Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: flight attendants

Aviation Articles for December 16, 2011

Here are some flying stories that you may have missed this week:

I’m not sure they all agree
This is from the Fresno Bee. The author interviewed a few flight attendants and found that they feel that they had glamorous jobs. Hmm. Probably depends on the day…

It always feels good to restore your ride
This is from Fox 8 in Cleveland. Nate Shaffer was a door gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam. In 1994 he started looking for some of his fellow crewmembers – and for the helicopter that they flew. He was more successful than he expected

Learn to Fly and Build a Plane programs meet in cyberspace.
This is from General Aviation News. The Learn to Fly and Build a Plane programs have joined forces in cyberspace.

Burt just can’t stay retired.
This is from the Seattle Times. Just in case you haven’t seen all the press this venture has received the past few days…

Another successful mission.
This is from the Frederick News Post. The Pilots-n-Paws program enlists the aid of pilots and their aircraft to transport animals around the country.

World War II airplanes still in the air.
This is from Chron.com. The article relates the efforts put forth by the West Houston squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).

Ever heard of the Battle of Britain?
This is from the Harborough Mail in the UK. Squadron Leader Tony Pickering visited his old school recently and recounted some of his tales from Hurricane flying during the Battle of Britain.

Aviation Stories for 4 Feb 2011

Here are some interesting aviation stories from this week that you may not have seen.

Balloonists in hot water for using hot air.
It seems that the owners of an Olive Ranch are upset about balloonists using the air over their fortress and are suing everybody in the area who has ever touched a hot air balloon. And at the same time they are trying to get the FAA to allow them to establish a helicopter pad on their property that would permit multiple flights per day to their compound. This fight appears to be escalating.

A colorful history of Flight Attendants
This is a quick look at the evolution of the stewardess/flight attendant position from the days when flying was an event to today when it is more of a cattle drive.

Restrictions concerning zero fuel weight in weight & balance computations.
This is an article from AOPA’s flight Training Blog that discusses zero fuel weight and it’s restrictions on weight and balance. The article discusses loading of a Canadair Regional Jet.

Airline employees going to charm school? Finger in the dam.
This is a Wall Street Journal article about Delta Airlines sending 11,000 employees to charm school. The article was published yesterday and already has 38 comments as I write this. I’m a little too close to the problem to make any unbiased comments.

Women pilots flying taidraggers
This is a link to a website started in 2009 by Judy Birchler, a woman who loves flying taildraggers. She started the site in an attempt to meet like-minded female pilots. From the look of the markers on the membership map the site is a huge success.


Today’s flight back to the US was a routine operation. Gate to gate it clocked 11:36. The flight planned route was a little farther north than a great circle route today, passing just north of Anchorage, but it successfully avoided several different areas of forecast turbulence. It was a smooth flight until the last 45 minutes or so.

The other cockpit crew members had plans for their time off and didn’t take the hotel van downtown to our layover location. It was only me and our two flight attendant/interpreters. They sat in the row behind me in the van, talking about what they might do on the layover and exchanging their work histories. It was a typical conversation between crew members who haven’t known each other very long.

The unusual part of the conversation was that it was conducted in English. One of the interpreters is based in Tokyo, the other in Beijing. Their common language was English. Our airline also has flight attendant bases in Taipei, Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong. Quite often a cabin crew for an interport Asian flight will be made up of flight attendants from most of the different bases, with a few extra from the departure and arrival countries. Then a US-based purser (Lead Flight Attendant) and usually at least one other US-based flight attendant are added to the mix. On the bus to the layover hotel it is not unusual to hear simultaneous conversations in 3-4 different languages and then hear English interspersed throughout as one group talks to another. It’s quite an interaction to observe.

It makes the average American’s proficiency of a single native language seem a bit weak. I remember taking four years of language classes in High School and at graduation I had almost progressed to the bilingual level, but the use-it-or-lose-it saying has certainly applied to me. Maybe if I was immersed in the language I could pick it back up again, but at this point, that isn’t going to happen.

I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with watching and listening to the way the different cultures can interact if they’re given the chance.

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