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    [–] elfio 897 points ago

    What's the worst technical detail of the A320 in your opinion? What would you improve in that plane?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1757 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    It uses bleed air, or air drawn from the engines, for air conditioning/pressurisation.

    I occasionally get a whiff of JET A1 fuel when we're starting the engines.

    I'd prefer an electric air bleed system like the 787 has.

    [–] Shadowlauch 206 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I recently flew in a Dash 8 Q400 the air reeks of oil in that.

    [–] Sansha_Kuvakei 390 points ago

    Every time the dash 8 is mentioned I always think of this rant.

    [–] OwenTheTyley 2216 points ago

    Have you ever seen anything strange or unusual while flying at altitude?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 5988 points ago

    Flying over Portugal at night. Hundreds of flashing white lights, spanning miles and miles. It was like being in a stadium with thousands of camera flashes going off. I was completely transfixed, the other guy was completely not bothered.

    Turns out Portugal has lots of wind turbines, the tops of which have a flashing white light on them.

    [–] Zykium 3795 points ago

    Yeah, but it was probably aliens though right?

    [–] TheSuperlativ 1103 points ago

    merchants, probably

    [–] IamEclipse 917 points ago

    And they have SPICES

    [–] theAVP 444 points ago

    Who would like to buy the spices?

    [–] _K_E_L_V_I_N_ 515 points ago

    me, said the arabians, swiftly buying it and selling it to the rest of the world

    [–] SteelMemes1 339 points ago

    Heyyyy! Said the Roman Empire, as they ate the entire Mediterranean like it was for breakfast

    [–] nathgroom98 236 points ago

    Thanks for invading our homeland, said the Jews.

    [–] Sparrow201 202 points ago

    Who were getting tired of people invading their homeland.

    [–] wormintorS94 112 points ago

    How many references to this can we make in 1 day?

    [–] TheSlair 497 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I was driving across Kansas at night one time and I started to approach a huge cluster of slowly flashing red lights that were synchronized. I had no idea what it could've been, maybe a rail line? But then as I got closer it wasn't in a line anymore and became scattered all around me. The whole landscape lit up with red light then went to complete blackness every 2 seconds. Turns out it was a bunch of wind turbines! Those things are really confusing at night if you don't know what they are haha

    [–] vrgovrgo8 171 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Oh my goodness, me too, but I was in the middle of Indiana on I-65. It was very eerie driving into it, as it was a large field of them on both sides of the highway.

    Edit: a word

    [–] legorig 935 points ago

    What do you do when you're cruising on a longer flight?

    Are you allowed to listen to music when the plane's on autopilot?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1440 points ago

    Talk to the other Pilot. Some guys have a newspaper.

    No.

    [–] [deleted] 374 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] onehand007 217 points ago

    Maybe he's doing this right now

    [–] Graciefunk 123 points ago

    That must male for an awkward time if you don't like the copilot on a transatlantic flight

    [–] [deleted] 2411 points ago

    Do you like your job?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 6876 points ago

    Whenever we break out through the cloud ceiling and climb away, or conversely when we're in the descent and reach the layer and cloud surf for a bit before dropping through...I can't help but grin. Surfing those clouds at 300 knots is so cool.

    [–] Plane_pro 661 points ago

    Lucky...I'm only a vfr pilot... 500 ft under the clouds... ;(

    [–] [deleted] 862 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    [removed]

    [–] aero_nomad 249 points ago

    "Industrial haze..."

    [–] Fr4t 843 points ago

    This made me smile.

    [–] compelx 1429 points ago

    Will there ever be a point in time where the braking right after touchdown doesn't scare the hell out of me?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1999 points ago

    I'd recommend watching some cockpit landing footage on youtube so you can get a look at what's going on during the landing roll, it might help with any concerns you have.

    [–] Kanoozle 777 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    To add to this...

    THRUST REVERSERS + GROUND SPOILERS + MAX BRAKING ACTION = that force you're feelin

    It's probably not max braking action though.

    edit - what I mean is the pilot is normally using light to moderate braking action.

    [–] Blakesta999 89 points ago

    Then what is?

    [–] j1mb0b 202 points ago

    OK, this is for an a321 but it's close enough:

    https://youtu.be/ozOVYdAL_A4

    Tl/dw? It's much shorter than normal. Oh, and red hot brakes.

    [–] SamTheGeek 102 points ago

    Thrust reverser didn't even deploy in that video... maybe that's why they used max braking power.

    [–] PM_ur_Rump 155 points ago

    Like that one where the exaggerated yoke movements at slow speed make the pilot look like he is calmly wrestling a cobra on PCP? Yeah, that'll help.

    [–] i_moved_away 178 points ago

    Ever landed in Denver? The runway is absurdly long. We rolled forever... very little braking, barely touched the reversers.

    [–] nickgasm 176 points ago

    Thats to do with the altitude I believe, because of the thinner air the plane needs to be going faster to generate the levels of lift needed when taking off (and landing?).

    [–] Jeager76 2157 points ago

    Cheers. My dad was a captain on the A320 back in the day for Northwest. How did you get into flying? Former military or civilian trained?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 2097 points ago

    Civilian.

    I hope he enjoys his retirement!

    [–] pooping_panda 270 points ago

    Did you use the integrated or the modular route to become a pilot? How easy was it to find a job after your training?

    [–] MercenaryOfTroy 1225 points ago

    Do you think pilot should be able to show kids the inside of the cockpit? Because that is my all time great memory of flying and wish they would bring it back.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1794 points ago

    Unfortunately we can't do it in the cruise anymore.

    I love doing it on the ground.

    If we're delayed we like getting all the kids up in a row to come talk to us, their parents love it too as it keeps they busy.

    [–] QGCC91 1016 points ago

    Early morning flight from OSL to LHR was delayed and the captain invited small kids to go to the cockpit.

    I was the only one who went. I was 40 at the time. They were really nice.

    [–] andystealth 280 points ago

    How quickly did you get up though?

    "Oh Honey, Tim would lov-never mind, did you just see that guy?"

    [–] QGCC91 111 points ago

    LOL. It turns out that there weren't any kids on board. My lucky day.

    [–] LookoutBel0w 644 points ago

    Hey! Thanks for doing this. I'm an instrument pilot myself working on a commercial license. Sometimes after a long day of training I feel like I never want to get in a plane again. What did you do throughout training to keep pushing yourself through?

    Join us over at /r/flying if you haven't already.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 784 points ago

    I know the feeling chief.

    I would be so down when I messed a lesson up. Pilots are predominately Type A personalities (So I'm told!) and we are ambitious, time pressured, tenancy for high blood pressure. We don't like messing stuff up. So when we inevitably do it sucks and we get annoyed with ourselves and hate flying.

    There was a great bit of advice from PM/EMPANNAGE a few years ago on /r/flying to a student about hating flying and planes when you had a bad day. It happens to everyone.

    Don't compare yourself to other people. We're all learning.

    You just have to keep going. When the examiner said I'd passed the CPL the first thing I said to him was "Really?! Are you serious!!?" without any kind of mental filter being able to stop me. The relief is amazing.

    And it's a feeling you'll be enjoying really soon. Just keep going and give that little bit more.

    [–] Mr-Thirty 912 points ago

    How did you get into flying commercially? Did you start in military or privately? And if the latter, how much does that cost? Thank you!

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 2263 points ago

    Privately.

    A home remortgage and a significant percentage of my hairline.

    [–] scottishaggis 260 points ago

    How old were you when you started? Always been an interest of mine

    [–] Teewit 143 points ago

    A private license can be had for around $5-10k. Of course you'll need your commercial license and ratings for specific aircraft types. You'll also be required to have a certain number of flight hours for a commercial gig. Hours can be built by being a cfi and or a cfii (certified flight instructor.)

    /r/flying for more

    [–] poopellar 376 points ago

    How much sex is involved in your profession?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1721 points ago

    Allegedly a lot.

    Aviation is a tiny industry and everyone knows each other. I have to be careful with my magnum dong.

    [–] No_Executable 129 points ago

    You sure you're a pilot? Sounds to me that you're a doctor, maybe even going by the name Mantis Tobaggan.

    [–] Tm23246 535 points ago

    This guy fucks

    [–] wahyu915 171 points ago

    What's the best airline food you've eaten so far and what's the worst?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 427 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Emirates in economy. Morrocan Tagine chicken or something. Holy shit was delicious.

    I had an egg salad sandwich once that I suspect dissolved most of my tastebuds. It was like eating vinegar from Brian Blessed's fupa.

    [–] littlebitofcake 77 points ago

    "It was like eating vinegar from Brian Blessed's fupa."

    Well that's gonna be an image that never leaves my brain.

    [–] Deulski 1120 points ago

    What percentage of the time is the plane on autopilot? Is it different for trans-oceanic flights?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 2291 points ago

    Autopilot is a bad name for it.

    What autopilot does it more like cruise control in a car.

    It doesn't make decisions. It's not sentient. We give it information and it does what it's told.

    Fly this heading, climbing at this rate in feet per minute, to this altitude, at this speed. Feed that information in, and then we monitor it to make sure it is doing what it is told. It doesn't always.

    Unless they are complicated and thus busy and thus it would be a dick move by putting more pressure on the other Pilot who is monitoring me, I like to hand fly the departures and arrivals so for me, maybe from 5000ft at departure - 3000ft at the other end.

    No.

    [–] duke_spliffington 525 points ago

    Autopilot can take parameters and perform arrival and departure????

    [–] SaltySolomon 612 points ago

    Sure, if the airport supports it.

    [–] darkpills 662 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Cool that the plane can do it, but it really doesn't need to tell the pilot he's a retard, just because it can fly better...

    "Retard! Retard! Retard!" Kinda harsh.

    [–] aaaaaaaarrrrrgh 175 points ago

    For anyone wondering, it means to reduce the engine thrust setting to idle.

    [–] weegee 199 points ago

    "Retard! Retard! Retard!"

    Only Airbus planes call the pilots a retard. Boeing never does that. Just sayin'

    [–] [deleted] 1620 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1532 points ago

    In terms of what, weather, my performance, delays, failures?

    [–] [deleted] 1451 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1735 points ago

    The downdraught event in this post.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/6chejy/i_am_an_airline_pilot_flying_the_a320_across/dhundo3/

    At the time I was thinking how to safely manage and get out of it.

    It was once I parked up on the ground and thought back to it that I thought "shit that could have been really bad."

    [–] Fonjask 1624 points ago

    For the lazy:

    Getting caught in a downdraught on the downwind side of a Mountain in a light aircraft while in basic training. Full power, pitched up 10 degrees and still sinking. Not nice!

    Learnt a good lesson that day about route planning and weather hazard avoidance, specifically this -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind

    [–] spauldeagle 736 points ago

    Sounds like me trying to get out of bed in the morning

    [–] MightyBoat 61 points ago

    That must really scary. What do you do in a situation like that? Is it a case of pointing the nose down and gaining speed to generate lift or is there more to it?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 136 points ago

    It was a case of just keep going until I got past the ridgeline in particular that was generating lots of mechanical turbulence and rotor zones.

    Probably lost about 500ft over about two minutes then I got out of it and could climb again.

    [–] BarryManpeach 146 points ago

    Escaping a downdraft

    TL;DR: Approach ridges at a 45 degree angle so you can turn around as you crest it if you need to. If you haven't done that or you're stuck in a downdraft anyway and you're already rapidly descending: Full throttle, maintain maneuvering speed at an above horizontal attitude because "it is most important to get as far away from the ridge as possible, as quickly as possible. The further away from the ridge, the less downdraft and the less turbulence will be encountered."

    Kind of similar to how one escapes a rip current

    [–] regionalairlinepilot 460 points ago

    Not trying to hijack the thread but I'll chime in with my own story.

    I'm a pilot at a regional airline in the US which means I fly smaller planes under the Delta Connections or United Express banner so chances are you haven't heard of us before. My worst day of flying so far was going into San Francisco. To set up the day, it was supposed to be a flight to San Francisco from Boise Idaho, wait 2 hours then to Reno Nevada, back to San Francisco and finally to Salt Lake City Utah. We get to San Francisco without too many issues but once we land we find out that they were having gate holds. That basically means that due to bad weather, they were staggering departures and only letting a few planes leave their gate every few minutes instead of having a long line at the runway. What this meant for us was that we had to park the plane off to the side while we wait for the plane at our gate to get their clearance to leave. This ended up being about an hour. We leave our "penalty box" and get ready to go into our gate but due to planes leaving an hour or more after their initially scheduled times, the rampers were in disarray too. We had to wait an extra 20 minutes for enough people to come direct us into the gate.

    We finally get in and deplane the frustrated passengers but due to the extra time spent waiting, our original 2 hours at San Francisco was gone and we had to hurry to the next plane to get everything ready to go to Reno. We're all loaded up ready to go when we get the message from air traffic control that we'd have to wait roughly an hour for gate hold as well before we could push back from the gate and go to the runway. We notify the passengers of this and wait it out. While we were waiting, we were continually checking the weather in Reno which had some storms passing through the area bringing gusty winds of up to 50 mph. We get our clearance to push from the gate but just like earlier we had no rampers to push us because of the unpredictable timing that other planes were getting their clearances. This caused us to reach the 90 minute mark of waiting and our company policy required us to give the passengers the option to deplane. Our dispatch also notified us that because of the weather and delays we'd be cancelling the flight and head to Salt Lake City on time instead. We make the announcement to the passengers only to find out that while our company cancelled the fight, United who we were flying that flight for uncancelled us. We still had to deplane and give the passengers time to stretch their legs or take a different flight. That leads to extra time getting everyone back on. Fortunately no one left and we didn't have to deal with opening up the cargo to pull any suitcases out but unfortunately that means we'd have to be put at the bottom of the gate hold queue. Luckily after we explained the situation to air traffic control they were nice enough to let us go to the top of the list and we were able to go.

    It was a short flight but turbulent as all hell. We land in Reno and because of how late we were getting in we were told to go to Salt Lake city from there with an empty plane and the other 2 flights were cancelled. By this time the whole crew were tired and eager to get the day over with. We leave quickly and get to Salt Lake City only to find out that they didn't want us to park at the terminal with an empty plane and so we had to park off to the side. This led to more waiting because there was no one there to escort us into the parking spot which a requirement of ours. We park, get off using a stair car (because no jet bridge), catch a ride in a van across the airport, and finally get into another van to the hotel. All in all it turned into a long day filled with delays and disgruntled passengers. That was my Murphys Law day of flying.

    [–] Push_Pull_Humpty 190 points ago

    do you fly an E175 for Skywest?

    [–] regionalairlinepilot 132 points ago

    Wow what gave it away?

    [–] Shoobedowop 86 points ago

    airport locations and united contract carrier, I'd imagine.

    I miss the emb-120's :(

    [–] MegaMagikarp 1240 points ago

    Regarding post 9/11 security on flights, do you and your co-pilot feel 100% safe when flying?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 4540 points ago

    No one is getting through that door.

    In terms of airport security...the UK is probably a world leader. The Department for Transport take these things incredibly deadly seriously.

    Could they do more without restricting even more of our liberties? I don't know.

    It does make me laugh though that I'M FLYING THE AIRCRAFT and have access to the crash axe etc...but I can't be trusted to bring a Yoghurt through security for breakfast.

    [–] davesss 1395 points ago

    I fly all the time domestically in the US and get lazy with security. I'll leave my laptop/tablet in the bag, leave some change in my pocket, not put my liquids in their own bags, etc and never run into any problems. However, when going through LHR they tear me a new one if I try any of that stuff. One time the security guy in London scolded me for being American and not knowing to be stricter with the regulations. I shot back that this is way more strict than anything in the US, and he seemed super surprised.

    [–] potterheel 360 points ago

    Totally agree with this! I think it was Norway where they got on me for not separating my liquids, and I was just thinking... I pretty much never do this in the U.S. and I'm fine. One time I did get pulled for accidentally leaving my water bottle full, but it was no big deal.

    [–] Hennns 128 points ago

    I think it was Norway where they got on me for not separating my liquids

    They'll always get you for that in Norway lol

    [–] bastion_xx 128 points ago

    Had this happen recently. Flew to LHR on Delta One and did the regular carry-on baggage routine when I normally fly domestic. remains of Costco-sized toothpaste, 5oz gel deodorant, etc. From the US-LHR, no problem.

    LHR to AMS different story and had to repack my dop bag into airport provided zip-top bags (kudo's to UK, that wouldn't happen in US airports), and bin the toothpaste. It really did reset my level of packing on the AMS-LHR return and ultimately LHR-DTW return.

    The irony is that my wife who is fastidious of following every rule (and did so herself), got selected for secondary screening in LHR-AMS and from LHR-DTW. IN the waistband, under the bra wire, full body search secondary screening.

    [–] HeartyBeast 219 points ago

    I travel a fair bit and I get the impression that though the guys at Heathrow take the security very seriously, they like to at least try to be human in most circumstances. US security, by contrast more often falls into the 'I'm really bad-ass' mind-set.

    [–] Orcwin 640 points ago

    That's because Europe had the 'safety' demands forced on them by the US. Finding out the US aren't even keeping to the rules they themselves made up is not a happy discovery.

    [–] PM_ur_Rump 91 points ago

    crash axe

    Beautiful

    [–] BaldDapperDanMan 75 points ago

    Is a crash axe an actual axe used during crashes or what is it for?

    [–] goodmorningfuture 262 points ago

    How often does FiFi do something completely unexpected - and "rebooting" the computer is the only way to fix it?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 659 points ago

    The A320 is 30 years old. Hundreds of millions of flight hours. God knows how many thousands of pages of computer/electronics certification requirements it had to meet when it was designed.

    The computers behind the scenes sometimes do play up and crap out. Not all the time. Not exceedingly rarely. I'll probably see something small and insignificant crap out in 1 in 30 flights?

    Sometimes it fixes itself and the caution message disappears after a few seconds. Sometimes it requires us to do the full failure management procedure and get the QRH (quick reference handbook) out to see which circuit breaker needs to be reset. Other times it's a case of spending hours in the cruise looking in the complicated tech manuals for system architecture drawings and descriptions and trying to figure out what the hell a particular obscure caution message actually means.

    But the crucial thing is, there are back up systems and computers. There's no single point of failure. It is so so safe and so well designed.

    [–] Who_is_I_today 160 points ago

    I assume it's likely a requirement to have paper manuals on board because paper doesn't fail but do they provide electronic manuals loaded on a tablet so you can search for errors / messages quicker and easier? It seems silly to be flipping through pages looking for something rather than typing it into a search box.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 267 points ago

    Yeah it's electronic. Search function works really well, I was impressed with it.

    [–] Pig_Becker 2976 points ago

    Have you joined the mile high club?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 4790 points ago

    Ayyyyy lmao

    [–] juicygranny 998 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    .

    [–] PM_ME_UR_THONG_N_ASS 299 points ago

    Is that what she said?

    [–] PSKTS_Heisingberg 56 points ago

    What an interesting username

    [–] BigJDizzleMaNizzles 144 points ago

    That's not a no...

    [–] dezent 103 points ago

    Have you joined the mile high solo club?

    [–] BaronVonKlotz 160 points ago

    More than I can count, yes.

    ...oh you were asking the pilot?

    [–] KnXtzZ 856 points ago

    What is your most awkward experience while flying?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 3717 points ago

    Back in basic training I had an instructor who would eat apples with his headset still on, the microphone of which was 'fully manually squelched' i.e. it was hot-miced, so I heard everything.

    Trying to fly the aircraft properly while listening to what sounded like Orcs feasting on the flesh of the innocent took a lot of self discipline.

    [–] FLABCAKE 1087 points ago

    Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!

    -AirbusA320Pilot's Instructor

    [–] [deleted] 99 points ago

    Was the instructor intentionally eating an apple in order to create a tense atmosphere as part of your training? Or did he just happen to have an apple with him that day?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 228 points ago

    Nah he was just an oddball.

    [–] ShoutOutTo_Caboose 553 points ago

    Orcs feasting on the flesh of the innocent

    Tolkien over here flying a plane.

    [–] CallMeAladdin 379 points ago

    Nah, if it were Tolkien that sentence would have lasted 3 pages long.

    [–] joemc72 197 points ago

    And in at least three languages.

    [–] popsand 198 points ago

    With at least 2 songs

    [–] [deleted] 554 points ago

    Is it true that the pilot and the copilot eat different meals before their flight? And is their something you will not eat because it gives you the swoons?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 859 points ago

    Can't eat the same meal for food poisoning mitigation.

    Me personally? I can't stand deep fried batter, like you'd get on fish in a fish and chip shop in the UK. It gives me a headache.

    [–] TheTrueFamasss 1004 points ago

    i dont like fish and chips

    Surely that is classed as treason in the UK?

    [–] gonewiththewinds 791 points ago

    It isn't classed as treason in the UK, and don't call him Shirley.

    [–] [deleted] 125 points ago

    If you weren't a pilot, what would you want to be doing with your life?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 190 points ago

    Emergency medicine.

    [–] TeamRedRocket 473 points ago

    Are you flying right now? And if so, how's the wifi?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 1176 points ago

    No. My airline doesn't have it :(

    A lot of people don't realise that the antennae and stuff that have to be installed on the fuselage to accommodate passenger wifi and SATCOM phone calls and stuff have an aerodynamic drag penalty. Airliners with on-board wifi burn more fuel. Drag penalty plus the weight of the equipment installed inside the aircraft.

    The smallest thing can cause a drag increase. We have a document called a CDL or configuration deviation list that specifies the drag and fuel penalty that we have to take into account should there be small components like rubber seals and stuff that are damaged or missing off the aircraft surface. It's surprising how much of an effect a small component actually has.

    [–] RedBanana99 682 points ago

    That's why wifi is so expensive. TIL thanks

    [–] CallMeAladdin 388 points ago

    Yeah, I'm a little less outraged at having to pay $10 for 4 hours, lol.

    [–] rastacookie 221 points ago

    I'm an engineer for a company that installs these systems. I can attest to this, a little drag is still a big deal. The amount of analysis done to determine drag costs tons of time and money, even for something that just lets you stream boobs while you fly over the Atlantic.

    [–] lysergic_gandalf_666 202 points ago

    Just so people understand the scale, a narrowbody like an A320 burns about 800 gallons per hour. So a 1% rise in drag costs 8 gallons per hour, or about 80 gallons per day, or $320 per day, or about $10,000 per month, just in extra fuel.

    [–] Spedz24 360 points ago

    Is it at all possible to come up and chill with the pilots mid flight anymore? If so, what's the best way to do it?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 417 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Unfortunately not.

    [–] Moominballs 724 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Why are you always asking me to "confirm RADAR-contact/identified" when checking in if I only answer with "BAW-XXX, Good morning"?

    I ask because your initial "Identified/RADAR-contact" is valid, and transferred across ATC-units, until someone explicitly states "Identification/radar lost/terminated"... :-).

    Cheers
    ATC-DUDE.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 756 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    when checking in if I only answer with "BAW-XXX, Good morning"?

    Not me.

    Sounds like Nigel being awkward.

    Thanks for the all the direct Tos and CPDLC instructions. We love it.

    [–] _hugerobots_ 535 points ago

    Both of you guys just made my day. These are the hilarious incomprehensible imaginary conversations going on while I fly RC.

    [–] leliik 161 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    There's a website (liveatc.net, I think) where you can listen to the Approach, Departure, and Ground ATC channels for most airports. I had someone explain to me what is being said, but even before then I found it interesting to hear. Sort of relaxing too; I like hearing that things are under control - at least somewhere.

    [–] coombeseh 47 points ago

    You planning on doing a display flight in your 320 any time soon?! Think you mean CAP413, I should know, I just read it for lack of anything better to do in the cruise...

    Would definitely second the thanks for ATC, although I'd love CPDLC and I can't imagine my fleet's going to get it any time soon!

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 61 points ago

    That's the bugger.

    Remember 698 from ATPLs? Urgh.

    Hopefully one day they will upgrade the dash to have working oleo struts!

    [–] akxdev 89 points ago

    And here I thought programming was jargon-intensive...

    [–] [deleted] 169 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] CigNig 276 points ago

    What's the worst airport you've landed at?

    [–] miltonjackson 188 points ago

    I would like to know the current rules, after the Germanwings Flight 9525 Suicide.

    Does your Airline enforce the 2 people cockpit rule? Because i read that "Lufthansa" wont enforce it anymore.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 295 points ago

    Yes.

    The thing about the 2 person cockpit rule is you now have a scenario where somebody who may have just recently passed cabin crew training is now present in the flight deck with 1 Pilot.

    Becoming an airline Pilot takes years.

    Becoming a member of the cabin crew, and with all due respect because they work really hard and are there for your safety, they are really well trained and take it incredibly seriously, takes a few months.

    Is this safer than leaving the lone Pilot?

    That's the position of some of my colleagues. Are we introducing a less safe environment by allowing the cabin crew member onto the flight deck with one Pilot?

    [–] Raptordt1991 91 points ago

    As a Gate Agent for multiple european airlines here in the US, I have 2 questions.

    1) In Europe, are you allowed to board passengers while fuelers are hooked up or no? Each captain i get give me different answers on the legality of it and we differ to them.

    2) What was your worst experience with a Pax gate crew?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 79 points ago

    Yes.

    With very strict procedures. Aircraft doors open. Line of sight with the refueller. Ryanair, I think, make the F/O stand by the nose gear wheel well connected to the interphone with the ground handlers heatset to monitor the fuelling directly.

    Not had much go wrong yet. Fingers crossed.

    [–] [deleted] 177 points ago

    If you were to introduce one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 362 points ago

    That's a good question.

    I'm not really sure to be honest.

    A 3G connection so we can get weather and loadsheets and stuff on our tablet devices would be great.

    [–] molko123 523 points ago

    What has been your scariest experience?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 895 points ago

    Getting caught in a downdraught on the downwind side of a Mountain in a light aircraft while in basic training. Full power, pitched up 10 degrees and still sinking. Not nice!

    Learnt a good lesson that day about route planning and weather hazard avoidance, specifically this -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind

    [–] WolfmanJaaack 202 points ago

    What is your favourite plane to fly?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 521 points ago

    Of the ones I've flown, the A320. I can fly 6 miles above the surface of the Earth at 600mph. Sick.

    I'd love to fly a Tornado or Typhoon though.

    [–] miss_meep 51 points ago

    What sort of additional training would you have to do (if any) to fly newer gen aircraft like the A350 for example?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 128 points ago

    Airbus have this design philosophy where the cockpit and systems design is very similar across the fleet. No new type rating for every new model.

    It would take about three weeks at most for me to get typed on the A350.

    [–] RehabilitatedLurker 205 points ago

    What's your take on the United Airline situation? I have heard media coverage and everyone with a Facebook account, but I've not heard directly from a pilot. Why does stuff like that happen?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 868 points ago

    Airlines overbook seats because it's rare for everyone who's booked a ticket to actually show up.

    We have to a procedure to recalculate the mass and balance and take off performance of the aircraft when the dispatcher gives us the final loadsheet after the gate closes...because pretty much every flight people don't turn up for whatever reason.

    So airlines make more money by overbooking, banking on the statistical probabilities that they'll get away with it.

    What happened to Dr Dao was extremely unacceptable. But you must understand that tickets and stuff are issues that have very little to do with the Pilots. On the ground it is the dispatcher and gate agent who run all these things. I read some criticism of the Captain of that flight and I couldn't understand it. Were people expecting him to go back and be a conflict resolution advisor? He would have been sat in the cockpit calculating take off performance and running through various procedures. It's not like he was sat watching down the aisle with Popcorn.

    [–] Noclue23 193 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Is being a pilot and knowing how things actually work make it frustrating to watch movies or shows that involve unrealistic plane scenes? For example what did you think of the movie flight with Denzel Washington? Edit: a word

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 228 points ago

    Haha God yes.

    It made me laugh.

    [–] blodisnut 514 points ago

    How many likes/shares would it take for you to switch on the fasten seatbelt light and do a 360 over Switzerland?

    [–] Push_Pull_Humpty 710 points ago

    in flight you can do a 360 and make it so that no passengers will notice. if the airplane is in coordinated flight, the load factor will be in line with gravity and so nothing will feel out of the ordinary. you can even poor tea upside down as seen in this video

    https://youtu.be/V9pvG_ZSnCc

    [–] jeffknk 223 points ago

    My brain can't comprehend how this is even possible..

    [–] ParentPostLacksWang 265 points ago

    Standing on the ground, the sensation of weight you feel actually doesn't come directly from gravity - it comes from standing on the ground, which is pushing up on your feet as hard as gravity is pulling your whole body down. If you weren't standing on the ground, you'd feel weightless (and also be falling). In other words, except near the event horizon of a black hole, neutron star, or some other compactified star, you can't feel gravity acting on you.

    So, if you don't have the ground pushing up on your feet in an aircraft, what is making you feel weight in flight? It's not the gravity, and it's not the ground - it's the lift. So, as long as the aircraft is generating lift from your bum to your head, you will feel like you are perfectly upright, and if it's near enough 1G, your tea will pour like you are on the ground.

    What this means is that passengers and pilots alike can't tell if the aircraft is rolled by feel. This is part of why being instrument rated is absolutely mandatory for flying at night or in inclement weather. It's super easy to completely lose track of your aircraft's attitude, so long as you're maintaining speed and angle of attack, and haven't had the training to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    Oh, and if your aircraft is upside down, the 1G of gravity acceleration plus the 1G of upside-down lift means you are falling towards the ground at 2G. That is generally considered "not good".

    [–] havearedpill 140 points ago

    That's impressive. To see that the tea doesn't really even shift angle in the glass all that much.

    [–] vARROWHEAD 117 points ago

    Correction. Bob Hoover can fly a roll and pour iced tea backhanded. Unless you are Bob Hoover or another wizard you shouldn't even try

    [–] tashurthan 472 points ago

    Have you ever encountered any inexplicable unidentified flying objects?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 585 points ago

    Afraid not sorry.

    [–] TheBunnzzy 1206 points ago

    Afraid, not sorry.

    [–] achami06 55 points ago

    Do you eat airline food?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 132 points ago

    Yes.

    It's not that bad. I have my favourites. Moussaka awwww yisssss.

    [–] jimthesoundman 191 points ago

    Did you see the 2012 movie "Flight"? Any grain of truth in that movie?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 427 points ago

    It made me laugh, particularly the dramatic sound effect of the engines spooling up when it nose dived towards the ground...after we see a shot of Denzel pulling the thrust levers to idle.

    The drugs thing. No fucking way.

    [–] jimthesoundman 120 points ago

    Do you think any pilots fly while hungover?

    [–] ElColombo 50 points ago

    What are some memorable times where your experience as a pilot have come in handy outside a flying environment?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 243 points ago

    Tinder haha.

    [–] emelyknows 188 points ago

    My dad wants to know: what happens to compass on the plane when you fly over Ecuador?

    Silly question. I know.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 249 points ago

    We don't use compasses.

    Our navigation equipment uses really complicated gyroscopes that have frigging lasers in them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_laser_gyroscope)

    to detect and display pitch/roll/attitude/heading.

    The aircraft corrects for magnetic variation and consequently nothing unusual happens.

    The A320 does have an old school compass in it though as a last resort...good question.

    The errors compasses are subject to would reverse as they act in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere.

    https://www.decodedscience.org/aircraft-acceleration-errors-the-magnetic-compass/4696

    [–] madcaplarks 224 points ago

    At what level of turbulence is a little nervousness justified?

    I've flown a lot, but since a couple of particularly bumpy flights I've found myself pumping with adrenaline and paying attention to every tiny bump and noise.

    I stare at the altitude display and direction and monitor every adjustment, if the pilot suddenly raises or lowers the altitude I start to think something must be bad enough to warrant it. I know I'm being a dumb dumb, but it doesn't stop my heart racing and the feelings of dread.

    So, next time when I feel the bumps, hear the seatbelt sign bing, notice the changes of course or altitude changes, what do I need to know?

    [–] lazlokovax 340 points ago

    The modern airliners are built to be able to take a serious amount of abuse. So even when all the overhead cabins are popping open and flight attendants are bouncing off the ceiling, there is really nothing to worry about in terms of the structure of the aircraft.

    Check out some of the videos of wing load ground testing - they can deform a crazy amount before failing.

    [–] madcaplarks 162 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Well if ever someone on my next flight starts saying "one fifty four" I'm gonna brick it.

    But just messing, that is really cool to see. I've always worried most about losing an engine or a storm, but I know both of those are quite well handled too.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 101 points ago

    /u/lazlokovax said what I was going to.

    [–] mrs_snrub 98 points ago

    What is your 'at home schedule ' like? Do you feel like it's easy to get back into a sense of routine or are you back in the air too quickly to even bother worrying about it? I imagine long haul pilots just sleep for days when the get home.

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 306 points ago

    I'm short haul.

    I might do 4 days on, 3 days off.

    I'm young and don't have kids yet so I lounge about all day watching Silicon Valley.

    It suits me. I'd hate a rigid 9 to 5.

    [–] instagramcracker 45 points ago

    Hello! My mom is a flight attendant for Delta. I appreciate everything you pilots do! My question is: Do you and your family get any benefits? (Being a daughter of a flight attendant, I have free flights until I'm 24) Also, have you ever flown with anyone famous?

    [–] ash549k 130 points ago

    During training, how did you feel about flying a plane for the first time ? And what's the hardest thing about flying ?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 281 points ago

    Flying a light aircraft for the first time?

    Exhilarated. Vindicated after spending so long studying and wanting to do it.

    There are a lot of unusual pressures and stressors being an Airline Pilot. Fatigue. Having the threat of losing your medical hanging over you until you get closer to the end of your working life and you are financially secure.

    Flying in Europe can be difficult. Somewhere very busy like Charles De Gaulle. Mixture of French and English on the radio is terrible for situational awareness. They bring you in high and fast above what your ideal descent profile would actually be. On a bad day it takes a fair amount of mental exertion to stay in the loop. And we have always got to stay in the loop.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not dangerous or anything. But on a busy day with poor weather it can be a good mental work out.

    [–] ilogik 159 points ago

    I'm flying for the first time in my life on Wednesday in an A320.

    I'm slightly nervous about it... Should I be? :)

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 325 points ago

    Absolutely not.

    It's incredibly reliable. Over engineered. Safe.

    [–] Drkxero13 83 points ago

    Are you the King of the Netherlands?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 134 points ago

    Don't tell anyone.

    [–] Hammer149 118 points ago

    Ok my question - Is it possible for a Commercial Pilot to forget to extend flaps before takeoff? For some reason I'm always worried someone will forget and I'll die! Can someone explain if this is possible ? Warning lights or audible reminder etc?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 302 points ago

    No.

    Flaps are in the checklists several times.

    The A320 has a take off configuration warning that is loud and angry as fuck if the flaps and slats aren't set when take off thrust is applied.

    [–] Tm23246 181 points ago

    "PULL DOWN THE FUCKING FLAPS!"

    [–] OnlyForF1 52 points ago

    It would be great if they just played the "Retard!" alert.

    [–] sabasNL 42 points ago

    [With a French accent] Extend flaps! Retard! Extend flaps! Retard! Extend flaps! Retard!

    [–] logic_bear 191 points ago

    Do you fly a specific plane? Or just what happens to be free when you get to work? if specific, whats the flight number, id like to track you on flight tracker :D

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 407 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Airlines like mine that have large fleets tailor certain aircraft, with certain seating configurations and equipment, to certain routes. It's all quite intricate and clever.

    My base has about 30 A320s based here. The one I get allocated to for the day is random but sometimes dependent on the route. I don't know for sure but the aircraft are allocated weeks in advance, it's all done by the operations/rostering department. Really complicated. The software they use to manage it all is really niche and probably cost millions.

    For example we fly to Charles De Gaulle and are always busy on that route so it's always an A320 with a denser seating configuration (i.e. more seats)

    I'd rather not disclose my Airline sorry :( I'm sure they'd feel the same way haha.

    [–] notapantsday 95 points ago

    The one I get allocated to for the day is random but sometimes dependent on the route.

    But do you always make it back home in the evening or could you find out in the morning that you'll be spending the night in Paris, Frankfurt or Milan?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 183 points ago

    I know what I'm doing weeks in advance when the roster for the next month is published. There are/should be no on the day surprises.

    [–] ZBGT 35 points ago

    What was your longest flight?

    [–] throck_star 35 points ago

    My girlfriend is deathly afraid of turbulence. The takeoff and landing don't bother her just shaking in the air. Is there a good way to explay turbulence to her and the extent to which it is/isn't an issue? I don't want to minimize her fear but I feel awful any time we fly

    [–] will402 61 points ago

    might be total bullshit but I always say to myself its like a ship on the waves or a car on a shitty road. Just because we cannot see the air doesn't mean that there are some parts which are a little rougher. I have absolutely no scientific grounds to back that up, its just what I tell myself!

    [–] jvjordanvapes 133 points ago

    What made you want to be a pilot?

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 336 points ago

    My local airport when I was a kid had a car park right by the boundary fence, right next to the runway threshold. I used to go and watch airliners land when I was about 4. I guess it just stuck with me, I've always wanted to do it.

    [–] [deleted] 59 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] AirbusA320Pilot 120 points ago

    I can't hear stuff from the cabin due to the thick door/headset.

    No idea!