Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Look Who's in the Left Seat

The departure area for the "regional" I was flying home is kind of noisy, so I was sitting with my iPod.  "You coming home with us?" a voice said over the music; it was one of my friends, who was to be the Captain for my last leg home.  He sat down to chat for a bit.  He says they are "holding the line" at 1000 hours total and 100 multi, but that other carriers are not.  Their washout rate is pretty low, but a few pilots have been let go during their first year for not coming up to the airline's standards, even after extra training.  That's a relief two ways: first, deficient pilots get extra training, and, second, that does not lead to an automatic "pass."

So maybe the world is not going to end.

The last group on the airplane was another friend, a Captain with the same carrier, whom I had not seen in years.  He had his whole family along, and they were heading home to visit Grandma.  A nonrev day trip.  The idea that there were enough empty seats for a family to make a day trip is scary in a different way.  Maybe someday my home field will have no air service at all.

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