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JeremiahWeed

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  • Birthday 07/04/1965

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  1. With commuting likely in your future, I strongly suggest you consider FedEx. It's got one of the most commuter friendly systems in the industry. Some specifics: First, for trips that actually leave from your domicile, there are few if any "non-commutable trips". There's an AM launch and a PM launch and with very few exceptions, the inbound flights you would be jump seating on are timed to arrive for the sort to put the rubber dogshit on those outbound flights. If you're actually commuting to domicile on one of our own jump seats to an AM launch (for example) it doesn't matter where you're coming from. As long as your city is served by a FedEx flight, there will be a jump seat flight you can ride in that will match up with the outbound that's the first flight of your trip. By "match", I mean your arrival in domicile on the jump seat will be within 2-3 hours of your trip's scheduled show time. Jump seats are reservable up to 3-weeks in advance on a first come, first served basis. Once you have a reservation, it's yours. Unless you're trying to commute out of DEN, ORF or some other high density, high demand cities, getting a jump seat reserved is a non event. But, the nice thing is that a huge percentage of the trips start with a deadhead, so a jump seat reservation is unnecessary. The company buys you a ticket to city X for a certain price. If you already live in city X (best scenario) then you have no need for the ticket. You cancel the deadhead and show up for the revenue flight out of that city after getting paid all day to stay at home. If you don't want to leave your car at the airport all week, you can use some of the ticket money you didn't spend to get an uber or limo to take you to work from your house. Many trips also end with a deadhead which allows the pilot to do the same in reverse if he lives in city X. The more common scenario is that a pilot will use the deadhead money to buy a ticket from his home airport to the city from which the first revenue flight leaves. Possibly the same at the back end of the trip as well. It's very common that a pilot who can hold front and back deadhead trips (called "double deadheads") rarely sets foot in his actual domicile. This is not a unicorn scenario only for the very senior. I helped another Eagle bud get hired 18 months ago. He lives in Vegas and went to the 757 for QOL and seniority. After 6-months, he was able to avoid reserve and regularly get front deadhead trips to the west coast. Now when he goes to work, it's usually via a front-end deadhead to Vegas, Reno, Oakland or some other west coast city. He's in one of the spots in the crash pad I run in MEM and I don't think I've seen him there for more than one night in the last 9-months (aside from his recurrent month). Just like the front end, the back of trips that require you to arrive in domicile will almost always have an outbound flight back to your home city. Some of the rubber dogshit you (or someone else) brought in on the last flight of your trip has to go to your home city. After a couple hours or less of sort time, you jump on a jump seat back to your home town and call it a trip. With a little seniority, the number of commutes each month is usually a max of two. The gold standard for a domestic schedule is week-on, week-off. International flyers can reduce that commute frequency to once a month if they're willing to work a single 12-14 day trip. With the deadhead tickets and deviation options, most, if not all commutes are on a positive space ticket paid for by the company with full pay for your time spent getting to work. I realize the cargo dark side is not for everyone but make sure you're getting an accurate perspective on what it's really like and not what you assume or what someone in the pax biz has decided it is. I've done both types of flying and I can say without a doubt that the schedules at FedEx are easier and way more commuter friendly than anything I did at UAL. I'm an international junkie and I'm in a 5-star hotel in Singapore as I type this. My last duty day today was a one hour flight from Penang, Malyasia to Singapore. Tomorrow I will deviate and forgo the scheduled deadhead on UAL from here back to SFO (my current base). Instead I will take my airline of choice (AA) back to the US via Tokyo and Dallas. It's a long day but some decent food, premium booze and a lay flat bed in business class will make it tolerable. I went to work on 29 Aug on another commercial deadhead to Singapore and will be home on 13 Sep. In those 2-weeks, I flew 12 revenue flights for a total of 32.5 block hours. Aside from the deadhead duty from/to the US, my longest duty day was 8 hours. That's my month. I have the rest of the month off and if I choose to bid a schedule that starts mid-October will have more than a month off without any vacation. I have not broken through 50% in my current seat (767 Captain) and have spent most of my career at about 60% in my seats where I am now. It's not difficult to get these schedules, especially if you're willing to fly internationally and spend bigger chunks of time on the road. Or you can stay domestic and seek QOL in the junior equipment like my Vegas bud. There are pros and cons, but I'm flying with 30-year old new hires who will be 777 Captains before they hit 40 if they want. We have 5 year 767 Captains. There's something to be said for a pilot being able to spend the last 20-25 years of their career in the left seat of the top earning aircraft. Worth considering. If you want more info, let me know.
  2. A few days later (after the Thud scab, still on reserve). I get another call for a trip and it’s one of the “get to the airport as quick as you can” situations. Trying to help the company out that’s on its ass after 9-11, I give it the college try. They’re apparently out of FOs in DC, so I’m supposed to deadhead to IAD, layover and operate out the next morning. As I scramble to pack my shit and get out of the house, my mindset is – no need to check the scab list, there’s no way I’m getting two in a row. That’s never happened to me. I make my way to IAD as a single. The captain is IAD based, so we’ll meet at the airport the next morning. The van is late in the morning and I get to the terminal at show time minus 15, :45 prior. I’m in terminal C where our a/c is located and Ops is in terminal D. At the time, the only way to get between terminals was a “people mover” otherwise known as a “mobile lounge”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_lounge So, I call over to ops and get the captain. I suggest we meet at the airplane rather than me wasting time coming to him on the people mover. He’s down with that and we meet up after my walk-around with about 20 minutes to go. So, I’m in the soda straw and it’s a bit of a scramble to get going but we leave on time. It’s a pretty quick flight to the NYC area, but we have a little time at cruise to shoot the shit before we get busy. Since I just flew with Captain Napoleon on my last trip and had no speaking opportunities, I’m eager to hear some other opinions on security and how we might change things moving forward in this new airline world of higher threat terrorism, etc. So, I make the following statement: “Hey, I’m pretty curious to hear you views on security. The last guy a flew with was a fucking scab, so we didn’t have any opportunities to talk about that.” Now, when the words, “fucking scab” came out of my mouth, I noticed a stiffening of the spinal column on this guy that caught my attention. It wasn’t an immediate “light bulb” moment, but I started to step back and expand my scan of the situation because it seemed notable. The typical scab MO was to avoid ops, as I had mentioned previously. The normal UAL tradition at the time was to ID one’s self as an ALPA member with a pin on the tie. Usually, guys would add an ALPA pin to their ID so if they were jump-seating, there was no question about their status. So, some of the scabs liked to put some “chaff” (one-off wings from wherever, Navy or USAF wings, etc) on their tie hoping to make it look like an ALPA pin. Absent that, they would just hang their “slick tie” on the opposite side of the cockpit and go tie-less for the flight hoping we wouldn’t notice. So, after the “reaction” to my scab comment, I start looking around. I notice the slick tie hanging with the ID lanyard off the window lock. I also notice the lack of an ALPA pin on the ID. Muthaf……….!!! YGBSM!!! Two in a fucking row??!!! We’re seconds from top of descent and I scramble back to my rolling bag in the back of the flight deck area where I have my scab list stored. I pull that bad boy out and flip through it in record time. There he is. I’m such a low SA dumbass!!! Why the fuck didn’t I check??!! I jump back in my seat and complete the flight. Once I settled down, I was actually kind of okay with the way things turned out because I got to say “fucking scab” to a fucking scab and there wasn’t a thing the prick could do about it. Fuck ‘em. The other notable thing about the flight was we were given the usual clearance (at the time) to fly direct to the Statue of Liberty and then up the Hudson on the west side of the city. No idea if that’s still the normal clearance. We flew right over ground zero. From my side of the a/c, I could see the former tower’s location still smoking, debris on the tops of adjacent buildings, etc. Pretty damn sobering, that’s for sure.
  3. First flight at United (for me) after the 9-11 halt to flying. Being a local living in base, I’m on reserve hoping to get some paid days off. The tradeoff is reserve makes it more likely I’ll get stuck with a scab since guys sick out of their trips when they know they’re flying with one. How do they know? We all got issued a book by ALPA with every scab’s name, employee #, DOH, birth date. Normally one only speaks to them when necessary and for checklist responses. Unfortunately, the 1985 strike puts many of their seniority numbers in the left seat of the 757/767. Bottom line is I wasn’t surprised that my first trip back after the attack was with scab. Yayyyy 🙄. On a related subject, while we were grounded, UAL bought a bunch of tasers and planned on equipping the flight deck of each aircraft with two of them. We received a day of training on their use, cockpit self-defense and overall security, etc. The general consensus of the experts was use of maneuvering tactics or depressurization was not valid for a variety of reasons. That was communicated to all pilots and FAs during the training. BTW, the taser thing never came to pass. I get to ops and as usual, the scab has already signed the flight plan and gone to the airplane. They hate hanging ops with the normal pilots since they are quickly identified and publicly shamed. Usually by someone (or multiples) using “clickers” like the pit bosses in Vegas calling the cocktail waitresses. As soon as a scab walks into ops, the “popping” from the clickers starts as the guy does the walk of shame to the flight plan desk. So, I head to the aircraft, do the walk around and find Napoleon sitting in his seat getting ready. 5 foot – nothing, tubby little former Thud driver with a “slick tie” (no ALPA pin). He's spun up because we have one flight to MSP, very short layover and an early go the next morning for a long day. He want’s a later van time in the morning so we don’t have to wake up as early. Whatever. He makes multiple calls to scheduling and eventually decides to take care of it at the hotel. It’s an airport hotel because of the short night so we’re on the shuttle that runs every half hour. WTF was gonna change about that hot-shot? Based on our departure time, we either get to the airport 1:15 prior (too early) or :45 prior and rush a little. “Let’s get the later 05:30 shuttle” he says as he slam-clicks and we head to bed. Next morning I’m in the lobby at 05:20. No sign of fearless leader. 05:30 and I’m holding a full van of hotel guests while I check with the front desk. “Oh, he already checked out and took the 05:00 shuttle”. YGBSM! Yup, I get to the jet and he’s already in his seat again. “05:30 shuttle? Did I misunderstand?” “Ah, I just decided to get out here early.” Says the clown who spent at least 30 minutes on multiple calls the day before trying not to get to the airport early. You’re never surprised by the shit the scabs pull. Never. Now we start with a flight to DEN and we’re turning to somewhere else. After arrival in DEN, I come up from doing the walkaround and he’s standing in first class, trying to see over the tops of the seats and brief the new batch of FAs we picked up in DEN. Since I’ve haven’t gotten to the aircraft with him and been part of this briefing yet, I stick around to listen in. Within a few minutes he begins to describe how, in the event of another 9-11 style takeover attempt, he will be depressurizing the aircraft and maneuvering it as required to “make it tough on the attackers”. The senior FA raises her hand and say, “They told us you guys weren’t going to do that.” “Oh, well it’s happening on this plane, honey. But honestly, if it gets to that point, I don’t think you’ll care because you’ll probably be dead.” My eyes get big. 😲 Holy Shit! That’s gonna go over like a fart in church. She grabs her bag, spins around and says, “Ok, I’m out of here” and heads to the phone on the jet bridge to tell scheduling she’s not flying with this clown. Little Hitler heads back up to the flight deck. All the other FAs file off the aircraft, never to be seen again. I go up, sit down and let him know – “All the FAs are gone.” 😒 “That’s their call, I really don’t care.” Great…. Long day is gonna get longer. I’m pretty pissed about his plan, so I start with: “You managed to arrive at the aircraft before me on our first two legs and brief the flight attendants without me. We’re about to fly for the third time and I’m just now finding out about this. Do you think it might have been a good idea to inform your FO that your plan was to depressurize and maneuver the aircraft contrary to all the guidance we’ve been given?” “Oh, yeah…..well, I would have told you if it came to that.” As I’m thinking, when? When we were in a “4G-negative dive” (Mav?) sucking rubber with a cabin altitude in the 30s? You’re an idiot and I can’t wait for this trip to end. A little while later, a shadow appears in the doorway of the flight deck and I turn around to see a guy in a suit, with a UAL pilot ID on his lanyard. “Hi, I’m Captain Somebody, I’m the Denver Chief Pilot. I understand we have an issue with some flight attendants?” I just point to the little guy and say, “You need to talk to him. “ Then I take a little initiative and suggest, “Maybe you two want to discuss this in private.” The Chief Pilot says, “I think that’s a great idea” and I gladly excuse myself to let them sort it out. In hindsight, it might have been fun to watch the discussion but at the time I was full. They found us some new flight attendants and the trip continues reasonably uneventfully because nothing else comes to mind. The scabs were always the ones you got completely unexpected shit from. If someone did some off the wall shit and you hadn’t bothered to check so see if they were on the list, 99% of the time, they were there.
  4. Furloughed in 2003, never to return. Best thing that could have happened in hindsight.
  5. Don't mean to hijack the thread, but like I said, I've got a few.......... Okay – quick one from way back at United in early 2001. 757/767 Captain at United with whom I’m flying a 4-day trip. The guy doesn’t wear an undershirt, has brought one shirt for the whole trip and by day 2 he reeks. At one point, we’re turning between flights and waiting for the pax to start boarding. One of the F/As standing in the flight deck doorway says, “Oh my, we may need to get this lav serviced before we go, it stinks”. I look at her while doing the sideways eyes toward the flight deck and tell her, “It ain’t the bathroom”. I finally have to ask him to use the hotel laundry service before the next day. Max altitude on a 767 is 43,100 (WTF? I dunno – ask Boeing) We’re light and cruising on the last hour of our BOS-SFO transcon at FL400. Captain Stinky decides he wants to explore the edges of the envelope since he’s never been above our current altitude. “Hey, see if center will give us a block altitude from FL410-430. I want to see how this thing handles the max altitude.” “Really? I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be just like it is here at FL400” (Let’s not do dumb things – K?) “Yeah, go ahead and ask them” Of course, I gotta put in a little dig just to make sure everyone else knows this is stupid…… “Center, United 123, the captain would like a block altitude from FL410 to FL430.” “United 123, unable” Oh, that’s too bad. Would have been so much fun. 🙄 On another turn, he pulls out a no-shit photo album with real pictures that had to be developed from film in an old-fashioned camera. More shit for some of you to google when you’re done learning about Jim Croce. In the magic photo album, he has a bunch of nudes that he’s apparently taken over the years. Tasteful, playboy nudes (no Hustler baloney spread shots) but still pretty weird. Again, not one to turn down a porn (sort of) invite, I take a look. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know who these women were or why they had agreed to this, so I just left that question unasked. But this album is the most important part of the story because it plays another part the next day. This is pre-9-11 and one of the reasonably young, fairly hot F/As comes up to visit for a while during cruise. We’re just shooting the shit when the Captain’s SA low light comes on and he reaches for “the book”. He swings it out of his pubs kit into view and my heart stops. Slow motion…..”Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!” 😧 In horror, I’m thinking “Please God no……… I like my new job………you clown, WTF are you doing.” I’m giving him the “cut” sign across my neck and wishing I was somewhere else when actually starts opening it up while saying…… “Hey, I’ve got a photo album with some nudes that I’ve shot, do you want to take a look?” Now, I can’t say that part of me wasn’t curious to see if she’d be into it. I guess that was the part of me that wasn’t worried about my multi-million-dollar airline career crumbling to dust at my feet. Maybe this is how the book started in the first place back when he was flying DC-8s, FAs were stewardesses and all hot, everyone dressed up to fly and meals were served on fine china. 🤷‍♂️ Luckily, she just gives a little smile and says, “Oh, that’s okay – probably not something that I’d be too interested in, thanks anyway.” But that was her cue to leave, never to return. Thanks, dumbass.
  6. Absolutely one of them, yes. First leg of the trip (usually), back side of the clock departure, 7+ hours of block time with a 2-man crew. It sucks hard. That was the worst leg of that trip. Everything else was one leg under 3-hours or long haul with one or two RFOs. There are some other bad ones in the system like DXB-SIN or NRT-SIN, but they’re usually not during critical body clock time.
  7. The next one takes place about 18 months before the Most Interesting Captain trip. I’m only 6 months on the 777 at the time and this latest Captain is absolutely notorious with the 777 FOs. Since I’m a relatively new arrival to the jet, I am uninformed and go into the trip “cludo”. The first leg is one of the worst in the system with an 0400 takeoff to fly almost 7 hours from MEM to Anchorage as a two-man crew. Toothpicks holding eyes open, I’m willing to listen to whatever in order to try to stay awake. I get an earful as Captain Player describes the full-scale domestic disturbance that played out the night before he left on this trip. Cops at the house, he’s detained, wife kicks him out, no idea if he’s got a place to live when he gets back – classic Jerry Springer shit. Jeez dude, that sucks – I hope it works out, etc. etc. You okay to fly this trip? He says getting away for a while is probably the best thing. I try not to spin the guy up more than he is, but I’m thinking if I was in deep serious with the old lady to the extent that the po-po are involved and my future habitation in my residence is in question, leaving town with her having free reign with the checkbook and every available attorney in the area has serious potential to end poorly. Whatever, his call. We limp into ANC and I don’t see him for the next 24 hours until we’re leaving for Narita. Not surprised he’s out of contact considering the shit storm he’s dealing with at home. We leave the hotel and he appears to be in high spirits. Another 2-pilot leg at 7:30 block, but the sun is up the whole way and we’re well rested. He’s still pretty bummed about the home situation but he’s been talking to the wife and she’s willing to listen. “I’m just worried about being able to see my kids. I really hope we can work this out, blah, blah.” A while later, we’re 4-5 hours into the north pacific crossing and he starts telling me about his plans for a “sex vacation” to Trinidad and Tobago. “Oh, dude, it’s awesome. You land and they show up in a Range Rover, take you to the compound and you pick your chick for the week out of a line-up. It’s just sex, food, booze by the pool for the week. All inclusive.” 🙄 I’m thinking – what happened to the guy worried about his kids and trying to reconcile with his wife? So, like a dumbass, I open my pie hole. “Do you think the sex vacation is the best idea considering all the shit going on at home?” “Oh…. Yeah…. Maybe you’re right. Maybe??? 🥴 After 2.5 days in Narita (where I saw this guy zero seconds), we spend the next few days and two flights banging around short haul in Asia. Over the course of those flights, I get schooled on every city in our system that offers any opportunity to pay for sex. “You gotta try Pasha’s in Cologne… Go to this place in Dubai, I think I have a card………I hope we get revised to go to Singapore. I’ll take you to the 4-floors of whores there. It’s awesome – the higher the floor the more expensive and hotter the chicks are. If you every have any questions about where to go, shoot me a text, I’ll hook you up.” Now I’m pretty sure why I’m not seeing this guy on any of our layovers. I feel like I’m flying with Jeckel and Hyde. I never know if I’m gonna get crazy sex monger or bummed out dad/husband trying to keep the family together. The other comical aspect of this guy is that I don’t think he owns a mirror – or at least hasn’t used one in the last 15 years. 👴 I think most of us who are getting up in the years have that occasional loss of SA where we forget that we are invisible to every chick under the age of 40?......45?.......50? Not sure where the cutoff is. We have our new super-power of invisibility and we just need to embrace it. The hot chick in the grocery store parking lot isn’t smiling at you because she’s interested. She either thinks you look like her dad, needs help cuz her car won’t start or is completely broke and might be willing to make your day for a hundo. This guy is 64 if he’s a day and he looks every year of it. Yet, he still thinks he’s Captain Player. He’s been part of the international travel scene for so long that he’s forgotten that the only reason he’s getting attention in Asia, the Middle East or Europe is chicks dig the size of his wallet 💰. He actually pulls up to the chick in the Ferrari at the stop light and gives her a wink thinking something might come of it, the whole time forgetting that he’s effectively sitting in the human equivalent of a mini-van. So, now we’re doing long haul from Narita to Paris. I get the pleasure of his company for almost 4-hours, then a break in the bunk and then almost 3 hours more. For the 4-hour stretch, sad dad shows up and starts lamenting his situation. “What am I gonna do?..... etc, etc.” I learn that his wife is Russian and she’s a dentist. They met on one of his trips, eventually got married and he paid to put her through dental school. I’m about full at this point, so I’ve got my nose buried in a book trying to look busy and give the occasional sympathetic response. A couple of hours into this, he suddenly hands me his phone and says “Check it out”. I take a look at the screen and see a still picture of a blond chick giving some serious oral attention to an enthusiastically engorged dick. Not one to decline the occasional porn offering, I look a bit more closely. As I’m realizing this has the look of an actual picture and not something downloaded, he says, “That’s my wife”………..pregnant pause as I look up…………”and that’s me” – with a big grin on his face. Dude……”Did you just show me your junk in full rage with no warning? That’s not cool”. 🤮 He loses the grin and says, “Well, we’re swingers and it’s just our thing.” I didn’t think you’d mind. Then he starts regaling me with swinger stories – how awesome it is to do some chick while same goes down on the wife, etc. All I’m thinking is I can’t wait to get to the bunk for the next rest period. Rest break over, I’m actually dreading getting back up on the flight deck in case Mr. Hyde is back. He is, of course, and starts showing me pictures and reading texts from of a bunch of Eastern Euro chicks that he’s been “sexting” with. Our trip ends in Paris after our current flight, with a deadhead home. As we sit in the hotel bar after arrival in France, now he starts asking my opinion about whether he should deadhead home to FL or take a flight to Baku, Azerbaijan so he can hook up with one or more of the chicks that have been sexting him. “So, the get back with the wife plan and concern for the kids…. Maybe put that on the back burner for a week or so in Baku? – I’m sure it’ll work out okay.” That seems to re-cage him and he decides to book a ticket home. I’d like to think I had a positive influence in the end, but it was a seriously bizarre experience overall.
  8. Yeah, I got some stories............ First, I’ll say (in my opinion) the FO’s job is to be a tolerant chameleon, when necessary, which is usually infrequent. When I was an FO, I did that pretty well. I’m not suggesting a Captain gets to bring all levels of crazy, non-standard BS to the trip. However, some of the stories of conflict I’ve heard are just as much the FO’s fault for being unwilling (as opposed to unable) to flex and just get along. The one thing you never do is take your issues to management. You don’t put a fellow pilot’s job on the line over a dispute of any kind. The first option is man to man, face to face. If you can’t solve it that way, then the next stop is professional standards with the union. Ratting someone out to the company is really bad form. The bottom line is, if you’re an FO, let shit go and chill. The entertainment value of some of these guys is top notch. You’ll miss out if you bail too early. I never kept a “list”. I usually heard about these guys after I flew with them. Then I’d usually be asking, why didn’t someone warn me about this guy? Trust me, they were all on everyone’s list if they had one. After 23 years of doing this, I’ve got some doozies. I’ll start with “The Most Interesting Captain in the World” Standard 2-week around the world 777 trip at FedEx. At some point in the first few days, Captain Fantastic informs me that at some point in the late 1990’s, he had the lead role as the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Before he could begin his performances, he “blew his vocal cords out”, needed surgery and lost the part. I know it may seem stupid in hindsight, but I had no reason to question this and wasn’t in the frame of mind to wave the BS flag. In fact, the first instinct I had was thinking my kids (all musical theater performers) were going to be excited to hear that I flew with someone who was almost on Broadway. Of course, I asked if FedEx had agreed to give him a leave of absence to do this since that’s kind of a full-time job with multiple shows daily. He explained all that away and we moved on. The next one was, as a high school student, he discovered some DNA thing that had the potential to cure cancer. He didn’t have a PhD after his name, so no one took him seriously and he didn’t get any credit. I don’t know shit about DNA and it was early in the trip so I was still in “gee whiz, that’s pretty interesting” mode. The days continued and I heard about him getting the Arch Bishop of his church fired over a sermon topic, being a studio musician for various famous performers (this guy’ s cool, that guy’s an asshole, etc.) and his 80’s band that toured with and opened for Journey. They had a record deal but their drummer quit to get married and it fell through. I asked about the band name, etc. and did some online research but no joy. But it was the 80’s and they didn’t make it, so why would the interwebs have anything? Still semi-clueless and not being much of a talker myself, I’m just plugging along – warning bells haven’t started yet. As a side note, one day he starts going off about the full body scanners in use around the world. His doctor has warned him in the strongest terms never to accept them since we would be scanned so much more often than the average traveler. No shit – less than 24-hours later, we’re going through security in Osaka at o-dark-thirty and they try to make us go through one of those things. Amazing. I’ve been through KIX hundreds of times over that last 15 years and never – not once – have I every had to go through anything other than the normal metal detector for crews. Of course, it’s an absolute shit-show. This guy is getting badge numbers and asking for supervisors and threatening job loss – the whole shooting match. Of course, the Japs are sucking air through clenched teeth, avoiding eye contact and in full disengage mode trying to deal with the cray-cray American. They eventually plug in the normal machine; we walk through that and go on our way. He had big plans to write the whole thing up and maybe he did. I never heard a thing about it after that. There used to be a well-known interview process at Delta involving a psychiatric evaluation. From what I understand, the doctor doing the interviews eventually took his own life. Apparently, back in the day, Captain Fantastic threw his hat in the ring with Delta and got interviewed. His ability to parry and counter this psychiatrist’s questions during the evaluation were so clever and unnerving that the doctor eventually gave up in complete frustration. It was not long after this interview that the poor chap did himself in. Yes folks, our Captain was in fact, fully responsible for the death of the Delta doctor. By this point in the trip, I was a bit numb to the whole thing and it had been so much that I wasn’t really paying that much attention anymore. But I wouldn’t say the lightbulb had come on over my head quite yet. I know – I’m a dumbass. I am a music fan though and while we were waiting for an ATC delay in Shenzhen, we got talking again. We’re sitting #1 by the runway waiting to be released and somehow Jim Croce’s name comes up. You know – the guy who sang “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. Yeah – I know some of you don’t know it. Fucking youngsters. Google it. It’s 70’s folk/pop music. But the point is, that our Captain decides to tell me that “I used to play with Jim”. Now my radar finally comes out of test and I’m starting to really scan. I saw our hero’s birthday on the Gen Dec multiple times that trip. The most amazing Captain was born in 1961. I knew Croce died in a plane crash in the early 70’s so I looked it up when I got to my room that night. 1973. Mutherfucker!! So, you played with ole’ Jim when you were 12, huh? Yup – he got me. I guess I try to take people at face value. But I gotta say, if I was still an FO, I’d fly with him again just for the entertainment value. I’d love to be able to egg him on and see how far I could get him to go. Point being, not all the crazies are worth avoiding. Think of all the stories you’d miss out on.
  9. At FedEx we used to have the ability to create a "negative airman list". Essentially a list of the pilots you didn't want to fly with. If your awarded schedule came up with one of the folks on your list, the system would bypass and you got your next choice. Now it gets funny. Of course, the same 5% minority of clowns were showing up on everyone's list. The FedEx lawyers start pondering this system and decided it's a bad idea. They didn't like having a consistent list of problem children being created each month by a group of competent professionals whose judgement is respected and well paid. Bzzzt to the negative airman list. Now the Captain's bid are published Tuesday and the FO's bid's are delayed 24-hours. This allows them to manually de-conflict if they find someone they'd rather not fly with on their bid with no paper trail for the lawyers to worry about. As Serious said, Captain's are stuck with who they get. But, it seems the majority of the pilots who have a list are FO's, so it probably works out most of the time.
  10. First 4-FLUG ride - setting up left echelon turn to initial for a right break
  11. There isn't a pilot shortage. There are more than enough qualified candidates. The problem at most airlines is simply training throughput. If you look a bit, there is plenty of info circulating around the interwebs to support this. https://www.alpa.org/advocacy/pilot-supply is one example. Airlines are quick to jump on the pilot shortage myth instead of taking responsibility for their own poor planning which is creating a training bottleneck. Age 67 is an uphill battle because it hasn't changed with ICAO. Not the same as when we went from 60 to 65. 65 had already changed internationally and the skids were greased to make it happen fast and it did. 67 is not the same situation and at least at ALPA, it is not supported by the majority of pilot groups. I'm sure there will be some pilots that will want to fly until they die, but from what I'm hearing from my union contacts on Capitol Hill, it's unlikely to gain much traction.
  12. Yup. Slow mover intercepts can be challenging. If you’re sitting ADF alert you should be proficient. High Pk you’ll see that mission if you launch. So practice. It was a dedicated ride in the F-15 FTU syllabus last I knew. Far easier as a two-ship. Good to know fast jets don’t like to go slow. Thanks for that 🙄
  13. Holy shit that was painful. Call sign Ray Charles?? 😂 I hope that guy is better at bomb dropping than running a slow mover intercept. On a guy following a river no less! Jeeezus! Fly over top of him and hit “mark”. Takes minutes for him to create significant distance from the point. Easy to re-acquire. Plus why a single ship? Budget cuts? 🤔
  14. Agreed - but I guess they meet the mins. I'm no crash expert, but that one seems like maybe there's a possibility it wasn't immediately fatal. First guy on the scene runs up after about a minute with nothing to fight the fire which took that long to start building. Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if the RJ pilot who ran into his a/c to get the other pilot to come look instead came out with the Halon bottle and hauled ass the roughly 100 yards to the crash. Hard to watch at least 7 able bodied people stand by while someone potentially burns to death.
  15. Sort of..... again. When you have a trip that starts or ends with a deadhead, the company buys you a ticket between your domicile and the city where the trips starts or ends. If you choose, you can deviate from that travel plan. The ticket they buy gets cancelled and you can buy your own using money from the cancelled ticket. They don't move the starting airport. You can start from wherever you want. For front-end DHs, there is a deadline and by deviating, you're agreeing to take on all responsibility to get your ass in place on time. If you want to buy an airline ticket, JS on company metal, hire a limo or any combination, it's up to you. If you have money left over, you can use it to deviate on another trip by adding to the bank from that trip. There are guys who hold double dead-heads (front and back) who almost never go to their domicile unless they have recurrent there. All the frequent flyer miles and the benefits that come with them are yours. I never drive to/from the airport. 100% of the time I hire a car service on Uncle Fred's dime. If you commute, there is really no other way to do it.
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