My wife and I were schoolies at #1 Fighter Wing Marville in Northern France. Because we were both members of the Officers Mess and the fact that I played on our mess hockey team we made lifetime friends with several young officers, several of them pilots and now retired airline Captains I forgot to mention that the years were 1965 to 67. All of them started their training on th Chipmunck then moved to the Harvard (I think you call it the Texan) then to the T33 Shooting star and then some went to the F86 and some to the twin engine prop or piston. By the time they joined the airlines they had 3000 plus hours with lots of takeoffs and landings and aced the airlines one month training programme. However the srogs who came over in 1966 started on the Tudor jet and missed that single piston engine training. Unfortunately for the arlines the number of airforce pilots joining the ailines has diminished greatly. Your point about the long autopilot flights with little real flying should be heed
A long time friend of mine a retired A340 captain with Air Canada ssaid to me when I asked him about the Air France A340 run off on 24 Left at Toronto Int a few years back that it was a no brainer "pilot error". Air France tried to blame YYZ ATC because they failed to warn them about weather (it wasn't great but not a big deal). They touched down one third of the way down the runway (24 left) and waited 6 seconds to actvate the reversers. Guess what; luckily all survived. It took two years to finally show that these guys screwed up. Check out the Air France crash off the coast of Brazil a few ye
ars ago. PILOT ERROR. Some countries never want to admit that their airlines could be at fault; it must be something else. Just watch Mayday on Discovery and d hope you are not a victim of pilot error. We still fly because we know aircrew doesn't want to die either and that air travel is by far the safest way.
Bev and I took the ferry from Kowloon to Lantau Island, then a bus across the island to see this airport under construction. We couldn't get close but the tower was up. This was in 1997. We flew out of Tai Chek on a 340 non-stop to Toronto (Cathay Pacific). While awaiting our flight I was able to get near the western end of the only runway and took pictures of aircraft bauking over to buildings on final. A super experience.
While flying Vancouver to Sydney and return four times we had the following occurances. Pre 9/11 we changed planes in Hawaii with ne immigration check. Post 9/11 we were able to stay on the aircraft in Hawaii while refueling but 3 months later we had to disembark and trudge through customs. Nothing is open at 2300 hrs so I guess it killed some time. On our next trip we had to go through customs on both flights. This customs requirement when the US is not you destination is anal. Finally Air Canada purchased the 777ER thus no refuelling was necessary. We have flown all over the world and have never had to go through customs in a country which was not our destination.
Funny, but the Concorde could not fly supersonic over most of the US. Did all you smartasses who htink its ok to break peoples property: for no good reason I taught on a fighter base #1 Wing RCAF in Francewhere our jocks flew thw 104 Starfighter. They never broke the barrier over populated ares and that plane could do Mach 2. I had to stop teaching however when they took off in pairs, because they needed afterburners to do so. Didn't mind that at all.