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For those of you that can't have enough realism

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Guest _sebastian_

The following is written by Anthony Vallillo, Senior Captain with AA. He explains in detail what it is like to be a long haul pilot and gives here an example of how a desktop pilot can simulate flying the New York-Rome-New York route. Quite fitting while we wait for the 744. The complete story can be found in the Golden Argosy series; an incredibly well written rundown of the 24 hours these two legs combine. If you are not discouraged by She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed I suggest you have a good read :-)/sebastianhttp://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/feature/argosy1.htm----------Taken from The Golden Argosy - by Anthony VallilloNow, for those of you who merely want to simulate this on your new Alien Ware hot rod, how best to go about it? The following is somewhat tongue in cheek, but would result in perhaps the most realistic simulacrum of the overall experience. Read on!Begin by getting in your car around 1400 local time and driving for two hours, preferably mostly on an Interstate. End the drive back home, and proceed to your computer, where you will examine the weather and plan your flight. If you don't have access to navigation charts and such, simply use the general flight plans included in the GA articles. Try to fly this in an aircraft that has a functioning FMC, if possible. If the only such aircraft you have is of shorter range, such as a 737NG, use that anyway and disable the fuel burn if possible. It is probably a better overall simulation to use an FMC than to be slavish about actually burning fuel at a given rate. Of course, you could always challenge yourself with a fuel leak or the like, just to spice things up! But at least for the first time, keep the actual flying simple. The purpose of this exercise is to simulate the overall experience, especially the fatigue issues. At around 17:30 local time (Eastern, if you are leaving from JFK) start your checklists. Promptly at 17:50 leave the gate and start engines. Taxi out to the active runway very slowly, taking at least 20 minutes to get to the takeoff position. If you have access to some sort of realistic ATC system, use it. If not, don't worry. Ditto the AI airplanes. After around 20-30 minutes out to off, takeoff and fly your flight plan as precisely as you can. Phone a friend with position reports at the mandatory oceanic waypoints. Use proper reporting format. At some point around 2-3 hours into the simulated flight, have your (spouse, parent, friend) prepare and serve a meal, perhaps a TV dinner or the like. Take only a two-hour break for a nap and make yourself get up for the remainder of the flight. Don't just let the autopilot do all of the work - pay attention every minute! Use real world weather for the arrival, and also for the enroute winds if possible. Fly the arrival and approach as precisely as possible. Once again, if an ATC service is available, use it. After landing, taxi to the gate and shut down. Wait about 5 minutes, then walk around the block to simulate going through the terminal to the van pick up point. Have your (spouse, parent, friend) drive you around for around 15-20 minutes, and then, back home, head for the sack.Allow yourself to sleep around 3-4 hours, then wake up and eat and go for a long walk. If you live in a city that has a "little Italy", walk around there! Have a nice meal in a good Italian restaurant. Your next wake up will be at 0200 local time, so plan to get some more sleep prior to then. At that time, get up, shower and the rest, have yourself driven around for 15 minutes, and report to your computer for the flight home. Do all of the same things again, leaving the gate at 0400 local (eastern time, again). Taxi out and takeoff, and fly the trip home. Again, use ATC if available. Take around a 2.5-hour break on this leg. You may choose either the first, second or third break, as you wish. After all, you're the Captain!When you park at the gate and shut down the computer, you're not done yet! Drive for another two hours. When you arrive back home, then you are finished! Mission accomplished! Still want to be an airline pilot?!----------

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Guest ZOTAN

Well that doesnt discourage me from becoming a pilot. Thats the kind of life I dream about living. I dont want to have some deskjob when I grow up, I want to fly planes. How many other jobs in the world allow you to go Italy, and be payed for it? If you asked that pilot if he enjoyed that trip, I bet you his answer would be yes.

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Guest _sebastian_

>Well that doesnt discourage me from becoming a pilot. Thats>the kind of life I dream about living. I dont want to have>some deskjob when I grow up, I want to fly planes. How many>other jobs in the world allow you to go Italy, and be payed>for it? If you asked that pilot if he enjoyed that trip, I bet>you his answer would be yes.Oh, right you are my young padawan yes yes. But enjoying fatigue no pilot does, and that should be your main focus in this particular context, not exotic travel! Come now, begin again./sebastian

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Guest ZOTAN

I realize that what he was trying to say was that it can be tiring at times. Going back to my main point in my post, do you think he enjoyed that trip? Also, Im a sophmore in college, not your "young padawan".

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Guest Daniel Pimentel

The army also makes claims about taking you to exotic places, yet we all know the small print to that one... :-lol And really, I doubt you'll be flying from the US to Italy until you've been flying to Hellhole, USA for several years. :)So did he enjoy his trip? Absolutely. But I'm sure he hasn't enjoyed every trip he's had. Whatever your reasons are to be a captain, there's a lot more to it than going to pretty places, that's all he's saying. Plus, if you go to Italy often, I suppose the enjoyment gradually wears off.Daniel P.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpgMember of SJU Photography. [A HREF=http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=9004]Click Here[/A] to view my aircraft photos at JetPhotos.Net!The official psychotic AA painter. :)

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Guest BlueRidgeDx

All,The Golden Argosy articles were very nicely written, and fun to read. Thats the vision I had of flying when I was a young'n. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was neck deep in getting my PPL, that I realized it was going to cost between $55,000 to $70,000 to go from zero time to ATP. And that doesn't even include a degree... It only buys you the flight time, fuel, and instructor fees.I never did find a way to choke up all that cash, though I still dream of flying. I've worked in the airlines for 8 years now, and I'm a Dispatcher. The FAA written test to become a dispatcher is the same exact test as the ATP, so in a way, I kinda made it. But you know what I never expected? I never expected that so many pilots were so disgruntled with their jobs...its the truth.It happens for a lot of reasons, but I think everyone started out with the same naive vision as I did. The vision of being a 747 driver, visiting far away lands, 21 days off per month, and pulling in $275,000 while little kids stare at your four stripes in awe as you walk through the terminal. And then you wake up...and realize you've spent 8 years in the right seat of everything from the J-32 to the CRJ, and your scheduled upgrade to the right seat of the A319 just got cancelled because your company is furloughing half of its pilot roster. If you're lucky, your seniority number will still hold a line, otherwise, its back to reserve. Or worse, you're out on the street sellng vacuum cleaners waiting for your recall, if it ever comes.And given the current state of the industry, where exactly are you going to advance to? You don't just spend 1 or 2 years at a regional before moving up to a major anymore. You're gonna be stuck flying 6 legs a day, or maybe you'll fly that coveted Rochester or Harrisburg "stand-up" in your CRJ or Jungle Jet for the next 12 years.Until very recently, I lived with 6 pilots who flew for my airline. All but 2 have been furloughed, and of those two, one is so fed up with the poor quality of life, he's leaving the industry altogether.I certainly hope the industry recovers, and I hope it happens soon. Lots of good people are on the street right now, and a lot more are going to follow unless things change drastically.Nick

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It is said that a Jedi only really starts to learn once they start to a padawan. While someday I would love to be a master, it is the journey of a padawan learner that is the most satisfiying to me. I hope that that with my last dying breath, I am still a learner. I can only imagine that the actual process of the flight can be quite dull at times, however the learning of systems and how things work are what seem exciting to me.I would be proud to be a Padawan.BluewolfJohn Palmeri


John Palmeri

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Think of this story as a great example of "The grass ISN'T ALWAYS greener." After working for >40 years ... I can attest the the truth of those words.Every now and again, I do a flight during my work day .. since I work at home I can have that luxury periodically ... so I usually fly a Globe Cargo VA leg in the RFP 747-200 ... say Honolulu to Sydney, or Santiago to Chicago, or even a short one from JFK to Liege ... and as I sit there working, and listening in the background to RC3, and FDC chat on during the flight ... I am almost happy that I have my REAL lousy job ... hahahahaha ... because as I "fly" a 10 hour segment ... I think to myself ... how unbearably boring it must get sometimes and how difficult it must be to concentrate ... and how unfun to NOT have a life and wake up in a hotel in Jakarta ... or even Rome ... over and over again.Then I read Aviation Week/Space Tech weekly and see how the majors and regionals and low costs are struggling, and the unions are accepting concessions ... and I am again convinced that, although very glamourous and seemingly fun it might be ... even being a Captain, FO or FE must feel like my doing spreadsheets and attending boring conference calls .. and living under stress ... but at least I get to see my wife every night ... and when staying in a hotel ... it means VACATION ...Always great to have a perspective I believe ... I am convinced that those people who fly in the aviation biz work very hard and feel like most every other poor working person (all the rest of us who are not independently wealthy). After few years, missing your children's little league games or soccer matches, and the glow has worn away)they would probably be happy with my silly management job. And that guy who flys for a regional ... probably has a shot of being home for supper every nite, so maybe not too bad ... but never forget ... as my wife always reminds me, "If work was fun, they would call it fun, not work ...." ... hahahahaha.Cheers everyone!!!Paul Benoitcynical in KSAN

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Interesting article :-)For the most part of the year, I work regular 9 hr days, but come christmas (working in a toy shop is not easy) i tend to work 13-14 hr days 5-6 days a week, no joke. I once had to work 33 hrs straight for an important visit, only to be back to work just over 14 hrs later. that was a nice week :-)I guess flying is a totally different type of fatigue though, with the body going through flight forces and time zones, something to look forward to i guess.


Alaister Kay

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