Welcome to my Blog

I am starting this blog just as I am starting my airline career. Feel free to ask any questions, or if you are in need of any help related to seeking employment with an airline then just let me know. I really enjoy helping others in any way that I can.

This is my blog with a name that stems from a long standing joke. Damnit Bobby was a term thrown out during a fun family sports match. Damnit Bobby Airlines was destined to be a loving name given to any flight I conduct which has passengers on board

I was a flight instructor and a part 91 (private carriage) pilot prior to becoming employed with an airline. Please enjoy the blog, and feel free to comment about anything and everything.

Monday, December 27, 2010


It is interesting to talk to pilots, both private and professional pilots. Sometimes the private pilots come across as being more knowledgeable then the professional pilots. The same is true about the reverse, but in any case there is always something that gets overlooked. There are those who are book smart and there are those who are street smart. Is one particular group better then the other? Before addressing that, let's also consider if there are pilots out there who are natural pilots or are there also pilots out there who are simply number fliers?

When you board an airline flight, what do you expect from the Captain? Like a great Doctor, the expectations of a Captain are very high. The Captain is viewed as the person who has proven knowledge of the aircraft systems, capabilities, and the person who can make the timely decisions necessary to ensure every flight comes to a safe end. Are they all that way?

As I fly with more and more Capatains, and as I meet more airline pilots I have come to realize that there are many more pilots that fall into either category (street smart/book smart) then there are those who fall in between each one. The obvious answer to the earlier questions would be... You want someone who is equally street smart and book smart. The other question was very similar to the last one, however it was dealing primarily with pilot skill. Is there a correlation between being street smart and a natural pilot, or a combination of the various types? Every pilot is quick to judge another. It probably has more to do with competitive human nature then anything else. As an airline pilot I have learned that the best combination is divided amongst two pilots.

So, how does one gain skill? I usually hear people answer with... To be a good Captain you need to be very experienced. Odd that they say that, isn't it. What they are really saying is that to be a good Captain you need to know how to make decisions. These decisions can range from how to handle an irate passenger, to decision to divert, and every quick or important decision that needs to be made. Wouldn't it stand to reason that when you look at the big picture you will have Captains that fall all of the same categories I was talking about above? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but I think passengers have a false sense of perfection when it comes to the Captain. Just Drs. who make mistakes, we all do the same... the difference is that in the airline world our mistakes rarely greatly affect anyone other then when the ultimate mistakes are made which lead to an accident.

When it comes to making Captain, I've often asked myself... do I have the experience to become a good Captain. Today, the Captain I have been flying with said something to me that made me think about it for a minute. He told me that I would be a natural at being a Captain. I thanked him for the compliment, but that started my wheels turning.... Which is better a Natural Captain or a Book Smart Captain?

That is the great challenge for me, now. I think the best Captains in the industry have a nice balance between god given talents and they have learned enough about their plane, their office (weather), their world that every flight they make passengers all get off the plane going... wow what a boring flight. You can put the books down, and you'll plateau.... keep the books open and I think that the study efforts with everyday flying will pay off great dividends for everyone.... Airline Captain or Captain of the family trip in the Mooney.

Part of my ongoing experience of new things.... It will be fun to go to upgrade school. The fun will come from knowing that I have come this far and failure is not an option. I've made it this far without ever failing a checkride or PC, and I am determined to get that extra stripe when the time comes.

Good news... We agreed to a TA between all three pilot groups. We, guys flying the SAAB-O-MATIC, will be getting pretty nice raises. The Q400 guys will only be on the same pay scale as the CRJ200 pilots from Pinnacle. Some of our insurance options, scheduling long Call lines, and our 401K really were not that great, but it definitely is worth voting in. I hope all the pilot groups agree to it.... Tis far easier to adopt the contract in then go back and change one thing here and there at a later time then it is to wipe the slate clear and start again for the sake of getting some minor tweaks.


No comments:

Post a Comment