The Author is David Reed, a commercial pilot for over 40 years. Over these four decades he has had many events occur, some interesting, some exciting, a few that were frightening and a lot of misadventures. Every story in this blog is true.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cockpit Talk

     There's an old saying: What's said in the cockpit, stays in the cockpit. During your flight you could say anything, do anything and you wouldn't have to worry about anyone else hearing about it. It's an airborne confessional in a way. A good crew that gets along well has this bond, this code of ethics. Of course if you do something REALLY stupid, like taxi into the mud and get stuck, well that's not going to keep secret. Or if you have a problem with passing gas, everyone will hear about that, too. Flight attendants know about the Code and most of them respect it.
     When you fly to Las Vegas, the rule "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" applies too. Applies to anyplace you lay over. There are things that happened there that I will take to the grave, for my word is my bond. I take the Code of Ethics very seriously. Which is why I get upset when people violate that code. Where I work now, they've never heard of the Code. What you do or say in the cockpit is company-wide news the next day. Some guys even keep little notes, then send these to the Director of Operations via email in the hopes of, well, I don't know what they're hoping for. "David Reed doesn't use the radar," was one complaint. Because on clear days I don't need it. The same atmosphere of animosity applies even when you're away from the airport. At my current job it is a difficult environment to work in, because you basically can't talk about anything with anybody, and I'm sure not going to let that weasel fly the airplane ever again. I'll probably hear about that in the near future too. 
      At my last job at Ameriflight, the rule was true. The Code of Ethics didn't have to be taught, everyone already had it. They were born and raised with it. Even my first flying job, long time ago, we lived by the Code because if you squealed on others you were labelled a weasel. To us, the Code of Silence is like the mafia Code of Silence. It's religious in nature, to break it was sacrilegious and once you did, no one ever trusted you again. Ever. 
     That's why I like a small corporate job, with one airplane and two pilots. We could be up there in the clouds doing loops or smoking cigars and no one would ever know it. The biggest squealer I know is a former government employee. He honestly believes he is doing a good thing by being a squealer. He has no Code of Ethics, no Code of Silence, no Corps, Country, Family. He is not, nor will he ever be, one of us, for he has no respect for the Code or for himself.