Friday, March 16, 2007

Career Day

FlyGuy had the honor of being invited to the annual “Career Days” events at the local middle schools. I have been participating in this for the past six years or so and enjoy it more and more every year. These bright and talented young people range in age from 12 to 15, the 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. I am highly impressed with the adults who show up to interact with the students. A plethora of careers including doctors, veterinarians, college professors, scientists, business owners, bankers, bakers, nurses, law enforcement, state workers, firefighters, EMTs, salesman, lawyers, restaurateurs, and of course, one pilot. I always let the students know at the outset of my talk that I am here for them, they are not here for me. I encourage them to ask questions anytime they want. I start my talk by telling them how lucky they are to be living in these times, that they will probably live to be 100, and in that case they may as well enjoy the remaining 90 years or so that they have left. I tell them how much I enjoy going to work and how much I enjoy being home. If you have to work you may as well be happy in some career that you enjoy rather than being miserable in one you don’t. What is in store for their future I have no idea I tell them. It has only been 100 years that airplanes have been around so I have no clue what airplanes and aviation will be like when they are my age.

As I ramble on to the students about what they would have to do to be a commercial pilot and what that life is like, the questions start rolling in. I do offer an incentive for good questions, that being full size candy bars. The first one of those I throw to a student, the hands go flying up. I make it clear that asking me if I like my shoes or how often I see my dentist, does not count as a good question. I get asked all kinds of things due to the wide age spread. The questions are good ones and sometimes I really have to think about the answer. The following are some of the unusual questions I have gotten and my answers to them.

1. Have you ever shot someone? FlyGuy: “Not that I know of.”

2. If you could shoot someone, would you? FlyGuy: “Only my ex wife’s husband if he wanted to give her back.”

3. If I have to pass a drug test how long do drugs stay in my body? FlyGuy: “You should be asking yourself why you have to ask that question in the first place. If you take drugs, you most likely will get caught. The tests are getting better and better improving the odds against you every day. People, please stay away from drugs. If you are taking drugs go see your counselor, clergyman, relative, trusted friend, and most importantly your parents. Get help in any way you can, please.” Don’t blow your chances to get your dream career and ruin your life.”

4. What is the most scared you have ever been? FlyGuy: “The day my daughters became teenagers.”

5. Have you ever crashed and killed people? FlyGuy: “Not yet.”

6. How come you don’t carry a gun? FlyGuy: “I am as untalented as you can get with a gun. I would end up killing my copilot instead of the bad guys.”

7. Is it true that you can get sucked through the little hole a bullet makes in the airplane? FlyGuy: “No, sorry, just makes a loud and boring whistling noise.” I don’t think I have ever seen anything Hollywood has made about flying that is accurate.

8. Have you ever done loops in the air? FlyGuy: “No, the passengers get really upset when you do that.”

9. Are there any hot guys who are pilots or are they all old guys like you?

This was a tough one. I wrote a phone number on the board, turned around, and walked right up to the girl in the front row who asked the question. I put my hands on my hips, looked right into her eyes, handed her my cell phone and said, “Call that number on the board and ask the woman answering the phone if I am hot. If she says no, I will shave my head, wear a pink thong in public for a week, and buy all the junk food you can eat for a year, give you the keys to my car, pay for your insurance as well, get you the newest cell phone, and take you shopping for new clothes.” She stared at me, not blinking or moving. “That is a totally unfair answer”, she said. The phone number was my girlfriends and the student was her daughter. Be Safe, FlyGuy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Some of the best stories I can tell you, I hear from other aircrew members. I was in a crew van in Mexico City this past week enroute to our hotel with my copilot and 5 flight attendants. I was listening to a flight attendant relate to us an incident that he was a part of recently. FlyGuy was not a witness to this event, but I have no reason not to believe it. The flight attendant was working a flight in the first class cabin. He immediately recognized Lance Armstrong, the seven time winner of the Tour de France, entering the first class cabin. Another flight attendant was working with him and he informed her that Lance Armstrong was in seat 3B and would she like to bring him his drink. She became very excited and said, “Do you think it would be OK for me to ask him what it was like walking on the moon”? It was of course Neil Armstrong who was the first human to step onto the moons surface on July 20th, 1969. Lance Armstrong was born two years later in 1971. Well, the flight attendant telling this story then said to the other flight attendant, “Sure, I don’t think he would mind at all”. The flight attendant walked up to Lance Armstrong and said, “Sir it is an honor to have you on board today. If you don’t mind me asking, what was it like walking on the moon”? Lance Armstrong looked at her and said, “I ride bikes”. To which she replied, “You rode a bike on the moon”? Be Safe, FlyGuy.