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Ask the Pilot: Food!

Up now in Patrick Smith's ASK THE PILOT column: What do aircrews eat at 35,000 feet? Are "office" romances a thing of the past? How long do crews stay together, and why can't cockpits be fitted with a secure side entrance? This and more... ( More...

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Patrick Smith 2

Some excerpts from this latest Q&A column...


Q: Why can't cockpits be fitted with a secure side entrance just for the crew?
Q: What do pilots eat at 35,000 feet?
Q: Hotel layovers. Are "office" romances a thing of the past?

"…The specs will vary carrier to carrier, but as a general rule pilots are fed on any flight longer than about five hours Some stations will stock a designated crew meal, but normally we get the same food that is served in first or business class (yes, all the courses, including soup, salads and desserts). At my airline we are given a menu prior to departure and will write down our choices for dinner and breakfast. Airbus planes have a fold-out table at each pilot station. The Boeing I fly does not. Eating in the cockpit can be messy, so on international flights I usually take my meals in the cabin, on my rest break.

With potential illness in mind, pilots are encouraged to eat different entrees, but this is not a hard and fast rule. In practice it comes to down to your preferences and what’s available. On my carrier's flights from Brazil, the caterers will stock a special meal exclusively for the captain. The foil-covered entree has a sticker marked COMANDANTE BREAKFAST. Some foreign stations will also bring a tray of sandwiches or appetizers just for the crew, in addition to our regular meals.

Shorter-haul domestic and regional pilots are on their own. It’s pretzels, peanuts, the food court, or whatever you carry from home. And when you find yourself at the Hampton Inn at midnight, starved from a lack of catering... it's noodle time!
As you might recall, I'm a certified Grand Master of Ramen. Give me a packet of Trader Joe's finest noodles, some Guyanese hot sauce, and an in-room coffee maker, and I'll show you a feast…"

The FULL article is here:


REVERE BEACH REVERIE: A City; A Beach; An Airport

"...Then as now, the city of Revere was a gritty, in many ways charmless place: Rows of triple-deckers and block after block of ugly, two-story colonials garnished in gaudy wrought-iron. (Revere is a city so architecturally hopeless that it can never become gentrified or trendy in the way that other Boston suburbs have.) Irish and Italian families spoke in a tough, North Shore accent that had long ago forsaken the letter R. Shit-talking kids drove Camaros and Trans-Ams, the old country cornuto horns glinting over their chest hair.

Revere's beach was the first public beach in the United States. Like the rest of the city, it wasn't the kind of place that lent itself to niceties or sentimental descriptions. The rollercoasters had long ago burned down and the boulevard was dotted by biker hangouts and the sort of honky tonk bars and restaurants that, as a kid, you never dared set foot in, no matter how bad you needed to use the bathroom. But it had the sand, and water that was clean enough to swim in -- with those long, flat, shimmering low tides that seemed to recede all the past Nahant and into the horizon. We spent our summers here -- nearly all of the weekends and many of the weekdays too. My parents would have the car packed by 10 a.m. I remember the folding chairs, the towels, and the endless supply of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion, its oily coconut aroma mixed with the hot stink of sun-baked Oldsmobile leather.

But for me, the real thrill was the airplanes. Revere Beach's mile-long swath lines up almost perfectly with Logan International Airport's runway 22L, the arrivals floating past at regular intervals, so low you'd think you could hit them with one of the discarded Michelob bottles poking from the sand…."

The FULL article is here:

All Things Air Travel since 2002
Great articles. Thanks!


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