Stood Down – A QANTAS Pilot’s Insight. Day Two.

Ansett Airlines Collapse

Day Two. (Click here for Day One’s post)

Have a Cuppa. Make a Plan. Move Forward.

Whether you fly for QANTAS or an outback operator, as a pilot you are trained to make decisions based upon the best available evidence, so when day two dawned, that’s what my wife and I, did.
The first issue is that not all of the information is yet at hand. Our letter from QANTAS will be posted tomorrow, Saturday. Aside from the official word, it will contain what options are available to us in terms of taking leave and the like. As things stand, I would say the 747 would be one of the last fleets to return to the skies if the aircraft doesn’t retire altogether. From our side of the fence, my wife and I could calculate our outgoings and roughly project how long our income will remain until we extinguish that in a matter of weeks. The maths is relatively simple – even for me.
However, we made a conscious choice about how we went about discussing things. We removed ourselves from the house and into the sunshine on a beautiful Australian morning. We weren’t going to let the shadows of indoors affect the mood or our perception. A cuppa in hand, we crunched some numbers, made some simple decisions and enacted some first stage “sacrifices”. We started moving forward on day two.
Part of the equation included a few repairs around our home, and we had already engaged tradesmen. These tasks are either already completed or very nearly there, so the invoices began landing this week. Their arrival was a reminder that we are all in this together. The tradesmen were almost apologetic, asking for payment, knowing that we were both QANTAS pilots. For Kirrily and I, we were aware that times were tough and getting tougher for them also – this pandemic is reaching everyone.
With home learning on the cards for the kids, suitable spaces had to be organised. I was fortunate to have people reach out to me with suggestions for work as I was “head down” and working on two upcoming books. In the evening, there was a brief meeting at my son’s Air League squadron, where they advised that while operations were suspended, they were endeavouring to structure online aviation courses – another thing that I can assist with.
It’s worth noting that this is not moving away from QANTAS, but ensuring we move forward. If I learned one thing from the demise of Ansett, it was to always remain engaged. Look for ways to remain motivated and active, both physically and mentally. It’s easy to let these things slide when normal routines are broken, and the headlines are not encouraging.
Anyway folks, that’s day two. Still a lot of uncertainty but having even the framework of a plan allows us to look ahead and not down at our feet.
Stay safe everyone.
Cheers and click here for Day Three,

Click here to read, “Boeing 747 – Queen of the Skies. Reflections from the Flight Deck.”


Boeing 747 5th Pod Taking Off
(Image: Keith Anderson)