Commercial Flying

Over the past weeks, I’ve taken my first commercial flights since I started working towards my private pilot certificate. It has been really exciting to finally know what all the signs, numbers, and lights stand for on taxiways and runways. I tend to forget stuff easily so it was amazing to me that I could label/describe the function of each light/sign I saw with certainty. I should feel good about my upcoming FAA written test, right?

United Airlines used to have a ‘music’ channel on the armrest where you could listen to ATC on your flight. I’ve never been interested in this service ’til recently but it appears most flights have removed this feature – nooooooooooo. Aw.

I saw this really awesome looking tower while waiting for a flight at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. What’s up with the open space anyways?



3 thoughts on “Commercial Flying

  1. I used to listen to ATC, pretty recently too on channel 9 but when they do have those armrests it has been taken off. It’s so sad. It’s not like you can’t get it on so I don’t know why it’s not available anymore, but I do always check that channel just in case. My BF flies for United Express and he didn’t know that feature, but they don’t have those armrests so maybe the Captain has to turn it on somehow? Who knows.

    Are you using any software or websites to help you study for your written?


    1. I remember it was so cute how giddy-excited my pilot friends were when that channel was available on the way to our collegiate model United Nations conferences – they told every single person in their 8 person radius to listen in, gave play-by-plays of what was going on to non-pilots, freaked out when the feed went dead after hearing the words “oh no, oh no, […]”. Being just a satellite engineer, I couldn’t make out any words on the feed and apologied to our fellow passengers about the hazards of going to an aviation college. I’d mostly understand the words and appreciate channel 9 now…aw, too late.

      If only I had a smartphone, I would try to stream the liveatc feed, try to see if I could get a feel for what it’s like in the big cockpits… Does your BF say if he’d actually turn on the channel 9 feature if available? Talk about being in a fishbowl while trying to do your job!

      I’m currently going through the Jeppesen question bank. My plans are to also do the free Sporty’s online tests. Just before my computer test in January, I’ll do the ASA prep software. Do you have any additional recommendations?


      1. He cannot because they don’t have the music armrests. He flies the small jet with two seats on one side and one on the other. I hate his plane, the ERJ. He used to fly the Dash 8 – Q400 which was much nicer even though it was a turboprop.

        Not really. I just used the Gleim book first and did a TON of Sportys tests. It’s nice it keeps track of it for you. I didn’t take more advantage of the feature of going through each sections questions to practice my weaker ones. But those two things prepped me for the written just fine. Good luck 🙂


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