advantages, not the least of which are safety and comfort. Aviatrix has some tough flying and harsh living ahead of her at this new job. But she'll experience all that aviation has to offer far more vividly than she will when she gets to Air Canada or WestJet. We're all fortunate to be able to ride along with her.

So get to Cockpit Conversation for the current best of the aviation blogosphere. You don't really want to read about my boring old "before start" flows, anyway!


Aviatrix said...

Hey, I thought your before start flow post was great.

I read it through thinking "that's just what I do!" I have similar duty days, slightly more legs, weather reports obtained mainly from talking to other pilots on the radio, a before start flow that takes about five seconds, including the challenge and response "clear right?" Sometimes I start the engines on my own, while the other pilot gives the passenger briefing. There's no FMS, and we usually punch in the next destination on the GPS, if we have one, during taxi.

But yeah, your day and mine aren't all that different. I'm finally believing what I've been told my whole career that an airplane is an airplane. And we're both tired at the end of the day.

Sam said...

An airplane is an airplane is an airplane. I wince every time I see an ad in Flying for whatever pilot mill proclaiming that their graduates fly the almighty CRJ - as though a pilot flying anything "less" must not measure up. Most pilots at the airlines know better, having been there themselves.

You're doing the same job we are, with a lot fewer gizmos to make life easier and fewer resources at your disposal. The guys and gals that fly freight & air taxi in piston twins and small turboprops are every bit the professionals that airline pilots are. It's a pity that the pay doesn't match the workload.

Dave said...

Thanks for the are right, is a good read.