In general most people have the concept of female air hostess although males are also largely dipping their toe in the profession. Slim female air hostess is a vogue which still exists in many sections of the airline industry and is also largely depicted in the advertisements of many airline companies to boast about their in flight hospitality service. However, it’s probably uncommon to see any advert showing slim pilots, who play the prime role of flying the aircraft safely. In my opinion, a slim pilot should equally be looked for and customers should urge for it too in the ads.
If you are wondering why did I coin such bizarre topic, here is the answer. Recently, during a flight travel while waiting boringly at the pre-departure lounge at an airport I noticed few pilots (males) with big protruding belly comparable to 3rd trimester of a female pregnancy. In contrast, the accompanying female air hostesses were looking just too emaciated to mention. That view at the airport made me to write this post to encourage the readers to think about the various facets of such health architecture of pilots and its disparity with the rest of the airline crews.
Some of the female air hostesses in airlines operating in third world countries whom I came across say that to keep their job in motion they must maintain an absolute flat belly. Some even say that they are weighed frequently (almost daily) to monitor if they are keeping a static weight or not. Some even say, they are not supposed to marry (true or false not sure), because the airline company might not be ready to support crew who are going to conceive. Male staff who accompany them are also maintaining an absolute slim figure, and some even with added regular gym goers macho look. So far that’s how is the non-cabin crew’s story.
But how about the pilot, who is possibly one of the main individual involved in flying the airplane safely to its destination. Since, pilots don’t have direct face to face interaction with the passengers on board, airline companies don’t care much about how many extra kilo’s they put on. Their chubby-hanging-suffocating belly don’t make the CEOs of the airliners shy. But should airline companies be concerned about it? Possibly, yes. It’s because a pilot on-board should be at the pinnacle of his best health records. Obesity is a significant risk factor for health fatalities like stroke or heart attack. Probably none of the passengers or crew on an aircraft would wish to have a nightmare of their pilot getting a heart attack in the sky.
Not sure about legal issues, but those who sniff around for suing someone may investigate this issue. I hope the autopilots are well equipped to gift us a safe landing if the pilot collapses for an inadvertent health event in the sky. One thing is however reassuring in this context, there is a system of having a copilot, hopefully he will be helpful to extract us in such situations. Although, pilots are supposed to go through regular health check, overweight pilots are becoming increasingly visible these days. The flight safety jeopardizes the most, not when a passenger or a non-cabin crew gets a myocardial infarction in the sky rather, when a pilot gets it.
Therefore, next time when you are in the airport, swipe your vision across the airport to see the health status of the pilots passing by. Share your feedback with the airline company or authority if you think they aren’t looking as healthy (in terms of excessive weight gain) as you expect.
Have a safe flight.