This image is the cover for the book A Pilot's Ups and Downs

A Pilot's Ups and Downs

For every 1,000 people who applied to be airline pilots in BEA/BOAC back in the day, about four made it. The other 996, plus their wives, parents, and children, might wonder how their lives could have turned out, so here is the story of one of the four. Besides, the passengers who sit behind that locked door and trust us with their lives must wonder, “What goes on up there, and how does it affect their lives and families?” My education included the University Air Squadron, then learning to fly at the College sponsored by British Airways. There is a chapter of general information on aviation, then most of the book is an account of my experiences, whether dramatic, disappointing, exciting, or amusing, during my varied career in British Airways. Some incidents occur within the cockpit, others in social interaction outside, and a few come from pilot folklore. I also describe visits to sights around the world, an aspect that draws people to aviation as a career, and interests everyone. I have added one professional pilot’s opinion on aviation topics in the news, the mysterious Malaysian disappearance, and the Alpine tragedy, and finish with my lifelong interest in designing model aircraft.

Alasdair Sutherland

Alasdair Sutherland was born in Glasgow, only child of William, a design engineer, and housewife, Janet. After education at Lenzie Primary, Lenzie Academy and Glasgow University, he won a place at the College at Hamble where British Airways trained their pilots. His career progressed from HS Tridents, L1011, to twin turboprops where he achieved command. Then, after a couple of years as senior copilot on the B747-400, it was back to the left seat on B757/767. The 9/11 attack had a big impact. After compulsory retirement, interest in aviation continued but he concentrated on designing and flying model aircraft.

Austin Macauley Publishers