Travel Links We Like for 12/12

We don’t like to think that collecting links to stories we liked this week is lazy blogging, we like to think it helps justify all the online reading we did while we were meant to be working on something else. We also like to think it will help you discover something you’ll like too.

So here’s our soon-to-be weekly roundup of Travel Links We Like.

Notable Travel Books of 2014, by Andrew McCarthy
McCarthy begins his roundup with the admission that travel writing is complicated these days: “in our Google Maps world, even once sleepy places like poor Provence have become hackneyed and played out.” He still manages to find five titles — three titles about exploring the world and two compilations of …

Majority of British Air Travelers Surveyed ‘Don’t Trust’ Female Pilots

Aeroplane
Flickr/Vox Efx

Fifty-one percent of British air travelers “don’t trust” female pilots, citing their inability to handle pressure, according to a poll conducted by U.K.-based travel site sunshine.co.uk and reported by The Daily Mail.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said the pilot’s gender was irrelevant while 14 percent were less likely to trust a male pilot. Respondents who did not trust a man heading the cockpit, cited their “hot headedness” and ability to be easily distracted as reasons for their distrust.One possible reason for the unease about female pilots: their relative rareness. Ten percent of respondents said their previous crews had been exclusively male. And the Huffington Post points out a 2010 FAA report that notes of the 266,000 commercial pilots in America, only about 8,715 were female.

Pilot Fired After Rough Landing

rough landing
Arrow712/Flickr


Forget where your seat is located, how much legroom you have or the race to claim overhead storage space. These are all parts of flying that some passengers are better at coping with than others. One element of flight that all passengers share is landing. Usually, the aircraft glides in for a smooth landing or seems to hop or skip a bit as it touches down. But what if it hits the runway so hard that the plane’s nose gear collapses? That’s exactly what happened during the rough landing of a Southwest Airlines flight.

The result: Captain fired.

On Southwest Airlines flight 345 last July, a veteran captain and 13-year pilot took over the controls of the Boeing 737 as it approached the runway.Southwest policy calls for the aircraft’s main wheels under the wings to touch down first, reports Bloomberg. In this case, the front landing gear touched down first, snapped off and damaged the aircraft. Nine passengers were injured. Traffic at New York’s LaGuardia airport was disrupted for hours.

The incident is still under investigation.

NTSB: Capt. Took Command Seconds Before 'Nose' Landing

Now Is A Good Time To Become A Pilot

If you’ve ever wanted to become a pilot, now is a good time to follow through on that desire. According to USA Today, airlines are now preparing to face a pilot shortage that will leave the industry needing almost half a million new pilots by 2032.

Three of the biggest factors behind this swelling need for pilots are expanding fleets for many airlines, more complex laws enacted regarding pilot safety, and approaching retirement for many pilots. The increase in pilot demand is greater than previously reported by Boeing and the fact that flight school loans can sometimes reach $100,000 isn’t helping to narrow the gap between pilot supply and demand.

So if becoming a pilot has always been a dream of yours, now is a good time to realize that dream –- the travel industry needs you.

Flight Attendants Sit In For 40-Minute Pilot Break

Two Air India pilots have come under fire after they took a 40-minute break from the cockpit and asked flight attendants to sit in for them. Their stunt almost ended in disaster when one of the flight attendants accidentally turned off autopilot, endangering the lives of the 166 passengers on board, The Mumbai Mirror is reporting.

According to the news outlet, the plane was 30 minutes into a flight from Bangkok to Delhi when First Officer Ravindra Nath asked a flight attendant to occupy his seat while he excused himself for a bathroom break. A few minutes later, co-pilot Captain B K Soni also decided to leave the cockpit, and asked another flight attendant to keep an eye on things. According to reports, the co-pilot spent a few minutes teaching the two flight attendants how to operate the aircraft (phew!) before leaving to take a nap in a business class seat.

It seems First Officer Nath emerged from the bathroom and decided to join Captain Soni for a snooze – that is, until one of the flight attendants accidentally switched off autopilot. The two wingmen jumped up and ran back to the cockpit to regain control, but their devious antics didn’t go unnoticed. A senior cabin crewmember who witnessed the dramatic events brought the incident to the attention of the airline’s management, and all four parties involved were de-rostered and later suspended pending an investigation.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Naddsy]