Airline Pilot

I met an airline pilot who told me he only tells people that he is an airline pilot at funerals. That sounded strange, perhaps a joke but later I realized how he might do that to answer the dumb things people say at funerals.

One possibility would be when someone says of the deceased, “He has angel wings now and is flying with the angels.”

The pilot might reply, “I am an airline pilot and I must say that angel wings would not work. If you watch David Copperfield in his flying illusion, you can see that he rotates around his belly button, not his shoulders, when he does a somersault in midair. His center of lift must be at his center of gravity to allow balanced flight.”

Another case would be when a widow says, “He was the wind beneath my wings!”

The pilot might feel compelled to say, “Pardon me, but I am an airline pilot and I wonder if you have looked under airplane wings. Under the wings there can be landing gear, engine pylons, bombs, rockets, auxiliary fuel tanks and radomes. Turbulence and drag are generated under an airplane’s wings. It is not a very good compliment to say, you are the turbulence and drag in my life. It would be better to consider the upper surface of a wing. The smooth camber of the wing guides the laminar flow of the relative wind, creating maximum lift with a minimum of induced drag.”

It is a compliment to say, “You are the wind above my wings. You lift me up!