Everyone agrees that being an airplane pilot is a serious job: the captain training alone takes between two to three years, in addition to the practical portion. However, beyond the importance of a good training, being a pilot is a job and, like many others, it also has fun facts. Andrés Perez knows well each fun fact. The manager of the A320 fleet, he joined the LATAM team at the age of 22 and has accumulated 10,500 flight hours. And while he can talk about the technical part of aviation, he loves to share some fun facts about life in the cockpit. Below, check out five random (but very interesting) aspects that he helps to unveil.
Before taking off, the pilot asks passengers to put their phones on airplane mode. For what reason?
We do this because mobile devices could interfere with the communications frequency and radio signals.
Do pilots and copilots have their own restroom?
No. We use the restrooms closer to the cockpit – but we have a safety procedure for this.
Is it true that pilots and copilots don’t eat the same food? Why?
It’s true, we don’t eat the same food. It’s a safety measure, in case someone gets food poisoning.
What do pilots and copilots talk about during a flight? Do they have normal conversations or just dictate commands?
Some flight stages are considered more critical, so until they are over, all the conversations are strictly about operations. After this period (in the so-called cruising altitude, for example), the truth is that we talk about a little of everything: family, work, the landscapes, and all kinds of things.
What was the longest flight of your career? And what about the most curious, for any reason?
My longest (and non-stop) flight was to Los Angeles on a B767 – approximately a 10-and-a-half-hour flight. With the planes that I operate, I haven’t traveled to Oceania or Europe, which are longer routes. Meanwhile, the most curious flight was a red eye, from Arica to Santiago, a couple of years ago. The first officer and I saw a light coming towards us that suddenly disappeared, inexplicably fast. We asked the control tower if they had any information, but there was nothing on the radar. A few minutes later, however, another plane saw the same thing.