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Captain -Northwest Airlines DC9
1. Can you explain to young people what a pilot is? A pilot transports people and cargo from place to place in an aircraft. Pilots are responsible for the lives of passe n gers and crew and seeing they all arrive at their destination safely. Always keep the blue side up!
2. What are the best parts about your job?
One of the best parts about my job is that I have a wonde r ful, although small, window office. Seeing the Great Lakes from the cockpit, its cobalt blue coloring is especially beaut i ful to see as are the awesome sunsets as I fly into the night.
3. What is the most difficult aspect about your job?
Having to stay in hotels away from home fifteen nights a month and missing family gatherings at holidays and mis s ing your children’s games, concerts, etc. Dealing with pa s sengers that can be rude and uncooperative especially when there are flight delays.
4. What necessary skills/degrees are needed to become a pilot?
Study hard in school, especially in the area of science. You need have mechanical aptitude,and learn how a plane works. You need to develop communication skills , decision making and people skills. To be a pilot you need to have a commercial pilot’s license. You need to have at least 250 hours of flight experience. You need to pass physical exams to show you are in good health, have good hearing and v i sion. To get your license you have to take a written test to check knowledge of FAA rules, principles of safe flying and navigation methods. The other test is an actual flight demo n stration. The salary depends on years of experience, size of the aircraft and rank.
5. What suggestions would you have for young people who might be interested in your career?
Go to your local airport. Get a ride in a plane and see whether you like being up in the sky.
6. Where can you work as a pilot?
In addition to commercial pilots, there are needs for pilots to work for the military, postal service, flying instru c tors,corporate as well as cargo(such as Fed Ex and UPS) companies.
7. Describe a day at your job?
I get to the airport letting the company know that I’ve a r rived for my flight. I check the flight manuals and federal aviation regulations. I check the airport to which I will be flying for approach and arrival charts. I introduce myself to the crew once on the airplane and do a flight check of all the airplane systems. Once the airplane is cleared for take up, I taxi down the runway and then ascend the airplane into the sky. I introduce myself to the passengers. Once we arrive at our destination, the airplane is returned back to land.
8. What got you interested in your career choice?
As a young child, I remember going to see planes take off and land at a nearby airport and thought this would be something to do when I got older.
9. What is an interesting memory being a pilot?
The very first time I soloed in an airplane was in a Sesna T37. I remember looking over at the sit next to me. Nobody was there. I was up there in the sky all by myself! It gave me a big “wow” feeling.
Note: Illustration from WPClipart.com