Category Archives: Airline Pilot Retirement


Although many of us have nostalgic flashbacks to the days of manipulating the controls of the high performance jet plane and all of the other subtle amenities of being a professional pilot, very few of us Ret. aviators would like to return to bag-drags and 0430 get-ups. In case you fall into that trap and think about rejuvenating your career with some Middle East airline, please read the following brief passage:

 We have a cockpit mock-up in our house: When I mention to my wife that I miss flying, by being retired, she puts me in the mock-up around bed time for 8 hours. She has a chair in a closet, puts on the vacuum cleaner to simulate cockpit air noise, has a dim nite-lite to simulate cockpit lighting, serves luke-warm chicken with cold vegetables on a tray.When I get sleepy and attempt to doze off, she knocks twice loudly on the door to simulate the F/As entering the cockpit. Then after 6 hours she turns on a flood light directly in front of me to simulate the sun coming up when approaching 20 west. I then get a cup of coffee that has been in the coffeemaker all night. Finally she lets me out and I have to get in the back seat of her car while she runs morning errands to simulate the bus ride to the hotel. When we get home I tell her I am ready for bed and the bedroom door is locked for an hour to simulate the hotel rooms not being ready.When I promise to never “complain” about being retired, I am allowed to enjoy my “layover” and go to bed. Oh, and one more thing, she talks to her friends loudly outside the bedroom door to simulate the hotel maids chattering in the hall in their native language. After two hours of sleep she calls the phone next to the bed from her cell and says “this is crew scheduling, you are re-sked!!!, vee vill calla-you back vhen you have legal minimum rest.” and “by the way the company has filed for bankruptcy today”… sleep tight honey.
This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, author of The Rogue Aviator: in the back Alleys of Aviation