Ethnography Micro-Culture of Pilots: Detailed Notes: Interview 2

Detailed Notes: Interview 2


Types of Airlines:

  • Major-Flies in US and all over world: Delta, United, American
  • Commuter
  • Regional- Flies in US (with in Region)
  • Cargo-Big Cargo/Small Cargo: Big- Flying Tigers: Ex: Cars. Boats, Race Horses (98) Small Ex: Fed Ex, UPS
  • Charter Services– 12 person at max: Private person wants to fly from a to b, has the money,
  • (Corporate- not sure of this, don’t think its an actual airline.) Small Jets, 4-12 people, big corporate run jets, executives fly for business, unlike major airline pilot stays with plane. 


All airlines connected by code sharing. (ALL?)  Share cost of ticket

 Type of Airline:  Airlines with in Airline Type: Where Flies (Regional/International):  (Passengers? If so #):  (Cargo? Is so what):

 All Major Airlines more than one base. EX: Washington Dulles.

Where Planes are based:


  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Denver
  • Newark
  • Guam
  • Washington


The Hub and Spoke System. (Everybody calls it that.)

(United express) Wilkesberre PA- to Hub at Dulles- to Ft. Lauderdale Fl.

Bases are Hubs

There are Exceptions 767.

“Spoke out”


Building Time Process

Major Airline a Pilot- Military or Civilian

As Civilian: 4 year school, Bachelor’s

What you get coming out of college: flight instructor certificate, bachelor of science


-A commercial license mean more time, more knowledge about airplane, more maneuvers,

No Airline job- Building TIME: Time per step

  • Private pilots liscense: Teaching others to Fly.
  • Fort. Myers Airway- Charter. HAVE NAME? 1,200 hours, able to ride along with other pilots Carribean islands-
  • Charter Passenger– build time as Charter- another could thousand (SPECIFIC)
  • Charter Captain: ?
  • Commuter (Captain or Passenger as start?)- build time as captain on commuter- 35 people/21 people plane- carrying people to bigger airport “Hub”  Like Wilkesberre to Dulles.
  • Cargo? (Next Step?) Flying Tigers: 8,400
  • Commercial: United – building more hours-to-
  • Bigger airplanes with in the airline.(Example?) Personal: 30.000 hours flying time. (Typical/non-typical?)


Unruly Passengers Post 911:   (Pre??)

  1. Ground
  • Flight Attendant?
  • Customer Service Agent
  • Police
  1. Before Pushback
    1. Customer Service Agent
    2. Police


  1. at Gate: Customer Service agent takes care of situation.
    1. Customer Service Agent
    2. Police


  1. Reasons:
    1. Fear of Flying
    2. Unable to control surrounding
    3. Drugs
    4. Bad Day
    5. Bad Weather
    6. Delays
    7. Something Wrong…mentally?
    8. Frustration
    9. Too much to drink


  • Solution: Realizing they either calm down or get off the plane


In Air: IF bad enough, flight attendant &/or with help of another passenger will restrain unruly passenger. When the Airplane lands police escort passenger off the plane. Plastic ties = retraint.. Also duck tape to seat if necessary- usually rare.  Usually a medical emergency before this ever happens.


Flight attendants have medical training

 90% of the time usually a passenger is a doctor.

 Portable defibulater on board.


From cockpit they have a Dr. to call, everyone talks and decides if the medical emergency passenger needs immediate assistance, if so- Divert.  Medical emergency in air more likely than unruly passenger in air. More likely than unruly passenger on ground.


Happens a lot. On United: Under 1,000 times per week.


  • Administrative offices
  • Pilot’s ground offices. (them of chiefs?)
  • Mailboxes
  • (where to go for emergency days off)
  • Chief Pilot Offices
  • (pick up parking tag)
  • Certain times multiple crews in operations.
  • Pre-Flighting
  • View Paperwork
  • Weather


Jet way: Piece connected to terminal building on wheels.


Gate: where everybody/passengers congrates to board plane/Where customer service agent is


Number on Boeing Airplanes: Sequence on Production


Air Manufacturers:

  1. 1.     Airbus
  2. 2.     Boeing
  • Production: 7×7 -?
  • 727-early 60’s: passenger
  • 737- smaller: ?
  • 747- late 60s: one of biggest airplane: ?
  • 757- early 70s: ?
  • 767: Mid 80s: ?
  • 777: 2000s: ?
  • 787: came out 4 years ago (2010?): ?

Biggest Planes Today: Air Bus 380 & Boeing 747-400

Why different sizes of airplanes?

Are planes used differently?




Air Emergency:

  • Mechanical Error
  • 90% Weather
  • Pilot Error

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