Monday, September 27, 2010


Ask the Pilot

Ask the Pilot is an interesting read. I learned some things I found useful: the daily grind of a pilot, crew, and plane; how airlines operate networks; what flight attendants look at and notice when they deal with passengers; "cross check" over the PA actually does mean that the flight attendants are checking each other's work as they go through the cabin prior to takeoff and landing, while "1L, 2R" means which doors need to be opened after landing; being a pilot is very unglamorous unless you're an international long-haul pilot; seniority is the way the airlines operate; planes are both complicated and simple in that the plane automatically takes care of a lot of the more difficult aspects of flight, but these systems are complicated to oversee, and autopilot isn't used all the time.

I thought the format of chapters that begin with an essay on the topic, with a series of Q&As that follow, was a smart way to organize the book. However, I thought the Q&As got a little repetitive, and his prose is informative, snarky, but boring and pedestrian at the same time. Great job for a pilot, okay job for a writer.

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