In over five years of flying I never met a single pilot I couldn’t sit down and have a pint and a chat with. There were a few that were madder than a box of badgers but they just added a bit of colour to proceedings. The vast majority were dead sound, intelligent, well-travelled (duh) broadminded men and women and more than a few were from countries other than the U.S.
A modest European contingent included a small number of pilots from Ireland and on more than one occasion Crew Scheduling put an all Irish crew together by mistake. Cue the mighty passenger head wrecking. To save fuel we would often start lengthy taxis with just the one engine. Not so obvious to the passengers in a CRJ but very much so to those misfortunes stuck with me in a J-41. Most people are shit scared of flying to begin with but when they are jammed into a tiny 29 seat turboprop that has one of those props very obviously not turning as we approach the runway it’s hard to keep a straight face.
Seat 7A “Er…excuse me Miss? Did the captain forget to turn the other engine on”
Me ” Jaysus! Hold on there now missus while I give him a call *Picks up intercom” “C’mon owra that ye bollix and start that feckin’ engine…Yeah? Ye said that the last time!”
More Big Gulps than 7-11 I tell you.
So on and so forth. Another time I was in White Plains with the aforementioned Murphy and there was a wedding going on at the hotel we were in. Two of the guests left a huge cooler full of drink in striking distance. We immediately absconded with said drink. We eventually gave it back (most of it anyway)once we had negotiated a decent ransom.
The daily porn hunt was just funnier with an Irish crew. It was just another part of the pre-flight ritual to pull up the seat cushions and look in all the nooks and crannies to locate the ridiculous porn torn from magazines and stashed all over the planes by the previous crew. Most of the time it was confined to the cockpit. The only time I ever lost it in front of passengers was when I heard one of my countrymen spluttering in astonishment at finding something especially ridiculous.
” Aaahh Good jaysus would ya look at dat? Wha?”
I had to beg the passengers pardon (much to their amusement)and take a seat for a minute until I could get the laughing under control.
FAQ for Irish Crews
Q Is it true there are no snakes in Ireland?
A. Yes. The giant spiders ate them all
Q Are you from Scotland/Australia/South Africa/Canada?
A. Fuck off for yourself.
Q. I love your accent.Where are you from?
A . Detroit.
Q. Have you read Angela’s Ashes?
A. They haven’t got the Braille edition yet…now where’s the front of the plane again?
Q. Are you spending the night in Columbus?
A. Yes…but not with you.
and my all time favourite
Q. How much have YOU guys had to drink today?
A. Ladies and Gentleman thanks to the thundering gobshite in 10 A .Your crew now has to go and take a drug and alcohol test. Unfortunately this means that your flight will be delayed (if we can find a spare crew) and may even be cancelled (if we can’t) Once again. This comes to you from 10A. Thundering gobshite. We love you.He does not.
Somehow it just wasn’t as funny with the others.