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Home > Profession > A further insight into the pilot profession...
A further insight into the pilot profession...
Flying - Profession
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 23:38

Hi Capt Lim,

I really enjoyed exploring your website! Fantastic insight into your profession!

How's life now that you have officially retired from your international routes? Are you still flying for SIA? If you have the chance, can you answer some of my questions please?

1. Have you ever wanted to fly fighter jets? I was talking recently to a fellow Australian in the Air Force and he said that fighter pilots were the most arrogant breed of pilots around! Is that true in the commercial pilot field?

2. Did you ever get bored sitting in the pilot's seat on a long haul flight when everybody else is sleeping and it all seemed pretty routine to you after all those years?

3. When flying as a passenger and not the pilot, do you fly first-class? When you are the pilot, do they serve you first class meals and do you have to eat your meal whilst seated in the pilot*s chair?

4. Did you ever date any of the air hostesses you were flying with? Do pilots and air hostesses hang out together when they arrive at an exciting destination? What happens if you feel sick one day and you are in a foreign city away from home? Are you allowed to call in sick and stay an extra day or so to recover?

5. When you were at the height of your career, how many days of the year did you have at home? Did you have to call your family every time you reached a flight destination?

6. Did your airline company put you up in first class or five-star hotels in major cities?

7. Did you make any friends in any of the major cities like New York, etc, because you flew there so often? I mean, would you call them up for dinner when you arrived or anything like that?

Thanks for reading my questions! I hope you are not too busy to reply.

Kind regards,

Christian

Hi Christian,


Many of my visitors have mistakenly thought that I flew for Singapore Airlines. No, I don't. If you have look at the photo
here in "My last flight from Cairo on the Boeing 777", you would have identified the real airline that I was flying with.

Yes, I have retired from international flying due to my age but ICAO is changing the rules by the end of this month. Hopefully, I would be flying overseas again now that I am with a different airline.

1. I was never a fighter pilot before and there is no convincing evidence to say that they are the most arrogant breed of pilots around. Arrogance is a trait that is shunned in every profession. Nevertheless, there are always the few black sheep that do let their mates down. So pilots who are arrogant rarely make it to the commercial airlines.

2. I was never bored of flying as I enjoyed the job and knew how to make my life interesting. I have answered this question many times before.

3. Yes, as a captain in my previous airline, I always flew first class. Pilots have their special meals (captains and first officers are not supposed to eat the same meals in case of food poisoning) on their cockpit seats but sometimes they do get to eat first class food if there are excess in the cabin.

4. Many pilots are married to cabin crew due to the nature of their work. My wife is not an ex flight attendant - so I never dated any of them before :-) Yes, we do have meals together when away on night stops overseas. When a pilot is sick in a foreign country, the Company appointed doctor in the Hotel would attend to him. A relief pilot would be positioned to take over his duty. If the doctor so recommend, he could stay an extra day or two to recover.

5. On the average, on long haul flights, you are about 16 to 18 days away from home in a month. So you still have about 2 weeks to be with your family. With an international roaming mobile phone, you are always within reach of your loved ones.

6. Where the Company puts you when you are overseas are negotiated by the pilots "Association" (pilots are generally not allowed to form Unions). So far, most of the Hotels that I have stayed in are either of 4 or 5 stars standard.

7. Yes, I have made friends in the course of my flying duties. No, I didn't get to make any good friends in New York but I do have a lot of them in the Australia, especially in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

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