Pilots being tools.

mikefsfr

Epic Member
May 31, 2010
1,212
3
38
Train Me.
After hearing 4 stories about pilots treating controllers like pure shit on fam trips, its kinda getting to me now. From pilots telling the controller conducting the fam trip to not speak unless an emergency, or summoning the controller to to coach- it really chaps my ass. I'd love to hear other controllers stories about the familiarization trips and what you thought of it.
 

jtomes

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2010
270
1
18
Memphis TN
I've heard from numerous coworkers that have said nothing but great things about crews. Granted they were all from one cargo company might have something to do with it.
 

atcguruaf

Rico Suave
Jan 4, 2009
1,377
0
36
Right here
Getting summoned to coach sounds fine to me. Not talking unless an emergency happens also isn't a big deal. Why?

1. Getting a coach seat for free is more comfortable than the cockpit.
2. Not being able to talk unless an emergency is okay because it means I fill out my "objectives" sheet as "objectives not accomplished due to pilot instructing me to speak only in the event of an emergency".

I understand the gripe, but there is some positive to the situation - especially flying for free on duty time.
 

mbalunda

Epic Member
Jan 31, 2009
2,867
15
38
I had no issues on mine. Both legs I talked with the pilots most of the flight. The first, and younger, crew I was with didn't seem too interested in ATC, but as soon as they realized I was not an inspector they were very friendly. Had the flight attendants bringing me drinks and snacks, etc. The other crew was more veteran and the pilot had a lot of questions for me. He talked most of the flight actually. The only time they told me not to talk was under 10,000 feet which is during the sterile cockpit time. Even during that time though they encouraged that I speak up if I felt anything was wrong.

Were the complaints from different airlines?

Besides TSA issues I've heard no complaints from anyone at my facility.
 

ATC HD

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2008
130
0
16
Raleigh, north carolina
I fam'ed ATL to SAN and back on Delta. On the way out it was a 737, return trip was a 757. Both trips were awesome and both crews were really cool guys. Especially on the return trip, you could tell the guys really enjoyed their jobs. Both crews did ask if Southwest bought us pizza. Had to tell them I'd never worked them so I didn't know.
 

j_time41

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2008
1,015
9
38
34
Lakeville, MN
Ive been on 2 FAMs, with a total of 10 flights. Crews have been great. The main thing is, most crews know nothing about the program. Its more of a pain to get past TSA and ticketing.

If they know nothing about the program, and are a little wary of you being in the cockpit, I have had co-workers that have been denied the jumpseat. Its up the captain. They are responsible for the safety of their crew and plane.

In the cockpit, most of the time they were asking me question about procedures, why we did this and that, joked about annoying things we both did, ect. It was enjoyable.

Be VERY careful about not sitting in the cockpit. I got bumped in 2 instances because someone else needed the jumpseat. This is on record, and you would be in deep do-do if it was found out you rode in back.

In general, it IS a pain to FAM, but the free flights were worth it.

As far a pilots being A-holes, there are a few bad apples on both sides of the radio. It happens.
 

ignoramus89

Rookie
May 3, 2010
38
0
6
What is the deal with the rules about the FAM flights now? I was told that after 9/11 it has become a pain in the ass with all of the paperwork and extra procedures. I hane heard stories from controllers that used to just show up to an airport and hop a flight to vegas, but they say that has all stopped.

I understand pilots and the FAA getting mad about controllers just using it as a free flight, but I would find it fascinating to fly in the cockpit. The free flight would be a bonus. Wouldnt it make sense for pilots and controllers to go see whats happening on the other side of the radio?
 

UNDgrad06

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,309
14
38
Peachtree City, GA
I am sure there are some. There are also plenty of ATCer's who are tools. I have been on a tour of an ATC facility as a CPC and I was told don't talk to the controllers, just observe. I was like, WTF? I think I know not to talk when they are busy/talking. But each facility/airline/crew/Stupe is different. There are some centers that are laid back with people joking/talking constantly. There are some I have visited where it is very serious in the control room and people just don't do that either.
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
My fam flight was in the back of an F15 and I was to busy trying to not have my head snap off my neck from the G's to ask to many questions lol
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
Probably one of the best 2 hours of my life. We were supposed to meet up with a tanker right after departure which would have been awesome and great photo op but the tanker cancelled. So we just went out over the Gulf and pretended to be Venezualan AF Su25's attacking Key West. I was doing ok until we dove from FL380 to 3000ft in about 6 seconds, breaking the sound barrier. My stomach never caught up lol it's crazy what those guys do on a daily basis.
 

Ice_cold656

Epic Member
Jun 12, 2010
2,685
24
38
Bout to be out this B
I fam'ed ATL to SAN and back on Delta. On the way out it was a 737, return trip was a 757. Both trips were awesome and both crews were really cool guys. Especially on the return trip, you could tell the guys really enjoyed their jobs. Both crews did ask if Southwest bought us pizza. Had to tell them I'd never worked them so I didn't know.
Southwest bought the tower controllers here in Atlanta pizza
 

JoshATC

Epic Member
Jun 27, 2010
1,384
7
38
ZLA CPC
Got a ride on a F4 in 2010, took off as a 3 ship max climb to FL180. I was in number 2. As we passed 13,000 number 3 called saying he had engine problems. The pilot I was riding with immediantly knifed the plane over to go back for number 3. My stomach went from my Ballz to my brains in a split second. It hurt! We help number 3 back to the airport.. Dropped him off, then went to the MOA and played..

Awesome experience!
 

Radium

Epic Member
Jan 14, 2009
1,988
8
38
Ive been on 2 trips so far, so thats 8 flight crews.. Always been interesting. I enjoy it. Sometimes lots of ATC talk, sometimes random aviation talk. Def had one guy who seemed douchy who didnt want me up there, politely kicked me out to a seat (coach)... which was awesome cause then I just slept.

Love hearing them bash on the other airlines (just like we bash on the other ATC areas).

Lots of people dont know what the hell it is, so sometimes is tricky getting thru the lineup. I def fake it hard enough that they pretty much just do what I say. I always pre board with the crew, cause I dont wanna wait with the riffraff. And def go to the head of the security line cause im on faa biz.

They freak out when they hear our crazy work hours. And dont tell the RJ guys how much you make, or they slit their wrists mid flight (some pilots ask)
 

Flygirl1882

Newcomer
Oct 13, 2009
12
0
1
Florida
It’s nice to see they’ve reinstated FAM trips, as I heard they nearly quit that program for several years. It really helps understanding what happens on both sides of the glass. With all due respect the jumpseat is a privilege not a right, extended from one pilot to another, or FAA checkrides.
If more people knew about the thousands of pilots 5 years away from retirement with little to no pension after their company declared chapter 11, flying twice as many passengers they were 20 years ago for half the pay, extended 6 day trips with a few 16 hour duty days mixed in, flying around an overwhelmingly thankless public… there may be a little wiggle room for the random bad day.
I hope you do take advantage of the FAM flights as they are extremely beneficial for both pilots and controllers. And please try and be a little understanding if you have the misfortune to come across a rare unpleasant crew. There’s bound to be a spotty apple in the bunch… it happens from time to time on both sides. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the neat people you’ll meet up front, enjoy the ride!! J
 

Radium

Epic Member
Jan 14, 2009
1,988
8
38
true that, think of all tha D bad controllers we work with... you know you work with one whos just a huge dick to pilots for no reason