I wish Fokker still existed… Something about their history and their approach to aircraft design that I find really interesting. I started out as an FO on the F50. Remarkable aircraft. Way ahead of it’s contemporaries, in many ways. When I transited to the DHC8 I remember thinking ”Seriously?” on several occasions, when studying the systems.
The Integrated Alerting Unit, for one… It will just give you the engine and fire related warnings until takeoff is complete. Then the less important ones will show. On the DHC8 it will throw a master warning in your face, because the oilpressure is low…when starting the engine…!
When I did my skill test on the F50 I had a CAA examiner from another airline that operated the 50. My airline and the other one used eachothers examiners for skill tests.
Anyway, during the briefing he asked me to tell him what I knew about the IAU. I gave him what little I could remember, which wasn’t a lot.
He looked at me, turned to the white board and started to explain the whole system, in incredible detail. I deflated completely and thought I had flunked the test without even getting into the sim… When he was finished, he said ”Well, I have some inside knowledge since I worked with Fokker on the cockpit design” and then he smiled… ”Fukker”, I thought to myself.
Anyway, let’s get back to topic. Inspiring kids, right? I used to be one. A kid, being inspired, that is. I have always loved aviation, for as long as I can remember.
My thoughts on this: Kids dream. Let them! Fuel their dreams. To get through school, and life in general, we need inspiration. There’s no inspiration like following your dreams…
Every now and then our cabin attendant ask us if we’ll accept a visitor to the flightdeck. We’re only allowed to do so when parked, which usually is a busy time. But I always say yes to kids. Sometimes I just say hi and explain that we have a lot to do at the moment, but please just stand there and find three things you want to know more about, and I’ll answer your questions when we’re finished.
It takes me 30 seconds… Time well spent, I think.