Advice on dating a pilot
Advice on dating a pilot
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.
So as I reached my 20th year of flying as a co-pilot, I figured I might be able to offer some unsolicited advice for any new co-pilots coming into this job.There are plenty of tips on how to get a flying job, but very little talk about what to do when you finally arrive at a major airline.I didn’t always embrace the following recommendations, and I’ve marked those needing further explanation with an asterisk. * You might not have to worry too much about this one.Often the best advice comes from the mistakes of others. It seems flight attendants are taught during their initial training that all pilots are evil and should be avoided like the H1N1 virus. Chances are, everyone else likes flying with them too, and a cockpit that’s less stressful is a safer cockpit.Dating a flight attendant can be extremely convenient – think of the layover possibilities – but any nasty break-ups reverberate through the company, which could be awkward. On the other hand, you know that captain that shows up in the cockpit five minutes before departure?Your family will appreciate that you’re home, and you won’t be afraid of bidding reserve where you’ll have to be available on short notice.
If you can live within an hour of the airport, that’d be perfect.
* When I was first hired as a 727 Flight Engineer, I kept getting bumped out of New York, where we were living, to Miami.
Working with your ex-girlfriend’s best friend, for example, might not be very pleasant. You didn’t like it when you were his co-pilot, so hopefully you’ll go out of your way to avoid that kind of behavior when you upgrade. In hopes of not annoying the captain you’re flying with, you’ve probably become good at conforming to his way of doing things.
* Technically, I was married to a flight attendant, but not in the traditional fashion. Think of the five worst captains you flew with and do your best not to operate like they do. Watch how the captain flies the airplane and try out their method.
My wife and I were married for a couple of years before she went to work for a different airline. You may or may not adopt his style as your own someday, but for now, he seems pleased. If they’re too laid back, you may need to step it up a bit, be alert and set a different vibe. * My brother used to say that commuting turns a good deal into an ordeal.
My siblings have both dated within their respective airlines with varied results. Collect all the good techniques you find in the captains you fly with. And if they’re a nervous Nellie, show them that you’re also paying attention to their concerns and not discounting them. As an example of how not to annoy your captain; if he’s flying and you’re talking on the radio, when he asks you to request 20 degrees right for weather to air traffic control, try to repeat it just like he said – not, “We need to come right a bit for weather.” Chances are, the way he phrased it is how he wants it said over the radio. If you can find a place that’s good for raising a family near your base – which are usually near big cities – move there.