Pilots who teach you how not to be

I love flying with other pilots because I always learn something from them. Whether it is an especially smooth radio communication style, a conscientious adherence to checklist usage, or simply confidence in the cockpit, these are pilots I like to emulate.

Then there are those pilots who teach you how you don’t want to be. Thanks to YouTube we have a front row seat (or right seat, if you will) to these individuals’ antics, because everybody has a cell phone with a camera.

The most recent YouTube debut is a gentleman whose behavior toward a New York Center air traffic controller has to be heard to be believed. As a bit of background, he’s on an instrument flight in some very busy airspace. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for us, we can listen to the whole episode. The YouTube poster even provided captioning for the sometimes-hard-to-understand exchange.

Have you ever witnessed (or overheard) pilot behavior you knew you didn’t want to copy? Please share in the Comments section.—Jill W. Tallman

Tags: , , , ,

  • Jim

    I believe you may have published a picture (not HTML active) vs a link (which should be active). The picture above is not hot.

  • http://www.aopa.org jtallman

    Jim, are you using an older version of Safari? Other readers who viewed it on our Facebook page have been able to listen. In any case, here is a link:



  • David

    I cannot believe how calm and reasonable the Center controller was in this instance. What a great professional attitude and demeanor!

  • Tom

    That is embarrasing for all GA pilots. Wow, what an idiot!

  • George Semel

    Well, I would think he would need to have a little chat with a FSDO inspector, and a check ride. The controller was not talking fast at all. I have learned that a good head set, noise canceling if you can afford one is the way to go.

  • John

    I rarely use this type of description, but “Horses Ass” is really the only appropriate label for this guy.