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About our jobs. My Buddy just emailed it to me

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stranger to the ground
Dec 3, 2001
Interesting Thoughts ............ my buddy just emailed it to me , I thought i should share this with my fellow forum friends.

If you know the original author , please give credit to him/her.

Much has been said and written in the press concerning pilots' salaries and compensation. We have been told about how much it will cost our company, our job has been compared to others, and various subtle and not so subtle threats and intimidation tactics have been hurled at our group. In light of the current situation, please allow me, a pilot to give you a small glimpse into my world...


...How many boardrooms explode over Long Island Sound?

...How many meetings conclude with hundreds of dead bodies?

...How many trucks cost $82 million dollars?

...How many doctors spend half the month away from their families?

...Do the children of media representatives cry when Daddy puts on his uniform to go to work because they know he'll be gone for a week?

...How many salesmen lose their jobs because they have high blood pressure?

...How many lawyers spent Christmas alone in a crash pad?

...When your wife is watching TV an the program is interrupted by a news flash of an aircraft accident, does she momentarily freeze in fear for what she might hear?

There is not another profession in the world where the consequences for mistakes are so catastrophic and unforgiving.


...I pay the price when somebody loads full oxygen containers in the cargo hold

...I pay the price when a terrorist has a bone to pick

...I pay the price when loaders forget to set the locks

...I pay the price when engineers design a fuel pump not quite correctly

...I pay the price when Mother Nature decides to shift the winds...


...Ask the CEO of Valu-Jet the cost of a DC-9 buried in the Everglades...The Cost..

...Ask Fred Smith the cost to scrape a DC-10 and MD-11 from the runways at Steward and Newark...The Cost

...Ask Korean Airlines the cost of a 747 that didn't quite make the runway at Guam... The Cost

...Ask Fine Air the cost to clean up a DC-8 off a Miami Street...The Cost

...Ask Bob Crandall the cost of a B-757 impacting a Colombian mountain...The Cost

...And if not for their Cool, Calm, Professionalism, what could have been the cost of a UPS B-727 that suddenly went dark and silent four miles above Chicago? How much were they worth to you that night? Industry standard or 25 % below? ...... The Cost


...It was I who flew Cobra gunships in the jungles of Vietnam while you worked on your Masters degree

...It was I who sat alone at the tip of an F-18 in the silent instant before I was catapulted over a cold, dark sea, while you slept peacefully in your bed

...It was I who, one night watched my wings grow heavy with ice, miles from the safety of the nearest airport praying that I had enough fuel to find clear skies, while you watched Monday night football

...It was I who flew a C-130 into Panamanian gunfire, while you decorated your Christmas tree in 1989

...It was I who faced head-on the fourth largest army in the world over the deserts of Iraq and brought it to its knees, while you watched it on CNN

...It was I who landed an A-6 on a floating piece of tarmac no bigger than your backyard, while you mowed yours

...It was I who orbited in unarmed tankers over enemy territory to replenish others sworn to protect you

...It was I who watched missiles and bullets blossom in my face, yet didn't turn and run, while you watched the flowers in your garden blossom

...It was I who buried a friend

...It is I who knows a little boy who will never play catch with his Dad, so that you may play with your grandchild

Sir, please don't try to intimidate me.

I am not your enemy, I am your asset, an asset who has experienced and accomplished things few others dare to try. Realize this and there few obstacles we can't overcome.

--Author Unknown

My humble addition after 9/11/01

…It was I who listened to the terrorists tell everyone to remain calm over Boston Center's frequency, knowing that my fellow pilots of American Airlines Flight 11 were dead.

…It was I who watched in horror from my cockpit at Newark Airport as UAL Flight 175 took an eternity to fly up the Hudson River and into the South Tower.

…It is I who is strip searched by TSA screeners who make more than some pilots, while thousands of cleaners, caterers, and others who have unlimited access to my aircraft are only minimally screened.

…It was I who TOLD you REPEATEDLY that our aircraft were vulnerable to takeover and that our screeners were inadequate.

…It is I who’s life depends on a security system that can be beat by a 20 year old child.

...It is I who had to sit down with my partner and try to explain why I was going back to work September 14. And why I would never allow myself to be called "just a bus driver" ever again, even in jest.

...It is I who receive a worried call from my husband/wife/father/mother/son/daughter every time CNN or Fox screams the headline of "Aircraft Accident" whenever there is the slightest aircraft mishap anywhere in the world.

...It is I who am one mistake away from being that headline, every time I go to work.

...It is I who carries the weight of the company on my shoulders to ensure that I do not make that mistake. Yet you like to tell me that I am overpaid and underworked and approach me for paycuts every time your mismanagement puts the company in financial difficulty.

…It is I who brief my Flight Attendants every day that "If there is any attempt to take over the aircraft under no circumstances will we open the cockpit door to help you.” knowing that I am issuing their death sentence.

...It is my flight attendants who will again be the first ones to die next time. And May God Rest the Souls of the brave Flight Attendants on the hijacked American and United flights who kept calm and used the cabin phones to call their bases and describe the bloodbaths that were occurring on their flights before they were murdered.

JFK KJFK 111430
111351Z 3507KT 10SM FEW010 SCT250 23/13 A3014 RMK A02 SLP205 FU FEW010 FU PLUME DSNT NW DRFTG SE T02280133

— JFK airport New York METAR weather report, 0951 EDT 11 September 2001.
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CapnVegetto said:
You forgot one that is: ATC.

Or: civil, mechanical engineers. Ship captains. If I thought hard and long enough about it I could come up with more.
However, point taken, it was a good piece.
Except that when ATC screws up we are the back up to avoiding a bad day (ie situational awareness). When we screw up, who's the back up?

Point taken by CapnVegetto and coolyokeluke, though. We aren't the only one's in a position to screw the pooch badly.

BTW, where did you get Metro time?

AF :cool:
bitememesa said:
Hey coolyokeluke and CapnVegetto...you guys are fags. Civil Engineer...phhht...loser

Tell that to the engineer that designed the bridge inside the Hyatt (?) in Kansas City. You know, the one that collapsed and killed quite a few peeps.

AF :cool:
Well stated, although it's because we do our jobs so well that nobody remembers those points when we're fighting for better contracts

It is rare for for a civil engineer , not to get hired elsewhere because he had a accident or broke the building code ,sometime's he might be thousands of miles away from the tragedy he created

A controller gets to go home to his kids even after a bad day , even if he got fired he still gets to go home , not to take anything away from thier Jobs

but my ball cap goes up to all the crews that fly safely day after day after day ...............................

Fly safe
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Excellent article. Only thing I would change would be to add a few more civilian references to balance out all of the military references with regards to building a career. Flying crappy airplanes single pilot over the mountains at night, working 2 or 3 jobs while working as a flight instructor just to make ends meet, bosses who try to intimidate their pilots to fly illegally, etc.


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