Stereotype Pilot

The biggest stereotype might just be about being a pilot. Aviation is a relatively young profession and people ask me often about all these stereotypes and if they are true. Do all pilots have perfect eyesight? If a pilot stays in a hotel do they have sex with all flight attendants.  After the movie Flight in 2012 they ask if all pilots drink a lot. does a pilot earn 1000000 million euro. The best plane you can fly is a 747 pilot. All pilots are Male. etc. etc.

About 50/60 years ago maybe some of these things were true, in the meanwhile lot of things changed, maybe for the better? The first airline pilots where male ex-military pilots who had perfect eyesight and got paid a lot for flying a plane. They didn’t see their own bed for a longer period of time and were not able to contact the home front that often so it might be true that the crew found each other in more intimate ways while away from home.

Like I said before, things changed. To become a pilot you need to have a certain degree of education and medical fitness, you got a test for this every year. As well your eyes have to be tested, the stereotype is that pilots must have perfect eyes but this is simply not true. A pilot can have glasses and the limitations of that you can find here. So don’t worry if you have glasses, get yourself tested at a medical facility and you might be able to make it. You have to see certain colors as far as I know. Difference between orange and red would be nice to see in case of an emergency.

Pilots and flight attendants that are intimate in hotels, this might be the biggest stereotype because I think that I got this question from every single friend that is not him or herself in aviation. I can honestly say that it doesn’t happen in private aviation. It might be easier in big airlines that still have layovers in different countries but remember they always return back home fast and with modern technology like FaceTime and Skype I would see a reason why you should feel lonely. So I think it happens sometimes but more or less the same as that it happens in office buildings or in other occupations.

All pilots drink and use drugs to stay awake is one of the big stereotypes that mostly came after the movie Flight with Denzel Washington where he poor in some vodka while welcoming the passengers on board of the aircraft. I’m happy to say that I’ve never had that and there are regularly breath tests upon pilots before flights. Its a good thing like while driving cars that it is not allowed to drink. The rule is “12 hours between bottle and throttle”. This doesn’t mean that you can ballistic on drinking in the evening and you will be close to visit the hospital and 12 hours later you can still get on a plane. No, it doesn’t work like this. See the 12 hours more like a rule of thumb.JUST NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE/FLY! 

All pilots are a muscular man with a RayBan sunglass on its nose. Well, uhm, NO! Just NO! Maybe about 60 years ago it was like this but in this modern time we have equal rights and in most airlines, more female pilots got hired. In Aviation more man are still flying planes than women but its changing slowly so that positive. If you want to know more about things they come across with you should have a look for one of these flying ladies: Eva (flywitheva), Michelle (Dutchpilotgirl), Merel (Pilotmerel), or any other female pilots who are really inspirational to others to become a pilot. Or just find them on Instagram #femalepilot. (Pilotmaria starter of the Instagram pilot madness)

Making a 10000 million dollar if you become a pilot! Yes, sure but I haven’t found that job yet and I think that nobody does anymore. In the past pilots got paid a lot like about 350.000 per year sometimes, and the flight school was paid for same as the type-rating, all paid by the company. That changed after 2009 when the crisis came. Pilots had a student loan mostly for about 150.000 euro in the Netherlands. And they have to pay the bank about 1500,- per month for this sometimes even more but for calculation purposes, we take 1500,-. In Europe, the average pay now is about 50.000- per year lets say. 4167,- per month, minus tax leaves you with about 2800 or something. 2800 – 1500 from the loan you took to study makes = 1300,- per month to live from, now you need a house and food. And there all the money was gone. So yes they still got paid quite well but they pay a lot back to the bank as well in about 20 years. So now you know the reason why this pilot friend living next to you is not driving this brand new BMW or Porsche. Don’t feel sad for pilots now, we still have the best job in the world.

A 747 is the best you can fly in your life. I personally do not agree, it might be one of the biggest together with the A380 but it doesn’t mean that its the only goal you should set for yourself. It might just be that a pilot of a Cessna172 is the happiest guy in the world because he got paid well has a relaxed life while counting cows over his land with the radio in the background. So I think it really depends on the ambitions you have as a person. For me, it would be a Gulfstream maybe, if not I’ll be just as happy on a flying bicycle flying E.T.

If you have any question regarding this blog or other questions regarding stereotypes. Please let me know in the comment section below.

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