What, you want more ? Like, 500 words on it? OK, we’ll bite. Here’s a little bit of fun. We’re already running for the exit.
Fighter pilots think that they are the cool pilots of aviation. They’re not. And airline pilots think they are the cool pilots of aviation. Sorry, they’re not.
Everyone knows, deep inside, that helicopter pilots are the cool pilots. The others pretend it’s not true, yet deep down inside…they know.
Fighter pilots wear cool flight suits. The carry helmets with dark visors and wear special G suits. They have very big watches. And they describe air combat with their hands to each other, showing how they got eyes-on for the kill.
Airline pilots wear crisp white shirts with creases so sharp you’d cut yourself. They also have really big watches too, plus the most expensive cool shades. And they walk through airport terminals in slow motion followed by the cabin crew – a special skill learned at airline school.
And yet deep down inside, if they were to admit it, they all know that helicopter pilots are the cool ones.
They wish that they could hover, for a start. (Harrier pilots, sorry that’s not hovering, that’s cheating with engine power. V22 Osprey pilots, we’ll let you off). They wish that they could fly in summer time with the doors removed. They wish that they could get away with wearing jeans and baseball caps at work. They wish that they could land at their favorite hotel or restaurant and park on the lawn.
More than anything, they wish that as they’re sitting in the line of aircraft holding waiting to take off that they didn’t have to endure seeing a helicopter lifting from the helipad and departing without the need to join the queue.
So are we smug or are we a tiny bit jealous ourselves? Actually, we don’t mean it. Airline pilots and fast jet pilots have skills we don’t have. Descending a large airliner with 400 people on board all the way from 35,000 feet down to a soaking wet runway in the pouring rain takes real skill.
And while we love flying at low level down valleys and across countryside in a helicopter, doing it at 500 knots in a jet must be pretty special.
However, we stand by our original statement. You all know it’s true.
The article is part of a series that aim to answer all of the questions you’ve ever had if you’re thinking of learning to fly helicopters. You can read the first post here, or click the links below for the rest of the series