“Hello, this is your captain speaking. Welcome aboard. We are presently flying at thirty- five thousand feet….”
We all know these introductory lines by heart now. At least for those who have had the privilege of boarding a flight. But how much do we really know about the person who is responsible for the lives of many on board including that of our own? Here are the 5 fun facts that pilots are not telling you, including how much they are making on average (I mean, who could resist digging on this very *cough* important piece of info?).
Fun fact no. 1: They get special meals, yep that ‘business-class’ in-flight meal is nothing compared to this.
A pilot is served with different meals than those served to passengers and even the co-pilot. Why? If there is a case of contaminated food, either the pilot or the co-pilot won’t get affected at the same time. Would you want an automated flight to take over if both the pilot and co-pilot got sick? We think not.
Fun fact no. 2: They lie straight to your face.
Ever heard of the captain say “zero visibility” or “broken engine” when you are up there praying hard so that you wouldn’t fall off the sky like a full-blown meteor? Nope. They would likely say there’s “a bit of a fog” or just a casual “delay for technical reasons” just to keep everybody calm and not starting to lose their mind thirty-five thousand feet above sea level. Talk about major downplay!
Fun fact no. 3: They sleep on their job. All. The. Time.
According to research by the BALPA, nearly half of pilots have fallen asleep in the cockpit. Especially on some of the long-haul flights that can last up to 17 hours. Now before you start ringing on the CEO’s number to lodge a series of complaints, know that this practice of short rests is allowed and done in accordance with carefully prescribed ‘controlled rest’ procedures. Besides, captain or not; we must remember they are just humans that need plenty of rest just like the rest of us do.
Fun fact no. 4: They are cool, yes but they have exams and flying reviews every 6 months.
Airline pilots are probably tested more than any other profession. Every six to eight months, pilots must go into the simulator, where they practice emergency procedures whilst being assessed by an examiner. A ‘Line Check,’ is also completed every year, which is like a driving test on a plane, and they must also complete annual technical testing, safety testing and a medical examination. Sounds a lot? When hundreds of lives are at stake, there is never too much training of course! Click here if you would like to experience it yourself:
Fun fact no. 5: Your monthly salary might be equivalent to their allowance.
We have reached the last bit that everybody has been waiting for…. *drumroll*….the fat paycheck. While it is not a secret that pilots make quite an amount for a living, it is safe to say that the professionals from this highly-challenging and demanding profession deserve every bit of it as they are exposed to risks and danger on a daily basis. We might not know the exact amount, but now that we know how much they have to go through to get you to your destinations safely, does it really matter anymore? Let’s make it a habit to thank the pilots that have flown us for years over different continents whenever we got the chance to do so shall we?