Not All Heroes Wear Capes: American Airlines Captain Cleans His Own Windshield

A reader was flying from Charlotte to Cleveland on American Airlines flight 1264 Thursday morning when he caught the moment that an entrepreneurial pilot went the extra mile to ensure their aircraft was ready to fly.

With all the staff shortages and cancellations one pilot is chipping in to help. ⁦@FAANews⁩ @nytimestravel⁩ @AmericanAir⁩ ⁦@garyleff⁩ ⁦@thepointsguy⁩ ⁦@ALPAPilots⁩

— OLAVIZJR (@OLAVIZJR) September 15, 2022

The reader tells me they “popped into the cockpit after the flight and told him I had taken his picture and that I was going to tweet about it.” The pilot explained the window “was dirty, so I cleaned it.”

The flight under his command pushed back 6 minutes early, and arrived 9 minutes early

Self-driving cars are here, but the biggest barrier is regulation. One day our grandchildren will ask us whether people really drove their own cars, and didn’t that cause us to get into accidents? Of course it does! Tesla ‘full self driving’ may be a bit of an exaggeration, and you have to remain in control of the vehicle, mostly for liability reasons.

Pilots remain in control of planes because the stakes are even greater, and 737 MAX disasters proved the consequences of a faulty angle of attack sensor and the need for a human being to know to hit the stab trim cutout switch (among other methods of counteracting Boeing’s MCAS system).

You want an experienced pilot in control. And you want the pilot to be able to see where they’re going. I want a pilot who takes ownership of this themselves, and doesn’t even delay passengers to get there by wiping the windshield themselves. Gettin’ the job done!

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