The Pilot Shortage: A New Perspective

By Robert Mark on July 14th, 2008

Every so often Jetwhine is lucky enough to unexpectedly receive an important work of prose from another professional mind. Today we have one from Frank Froman, a St. Louis psychologist, a man with a secret dream, but a man who also knows how to solve a problem when he’s confronted with it. It’s men like Frank that just might hold some of the solutions the airlines are seeking … maybe!

American767_jetwhine“It was quite an adventure, American Airlines Flight 2020A from St. Louis to New York,” Frank wrote us recently. “I think the cabin announcement went something like this…

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to flight 2020A flying today from St. Louis to New York’s airport, whichever one we can get into. We hope this is a comfortable trip for you.

And do we have a pilot on board? No? Ouch.

Anyone who has ever flown a 737 here maybe?

No? How about anyone with dual engine experience?

Mmmm. Anyone with single engine and instrument flying experience?


How about a visual-only pilot?

OK, how about a private pilot who learns quickly?”

Silence … “Anyone then who learned something about flying but never quite got to the pilot license level?”

That’s when I stood up.

“Come this way, the flight attendant told me. “I sat in the captain’s chair. Here’s an airplane manual and checklist. We’re getting pushed out of the gate now, so just follow the instructions. This plane is highly automated and nearly flies itself.”

It seemed only reasonable to assist in these tight eco-times.

Frank Froman


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One Response to “The Pilot Shortage: A New Perspective”

  1. Richard Cooper Says:

    The only thing to add to Mr. Fromans letter is the punch line from the old joke about the announcement on the plane that it is flying on automatic and nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, etc. JJ

    Saludos from Cabo San Lucas,

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