Posts Tagged 'Pilots'

Job Stress

I am currently studying this subject called Human Performances & Limitations and came across a rather interesting fact. I do know that pilots have one of the highest divorce rate but did not know that pilots are also ranked quite high in the charts in terms of job stress.

According to my notes, a survey in Britain carried out in 1986, pilots were ranked third in terms of stressful jobs and are sharing the same spot with journalists! The surprise here is, Actors and Doctors are both ranked 5th and 6th respectively. That I really did not expect. I thought a doctor’s job is pretty stressful and should be higher up the chart.

As usual, this intrigued me and I would like to see where pilots ranked today. So Google is again my best friend! ^^,

And here is the result – A survey by CareerCast surveying some 200 jobs carried out in February 2009 if I am not wrong.

The following eight jobs are considered the most stressful according to the CareerCast survey.

  1. Surgeon
  2. Commercial airline pilot
  3. Photojournalist
  4. Advertising account executive
  5. Real estate agent
  6. General practice physician
  7. Newspaper reporter
  8. Physician assistant

Visit CareerCast.com to view a list of all 200 jobs.

Viola! Commercial Airline Pilots – number two! Much of the job have dropped out from the chart, like in 1986, miners were ranked number one instead of surgeons. The only 2 familiar jobs that I see still on the charts from 1986 are pilots and journalist.

Why would pilots ranked so high? Well, this survey is carried out based on a few stress factors which is :

Stress Factors Used in the Most Stressful Jobs Survey=

For the survey, 21 job demands that cause a stress response were assigned a range of points. The higher the demand levels of a particular stress factor, the more points that job received. The following are the stress demands used in the survey.

  • Life at risk
  • Life of another at risk
  • Stamina required
  • Precision required
  • Quotas
  • Deadlines
  • Competitiveness
  • A win/lose situation
  • Advocacy
  • Working in the public eye
  • The use of tools or machines
  • Environmental conditions
  • Required lifting
  • Physical demands such as climbing or bending
  • Initiative required
  • Working outdoors
  • Meeting the public
  • Detail
  • Confinement
  • Hazards encountered
  • Speed required

And as you can judge for yourself, almost all of the stress factors applies to a pilot. >.<

So again a question popped up in my head.

Is your current job/school/university/college/training stressful for you?

Of course there is always a solution to every problem.

 

Boeing 737’s Technical Data

It has been some time since I last post something aviation-related, but I would really like to share this.

I present to you —–> The Boeing 737 Technical Site

The site offers a wealth of information about the aircraft. It literally covers everything there is about the 737 – from the aircraft’s various systems down to the types of temperature probes used. There is even a quiz section included.

Definitely a good learning guide for all pilots who will be/are flying the 737s.

Note : Please regard this as a guide only. The Company’s FCOMs must always take priority should there be any differences of any sort.

Flight Deck of the Boeing 737NG

Overhead Panel of the Boeing 737-700

The Power of Dreams!

Well today is a very very happy and crazy day for me. Why do I say that? Well its because today I again do the banzai-one-day-kl trip.

Anyway, let me tell you about my experience today.

I wake up at 5.50am today, went to brush my teeth, drink a bottle of Brands, put on my formal wear and out I go. I checked my watch -6.30am. Just nice! Went down and saw the cab already waiting for me ( Yup, I called a cab). So took the cab and reach the airport at 7.00am. And this is where I was shocked. Penang airport has been renovated and now they have more check-in counters – 61 in total! Saw lots of new counters too which I have never seen before the last time I am in the airport about 6 months back. So I walk to the Air Asia check-in counter and *gasp* the line is very very long! Even with 4 operational counter, it is long. Took me 30 minutes for the check-in alone!

So went into the terminal at about 7.45am and boarding commences at 8.15am. Got myself a window seat just behind the wing and the view is great! And I always love early morning flight because the view is just fantastic! Too bad I don’t have a camera! The view is really breath-taking! I ate a sandwich during the flight which cost RM6. 45 minutes passed and we touched down at LCCT and the sky is as dark as the night – heavy rain! Oh and I forgot to mention, one idiot in the flight decided to leave his phone on and moments before the plane touch down, his phone went blaring and the flight attendant goes on the intercom and “remind” that passenger to switch it off. Speaking of idiots!

So I went into the terminal and purchased myself a taxi coupon to KLIA main terminal as I have to go there to take measurements for my uniform and also to get my uniform’s accessories there. The coupon cost me RM32.20! Expensive!!!

About 15 minutes later I reached the Main Terminal Building – for the first time! >.< It was HUGE and very nice! So first thing first, i went straight to the uniform shop to get my uniform measurements done and also to collect my accessories. Saw a few stewardess in the process – collecting their stuff. Everything went smoothly and by 10.30am I left the shop and went exploring around the airport.

Went to the viewing area and took some pictures of airplanes :

Some of MAS 737 airplanes

Close-up view of the 737

Pushback and taxiing for take-off

So after hanging around for one and a half hour I decided to go get my ticket to KL Sentral – via the KLIA express train. The ticket cost me RM35 and the journey took 28 minutes ( I did not count if you are wondering. It is written).

Reached KL Sentral at about 12.30pm and got myself another taxi coupon, this time it cost RM26 to get myself to MAS HQ in Subang. I arrived at the HQ at 1pm and crap, it was lunch time! So I gotta hang out there for one hour before I can proceed to submit my documents!

Submitted everything by 2.30pm and I quickly rush to the Subang airport ( which I actually ran) hoping to get a FireFly flight back to Penang which is scheduled at 3.15pm. And since Subang airport is now under renovation, I had a hard time trying to locate the ticketing counter. So I decided to ask a man and he told me to ” Go till the end then turn right. It is there..I think”. So I thought ok. Go till the end then turn right. The moment I turn right I saw all the pilots and stewardess staring at me. I was like Oppsss. It wasn’t the ticketing counter but Flight Operations Room. =.=||

Anyway after searching frantically for about 5 minutes, I finally located the counter and purchase myself a ticket. Last minute purchase and it cost me RM204. Ouch!!!!! And I do not know why, but I do like propeller airplanes too! It is smaller in size compared to those big jets, so the flight is a bit bumpy and it is exciting!

Touched down back at Penang at 4.00pm and I have to say, the pilot is great! Did a very smooth landing! BRAVO! Daniel come to pick me up and when I reach my home, the first thing I do is quickly go bath. So I can try on my new uniform! And here’s the result!

^^, I am just happy! Love the uniform!

Full length.

I am just happy. Speechless. Never have I thought that this day would come true. I have always dream about it. It is just great! This is what I call the power of dreams!

A Dose of Aviation For Everyone

My hijacking habit is here yet again… =.=||

I found this post at Flydamnit and I thought it would be pretty educational for most of you readers. As most of the time when we fly, we are usually very blur or don’t even know what the pilots are doing up front in the cockpit, or should I say some don’t really even care. All we want is to get from point A to point B. We do not really know that being a pilot is also as challenging as doing any other job in the world. Many would just regard piloting as sheer hours of boredom up in the sky. Well here’s one example of the challenges that a pilot face on any typical day.

Starter failure delays my flight for 8 hours

January 18th, 2007 | by Dusk |

737-window-open.JPG
Guess what happened today?? Owh yeah, the title. Thats what happened. I was supposed to operate from KUL-SGN-KUL-JHB. Its suppose to be a 3 days trip. SGN is an Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. AKA Saigon. The flight is is 1hr 30 mins, all the way north via airways R208.

The day started normally with arriving at the ODC, flight ops to get the flight plan and stuff, waiting for the captain, and after completing all the documentation, we left for the aircraft which is suppose to be at bay A6L. Halfway there, we were told that theres some change of aircraft, we are flying MMA. I didnt really like that plane because of its ‘history’. The flight that was suppose to depart at 8.05am was delayed to 8.40am because it had to be towed from the ‘domestic’ bay.

We did the Preflight check, Before start check and Before taxi checklist as per normal. During the taxi, the EGT indicator flashes. EGT indicator is the engine temperature gauge. Its not suppose to flash during taxi. If it flashes during start, it means the engine might exceed its temperature limit. Flashing during taxi? Thats not suppose to happen. I had this same situation last week in the same aircraft. Since we identify the problem as a indication problem, the captain told me to reset the indicators. As i did that, everything went to normal. The whole flight proceed as normal. Reached SGN without any problems.

After disembarking the passenger, and preparing the plane for the next takeoff, we allowed the next batch of passenger to board the plane which is going to KUL. We did everything as per normal but during the 2nd engine start (No1 engine, left engine), there was no N2 indication. N2 is one of the fan inside the engine. Its suppose to spin and then turn the N1, the bigger fan outside. Since there was no indication, we aborted the start. We opened the MEL and it told us to use the the No.2 engine’s timing and speed to estimate the indication for the No.1 engine that has lost its tachometer display.
Note: No.2 engine is on the right side of the aircraft if ure sitting inside it. We start No.2 engines 1st then the No.1 engine.

So we shut down the the No.2 Engine and restarted it to get its timing and indication. At 26 secs, fuel is introduced to the engine and at 1min 13 secs (13% N1), the starter should cut out. We are going to use these figures to start the other engine, the No1 engine that has lost its tachometer display. This time when we motor the N2, the indication was 0% N2 and the EGT dosent go down. Then the engineer shouted “Cut Cut” or “Stop Stop” or something like that. The captain rejected the start and then we knew something was wrong with the starter. Not only that, the Start Valve Open light is still illuminated. It shouldnt. Because of this we couldnt on the Aircond for the passenger.

The normal engine start procedure can be found at my previous post which is here http://www.flydamnit.com/2006/06/30/how-to-start-a-737/. To start, air from the APU is used to turn the started, which is controlled by the Engine Start Switch. By placing this switch to GRD, it will open the Start Valve and air is used to spin the Starter Motor. Then the Starter Motor spins the N2. After 25% N2, fuel will be introduced so that it can run without the help of the starter. At 46% N2 indication, the starter should disengage and the switch will automatically move to “OFF” position.

The problem now is, the Start Valve is stucked to Open position. The checklist (which we did earlier) wants us to set the engine bleeds to off and APU bleeds to off. That means no aircond for the passenger. If we on the aircond, the engine will start spinning because the start valve is open and air will spin the starter which will spin the N2 fan which might spin the N1 fan. Anyway, if ure tired with all these text and do not understand what im talking about, just enjoy the pictures below.

b737-passenger.JPG
The aircraft is hot and passengers starts moving around after we were docked at the bay. They were pretty cool and kinda understand us. I mean, they were saying “if its unsafe to fly, we would rather be on the ground”.

Wow. They really understand the situation. Normally they would go “I want to fly now! Why arent we flying?!”

penumatics-737.JPG
This is the ground cart that supplies alternate source of aircond to the passenger.

open-engine-b737.JPG
They told us the starter is damaged and had to be replaced. So the passengers were disembarked and the spare part will be flown from KUL in the next flight, which will reach SGN at 4.30 pm! Its 12pm now.

DSC00862.JPG
If they actually arrive at 4.30 pm without delay, they will probably take 1 hr to fix it and another 30 mins to test it. 30mins to refuel, 30 mins to board the passengers. That means we will depart at 7pm and reach KUL at 9pm. Start at 7am and finish at 9pm? Thats 14 hours of work. But the captain decided to do the flight anyway, although he could step down and the company have to spend millions to fit all 120 passengers including us in a hotel.

b737-empty-cabin.JPG
This is the cabin after all passengers left the plane.

b737-engine-starter.JPG
This is obviously the engine view from the side.

b737-starter.JPG
This is the Starter Motor. Everything looks normal here.

b737-starter-fan.JPG
This is the starter fan. If u look properly, i think u can see the fan’s outer part scrapped(?) and theres dust from the fan all over. This is why there was no N2 indication and the EGT dosent go down.

b737-starter-mr1.JPG
This is some part of the starter that is placed it beside the MR1.

b737-starter-fan-fragment2.jpg
Metal fragments from the starter.

So MH758 arrived at SGN at 4.40pm GMT+8 with the spare part and they managed to get the plane running at 6.30. We took off at 7.10pm and we arrived at KUL at 9.10 pm. Our next flight was cancelled. End of today.

If you think that flying is boring, think again. LOL ^^,

Dedicated to All Pilots Wannabe!

This video is dedicated to all those who dreams of touching the skies one day! Never ever give up till you have reached your goals!

P.S : For your info, all the things stated in this video, I have actually done it all. LOL. I guess this is what passion means. LOL

Wanna Know How Flying Feels Like??

Another video off youtube! This video is very very funny! Enjoy! ^^,

Being A Pilot

Ok this is what I got from flydamnit.com forum which they actually extract this from PPRuNe forum. This is said to be a letter from the Air Asia company to its employee. I do not know whether this is actually a real letter or not from the company, but assuming it is, being a pilot is not so easy as you think. Its not just sit and yawn or just sit and press a few buttons. Or to lay your eyes on hot stewardess. One mistake and you can say bye-bye to the sky.

Just as the saying goes :

A doctor buries its mistake, but a pilot is buried with it.

How and Why Pilots Die

Ok here’s the letter :

Excerpt from PPRUNE:

For starters, those who have been over uplifting fuel from the line stations
and arriving back in KUL with more than 4 tons in your tanks, should realise
that you are burning fuel to carry that extra fuel in your tanks, plus in
most of the line stations, fuel is more expensive there.

On tankering sectors, some are carrying very much more than what is required
for the round trip. Should we on arrival, drop below the required fuel for
the return leg, there is always the option of us topping up at the line
station, for the trip back to kul.

They’ve also been a couple of us who’ve shown their total lack of
professionalism, by flying at M0.8 when there was no necessity to. A lot of
you will be shocked at this, but yes, it has happened. For the culprits, you
are easily identified and the management will be in touch. You are not only
wasting fuel, but you are also undermining all the efforts of us,
professionals, who are trying to save as much fuel as possible.

Starting of the APU, especially in KUL, where we have a 6 to 8 minute taxi,
depending on where you’re going to be parked, should also be delayed,
instead of right after turning off the rwy.

Last but not least, please be careful with the landings. This is no blame
game and it could happen to any of us, if we’re not careful, but the last
hard landing has cost the company a very painful 2 million US, plus the loss
of revenue from the a/c being out of service for a long period of time.


       

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