Tag: Pilots

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Here's One Airplane Bathroom That's Impervious to Hijacking

February 17, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: the cockpit lavatory of the Boeing 747-8i

There's a new jumbo jet plying the skies—the Boeing 747-8. Unfortunately it's not among Boeing's top sellers, and only one airline (Lufthansa) is currently flying it with passengers.

We mention it now because the 747-8 is the only Boeing commercial aircraft with a built-in feature which would've prevented a hijacking situation like what happened with Ethiopian flight 702 earlier today. That feature: a restroom and rest area just for the cockpit, located behind the armored flight deck door, which means both pilot and co-pilot never have to leave the secure area to use the restroom.

At the debut of the 747-8 Intercontinental in June 2012, Boeing chief pilot Mark Feuerstein noted the advantages of having this lavatory and crew rest quarters inside the cockpit, as it increases security and minimizes flight crew absence from the flight deck. [Update: The restroom within the flight deck is actually an option on all 747s, and some older 747-400s have it (such as in the case of Qantas' 744 fleet), but the 747-8i is the first aircraft where it's been the popular option].

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Pilot Demands Sandwiches, Delays Plane for Over 2 Hours

December 23, 2013 at 4:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) runs a Saturday 6:45am flight that goes from Lahore to Manchester to New York. Last week it took off at 9:15am - two and a half hours late - because the pilot demanded sandwiches, and the catering company didn't have any sandwiches, and so everyone waited around until the sandwiches were delivered from a nearby five-star hotel. Done and done.

On one hand, that's exactly the kind of story that causes the blood pressure of travelers to spike uncontrollably. Three continents to travel, lots of connections to make, and flight Captain Naushad won't take off until he gets sandwiches. On the other hand, you have to respect a man who knows what he wants and won't budge until he gets it. And this guy, he wanted some damn sandwiches.

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8 Travel-Inspired Halloween Costume Ideas

October 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM | by | Comment (1)

Well, Halloween is right around the corner and if you haven't even begun to think of your costume for this year, you better get cracking. We already showed you what some airplanes are donning for the spooky holiday, and now it's your turn.

We've hand-picked several travel-related costumes to provide some inspiration. Since there's a week yet to go for perfecting your look, note that some of these are pretty easy while others require more time.

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Want to Be a Flight Attendant? American Airlines is Hiring Plenty

October 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve mastered Flight Control and love traveling up in the air, then we’ve got some news for you: American Airlines is getting ready to hire a whole bunch of pilots and flight attendants. Okay—you probably need a little more school and a lot more training to become a pilot than the hours you've logged on that cell phone game, but your mastery of all those virtual takeoffs and landings should count for something.

Over the next five years, American Airlines will welcome back any and all furloughed pilots and add around 1,500 new ones to the cockpit as well. It sounds like 40 or 50 will be added to the payroll each and every month, so if you have the résumé ready—they’re waiting for you. Head over here to check things out, but do so quickly as your application needs to be completed in the next couple of days.

For those that would rather hang out in the main cabin and sling drinks, the carrier has been busy hiring flight attendants, too. The positions are posted on their main career website, and they’re looking to fill plenty of spots. Those with foreign language experience have their very own openings, so if you also speak Korean, Spanish, French, German, or Italian you’re all set. However, if you lost your copy of Muzzy—no problem—they’re cool with English speaking applicants as well.

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Lufthansa's #PilotDiary Instagram Series is a Revelation

Where: Germany
August 2, 2013 at 5:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's official—Lufthansa gets it. By it, we mean Instagram, as they've just completed a brilliant photo series named #pilotdiary which goes above and beyond (and into the cockpit) to share the Lufthansa experience, but through the eyes of an international commercial airline pilot.

To be specific, the 39 photos—posted from July 29 through August 2—chronicle the early mornings and long flights of Philipp, a Senior First Officer on Lufthansa's 747s. Jetting back and forth between Frankfurt and Los Angeles at the yoke of a new 747-8i, he snaps anything and everything—from a lunch over Greenland to a generic layover hotel room, and even a brief beach break—to essentially provide a full picture of life in the skies.

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iPads in the Cockpit Continue to Spread, Now to American Airlines and JetBlue

July 2, 2013 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

From United to Alaska Airlines there’s been quite a few airlines that have received iPads in the cockpit, and it looks like the technology continues to flow into the front of the plane. Most recently it has been American Airlines making the most dramatic change, as they recently just completed getting rid of all the paper in the cabin—for the most part—as the carrier has completely switched over to electronic flight bags.

American Airlines has been quick to point out that they’re the first major carrier to completely ditch paper this and that in favor of documents that can be loaded onto an iPad, as they are now approved to use the electronics during all the different phases of the flight. Each and every one of their planes is good to go, as the entire fleet has been given the go ahead to move forward. They aren’t just stopping with the mainline fleet either, as July 10 will bring an electronic option to the American Eagle regional branch of the airline as well.

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Video Interlude: Flying a Plane, as Imagined by Little Kids

April 29, 2013 at 6:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've got just the ticket to cure that case of the Mondays. Below is one of the cutest videos you'll see all week (unless you're, like, stuck in a kitten video k-hole again).

The premise is that "Kid Snippets" of BoredShortsTV—a YouTube series of adults reenacting scenarios voiced by young children—asked two little boys to pretend to be pilots. The results yield such gems as this exchange:

"So, what do you want to do when we get to Utah?"
"Umm, let everybody get out and fly back to the airport."

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Test Your Cockpit Knowledge to Win a Day at an Air Canada Flight Simulator

Where: Canada
February 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Have you ever dreamed of sitting in an airplane's pilot seat?"

Air Canada isn't asking if you've ever dreamt of flying a plane, just if you want to sit in the pilot seat, which is all well and good considering they've just opened up a Facebook contest to win a day with an Air Canada instructor pilot in a flight simulator at the airline's Flight Training Center in Toronto.

To score such an awesome prize, you've got to show off some basic A320 cockpit knowledge by playing a multiple choice game called "Land Your Way."

Progress through three levels of harder and harder questions to reach the status of "Captain" and view your final score. The more points you get, the more times your name is entered into the draw to win the flight sim grand prize. Unfortunately the prize is only open to Canadian citizens, but that's not stopping you from playing the game.

[Photo: Facebook screenshot]

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Play Pilot and Win Free Flights, British Airways Tells London Commuters

Where: Victoria Station, London, United Kingdom
January 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM | by | Comment (1)


With the weather the UK’s been having over the past few weeks (flooding-snow-flooding), we’re pretty sure the whole nation is dreaming of a holiday. Pretty good timing, then, for British Airways to start a week-long flight giveaway to stressed out commuters.

All this week, you’ll find a BA stand at London Victoria Station. It’s not the normal handing-out-flyers stand, though; no, this is a flight simulator that awards free flights to the best “pilots” in the station.

It’s not a state of the art simulator, of course. This is more the kind you’d see in an arcade game. Every day this week, it’ll be loaded with a different airport approach, and your job is to land the plane. That alone is fun enough. But here’s the best bit: every 15 minutes, the person with the highest score in those 15 minutes will win a pair of flights to the airport in question. Yes – they’re giving away 60 flights a day. This is inspired.

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Girl Power: The Photo of Female Pilots That Nearly Caused an Airport Controversy

Where: Germany
January 17, 2013 at 9:38 AM | by | Comment (1)

When was the last time you flew in a plane piloted by a woman? What about two women, both pilot and co-pilot? It's possible to not even know since passengers rarely see their flight crews much anymore, but they are up there. Trust us.

Starting this week, travelers on Lufthansa will get to see the very rare occurrence of two women in the cockpit...before even stepping onboard a plane. Famous Berlin-based photographer Kiki Kausch has installed her triptych, titled "A380 Female Cockpit," at the JFK Business Class lounge.

The three images capture two normal Lufthansa pilots, Fleur and Karin, at work in their office, which just happens to be the cockpit of one of the airline's A380 superjumbos en route from Frankfurt to Singapore (LH 778). The photos were actually taken as the plane cruised high above Afghanistan, the ethereal light of sunrise over the Hindukush illuminating the women.

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And the Award for Cutest Holiday Airline Video Goes to...

December 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

Can you handle one more airline holiday video? We promise it's good, and not a flashmob for once!

Back in October, Delta got a few good flights attendants and pilots and ramp staff and red coats out on the tarmac at LAX in the wee hours of the morning to film what would be their 2012 Holiday Card to the world. Above is the finished product, which takes marshalling (signalling at aircraft with those handheld lightsticks) to a new, awesome level and—shocker—shows airline employees smiling!

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Exclusive: Inside Virgin America's San Francisco HQ and Pilot Training Center

December 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

What began as one floor is now an entire building, and their original two coast-to-coast flights are now a respectable route network. We're speaking of Virgin America, whose headquarters outside SFO in Burlingame, California we recently visited for a look at the cogs turning behind the scenes.

Virgin America celebrated their fifth anniversary this year. That makes them the baby of the bunch, for both US airlines and Virgin. Heck, Virgin Atlantic has been flying since 1984 and Virgin Australia since 2000. Indeed Virgin America isn't shy about their newbieness; they take pride in it. Google them and the first words you'll see below the link to their official site are "A brand new airline dedicated to making flying good again."

You know what else is new? Their cabin trainer and A320 flight simulator still have that "new plane smell," since they were introduced as recently as October 2011 and May 2012, respectively. Home to many photo shoots (and in-flight service training, duh), the cabin is outfitted with everything from the deep mood lighting to working overhead bins and those massage chairs in First Class. Before a flight attendant can ask if you'd like another in-flight absinthe, she or he must first pass muster here.

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