LETTER FROM A RETIRED AIRLINE PILOT TO HIS PEERS:
Here is a home study simulator course for those who still hunger for the romance and adventure of airline flying. That "Romance and Adventure" will all come back to you if you follow the steps of this "practice trip" at home:
1. Stay out of bed all night.
2. Sit in your most uncomfortable chair, in a closet, for nine or ten
hours facing a four foot wide panoramic photo of a flight deck.
3. Have two or three noisy vacuum cleaners on high, out of sight but
within hearing distance and operating throughout the night. If a vacuum
cleaner fails, do the appropriate restart checklist.
4. Halfway through your nocturnal simulator course, arrange for a bright
spotlight to shine directly into your face for two or three hours,
simulating flying an eastbound flight into the sunrise.
5. Have bland overcooked food served on a tray midway through the night.
6. Have cold cups of coffee delivered from time to time. Ask your spouse
to slam the door frequently.
7. At the time when you must heed nature's call, force yourself to stand
outside the bathroom door for at least ten minutes, transferring your
weight from leg to leg, easing the discomfort. Don't forget to wear your
8. Leave the closet after the prescribed nine or ten hours, turn on your
sprinklers and stand out in the cold and "rain" for twenty minutes,
simulating the wait for the crew bus.
9. Head for your bedroom, wet and with your suitcase and flight bag.
Stand outside the door till your wife gets up and leaves, simulating the
wait while the maid makes up the hotel room.
10. When your spouse inquires, "Just what in the hell have you been
doing?" just say, "Recalling the allure of all night flying to romantic
places." as you collapse into bed.
11. If you are a purist, make this a two-day trip instead of a
turn-around, and do this two nights in a row.
Hope you enjoy your sim session.