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Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers


Q: How do pilots fly long flights across the oceans? Do the same pilots fly the entire trip between, for example, Newark and Hong Kong or Los Angeles and Sydney?
A: On every trip, the safety of our customers and fellow crew­ members is the highest priority of everyone on the flight deck. To ensure that we remain well rested and alert on long international flights, we supplement the crew with one or two additional pilots, depending upon how long the flight is. We have sleeping facilities for the pilots who are on break, so that they can rest while the other pilots are flying. We also have separate sleeping facilities onboard for the flight attendants, which allows them to rest as well.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? You can write to him at askthepilot@united.com

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