GA Pilots Flying as Passengers

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Fri, Dec 23 - 3:00 pm EDT | 13 years ago by
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Today I’m flying home (commercially) for the holidays. I’m a GA pilot and I enjoy flying. I like trying to think in my mind what the crew up front might be doing, learning a little bit about how the big jets operate, and the airline I typically fly offers the ability to listen to the cockpit crew over the audio system. (Yes, even they miss a few calls occasionally.)

I also know a few GA pilots who hate flying commercially. Something about not being in control of something they (relatively speaking) know how to control. For some people the dislike of flying commercially started after they received their pilot certificate.

What about you? Do you enjoy flying commercially? (Of course we all dislike long lines in the airport… I’m talking about the actual flying part.) How has flying commercially changed for you before and after earning your pilot certificate? Comment below!

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  • Bill Howard

    I’ve been giving ‘back seat’ checkrides for a long time. I like to give a pat on the back to the front seaters when I get off, but sometimes!

    I was on a Beech 1900 out of Midway for Terre Haute – and the NEW HIRE in the right seat had to read the instructions on how to close the door!!!!

    Also, (before cockpit doors) I watched him gain 1000 ft in a turn – man, his Captain gave him hell!

    On an “Executive Mailing Tube” (Metro) the glare shield was so loose, the guys kept their Jepps and clipboard UNDER the glareshield! Man – tried to keep off of those!

    Also, on descent into Seattle, they were cruizing over the ‘barber pole’ but I never understood exactly what that meant!

    Also, I noticed nobody ever pulls it back to slow for Turbulance – EVER! Schedules matter more on Scheduled flights than passenger comfort, fer shure!

    Well, not nearly as much fun with a door in the way now, and noboby askes me up front.

    I always tried to remember, “Pilots should NEVER eat the fish!” Yah – like ANYBODY gets food these days! So much for my chance to save everybody!

    Best wishes to all!

    Bill Howard

  • Midway Six

    When I do fly commercially, I enjoy listening to ATC on channel 9 of the cabin audio system. (When traveling on United.)

    As a Instrument Student, it’s useful to listen. I’ve had good luck following along.

  • Dr Bill

    I am OK with flying commercial and if I can get there in under 3 hrs, I’ll fly myself. Usually it’s alot cheaper too.
    Like BILL, my favorite airline permits listening in. As an frequent IFR pilot, I’m surprised how “real” these commercial pilots are. They miss calls, mis-understand ATC and on one flight the captain did all the radio work while the FO did the flying. His mic was so weak that ATC had a problem hearing him (as did I). I told him on the way out that his mic was probably too far from his nouth as his audio was weak as I was listening in and am a pilot. He said thanks but never knew if he did anything about it.
    Only once (so far) has the pilot did a missed while I was in back. It was nice to know what was going on before he got on the intercom.
    Wish I could fly from East Coast to West in 6 hrs in my plane, then I’d never fly commercially!
    Beech Sundowner Owner

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