Profile of A United Airlines Captain: Unfortunately, the publics' perception of the airline pilot is that of a glorified bus driver. The public has a vulgar lack of respect for the demanding responsibilities of the airline pilot. This lack of respect is due to an overall lack of knowledge of aviation on the part of the public. The following text is an example of the skills required of an airline pilot in an average day at the office.
Thunder, lightning, and heavy rain engulfs the Boeing 747-400 as it screams through the air. Every single person on board clenches his or her seats as the plane is jarred mercilessly by the heavy turbulence. Twenty miles from Chicago, the plane descends through 10,000 ft. to 4,000 ft trying to break out of the storm.
As the plane maneuvers through the incredibly rough air, the captain wipes his brow, anticipating the last twenty minuets of the flight.
As the plane descends, lightening flashes all around the plane while hail bombards the aircraft emanating a sound similar to twenty construction workers hammering a piece of sheet metal.
"United 4261-Chicago Approach-you are cleared for the ILS 14R into O'Hare- maintain 2,500 until established on the localizer-report 15 miles out." "Chicago Approach-United 4261-roger leaving 4,000 for 2,500-cleared for the ILS 14R-maintaining 2,500 until established-will report 15 miles out." The pilot yet again, descends to the assigned altitude. Uneasy due to the heavy turbulence and the increased frequency of the hail, the pilot activates the anti-icing equipment to ensure the aircraft is free of ice. One minute after the pilot activates the anti-icing equipment, two aural warnings commence, and engine fire lights for one and three light up.
"Jesus, one and three are on fire, and we are loosing altitude," exclaims the First Officer.