Private jet pilot lifts the veil on his incredible life in the skies, revealing the famous people he’s flown, how much he earns (it’s a lot) and whether he’s ever seen a UFO
- The pilot created a Reddit thread called ‘I’m a private jet pilot – ask me anything!’
- The questions came thick and fast on a bewildering range of subjects
- READ MORE: Passenger planes in the future might have AI pilots
A private jet pilot has lifted the veil on his amazing life in a fascinating online Q&A.
The aviator took to Reddit and started a thread with the title ‘I’ve been a private jet pilot for 15 years – ask me anything!’
He explained that he has been a private pilot for around 15 years and that he’s qualified to fly the Citation 500 series and Embraer Legacy 500 aircraft, among others.
Then the questions came thick and fast.
One early enquiry, from ‘kay_till’, was, ‘What’s the craziest thing that has happened on a private flight’?
A private jet pilot has lifted the veil on his amazing life in a fascinating online Q&A. The aviator took to Reddit and started a thread with the title ‘I’ve been a private jet pilot for 15 years – ask me anything!’ (file image)
The pilot, who goes by the name Legacy500Driver on Reddit, said: ‘A lot of people assume the back of a private jet is a place of debauchery. Honestly, 99.9 per cent of the time it is boring. The occasional person will try to light a cig, and I have found a small vile of what I assume was cocaine, or an A-list athlete will party too hard in Vegas and throw up.’
Has he ever seen a couple try and become members of the mile-high club (user ‘GaryV83_at_Work’)?
‘Yes,’ the pilot wrote. ‘I can only recall once that I know of, and they were very subtle about it, but I happened to turn around and she was sitting on his lap and I quickly turned around.’
The pilot was asked if the Earth was round or flat – ‘definitely round’ came the reply (file image)
‘Do you get tipped by your clients?’ asked ‘Emotional-Reaction49’.
Legacy500Driver wrote: ‘Charter pilots can usually expect some tips. One of my fave passengers when I flew charters was a well-known football player for the Chicago Bears, who has since retired. I used to fly him to Vegas and he would tip $1,000 [£800] without fail.
‘Other perks are things like collecting hotel rewards points. I stay at Marriott properties and built up enough status and points that all of my personal vacations are free. The same is true for rental cars. Not to mention when a passenger goes to a cool destination, I am there enjoying it as we typically stay nearby in case they want to go home early. So if they are in Iceland for a week, so am I, and they are paying for everything.’
‘User-no-relation’ chimed in with ‘how much do you make?’
Quite a lot, it would seem.
The pilot wrote: ‘A pilot at my level can expect $250k – $350k [£200,000-£240,000] based upon a few factors such as home base, schedule, etc… ‘
‘Massive-Particular51’, meanwhile, wanted to know the identity of the most famous person the pilot had ever flown.
Legacy500Driver didn’t name any names, but did reveal that he’s flown ‘a former president, someone who played Batman, an A-list couple with many children that have since divorced, a well-known country band that has recently split, and various Oscar winners and nominees’.
Have you seen anything up there you couldn’t explain? This was a query from ‘Iamanediblefriend’.
Legacy500Driver wrote: ‘Yes. Most things end up having an explanation, such as we realize it’s a weather balloon as we get closer. Once I saw something metallic that I can’t really explain, but it also didn’t do anything particularly crazy such as change directions quickly that made me jump to the UAP [unidentified aerial phenomena] assumption.’
‘Have you ever fulfilled requests to go elsewhere mid-flight?’ was the question posed by ‘justelectricboogie’.
The pilot said: ‘I once was flying someone from Seattle to NY and as we got close to Chicago he remembered his favorite steak house was there and asked if we could stop. Otherwise, we change destinations mid-flight based upon weather at the destination most often.’
Other questions touched on whether the Earth is round or flat – ‘most definitely round… at 51,000ft [private jets fly higher than commercial airliners] you can see the subtle curve of the Earth’ – what the pilot does with his time on autopilot – ‘check emails, listen to a podcast, take care of paperwork, keep a watchful eye and scan everything… and we have frequent radio communications’ – and whether a passenger ever did something that made him fear for his safety.
He replied: ‘Rarely, maybe too hungover or drinking a little too much on the flight but create a little artificial turbulence such that the drink would spill and they’ll stop.’
When asked for advice on getting over a fear of turbulence, the pilot said: ‘Know that turbulence while uncomfortable and can cause injury when not in a seat belt has rarely ever been the cause of an airplane crash. As in so extremely rare I can’t think of an actual crash caused by turbulence off the top of my head.’
The pilot wrote: ‘One of my fave passengers when I flew charters was a well-known football player for the Chicago Bears, who has since retired. I used to fly him to Vegas and he would tip $1,000 [£800] without fail’ (file image)
One user asked if turbulence is less severe in a private jet than a commercial airliner.
The pilot said: ‘Generally less simply due to the fact we can fly higher. Airlines might be getting beat up at 35,000 and 38,000ft and we are smooth at 45,000ft. Very little weather ever reaches that high with the exception of a massive thunderstorm and even then it’s so rare it’s easy to fly around. Clear air turbulence can be at all altitudes but seems to diminish that high. We experience most of our turbulence on the climb out and arrival portions where we now line up with the airliners.’
The pilot also revealed the cheapest way to fly in a private jet, explaining: ‘The jet is sold by the hour, not by the seat, so if you find a cheaper single-engine turboprop or a light jet and find enough friends to fill each seat and split the costs then you’re going to be at about as low cost as you can get. Something like Phoenix to Vegas in a seven-seat jet for a night and back may cost $7,500. Split that seven ways.
‘Some companies will also try and sell empty legs at a discount. Say they have a jet in LA that has to get to Vegas for its next flight, they may try and sell that flight dirt cheap as they have to move it regardless.’
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