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Dear Media: Copilots are Pilots!

Good god, a copilot at the controls! Most reporters seem to have no idea this is perfectly normal. Contrary to what a lot of people are led to believe, copilots are not "apprentice pilots," and both cockpit crewmembers are fully qualified to fly the aircraft. ( More...

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crewdoggy 35
The media has it right. Copilots are subhumans who only recently learned to stand upright. To risk the lives of the traveling public in the hands of a copilot is akin to premeditated murder. Copilots should be there for only four reasons. 1. To raise and lower the landing gear. It's an important job, but if you give them adequate treats they eventually get the hang of it. 2. To raise and lower the flaps (ditto on the above important comment). 3. To talk on the radio (this isn't as critical because the captain always listens and captains are gods). 4. To take the least palatable crew meal (usually the chicken). Remember, there's only one thing more dangerous then a captain and a copilot on the flight deck, two captains. Then you've got trouble. So keep up the good work media types, we know you're always right. That's why you never see corrections in the media.
Neil49 13
I've heard that Airbus aircraft have three cockpit crew members; the pilot, a dog, and a monkey.

The pilot, sitting in the left seat, "flies" the airplane, the dog is there to bite the pilot if he attempts to take the controls, and the monkey's job is to feed the dog.

Any truth to this?
sparkie624 2
LOL.. I doubt it, but I love it... L)
mike SUT 4
You forgot to say that copilots are also the Captains Sexual Advisors. That's why so many of them, when meeting the FO and telling them how they run the cockpit, say "and when I want your(Effing) advice, I'll ask for it.
preacher1 1
That's good CRM. LOL
Lewis Tripp 1
lol crew.
s2v8377 6
The media is still trying confirm if Delta is using the autopilot (automatic pilot) from the movie Airplane! on their MD90's.

Once they get to the bottom of that critical issue they can move onto the less important topic that First Officers are qualified flight-crew members too!!!
joel wiley 8
After that, they can ponder why someone titled FIRST Officer is second in command. . .
Ole Eskildsen 2
Well, years ago there was commonly a second co-pilot, who was therefore called SECOND Officer and was THIRD in command. I think it is more of a wonder that the Captain is seemingly not an OFFICER.

Still further back there was also commonly a Flight Engineer monitoring all the equipment instruments and aircraft performance, fuel burn, etc, mounted on the rear starboard sidewall of the flight deck. To save some money, the airlines got smart and combined his position with the Second Officer's, so he became the pilot flying with his left ear in forward position.

On some long haul flights across the oceans and the polar caps, a specially trained Navigator, who could do snazzy things like celestial navigation and use a sextant, just like a ship's Navigator was employed. So the flight deck was full in them there days, and that's why there is so much spare room in the cockpit these days.

Them were the days, a lot of fun in the cockpit.
I know this is accurate because I have it from an old CNN aviation reporter and I have seen it also in an old Hollywood movie.
Or am I just getting old?

BTW, I have it from a usually reliable source in CNN that, just as Google is now testing driver-less cars, their next project will be pilot-less aircraft. Once that has been perfected there will be no more need for pilot's but have no fear, those who want to will be retrained to serve coffee and sandwiches in the cabin, no-one will lose his job.

"Over and out!" as they say in Hollywood, whatever that means.
I was taught in Military Communications that the phrase "Over and out" means "Back to you for comment. But I'm not listening for you"
Distant relation to "Roger Dodger, You old Codger".
Ole Eskildsen 1
I hope it is your memory which is playing tricks on you.

I both military and civilian communication the following apply:
You say something to the other party and finish your transmission with "over". This is a clear indication that you expect a reply.

Whereas, if you finish your transmission with "out" this indicates to the other party that the communication has been completed (at least according to your understanding).

You NEVER say "over and out" because used together the two (three actually) words are sending contradictory indications:
1. Are you expecting a reply? Or,
2. Is this communication complete?

"Roger" means "message received and understood".

"Roger Dodger ..." is nonsense or at best SLANG. Since the radio frequencies are very often overloaded by numerous parties (aircraft) you should ALWAYS keep your communication to a minimum.
Exactly right, Ole. I neglected to mention that "over and out" is considered incorrect as you explained.
"ten Dash Four".
And "Roger D"
I meant the comment in a light hearted manner.
Ole Eskildsen 2
Hi Frank, so taken.
My reason for writing such a long missive was simply because "over and out" is being use so often that most people, who are not trained in radio comms, have to come to believe it to be a correct phrase. We also have many people here on this site who are genuinely interested in aviation but with little or no training, so at times I go overboard in explaining things. Perhaps also because I have the time as a retiree to do so.
Cheers from Down Under,
Agreed. This particular 'squawk' is a mostly for fun so I've chimed in more than uaual. In other, more serious ones I tend to be more quiet unless I have reasonable contribution. At least that's my intention.
Cheers back at you from Kentucky.
Pat Cook 2
... and why is the Private the more general in the army, and the General is the post private in the army?
joel wiley 5
that is under the purview of military intelligence.
We now return you to your previously interrupted thread
Private: One who is deprived of most everything. Kind of like lessee , lessor, etc.
preacher1 2
AD7K 5
Recent FAA ruling says that no person over the age of 50 can be a pilot or co-pilot of a Lockheed Super-G Constellation ... no one that old can handle three pieces of tail at once!
Ole Eskildsen 2
Ha ha, no here in Australia we are more civilized. You see, you are not allowed and can be charged in court for discriminating against a person because of that persons sex, religion, race OR AGE!!!

So, if a bloke can still do his old job satisfactorily after reaching pension age 65, he cannot be fired!

The conclusion is that with the advance in modern medicine which keeps people healthy and alive longer, you can soon expect to see some elderly gentlemen Qantas pilots flying well into their 70ies or maybe 80ies, as long as they can pass their 6-monthly medical, flying tests, and remember the 7 most important radio frequencies at their home base: ATIS, taxi, tower, departure, area, approach, and company.

Next time I see them advertising for pilots then I might put in an application.

On second thought, no! I don't think so.
SmokedChops 1
I see what you did there. Well played, sir, well played.
preacher1 1
o-o-o-o-h! LOL
bentwing60 1
Dake Porray, do you mean a 50 y.o. may be able to handle 2 tails ! In fiction , yes but in real life ? ;-p
sorry for typo. It's Dale !
preacher1 1
Lockheed Super G Connie was triple tail
My apologies for my inability to give a different meaning to 'tails' . And thus failed miserably in creating humour !
preacher1 5
Dear media: did ya'll not get the memo from the FAA last year that the 1500hour rule went into effect and that everybody in the pointy end of a commercial airliner had to have an ATP ticket.
Brian Bishop 4
Thank you sir.
preacher1 7
Go get 'em Patrick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
N5827P 3
When did the media ever get their facts straight?
steve mondral 5
Unfortunately the media's biggest concern is getting a story out. If they happen to get a few facts right they consider it a bonus.
Joe Vincent 4
Of all people to say it, Scott Pelly once stated that “If you’re first no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no one will ever forget.” Unfortunately, the American flying pulic is so ignorant - and such an enthusiatic ignorance it is- about aviation that they have no idea when a reporter is blatently wrong. And, don't hold your breath waiting for the reporter's news agency to make the correciton.
preacher1 1
Personally, I like Scott Pelly and CBS, and that sounds about right coming from him.
Jake Angelo 2
I think I was not watching tee vee that day...sorry Media!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

dave neff 2
Bravo. My brother is a 73 PILOT with an American airline and until recently remained a senior 1st officer by choice- for the reasons mentioned. In many, many cases he had thousands of more big jet hours than the Captain. The media's impression that the typical US trained First Officer as being less a capable pilot than the Captain is a load of hooey as the author well illustrated. This has always been a bone in my craw.
Jack Carson 1
I have to disagree with the FAA on that. Besides how would any FAA employee even know.
never read such rubbish
preacher1 1
Do you reckon any of the media talking heads will even realize that the "CO-PILOT" in the Taiwan crash was senior to the Captain in both hours and time with the company and I think type as well.
Jhon Lewis 1
Dear media,
Stop portraying aviation as an extremely dangerous way of travel. When even one thing goes out of the norm in aviation the news has to portray it as if it were a close call with death...I don't see this when people are messing up small things on a bus...I only hear about bus crashes(which by the way is considerably more dangerous than flying) when a ton of people have died, but when some plane gets its a malfunction and needs to land, that makes the news and is taken as if flying is somehow inherently dangerous...which it is not. I mean take a look at this website for example...see all the thousands of aircraft in the sky? Yeah these fly every day day in day out, and there have been less than 5 of these planes that have ended up killing everyone on board. Even when companies make extremely terrible mistakes, they don't show for at least a few years, that is how safe it is. Stop treating it as if a small joke, or an attitude, or locking a pilot out of a cockpit is life threatening(unless the pilot has a gun in which case it is life threatening). Thank you.
Dear Jhon Lewis, plain Janes don't make the news , much less Page 3 . Do I need say more ? :-p
I once flew on QX / AS (SJC-BOI) and in the process had some conversations with our co-pilot, on a Dash-8. She (yes, female co-pilot) had actually csme to QX with numerous flight hours in Navy jet fighters .. as the PIC. No matter the aircraft, I would have no concerns as media or passenger of any US co-pilot .. I trust the system to ensure the people in the cockpit, are qualified to be there ..
Are functions of pilots and copilots interchangeable ? Literally ? With no exception ?
Are the words pilot and copilot only exhibit hierarchy prevailing in the airline where they work ?
And do they both get equal and same credit of flying hours ?
How do the words " xxx hours as copilot " reflect on the CV of a (co)pilot ? I mean how do they translate in terms of shifting from star board side to port side ?
preacher1 2
Pretty much interchangeable. Titles designate the hierarchy. They will each get same number of hours but it will be paid different depending on position they are assigned to for that flight. FO may fly the trip and log those hours as PF but gets nothing out of it but experience. One generally flies out and the other flies back if it is a round trip and that crew staying together. As hours in type builds and Captain quits or retires, they may get promoted based on seniority and those qualifications.
Jack Carson 1
Most people(especially the media type)does not realize that the First Officer is at the controls on one half the flights that they are on.
Caver006 1
Another great article Patrick!!
Except if they barely scratch 2200 hours and fly an A320
The media is out there trying to create hype and hysteria to get viewers to watch, and ratings to rise. CNN wrote the book on this. Anderson Cooper is the poster boy for creating hysteria. He will purposefully seek out incorrect and ambiguous information to fuel his fire, get people to watch him on CNN, and become a mega millionaire in the process.
preacher1 3
Nah, I think Wolf Blitzer has him beat hands down. If there ain't no fire, Wolf will build one. LOL
joel wiley 2
I thought that was Woof Biltzer 8-)
preacher1 1
Ric Wernicke 1
Pilots and Copilots are well trained to fly the airplane alone if necessary.

It's just one Delta pilot was apparently not trained to operate the door.
joel wiley 1
It seems the latch-string wasn't properly deployed.
skittel 1
Most of the time pilots trade off being PF (pilot flying) and PM (pilot monitoring). It's not like one pilots flying while reachin across the cockpit to flip a switch on the first officers side.. well, we do have to keep the flying public ignorant...otherwise they wouldnt be hurtling thru the air at fl350 at 500+kts in an aluminum (or carbon fiber) tube thats about as thick as their lunch trays...
Thomas Grugle 1
I don't care which pilot lands the aircraft but I kind of would prefer they both be on the flight deck at the time.
mike SUT 2
At least physically.....I have flown with one pilot who was so far behind the aircraft, he wouldn't have been hurt if we had crashed. :-)
preacher1 1
That's bad, but none of us have ever done anything like that. It was always the other guy. LOL
So the media reports I saw reported who was the PF. What are you expecting here? That's accurate reporting as far as I can see.


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