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My real life flying story

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    My real life flying story

    Back in 2011, I was flying from Calgary to Toronto. I was waiting at the gate to board the plane. It was during a thunderstorm. They told me it would be delayed until the lightning stopped. So I was talking to the gate agent and said “sounds like we’re going to be flying IMC today”. She asked “what’s that”? I said “instrument meteorological conditions”.

    The captain and first officer was nearby. The captain came to talk to me. Asked whether I flew any airplanes before. I said, not real ones, mostly in Microsoft Flight Simulator, the PMDG 737 NG. It’s kind of modeled after the real 737 NG with all the procedures and aircraft systems. He was impressed.

    Anyways, I got onto the plane, and I was sitting waiting for the plane to depart from the gate, when the captain came to my seat and asked me “I need your help with something”. So I got up out of my chair and he told me to follow him. We approached the cockpit door. He opened the door and told me to sit down in the captain’s seat. I asked "wait, isn't this your seat? You're the captain". He said "no, you're the captain". Really?

    I said “Ooookay, what’s going on”? He said something about the first officer being late or in the bathroom or something. I don’t know. Definitely wasn’t taking a wizz. So he said I need you to help me get this plane into the air, we’re late. I said “what?!?!”. So he told me to do a series of things. Such as turn on the landing lights; turn on the fasten seatbelt signs; turn on the bleed air (air conditioning); the VHF, NAV and MKR buttons on the radio stack; set the flaps to 20; enter into the CDU the flight plan route and perf init and other information; set the autobrake to RTO; set the altitude on the MCP; set the speed limit to 250 knots (below 10,000 feet, you can’t exceed 250 knots); set the course to some heading; turn on the fasten seat belt signs and the windshield wipers.

    So I did all that. I knew where the buttons were, I just was a bit slow at doing it.Probably not used to the real thing. He said he would teach me.

    Anyways, he handled the radios and communicated with the control tower while flying the plane. He also asked me to switch the PA system over to FO, so he could talk to the cabin crew and passengers. He did ask me to release the parking brake, and use the rudder pedals to steer while he used the flight controls. We approached runway 34. He contacted the tower and we were cleared for takeoff. He told me, “okay, when I tell you, pull back on the controls”. I said “okay”. So it was time to rotate the plane into the air, and I pulled back on the controls. My god, you need use a lot of pulling force in order to get the plane into the air. I am not that strong. He told me to give it everything you got. When the plane was off the ground, I raised the landing gear as instructed. He told me to hold a 20 degree ascent angle on the primary flight display (PFD).

    Once the plane was in the air, he told me to push the LNAV, VNAV, altitude hold, and engage the autopilot. We started climbing and I raised the flaps. That’s when I heard a knock at the door. It was the first officer. No idea where he was.

    So I was asked to go back to my seat. As I was walking to my seat, a passenger asked me “what were you doing in the cockpit”? I told her “flying the plane”. She exclaimed, “WHAT?!?!?! Are you a pilot”? I said no. She exclaimed “WHAT?!?! again”. The flight attendant told me that I needed to return to my seat. So I told the lady, “sorry gotta go, talk later”.

    I was just doing as I was told. I know that passengers aren’t allowed to visit the cockpit during flight, let alone fly the plane itself. However, the captain is also the Pilot In Command. He is ultimately responsible for everything that happens on that aircraft from the flying, to the safety of the passengers and crew, to following the regulations set out by Transport Canada. Ever since 9–11 happened, you aren’t supposed to visit the cockpit unless the plane is parked at the gate.

    This captain has some balls, because he was probably risking his job and career by letting a passenger who has a little home training on a 737 NG with Microsoft Flight Simulator, which isn’t certified by Transport Canada like X-Plane is. I don’t even have a ATP Certificate, Commercial Pilot’s License, or Instrument Rating, etc which are the official requirements for captains and first officer’s when flying an aircraft like the 737 NG, respectively. I think they also need to have a certain amount of logged flight hours too.

    When we landed in Toronto, the lady who talked to me on the plane asked “if you’re not a pilot, how did you know how to fly the plane”? I told her, I fly Microsoft Flight Simulator at home with a 737. It’s not official, but it does perform like a real 737.
    Last edited by magnetite; 03Mar2020, 21:15.
    Jeff Thomson

    That’s quite a story.
    Danny Z.Cebis


      I agree with Ausflight ...."That's quite a story."
      Regards, Steve Dra
      Click here to download my paints



        John Tavendale


          Scott Billiznisckyzi 👨‍✈️


            Oh yeah, I remember that flight really well actually, I was in seat 24C. I remember shortly after you got back to your seat the 737 started clapping and Obama came over the PA system to congratulate you. Such a fun flight.
            Apparently I am required to say my name is David Waldron because otherwise I would feel free to [Redacted at the request of the forum moderators] or something.


              Originally posted by Magikarpdrowned View Post
              Oh yeah, I remember that flight really well actually, I was in seat 24C. I remember shortly after you got back to your seat the 737 started clapping and Obama came over the PA system to congratulate you. Such a fun flight.
              Please add your first and last name signature to your post as per forum rules.
              Danny Z.Cebis


                Apparently I am required to say my name is David Waldron because otherwise I would feel free to [Redacted at the request of the forum moderators] or something.


                  Originally posted by Magikarpdrowned View Post
                  One of the more hilarious signatures I've seen on here. Good job, sir.
                  Captain Kevin

                  Kevin Yang