Home Polls & Quizzes Poll: Are You Taking Any COVID-19 Flying Precautions?
Thailand hasn't condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Is that why it can't have F-35s?
How To Avoid Having A Skydiver For A Hood Ornament
Pilots are often nervous about flying into or around airports with skydiving operations. There's really no need to be, as Paul Bertorelli explains in...
In one word, no. My company takes some measures such as extra cleaning of the company’s planes, a questionnaire for clients to fill out. Crews wear masks only when greeting passengers. Once the door is closed the masks come off and when briefing passengers I tell them the masks are strictly optional as the flight crew does not use them while flying. Every passenger I have flown removes theirs and I have never had one complaint. No complaints or concerns from my FO either. As far as I know no other crews in the company wear masks while in cockpit either. I feel that is dangerous in a pressurized airplane.
I have finally got a skydive in and did it at a drop zone that does not enforce mask wearing on the airplane. Another drop zone I have flown for does and I will not jump there as long as that is the rule. The jump I did had a full airplane with 12 jumpers on board. I did check to see that the pilot was not wearing one while flying, something I feel is not safe. I would not have jumped if the pilot did wear one while flying. I have refused to do any jump flying if jumpers were required to wear masks during the climb to altitude.
I have been avoiding trips requiring any airlining but it looks like I will have to next week. Not looking forward to wearing a mask on the flight, which fortunately should be less than an hour long. Would be interesting to hear from any Pt121 crew members who may have had a FAA inspector on board doing an observation ride. Considering how many FAA inspectors feel about pilots having beards, I would love to hear how they are reacting to the mask issue. It amazes me how quiet the NTSB has been on this issue also.
One other comment, my company is as busy or more so than last year. Many new clients who have the means now decided to go charter due to all the additional restrictions to airlining. Airline experience is bad enough, who would want to pay an airline to deal with additional restrictions. I fail to see how wearing a mask would make passengers want to fly more and it looks like the lack of business the airlines are complaining about may back that up.
What’s not safe about the pilot or pax wearing masks? I’m busier than ever also with my little two-aircraft business, having spent several months splashing around in seaplanes with students, masked up with no comm issues or otherwise whatsoever. Is it annoying? Of course. Stop whining. Just retired from a 45 year airline career, and I spent the early part of the pandemic in many of the world’s virus hotspots, and consider myself lucky. Glad I don’t have to go back. I’ve had four family (all under 40) get the virus, and they all say “you don’t want anything to do with this thing: Mask up.” Not one of them was immune-compromised before, but they are now. Damaged heart tissue, lung scarring, fatigue, constant pain. Lost two schoolmates who were in hospital getting treated for the virus and were removed from life support. Lost 12 colleagues to confirmed virus so far. People, do not let this become political. Remember CRM? The mask is a resource. Threat and Error Management? The virus is a threat, and not taking preventative measures is an error.
But then I’ve been on a safety kick recently. Like, forty-five years.
It seems some of your pt121 fellow pilots don’t agree with you. Yes, I saw many pilots wearing masks while in the terminal where I airlines today. But after boarding and while waiting for the door to close at the gate, I was able to watch the Captain do his cockpit checks and he did not have a mask on then. I told this to my DO and he told me the FAA has told companies that if they are going to require cockpit crews to wear masks when flying that they would have to do a safety risk analysis to prove that the cockpit crew can get their emergency O2 mask on with that additional item to remove in time before passing out. He told me no pt135 company would go through that and he doubted any airline would either for that exposes them to additional liability. Therefore my original statement about masks being dangerous to use in the cockpit of a pressurized airplane stands. It would be even more interesting to see the results of an emergency evacuation drill with passengers and flight attendants wearing masks. I’ll bet that with the masks on the 90 second certification requirement would not be met. Consider that American has publicly said they would no long limit seating in their planes.