Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


When the Passenger Is a Pilot

October 4, 1983

I've honestly never ever had a passenger who was also a pilot that gave me a problem by thinking they knew more than I knew. As a corporate pilot, there was one passenger I had who was also a pilot who I already knew that he knew a whole heck of a lot more about flying than I could ever hope to know. (That's a lot of knowledge.) Better yet, he not only never gave our flight crews any problems, but we were thrilled to have him onboard. That passenger pilot was Captain "Wally" Schirra, US Navy, retired, a former naval aviator, test pilot and NASA astronaut in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

Capt. Schirra served on my company's Board of Directors for a number of years. Corporations have board meetings multiple times a year. Those corporations large enough to operate their own aircraft often use them to pick up and transport their directors to those meetings and then back home. The trip occasion logged above was Capt. Schirra's first board meeting. I was in the right seat on that flight leg. This trip was also this airplane's first corporate trip following its 731 engine retrofit and new paint and interior, so it looked pretty sharp. During the flight, Capt. Schirra came up to the cockpit to say "hello", take a look around at our airplane's cockpit (a normal pilot thing) and probably to check us out ... to make sure his flight crew knew what they were doing. Capt. Schirra was a rather reserved gentleman and usually didn't have much to say, but on every flight we had him on the manifest he was a real gentleman and always had a friendly greeting for the flight crews.



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