Airfare is an inside look at the world of commercial flying from the perspective of working pilots, from those flying long-haul commercial air carriers to regionals to charters, each pilot with his or her own unique view from the left seat
At the Barnstormer’s Grill in Williamson, Georgia, I sat in a booth next to myself at age 20. Okay, so he was redheaded and thin, but the parts that really mattered were all but identical. Similar socioeconomic upbringing, same struggle to continue higher education, same desire to fly airplanes for a living. And friends, this more »
The Minimum Equipment List (MEL) may be the airline world’s most deceptively titled document. By its title, one might expect to open a single-page document of the bare necessities required to be operational in order to dispatch an airliner. Instead, it is a labyrinthine document that, contrary to its name, spells out what items you more »
A midnight flight was made more adventurous based on the negotiations and bad decisions made by a pilot.
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, sorry, but it was. My crew and I were assigned to a late flight from Houston Intercontinental (IAH) to Memphis (MEM). It was the last leg of a long day, which included an inbound from Colorado Springs (COS) and a Wichita (ICT) turn. Houston was uncharacteristically cool more »
The best part of the intricate design of things is the human element.
Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and more! As a newly minted first officer, I was assigned to a rather senior IOE (Initial Operating Experience) captain. Bob was a man of few words. He was also a man of eminent good sense, zero pretense and an more »
Good things really do come for pilots who put in the time.
Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and much more! Halfway through the preflight inspection in Bloomington, Illinois, the phone buzzed in my pocket. I let it go to voicemail. I’m not one to screen calls, but I’m also not one who enjoys interruptions in a preflight more »
Sometimes the things in life that give us joy take work. Bring it on.
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more! Like most pilots, my first few lessons in pursuit of a Private Pilot Certificate were memorable. I wish I could report that this was because of the exhilaration of sailing into the wild blue yonder or cavorting among the clouds. With apologies more »
Getting a commercial flight turned around isn’t an easy task
As a young Civil Air Patrol cadet, I struggled with the timing of calling drill commands while marching. Calling, “To the rear, march,” on the wrong foot, as I often did, resulted in a bunch of heavy sighs and some sharp criticism from cadets with more stripes on their lapels than the two on mine. more »
I’m tooling around at 37,000 feet the other day—minding my business with 175 peeps comfortably lost in their own personal 2 square feet—when I overhear my lead attendant making an announcement seeking medical assistance. I tap my copilot on the shoulder and signal to him—picture a monkey see, monkey do routine—to listen in on the more »
Sometimes making it home for something important takes a helping hand
“So tell me, Jeremy, what would you do? It’s the end of a trip, and you’re itching to get home for your kid’s soccer game. You bid this trip specifically so that you’d get home with just a few minutes to spare before it begins. But, on landing, your phone rings. It’s scheduling, and they more »
How a firsthand glimpse of disaster can change your perspective forever
I almost saw a plane crash. Sadly, I don’t mean to say that there was almost a plane crash. There really was a plane crash. I almost saw it happen. I did see its aftermath from a distance. On November 9, 2015, my crew was on a ground turn in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Up until more »
An inflight medical emergency leaves no time to waste and no room to rush
Whether your ground school was a set of video lessons or an instructor with a chalkboard, certainly at some point in every pilot’s training, the “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” adage reared its head. I can still hear the old instructors drumming the message home. “Fly the plane and make sure that you’re not about to hit more »
It’s a bright spring morning, fine and clear, the kind of day that planes (and pilots) were made for. With a larger-than-usual smile on my face, I take my seat on the flight deck of a 747 at Kennedy Airport. I carefully lower my generously-sized coffee into that signature Boeing cup holder and start to more »
We all talk about it, but what is experience, and why does it matter?
Sometime next month, I’ll write an entry in my logbook signifying that I’ve spent 15,000 hours flying airplanes. This strikes me as a momentous, but arbitrary number. Most people don’t keep a detailed log of their work hours, nor do they break those hours down into neat categories. Within my 15,000, I’ve spent just shy more »
How general aviation pilots make an impact by turning their passion into a vital service
In an exciting reversal of trends, general aviation aircraft ownership in the U.S. is increasing. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, GA aircraft based in the United States rose from 199,000 in 2014 to approximately 204,000 in 2015, the first increase in private ownership since 2009. As more aircraft and pilots take to the more »
The PA system is an opportunity to think thoughtfully about the information we share with those who travel with us
If you made a list of the audible wonders of the ancient world, the theater of Epidaurus, on the Argolid Peninsula of Greece, would probably come first. Even today spellbound audiences of around 14,000, wherever they’re seated, can easily hear the unamplified voices of actors. The science behind all this was a mystery until a more »
“Autopilot-Autopilot” sounded through the cockpit speakers as First Officer John DePaola assumed manual control of the Embraer 135 regional jet. His left hand palmed the white-knobbed thrust levers; his right encircled the ram’s-horn-shaped control yoke. The 37-seat aircraft sliced through the placid air. American Eagle flight 4539 had departed Toronto at 7 a.m. Boston’s suburbs more »