Many regional airline first officers make the same as your friendly pizza delivery driver. (It is typical for most of them to make no more than 16K/year the first year.)Here are a few things we won’t tell you:-Don’t drink the coffee. The potable water the aircraft is serviced with is absolutely disgusting. Chemicals are inserted into the water tanks to prevent bad things from growing, but the bad taste of the coffee isn’t the coffee–its the chemicals…
-We don’t know where we are most of the time… (kidding for the most part) In all actuality there are much more sophisticated avionics units on most small general aviation aircraft. Those units display many aspects of geographic awareness where most of ours simply display the route that we programmed in the flight management computer before departure. We can tell you how far away we are from the next navigation facility and where we are in general terms, but aside from that and what we can see out the window, we typically only have a general idea of where we are when at cruise altitude. Of course we all carry maps, but not too many of us will open the map and follow our progress on a 3 hour flight. (That all changes as we begin descending toward the airport. Situational Awareness is extremely important then.)
-We forget about the fasten seatbelt sign all the time. When you look up at the sign (and disregard it typically) and it has been illuminated for the last 45 minutes in smooth air, we simply forgot. Lots of guys will leave it on all the time. However, sometimes we do have reports of choppy air ahead and will leave it on until we either experience it or take a wild guess that the air ahead will be smooth.
Some of us carry guns. This is certainly public knowledge, but Federal Flight Deck Officers can carry a firearm in the cockpit. Lots of protocol exists to ensure that the training, concealment, and utilization is standardized.
I wonder how often that happens, and I bet they NEVER tell the passengers that piece of news!
This can be 60 landings in an hour, or 60 takeoffs in an hour, or 30 of each, or whatever combination you want to come up with, but that’s about the limit.
(This is a bit of an oversimplification with really good design, you can usually depart faster than arrive, but bear with me for now.)
So say you’ve got this airport, and say it’s got more than enough gates for all the airlines and planes that want to use it. The only limiting factor is that 60/hour number, right?
Yeah- until crappy weather shows up. Now they can only land 30 planes per hour.
Unfortunately, the ATC system- run by the FAA- does not regulate how many flights can be scheduled into an airport. (That’s what deregulation gave us.) So the airlines that operate in there all schedule as many as they think they can get passengers for.
So during this hour, the airlines have scheduled 60 arrivals, but only 30 planes can land because it’s a cloudy, rainy day.
What happens to the other 30 flights? They get delayed.
And who delays them? ATC.
And what do the airlines call these delays? “Supply and demand delays”? “Weather delays?” Nope.
But the reality is that they’re overscheduling delays. If the airlines and/or the airports would limit the number of flights to the BAD weather limits, the number of delays in the system would be massively shrunk.
The Airbus A320 family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321 models — passenger jets with 100 to 220 seats.
And you wonder why I take trains and boats????