Why am I a pilot?
It’s to give each passenger the safest and best experience possible on my aircraft – it’s to “Make Their Day”
It’s not for the seven licence recertification tests that I must pass each year to continue in my profession. It’s not for the time and energy it takes to become confident and prepared to expected the unexpected. It’s not for the 20 hour “duty periods” and jet lag that shreds my circadian rhythms that takes days to recover from. It’s not to meet the occasional stressed passenger who boards the aircraft having taken prescription drugs then later mixes them into a dangerous alcoholic cocktail that transforms him/her into a Jekyll and Hyde.
It’s for the joy to command the largest most advanced, comfortable, powerful, smooth and quiet flying machine on the planet and to share my passion for flight with like minded passengers. It’s to share the treasures with passengers, when they lift the light shades to view the earth below as few others have the privilege to see it. It’s to give each passenger the safest and best experience possible on my aircraft – it’s to “Make Their Day”.
Here is a photo taken from the observer’s seat in the cockpit yesterday morning when I flew into London’s Heathrow airport.
How can I describe this view? I can’t. So I will again refer to the poetry of James Dickey, who was inspired by the Apollo space program. James’s poem called “Apollo” expressed the thoughts of one of the Apollo astronauts looking down from space who was also lost for words:
[There are] no–no words. No words to describe it! Poetry! They should’ve sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful…
I will be happily airborne in an A380 heading home for most of Christmas day. There will probably be children on board my flight who will be sad to not be with family and friends on this day. There is an excellent chance that we will encounter a transonic red sled also busily navigating the skies. Pack the Christmas stockings!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Richard and Coral
Report of flight from Dubai to Melbourne on Christmas Day 25 December 2014
It was Coral’s idea. She bought forty metal iridescent tin cases and inserted a pencil set into each. All we had to do was to give them out with the assistance of Mike (the elf who also played the Ukulele) and two beautiful singing santa helpers.