Tag Archives: airline pilots

Air space

So, I’m standing in Hudson News at DFW this afternoon, pretending to select a magazine (but really in a bit of a post-meeting fog), when the lights in the airport newsstand suddenly appeared to dim.

It wasn’t an emergency situation, or even a passing storm.  No, the tallest airline pilot I have ever seen in my life stood next to me and temporarily blotted out the light!

I kid you not — this guy must have been seven feet tall!  I spent the rest of my time at the racks watching him stare at magazines and wondered…

How the heck does he fit in that teeny tiny cockpit??

Granted, in the post-9/11 era, none of us are doing cockpit tours a la “Airplane!”  But from the quickest of peeks that I’ve taken when boarding, their ride looks even more cramped than mine back in coach.

So, I did what I always do when I have a question — I turn to Google.  According to airlinepilotforums.com, all jets have adjustable rudder pedals and seats.  So, presumably, even the Goliath pilot that was purchasing woodworking mags earlier today has legroom during his flight.

So, now I know.  And now you know.

And when I get on my flight today, I’m going to ask the flight attendant where my adjustable rudder pedals are!

Sleepy time

I’m headed home today…or I was, until my early morning flight was delayed almost 2 1/2 hours.

The reason?  The crew got in late last night and needs their sleep.

I shouldn’t gripe about this.  All travelers should feel safer knowing that the airlines require a minimum amount of down time for pilots and attendants between flights.  That way, we avoid those embarrassing ‘flying past the city’ incidents because the crew is having a pajama party in the cockpit.

Heck, even my cab driver in Lexington told me he is required to have a minimum of three hours of sleep every 16 hours.  (I smiled and nodded and then got out at the next corner.)

It says a lot about our society that we have to set requirements for people in transportation jobs to make sure they get enough sleep.  We just don’t value sleep enough to get much of it on our own.

I just wish other industries felt as strongly about sleep to ensure that their employees — and consultants — had their eight hours.  Most of the time, we wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honor instead.

So, to make my contribution toward a more well-rested society, I plan to sleep on the plane all the way to New York City.

Do your part — take a nap at your desk!