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Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck: Bluff Your Way on the Flight Deck
     

Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck: Bluff Your Way on the Flight Deck

by Ken Beere
 

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Shortly after it dawned upon the average hijacker that his anti-social pastime had less future than that of a chocolate oven-glove, many airlines returned to their convivial practice of allowing the occasional passenger to visit the flight deck.
To bluff successfully in this subject it is necessary not only to understand some of the technology involved but also to

Overview

Shortly after it dawned upon the average hijacker that his anti-social pastime had less future than that of a chocolate oven-glove, many airlines returned to their convivial practice of allowing the occasional passenger to visit the flight deck.
To bluff successfully in this subject it is necessary not only to understand some of the technology involved but also to appreciate the sort of lives which the practitioners live.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781903096482
Publisher:
Can of Worms Enterprises LTD
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Series:
Bluffer's Guides Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Stress factors
Psychologists put pilots' stress levels at the top of the league alongside surgeons, although the latter have an advantage - if the scalpel slips they do not accompany the patient to the mortuary. The pilot's stress is rarely apparent, except when the airline loses his suitcase.

Tick off
Pre-flight checks are a vital part of the operation and cover virtually every aircraft system - electrics, hydraulics, pressurisation, flight controls, autopilots down to the windscreen wipers. Someone also has to do an outside check to make sure that all the bits of an aeroplane are still there.

Fuel consumption
Because of the extra weight, up to three percent of any extra fuel taken aboard will be used each hour simply to carry it. Thus, on a ten hour flight an extra thirty tonnes of aviation kerosene can use almost ten tonnes of itself simply by being there.

Burning rubber
Airlines like their pilots to make firm landings. The wheels are stationary. The runway is passing by at around 150 mph. The two have to meet up. If the pilot does a smoothie, the tyres drag along the runway surface without spinning up which burns off rubber. A firm landing gets the wheels spinning with less loss of expensive tread.

Manual controls
If the weather is fine, enthusiastic pilots often disengage the autopilot in the latter stages of the descent and fly the aircraft by hand. Not only is it enjoyable, but with the relentless increase in automation it is sometimes a comfort to discover they still can.

Meet the Author

Captain Ken Beere began his flying career with the Royal Air Force who taught him how to fly a jet fighter and the officially approved method of shining a pair of black square-bashing boots. Deciding that life was becoming too dangerous he bluffed his way into a career in the then unsophisticated civil aviation industry.

The RAF's gain proved to be BEA's loss, and he spent the next 32 years flying services in the highlands and islands of Scotland, then Europe, finally operating a British Airways Boeing 747 to countries of the former British Empire.

When not prostrate with jet-lag he wrote advertising copy for shaky companies, often administering the final poke which sent them toppling into bankruptcy. He renounced the pastime when companies offered to pay him good money to extol the virtues of their competitors.

He also edited a couple of aviation house magazines, one of which is now defunct and the other run by a damage limitation committee. In his editorial capacity, it is his proud boast that he never once rejected one of his own articles and often had to be restrained from sending himself a letter of congratulation.

Still a frequent flyer, he now agrees to undertake it only with a book by Bill Bryson in one hand and a large malt whisky in the other while sprawled on a passenger seat in the most expensive class he can wangle.

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