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    Tom Otley

    Apologies for those not in the UK – though I hear there are various ways to watch UK TV abroad, but this programme starts tonight on Channel 4

    For forum threads on watching UK TV abroad, these may be useful



    Excellent programme.



    It’s quite a backwards industry. It’s interesting they all aspire to fly for the airlines, and vice versa.

    The working environment forces them to develop a model of risk that is not appropriate in a safe operation – which if why these guys are often overlooked by risk averse airlines.



    quite interesting based on the competition for jobs in the jumbos. Loved some of the runways.



    Really great programme – I learnt things about Indonesia I never knew!



    Brilliant programme! Loved the “interesting” baggage some people brought… the rifle and machete 🙂



    Put my experiences in Indonesia into perspective – arriving in Banda where short runway meant only some of the arrivals could fly back out – Indo Minister of Tourism was on the Pelni boat for his return –
    An arrival in Manado circling with low fuel through cloud until the pilot could get his bearings (the stewardess opposite me was praying)

    Great country and great programme


    And where is the worst place to be a pilot? Living in the sticks I missed all the action.


    Tom Otley

    Broadly… Indonesia.

    “Series 1 Summary

    Worst Place to be a Pilot follows the highs and lows in the lives of the young British pilots who work for Indonesian airline Susi Air.

    The pilots must fly in the testing outer regions of Indonesia, where the weather is unpredictable and often runways are cut into the side of mountains and separated by miles of dense jungle – making it one of the most dangerous places to fly in the world.”



    Next episode on the 26th Aug, two more to come. Fascinating stuff.

    @Alexpo… Worst place could be Easy at LGW…all the 04.00 starts!!!



    Xuluman, interesting point you made, in effect would you want these pilots flying your A320 LHR to MAD?

    It all seemed rather “complete the mission irrelevant of the risk”. The dog on the runway incident left me feeling somewhat uneasy. Twice he asked the tower to remove the dog, good call. Because they did not understand it, he went anyway, dog still snoozing on the runway. Bad call.

    One of the guys was a poker player as a wage earner before becoming a pilot, clearly a risk taker….

    I guess these guys would be good at getting you out of a tight spot, but can’t help thinking it would be them that would get you in to it in the first place. .

    So would I fly Susi Air….yes, because it looks mad and fun……would I want them on my commute to Madrid…no.



    For those unable to see the programme here is a link to Tsinga airstrip.

    Nobody has mentioned the laundry bill!!!!



    Nice link (ImC)

    It seems that indonesia has competition from pakistan if BBC report on PIA in “from our own correspondent” is anything to go on!



    MrMichael – exactly. Most crashes caused by pilot error are because of this mentality of pushing on regardless….and unfortunately they are developing that mentality out in Susi air as demonstrated several times during the programme.

    Had a guy the other day come on the flight deck….”I’m a pilot too, I fly the PA28. This is all easy though, it’s just autopilot isn’t it. If you become incapacitated I’m sitting in 1C, and I can land it, at least I did on flight sim.”

    …To which he received a big thumbs up. Commercial flying is not a sport, we don’t come to work to throw it around and have a bit of fun. We try to operate, where practical, as safely as possible – And that usually means ‘managing’ the flight through the autopilot. It’s not a competition.

    The guy from the programme – He doesn’t realise sadly, and perhaps that speaks volumes, but allowing himself to be filmed making the decision to take off regardless has just excluded him from every airline he’d care to join. Absolutely a head in hands moment. We aren’t looking for hero’s like he seems to think.

    I have of course some colleagues with similar traits. And thankfully, one by one they are getting fired. They are given many chances, re-training, written warnings etc, but they just cannot get it out their system. It’s the same people every time, no coincidence. No sympathy.

    The point being, somewhere in their background they developed this sort of decision making, and it is very difficult to resist instinct in the heat of the moment. It’s places like Susi Air that are encouraging it – contributing to 3 fatal accidents in the last year. It’s not to be celebrated. Sending fresh cadets out there to learn the ropes is not doing them any good, and it is certainly not a stepping stone into the airlines as they hope.

    Still it’s a fun programme, and I’d love to give it a go sometime.

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