I’m the worlds most experienced Boeing-747 pilot - AMA

  1. The 100/200 series known as the Classic were of course 3 crew, we had a flight engineer. The 100 series were under powered. The 200 with the Roll Royce engines were a much nicer aircraft to fly. The 400 was a sheer delight to fly, it would always look after you. They were all fun to fly ! Hope that answers your questions ! br Nick

  2. What was your background before getting on the Jumbo? 34 years is a long time to be on a wide body fleet seniority wise.

  3. Funnily enough I have been asked that question many times and so I ended up writing a book about how it all started ! There is a link on my profile if you are interested !

  4. That is amazing sir, congrats on that. Is there anyway I can get you on my podcast to share your experience ? I’ll take an hour at the most.

  5. Thank you for acknowledging that the Queen is such a complicated machine that 34 years of experience leaves some room for "may or may not know". Good on ya.

  6. Me ! Seriously tho a lot has changed since I began flying. The two gulf wars, 9-11 and now Covid have all the made the job harder and a little less fun ! I really miss being able to invite people into the flight deck

  7. That's a interesting question! Having flown both they each have their own challenges. The Archer is a lovely aircraft and is great at what it does. There is obviously a lot more to do on a 747.

  8. I've been on the 747-400, and the 747-8 for 5 years. There seems to be debate on whether setting flaps 1/5 on arrival increases or decreases drag. The majority favor speed brakes until just above flaps 1/5 speeds, then configuring flaps, 1, 5, 10, etc. What was your technique for the perfect on speed arrival?

  9. Wow ! That’s a brilliant question ! The trick with the jumbo is to get the flaps to 5 early ! Selecting Flaps to 1 only put the leading edge flaps out and did not help with energy management. With F5 as you know the 747 becomes a gentle giant and will do as it’s told if in doubt select F5 early ! I was never good enough to do a slick approach !

  10. The 100/200 series known as the Classic were of course 3 crew, we had a flight engineer. The 100 series were under powered. The 200 with the Roll Royce engines were a much nicer aircraft to fly. The 400 was a sheer delight to fly, it would always look after you. They were all fun to fly ! Hope that answers your questions ! br Nick

  11. What was your most interesting and maybe wierd thing that had happened in one of your flights? and which one the Jumbos did you fly?

  12. This might be a stupid an open ended question, but what would you say is the most efficient route to be able to fly a 747? It's my dream.

  13. You need a sector of at least 8 hours and a destination that has a lot of demand for cargo ! Cape Town is a good example 12 hour sector and we carried huge amounts of freight as well as a full aircraft

  14. Super cool! I'm currently working on my cpl. My question is how the hell did you pay for flight school?

  15. Hi ! Basically once I made the decision that I wanted to fly I left University and got any job I could to pay for flying lessons ! I had no financial support at all. I wrote a book about it, The Self Improver.

  16. Did you ever fly outside of your job? 34 years is a long time to just fly one single plane. Did you ever mess around in any GA aircraft throughout your career?

  17. Great question ! I did a small amount of GA flying, the Tiger Moth was the last light aircraft I flew. TBH we were flying so much before Covid that the last thing I wanted to see on my days off was an aircraft !

  18. Very good question ! I guess it has to be in the early 1980’s flying a Queen Air from Gatwick to Jersey. It was a single pilot flight in very poor weather. I lost all electrical power and most of the instruments flying in cloud. The weather was terrible with a cloud base of 200 ft Certainly was an interesting flight !

  19. Tough question ! I loved having a flight engineer and the 200 was a great aircraft as well ! But the 400 was a huge step up in both design and technology so it wins my vote.

  20. What was your most interesting and maybe wierd thing that had happened in one of your flights? and which one the Jumbos did you fly?

  21. I flew the original 100 series and the 200! I flew the 400 until my last 747 flight a year ago! Weird? Maybe getting onto the wrong aircraft! I was going one way everyone else was going somewhere else ! Luckily we sorted it out !

  22. I loved the fact that we had a bedroom and bathroom on the flight deck ! the BOAC livery is my favourite

  23. I will say that, I’ve only been on the jet for about 6 months and I am spoiled. It’s a great flying bird, and very comfortable to work. Just wish there was no limitation on starting the APU in flight.

  24. We don’t need to start the APU ! We have 4 other engines ! Every time I pushed those four thrust levers forward I could literally feel my smile widening ! That was true from my first to last flight on the jumbo !

  25. I'm a current 75/76 driver with the opportunity to fly the whale soon. What's your opinion on going long haul versus domestic only flying for the next 30 years of my career? I'm worried about the lack of landings and the long sits. Is the Whale fun to hand fly? Thanks for doing this!

  26. At the risk of being muted I wrote a book “The Self Improver” which describes how I started my career

  27. How has the aircraft changed over the years you’ve flown it for? And how did you become a pilot on the 747?

  28. Each new series of the 747 was a huge step up ! Boeing really listened to the pilots and improved the next 747. I don’t want to keep mentioning my book but you will find all the answers in “The Self Improver “

  29. Did you have the opportunity to fly different sub-variants of the aircraft, and if so, how did these compare? (For example, 747-200 vs 747-200B or 747-100 vs 747-100SR)

  30. Gosh such a question ! I flew the original 747 100 with Pratt and Whitney engines. This was an under powered aircraft and we struggled in hot and high airfields ! The 200 series was a huge leap forward and was powered by the far superior Rolls Royce engines. Both aircraft flew well as did the 400 series ! An interesting fact was that the passengers at the very rear of the plane actually went down as the aircraft rotated before they joined the rest of us as we climbed away ! This was due to the size and length of the 747 !

  31. Luckily not before I retire ! I think it will depend on public opinion! When self driving cars become the norm the public may accept self flying aircraft

  32. What is the most out of the ordinary thing you’ve seen or experienced on the flight deck in your 34 years?

  33. Gosh I would have to think long and hard on that one ! Watching Space X launch last year and pass us was up there !

  34. I want to become a commercial pilot, and I am going to be going to commercial flight school within the next 3 years. I am enthusiastic about my journey to becoming a pilot, once I finish school I am going to the ATP flight academy right next to my parents home in Illinois.

  35. Every airport has the ability to make it the worst to land at ! It’s up to us as pilots to make it safe

  36. Any word of advice you wish someone had told you when you were starting your career? I’m currently a CFI ~600 TT.

  37. Wow ! Looks like you are doing very well without any advice from me ! Just grab the opportunity as they appear

  38. What was the timeframe from your first flight on the type to the point where you realized, “holy crap, I am getting paid to do this”?

  39. I spent nearly a year flying out of San Francisco so I am used to all things FAA ! They do a great job just slightly differently from their European counterparts

  40. I flew in the executive world before joining British Airways.Sadly at the moment any job is a good job. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your dreams !

  41. Ahh, yes, the Whale. Did two gear changes on them. It's always fun seeing them with the jacks in and the gear up. The skin towards the tail popcans really good too.

  42. Hi OP. Proof, by any chance? Thats a long time and its awesome if its true. Not wanting to be that guy of course,just that some verification would be nice. And maybe post on the Aviation Subreddit? You might get more responses there?

  43. This question came up a few years ago. I had not really thought about it before. The son of a 747 pilot contacted me as he had done a lot of research and was convinced his father had flown the 747 for longer than anyone else, until he came across me ! Virgin also posted about their most experienced pilot. I have been flying the jumbo for 3 years longer !

  44. Entertaining - watching Space Ex launch last year Boring - being stuck in an airport hotel due to Covid Inverted flight ? I would spill my coffee and the cheese board !

  45. Are you hyping your book a full two weeks before anyone can even buy it? All retailers show June 18 availability. What a waste. Nobody’s going to remember in two weeks.

  46. I tend to fly the 737-800 in the sim more than anything, so here's a general ATP question for you.

  47. When the first officer flew the sector he made all the decisions, if I disagreed I would flag it up as I would expect him to do if it was my sector ! There were airports that were Captain’s only tho none on the 747 that I can remember! The co pilots limits on cross winds and auto lands were different from the Captain !Normally I sat there and admired how well my co pilots could fly !

  48. I just want to say that the first memory I have of flying international over the ocean was as a 13 year old flying on a 747 jumbo jet. Honestly the best memory of flying I have. I wish airlines still flew them. It was sooo much fun. It was like a hotel on wheels in airspace.

  49. Gosh I have so many great memories. I suppose my best would have to be when I delivered a baby on a near empty aircraft one Christmas night many years ago. Mother and baby survived thank goodness!

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