I am the world’s most experienced Boeing 747 pilot -AMA

  1. Have you ever seen seen how many buttons there are on a 747 ? It always took me ages to find the right one !

  2. Excellent question ! I run 🏃‍♂️. Where ever I am in the world the first thing I do after waking up is to go for a 5 or 10k run.

  3. Wow ! Good question ! I suppose the old IGS approach into Hong Kong, where we flew at a marker board on a hill and then turned 90 deg to fly between sky scrapers had to be up there !

  4. Gosh I really have no idea ! I’ve flown all over the world, there are not many countries I haven’t visited !

  5. Gosh what a question ! I really have no idea, I suppose if I flew an average 800 hours a year at 500 miles an hour that would be about 15 million miles on the jumbo alone ! Of course I flew other aircraft before the jumbo, I have been flying for 46 years ! The most challenging were the approach into the old Hong Kong airport and the Canarsie approach on runway 13 left at JFK New York !

  6. It’s The Ugly Bus ! Awful from the outside but very nice once you get inside. It will never replace the Queen of the Skies in peoples hearts and minds !

  7. Yes I have had a few emergencies, luckily very few on the 747! Most interesting ATC is always over Africa. Very often nobody answers you, I once used the Sat phone to call ATC and the cleaner answered ! True story. As pilots we talk to each other on a special frequency to let everyone know where we are and where we are going!

  8. Obviously the design phases of new aircraft are measured in decades but I’ve seen a bit of noise about supersonic passenger jets making a comeback .. just rumours or some actual substance there ? Or unsure

  9. Sorry I only know as much as you, although I did see on the News that United are hoping to go supersonic by the end of the decade !

  10. With alot of attention surrounding navy pilot observing UAPs and the US government admitting the videos are real, have you seen something in the skies that u simply can't explain?

  11. What do you thibk of soace travel in the next few years and also will you try and pilot a hypersonic jet? I heard that those jets are becoming very high in demand in the few years.

  12. I’m far too old to think of hypersonic travel ! A Zimmer frame will probably be my next form of transport

  13. Have you ever had moments where a passenger/multiple passengers had a freak out where you had to calm them down?

  14. I cannot answer every question in the details people require ! I therefore refer them to somewhere they may find to be of interest! If that upsets you then so be it I make no apologies! I will answer to the best of my abilities

  15. Great question ! We practise that in the simulator tho only one sick pilot at a time ! It’s why we are never allowed to eat the same food on a flight

  16. I missed my two sons growing up ! Luckily they have turned out to be two of the best people I have ever known !

  17. In the event of clear weather with minimal wind on a departure or during the arrival, how long do you prefer to keep manual control before switching to autopilot? For example, do you prefer to take an ILS all the way to minimums before taking over or taking over once you have the runway in sight?

  18. Excellent question ! I normally hand fly the aircraft to around 10,000 feet on departure. If it’s a busy ATC environment I would put the autopilot in earlier. The handling pilot takes control at 1000ft if he can see the runway or at any point he becomes visual. I normally take the automatics out as soon as I see the runway

  19. After three decades of flying the 747, do you have all the buttons memorized and is the start up sequence all just second nature now?

  20. Great question! I’m not flying the 747 now, my airline grounded them last year. We do our scans from memory and then use the checklist to make sure we have done everything correctly. It’s a great system and works very well

  21. How do you feel about "robots taking our jobs" ? Do you feel like the airplane industry will be moving that way in the near future, or do you think pilots should always be behind the sticks?

  22. Technology will always drive aviation forward and I guess the day will come when pilots are no longer needed. Luckily for me I will be long retired by then !

  23. After over 45 years in the air the only thing that I could not explain was why people seemed to enjoy flying with me ! Apart from that no UFO ‘ I’m afraid !

  24. Is it true that you need to reboot 747s and similar planes every so often? If so, how would you do that?

  25. I have a few questions 1 what would you recommend to do to someone wanting to be a pilot? 2 is there something you hate/love about the 747? 3 have you ever had a mechanical failure? If yes how did it went?

  26. If you want to be a pilot don’t let anyone talk you out of it. There is nothing I hate about the 747, I love ever single bit down to the last rivet. Yes I have had technical failures but there is so much redundancy on the jumbo it has never been an issue !

  27. How old are you? What country are you based? Nose or Bubble? Where did the worst turbulence occur? Have you ever made the crew coffee? Favourite destination? How many years CPT experience do you have compared to you SFO experience?

  28. I’m approaching retirement age and based at Heathrow. I’m not sure what you mean by nose or bubble. Worst turbulence was following an 380 into Dubai!

  29. I was a 747 co pilot for 9 years and have been a Captain ever since. Before that I was an HS125 Training Captain and flew the BAC 1-11 as well

  30. What is your opinion on the increase level of automation on airplanes. I've heard stories about how they can be intrusive and might lead to issues on specific situations.

  31. That’s a really good question which I cannot answer in a few lines ! All I will say is that airlines worldwide are worried about this very subject

  32. Yes the job has changed a lot ! World events sadly has taken away a lot of the fun, I spend almost as much time in the security line at airports as I do flying the aircraft! It’s still a wonderful career and you get great views from your office window !

  33. I would give it another 20 years of life ! Flying a jumbo is just about the greatest feeling you could ever have, better than any car I have ever driven

  34. What would you say to someone wanting to become a pilot? Do you need previous military experience to become an airline pilot or would civilian experience suffice?

  35. What does it mean when one pilot says to another pilot, “what kind of equipment are you on?”, and what about those ID badges that I’ve seen pilots wear?

  36. As you can imagine with Covid the airlines are flying very few services. We are either furloughed or flying one or two trips a month

  37. what’s the most difficult part of a flight for you? does duration of flight change things?

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