The Appearance Of Things

There are a great many things in aviation that have been for  a purpose not readily apparent.

The Flight School where I got my first paying flying job, for example, seemed to be a place for the purpose of teaching primary and instrument flight students how to fly.

In reality it was a place for the instructors (me included) to learn to fly at someone else’s expense.  Having reached  the first rung of the  experience ladder a Flight Instructor  can finally gain flight time without paying for it. Our school was actually founded for the purpose of furthering the career of the instructors.

Now from the top of the aviation career ladder the view is different. It might seem that the purpose of the airline industry is to move passengers and materials around the world safely and efficiently. In reality it exists for the purpose of providing pilots with an awe inspiring view of our planet.

Since 1970 pilot compensation has been falling  like blue ice from an old 747 fuselage. Inflation, pay concessions, robbing of pensions, layoffs, strikes, and longer work periods have worked together to bring pilot pay down TO about 37 percent of what it was less than 40 years ago. This is true.

The view from the cockpit  however, is better than ever. Air pollution brings us nice colorful sunsets, longer higher cruise segments and longer flights give us a better view of storms, and there seem to be more photogenic storms to see.

And all this time you thought that we were flying you around to get you where you wanted to go, not so. You have just been subsidising the view out the front of the airplane.

If the airlines were as smart as I am there would be special seats in the back with cockpit style obversation windows. People should pay a LOT more for a ticket to sit there.

The Empire State Building made more money from the observation deck than it did from rent for the first five years it was open.  Happy Landings.dsc_3764

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