7 Responses to “Jethead: The World from 30,000′ at 500 mph”
Does anybody else think it’s paradoxical, at best, to hear all the “your safety is paramount” stuff at the same time as seeing so many pictures from the flight deck? The ones on the tarmac are especially disturbing. That’s a place with lots of traffic and little space to maneuver — a place where an extra set of focused eyes might matter.
Sure there at least another set of hands and eyes in the cockpit. But I’d prefer to know there were two brains 100% engaged on the tasks at hand.
(In fairness, Flight Level 390’s blog bothers me on this issue too.)
You bring up a serious point that should be clarified.
Actually, anything that I’ve personally taken on the tarmac (I get pictures sent to me by many others) are during “non-sterile” periods: engines shut down, brakes set. In other words, we’re parked. Yesterday, we sat parked between the runways for an hour and a half waiting for our “meter delay” in Philadelphia. Often, we pull onto the ramp and wait for a gate, too.
In flight, only at cruise altitude, level. It may surprise you, but we also eat crew meals and converse. It would be an odd challenge to do nothing but stare at gages for 2-3 hours. Might make you nervous, but it’s kind of human to look, talk and do things other than robotically sit and stare. I understand your concern; I know the other site you’re speaking of (I really enjoy it) and I know he too observes the sterile periods on duty.
Relax, VagabondJim. Real life is different from TV–you ought to see what goes on in the O.R. when you’re under anesthetic: we laugh, talk, listen to CDs and when I’m primary, Howard Stern. Not sure what you do for a living, but I’ll bet you’re a regular person when you do it. At least I hope you are!
I very much understand that real life is very different than TV — in ways both far riskier and far safer than the tube ever portrays. That’s what makes the real world so much fun.
(My job entails only a risk of paper cuts and hemorrhoids. It doesn’t get any more regular than that.)
I’m not a nervous flyer. I still get a thrill from being on a plane. (Yes, I’m another 45 year old guy who remembers the days of yore when we could visit the cockpit and get a pair of plastic wings as boys.) Just this weekend I did my part to keep Captain Chris’ airline in business by doing a quick LAX-JFK-LAX mileage run. !0,000 miles into the account, 10 hours in the air, 6 hours overnight at JFK; that’s a fine way to spend a Saturday night with my dream gal. (Upgrades help…) We have 4 more transcons in the next 4 weeks for the same whacked out reason. And a trip to MVD in June. So none of my concerns above were ever going to keep me grounded.
Crew meals, chatting, etc. make sense. Let’s just agree to keep the laptops out of the pointy end of the plane. All-in-all the airborne pictures didn’t bother me as much as the ground one. And, I’ll admit to being a tad hyperbolic in my language (sometimes the desire to make a point can compel one too much — c.f., the rest of the internet.) The non-sterile clarification settles my mind greatly.
I don’t really want to know what happens after the anesthesiologist plugs me in. In fact, can we just skip all the way ahead to the part where there’s scars tissue instead of pain….? I’ll fly to keep the airlines in business but I can’t guarantee I’ll submit to optional surgery to keep the health care industry afloat. 😉
We have literally THOUSANDS of pages of both aircraft systems and navigation publications required by the FAA to operate the aircraft. Those thousands of pages have to be revised bi-weekly.
Finally, all of those publications are now available in PDF files, so they’re updated instantly and accurately. The FAA has approved the new method because it’s accurate and better because it is is. Laptops are approved and encouraged for that reason. They’re here to stay.