Expert Advice: The Truth From the Cockpit
About the interviewee: Michelle Gooris.
Michelle is a Dutch commercial pilot, and lives in Amsterdam, Holland. She has 67,000 followers on her Instagram (@dutchpilotgirl), and she shares her views from the cockpit and also her adventures around the world. She is an inspiration to many!
(photo credit: @dutchpilotgirl insta)
What's your favorite thing about being a pilot?
My most favorite thing is landing manually without autopilot, autothrottle
and flight director on airports where I have never been before.
Which is your favorite airport and why?
My favorite airports are the Greek Islands. I love to fly manually without
any automation and on these airports that is almost always possible. The
people in Greece are also very friendly and the atmosphere is good and
Do pilots nap while in the air during a long hall flight?
During a long haul flight there are more pilots on board than on a short
haul flight, for this reason. The crew can swap seats so that the other one
can take a quick nap if necessary.
How often (if at all) are you flying with autopilot? Do all planes have auto
We engage the autopilot after take off and during cruise. Due to minimal
separation between other airplanes we may not fly higher than FL280 (8.5 km)
without any autopilot on. Normally we land manually, but when the visibility
is very bad, we have to land with the autopilot on as we can not see the
runway. Almost all the modern multi engine airplanes have an autopilot
What happens if you leave your phone on during take off?
You can hear a beep beep beep during the take off which might be
distracting. In general you do not want to be distracted or interrupted in
this critical phase of flight as it deteriorates the safety dramatically.
What kinds of situations are pilots most afraid of?
Interesting question! We are not really ''most afraid of'' something to be
honest. There are many procedures which allow us deal with almost anything
Have you ever had to remove a passenger off a flight?
There was one time that there was a passenger 'joking' that he had put a
bomb on board. As everyone knows, this is not a joke at all so we had to
remove him from the flight and follow the full procedure for this kind of
Do you have a favorite "travel hack"?
My favorite ''travel hack' must be that I bring wet wipes with me anywhere.
I always want my hands, the cockpit, the control column and anything I touch
to be clean when I travel or work.
Can you ever play music in the cockpit? :)
During a long turn around on the ground, I guess you can! In flight is not
What's your favorite vacation destination for personal travel?
I went to the Philippines this year and it was truly amazing. If you can,
you should go! The people and beaches are the best in the world, believe me.