A320airnzBoarding your plane and taking a seat next to an Air NZ pilot wouldn't excite most of you, but it was one of the most interesting flights I have taken. I sat next to Trevor an Airbus A320 captain and pilot trainer as he was being repositioned back to Auckland.

Trevor has been flying for 40 years and you can tell straight away he is an experienced and safe flyer. In his 40 years flying he has never had a major incident, never had an engine failure, nor forced landing. This is as much a testament to aircraft maintenance as it is to his attitude and skill.

A320cockpitOnce we established that I was on my way to my PPL (so knew an incredible amount about flying), we talked Navaids, GPS, airports, handling of 737 vs A320, maintenance, CRM (Crew Resource Management), industry changes, ATPL training, the airworks accident last year, sims and pilot attitudes and leadership.

Interesting Facts

  • Wellington Airport was not closed on Wednesday. Trevor landed his Airbus, it's just the ground crew couldn't work in the wind.
  • Dunedin Airport is the hardest (=riskiest) airport in the country to land a jet in.
  • Airbus A320's self trim (Makes them heaps easier to fly)
  • At FL30 (30,000ft) and engine failure in a 737 required an immediate and positive from the pilot to stop it going over on it's back. An A320 will re trim, and put the plan into a descent.
  • Wherever possible they take off with reduced thrust to save the engine life. In the A320 they take off with the cabin pressurization off, which again saves engine life.
  • Great pilots come as a result of great attitudes.

Disjointed implications

  • The media never give you the whole story.
  • I'd rather fly in a A320 (or a next generation 737)
  • If reduced thrust take-offs improve engine life, then to what other areas or things could this principal apply?
  • Being great at anything, sport, flying, spirituality or leadership is all about ATTITUDE.

Trevor said he was going to email me a funny clip about CRM. If he does I will post it here.