Top Questions I get asked as a pilot (1)

Every pilot has their own list of top questions they get asked whenever people know they are pilots. I have received my fair share of those questions and I wish I could just post a FAQ and have people look at it instead of having at me. Hey, that's an idea:

Don't you get scared? Despite how many times statistics prove that air transport is the safest mode for travel, people still associate pilots with airline accident and crashes. There are valid reasons, people rarely get to see the positive side of when things go pear-shaped.

I have not seen any coverage in Arabic networks of the SouthWest 737 in LaGuardia, because while the nose wheel assembly collapsed, people rarely get to see when a crash landing lets all the passengers walk away and the fatality count is 0.

However when people die the coverage in the media multiplies exponentially, and therefore airplane coverage is synonymous in our region with crashes and fatalities.

An average airline pilot's training is so detailed and intensive and maintenance is so exhaustive and thorough that I feel confident that we are in a safe profession. In my airline, it takes a great deal of hard work and practice and you get subjected to a number of training program that allow you to be proficient well before the need arises. Most of the time, I am never even bothered by operating a flight, yet still, some times its a tasking and stressful job.

Do airplanes have horns? This is one of the more humorous questions I get asked, and for the first few times I couldn't help but laugh when I got asked. It shows how little the general public know about our profession, and I always marvelled at what use would a horn be. Definitely not for collision avoidance, no one would be able to hear it, for one thing, and even if we did it would be too close. We have special equipment that show us where other traffic is and we have Air Traffic Controllers to keep us separate.

It won't help with scaring away animals or birds, if the animal isn't afraid of the noise of your engine, a honk won't help. The public, however, tends to draw comparisons between driving cars and flying planes and they can't seem to stop it.

Yes, however, we do have a horn, we use it to summon ground crew, because you can't expect them to be connected to the aircraft all the time since they have other duties. It usually is located in the nose-wheel well area.

It sounds something like this in Boeings:

Do you have any questions you would like a professional pilot to answer, if so, email me: +Radi Radi  [email protected] or 

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