The average person could never be qualified as a high performance jet pilot ...The combination of not only IQ , but also psycho motor coordination , situational awareness , passing 1st class FAA medical standards are some of factors which pre emt "six pack Joe"...Consider that the pilots are not just "workers" ...they are thinkers ...People who reach this degree of excellence should be tolerant and patient ...If much of the mainstream public had this level of aptitude , they would be flying the airplane , and a great many of the incumbent pilots would be loading the baggage or cleaning the toilets ..Some people have it....and some don't. It is especially difficult for an international; Captain to be humble. .....however - a reality not acceptable to the Hoi Polloi .
my are we not special.. There is a plethora of pilots , unemployed, that could step into your place, and I daresay, better than you and your self importance.. If you doubt it , just quit, and see how fast you are replaced..and many others who may think like you... I tend to belive that most are the "six pack joes" just doing a days work, and most likely flew for one of our services, Navy, AF etc.. where they got superior training , and, like most military, were underpaid Think ECON 101 .. Supply and Demand
Wholeheartedly agree that pilots have not been accorded the respect they are due from AA. There are probably four to five disciplines that I rely on when I travel. Chiefly, I rely on the pilots' extensive training, discipline, and ability to react accordingly to whatever crisis may arise. Thereafter - remaining flight crew, flight attendants, maintenance, ops management for scheduling and logistics.
I do not believe the C-level suite, HR, IT, and Finance have been the key drivers and influencers of the strategic direction/profitability of the company which has been clearly evident now and over the past decade....
Learning to fly a plane is almost as easy as learning to drive a bus, of course the bus driver has to be more careful as he's only a matter of a few feet from other cars and buses on the road. The manufacturers of airplanes both small and large planes had to make them "user friendly" that is if they wanted to SELL them. There's really no huge mystique about what makes a plane fly and how to do it. Of course learning and understanding how it works is all covered in the training process. Today with GPS and Auto-Pilots these thing literally fly themselves. They can also take-off and land themselves without pilots.
Twinpiper, with all due respect, you sound like you are about 12 years old. Your ignorance of the skills, duties and responsibilities of todays professional aviators is astounding. To take a highly complex aircraft into todays highly complex airspace system that is affected by a very dynamic atmosphere demands even more precision today than it did 50 years ago. Hundreds, if not thousands of times a day, a pilot has to disconnect the autopilot, usually while asking, "what are you doing now?" Then they find the "hiccup", fix it and re-engage what ever level of automation they deem appropriate. So much for these things taking-off and landing themselves. Can they Autoland? Yes, but they have to be set up by the crew and closely monitored. As a passenger, I wouldn't have it any other way.