27 April 2009

Pilot Uniform

By Dominic

Well, I have not posted anything new for quite awhile, although there are many thoughts running in that small brain of mine (yes, I am amazed, the last I check, I had one :P). And I should be really doing my work at this moment, but I guess it is time that I ask this question to you people out there!!!

Do you think a commercial pilot should stick to wearing those peak caps and ties even in our hot and humid weather?! If, one day, you suddenly see a new uniform, an airline whose pilots are not in the ‘traditional’ uniform i.e. cap, white shirt, tie, black/navy blue pants, but with something more casual (just imagine the present Air Asia pilot uniform – which is the industry standard – minus the tie and cap), would you think that the pilots are less professional?
Tell me your thoughts and I will share with you mine :P

Cheers,
Dom.

  • Rahamat Tulla

    personally i think..uniform doesnt matter however the uniform represent the elegance in pilot appearance which make them look admirable and smart ..however a shirt also will do as long as they are comfortable with it but at the end wat matter is the performance and how you do ur duty..
    am i right?
    tq

  • Abinesh

    I think it be pretty cool if the airasia pilots dress down but yet people are able to identify them as AirAsia pilots!

    Smart casual should be the key.. They cant look too shabby as well :P

    Maybe, their names and identification of them as pilots on their tee’s be good yea?

  • Low

    Be Digi eh? Anti-Tie is good somehow, so erm, white shirt n pants should be professional enough.Change to Air Asia’s cap, lolz (must wear backwards). No baggy jeans nor loose tshirt I guess =p

  • Kong Sun

    Well i have tought of asking about pilot’s uniform to you captain dominic.

    If the pilot’s do not wear their tie izit alright? Well just maintain the whole uniform and minus the tie will be enough.

    If we would like to minus the epaulette then put a different collar badge for different rank.

    Why not adding a lanyard with different color? For example dark blue for Second officer, black for Junior First Officer, orange for First Officer and red for Captain. Red matches the color of AirAsia.

    Well that is my suggestion.

  • Mohd Danial

    Hye Captain!

    Great question u’ve got there.. Certainly something that is worth looking into..

    How about going ‘slightly’ on the modern side?..

    Maintain the shirt, tie, peak caps, collar badge etc..

    But instead, let’s RE-Colour them to be ALL-WHITE.. or ALL-BLACK.. and then just having the stripes at the collar badge to remain gold, and the Air Asia logo to remain red..

    It may look awesome.. Heheheh..

    Have a nice day Captain!

  • Dominic

    Keep the comments and ideas coming. The idea would be to be practical, yet maintain our professional look. Peak cap is not ideal for our weather, and frankly, fashion wise I think it is rather out dated. Most would prefer not to have a cap at all. I personally use the signature AA cap on occasions – not backwards though :P

    Colour coding the ranks will mean that we cannot be readily identified amongst our industry players and that might not be too good, the idea itself can be further explored. Currently flight attendants with various airlines uses that method, but remember, for pilots, we do want to keep as much to the industry standards as possible to maintain a professional look. Can you come up with something towards this line?

    Keep it coming! Yes, being innovators in the industry, Digi is kinda like us, eh? :P

  • Nur

    hi there…
    wat a very interesting topic…
    well,,i personally thinks dat Pilot wit their uniform is a great combination… so,,’they’ complete each other..;) i must say dat in some way pple can cnsider if pilot no longer hav 2 wear their smart cool n prestigous uniform(huh..?)bcoz they spend too many hours in th cockpit, dont hav 2 meet th pblic n watsoever BUT,, hey pple, its a tradition already!
    i myslf dying 2 put dem on my body bcoz it looks so good and so nice.. bsides…evryone hav 2 put on their plain uniform evry morning rite..so,, i dont think dat Pilot should wear a tshrt..((can they stand the air cond for more than 3 hours in the cockpi?;D)) well,,dats juz my thought.. sory if no one agree..till then..

  • Saravanan

    As to me, the signature touch of a captain is his pride in wearing his uniform.

    That cap and smart cool blazer beaming with gold stripes… hmm.. all just a look that Michael Jackson cant getaway with.

    Captains do know when and where to dress themselves with their uniform, if they’re hot, they simply remove the jacket… they do hav a closet to hang their blazer even on board.

    so.. its style and smart look is not jeorpadized even when the pilot intends to dress it down a little on a hot day… but he’s surely all warmed up when it’s cold out there!

    ;-p Cheers.

  • Low

    haha yes! wear that AA cap, I want to do that in the future as well. (backwards till like 35 nia kua, then by then gotta act slightly more mature). To match that red cap get a red tie (skinny style) if u gotta wear tie. I thought AA doesnt care bout rankings, everyone does everything, so no need to put pangkat. Friday do like Redbull, wear flip flops to work and play volleyball! Even their CEO does that. Ok, flip flops might be out la, maybe Puma sneakers instead? =p

  • Kien Fui

    Wow! This topic is cool. I think the pilot uniform is just a symbolic attire or their profession etiquette for all pilot on the earth… we may not follow the trend… in my thought, not wearing the ‘traditional’ pilot uniform does means not professional and if you are wearing a ‘traditional’ pilot uniform means you are professional. Profession cannot be just seen as physical appearance.
    My suggestion is maintain every things bt the peak cap and the epaulette. May be we can change the peak cap according to different rank and minus the epaulette. This is just my opinion.

  • Razwan

    how about if we throw in some Prada shoes, smooth and silky Gucci pants, made to measure Armani shirts and not to forget those forever green and stylish Rayban shades to pilots eh? even the sun is HOT, the style gonna keep you COOL indeed haha…

  • Low

    Spending on expensive stuff doesn’t mean cool dude, just my 2 cents.

  • Dominic

    Ha ha ha ha… some of you coming out with your artistic ideas. It would really work, but:

    remember the rule – think professional and maintain industry standard. While we are trying to look casual for practical reasons – and we are not operating in winter conditions here – we do have a protocol to maintain. There is a reason for rank to be displayed. That does not mean we are power crazy :P

    I need your opinions based on that. Our climate – hot and humid. Rain very possible. Wear a peak cap meant for winter? Jacket?! WHAT?! We have to be practical here… Same goes for the tie.

    No one has mentioned about T-shirts, and T-shirts are NOT PRACTICAL as well. T-shirts are OUT! sorry…

    Traditions change. Many years ago, golfers wear a 3 piece to the golf course. Look at them now… So, the rule again – practical… be practical…BTW, those dress codes were made not here in the tropical regions – like I said – winter peak caps for our weather?

    Difficult leh? I would just go for the JAG uniform minus the cap and tie. JAG uniform’s shirt is of thicker quality – which holds the shirt in shape. Looks smart.

    :P

  • Dominic

    lol… you guys are cracking me up. ok. I won’t be responding for awhile. got to go work mates… ciao!

  • Chu

    Hello Dominic, if you want to have something different from the industry standard and yet still upholding the professional look…my view is to make the colour dressing different from the industry standard. My opinions below, it seems absurd, but I like it….hehehehe.

    Long/short sleeve shirt -> Black
    Slacks -> White
    Tie -> Red with Air Asia logo
    (If using red bow tie, that will be special a lot…LOL)
    Peak Cap -> All white with RED colour stripes perhaps
    Rank -> Using RED to represent. Instead of straight thick line, you can change it to other shape such as round, triangle, square….etc etc

    Well, the formal dressing is maintained. Anyway, hope you all like the new colour dressing..LOL. Well, just my 2 cents. Have a nice day :)

  • Low

    You watch too much JAG Mr Dominic =.=|||
    Think a sakkat would be weird, Fedoras, erm gotta learn how to do locking dances, boy’s cap would be soft n nice hehe. Get linings for power ‘crazy’ stuff =p
    Shirts and pants, I don’t know much, how about tank tops with pencil skirts? =p

  • Yee

    an interesting topic to discuss.. well.. Maybe I’m little conservative… I felt that the present pilot uniform is attractive and professional enough which it’s could be only found in airport. It’s somehow too unique which always attract me while walking around the airport. Therefore, an unique profession should dress up with unique uniform… My 2 cents opinion.

  • Sin

    Dear Dominic,
    Somehow my thought same with Yee. After reading many posts from wannabes, one factor that attract us will be the uniform. Yes, Uniform or attire codes do not represent everything, but it certainly reflects professionalism, and people will be more confident in you.
    Like writing journals and thesis, we still need to follow the standard format although it really troublesome like ”fonts,size and many more”.
    Having white shirts, blue/dark pants without the tie and caps, look abit like PENJAGA to me..LOL ^^

  • Kien Fui

    Wow… chu’s opinion is crazy but fascinating.

  • Dinagaran

    a pilot ain’t complete without his uniform (period)…..it would b like Tony Fernandes without his Air Asia cap =)

  • Dominic

    Phew! Finally got into Toulouse after 27 hours of travelling. The A340 Xcalibur flight from KUL to STN was great! I didn’t know the A340 was such a quiet aircraft! After arriving 25 minutes ahead of schedule, it was the bus from STN to GAT that was delayed for about 30 minutes.

    Got into Gatwick and realised that internet cost is at 5 pounds an hour! Duh! I am not going to pay 5 pounds an hour for internet! Waited for about 8 hours for our flight from GAT to TLS.

    EasyJet was delayed for about 30 minutes! So I guess it was only AA that was ontime, ahem, I mean early! And you know what? The passengers at Gatwick don’t even know how to queue in a straight line to board the plane… like hello?! It is mroe organized back in KL – well done Malaysians!

    OK, so I am fast reading all the post, and just thought that I let you people know that I will come back to replying once I get my beauty rest!

    Ciao!

  • Yee

    Hi Dominic,
    seems interesting flight to London ya… Have some good rest and hope to know more about your london flight.. cheer

  • Shelley

    “Do you think a commercial pilot should stick to wearing those peak caps and ties even in our hot and humid weather?!”

    The answer is a resounding yes, yes, yes ,yes! Sorry, here’s the traditionalist speaking :) What’s a pilot without the peak cap?! It’s all about the uniform! Who cares about the flying skills?! And Shelley ducks from the rotten tomatos being pelt her way!

    Ha ha. Ok guys, please take it in jest. I can feel your glares! :)

  • Dominic

    i don’t believe you when you say you don’t care about the performance as that would mean your safety :P

    good one Shelly! :P there was more than a glare from me :P :P

  • Low

    Man, I don’t believe all tradition should be followed. Burning papers for our ancestors pollute the world would be a good example. Even China slowed that down. Of course there are some that we should follow for practical reasons, but not everything. I support baseball caps, but I seriously prefer full caps (Tony make one la, I want one)

  • Dominic

    Yes, and look at my golfer’s analogy – when it started those guys were wearing a full suit to play that gentlemen’s game. Over the years, evolution took place, and now, look – we have Tiger Woods wearing the most sporting ‘uniform’ ever.

    Rules and tradition are man made. We should make things practical. If anyone, especially pilot wannabes feel that pilots should wear what we have been wearing just to look different and be ‘special’ and that is one of the reason to being a pilot, I think we really seriouslly have a problem here… :)

  • Low

    power crazy Mr Dominic LOLz…
    ok, time to go home =D today no late nights. Ciao ciao mi amico/amica.

  • Kien Fui

    i can’t agree more than that dominic…. a pilot wannabes should not only make theselves look different from others…. that’s really weird and ego!!!
    i like the peak cap but in such a hot weather i would prefer a baseball cap and minus the dark thick jacket… LOL….

  • Wan Siong

    Lolz..
    Guys, Mr Dominic here is hinting to all of us!!
    Agree with him or no way as hell you’ll gonna be future pilots..
    Hahaha..

    Anyway, back to serious topic. I still think the current uniform has the “awe” factor despite being out-dated for our current modern time and thinking. Maybe because I’ve not experience standing under the hot sun with those blazer and peak cap on yet! Haha..

    But anyhow, the way I think about changing the uniform is that any design can be made very easily. Ask any 2nd year fashion design student, and they’ll give you a whole lot of awesome modern designs with suggestions for comfortable and lasting materials. The real hard part about changing the uniform actually lies within the recognition.
    If AirAsia would to change their uniform, they would need huge exposure or perhaps costly advertising budget(Of course, this can be taken care of by finding sponsors). Take Tiger Woods for example since the comparison topic is golf. The reason why I think Tiger Wood’s fashion in golfing was easily acceptable was because of the huge amount of media exposure that he was getting, not forgetting the apparel sponsorship from Nike that he was getting(Nike has a whole line of sportswear devoted for golfs called “Nike Golf”). Those were the real factors that I think that made Tiger Woods fashion so acceptable in such a short span of time.

    So to put it in AirAsia’s terms. I think AirAsia has to come out with a “Marketing Plan” for the uniform 1st before they get into the design. As the uniform design can be easily and readily altered from time to time. A good design can’t live without the acceptance from the public or the industry.

    Benjamin Siew Wan Siong

  • Dominic

    fuyoh… I didn’t have time to catch up on the blog for a day and great to see the comments still coming in. Ha ha, it is not a hint lar. I don’t have the ‘power’ not to select anyone of you deserving people.

    I believe it is all about ‘educating’ those who feel that being a pilot (or a doctor or whatever profession) is all about the uniform.

    Yes, Benjamin – you try standing out there with a winter peak cap (I give you chance, no need to wear blazer lar) under the hot sun, walk around the aircraft 4 times a day and tell me… cool huh? :P

  • Low

    you shouldn’t mention the part where you don’t have the power to select us, then you’ll lose your audience. I still don’t know what you want, uniform or no uniform?
    I’m guessing half uniform.

  • Wai Weng

    Although the uniform is not one of the reason for me to be a pilot, but I still think that it has to be there. Many professions such as doctor, lawyer, policeman and etc have their own uniforms for a reason. It allows the public to distinguish them easily. But why? It’s not because of the person in uniform will be proud or whatever, but this allows the public to reach the correct person in case of any emergency (applied for policeman, doctor…etc).

    I don’t mind if we throw away the tie, peak cap and jacket from the pilot uniform. It can be modified in any way to suit our climate here. As long as the uniform allows people to recognize them as a pilot easily, or even better the AirAsia pilot, then it will be fine.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Wan Siong

    Low,
    Mr Dominic is using reverse psychology to trick us that he isn’t in power.. So don’t slack even for a moment. Haha..

    Mr. Dominic,
    I’ll be waiting for the day when I get my cadet uniform and peak cap and walk under the blistering sun of Malaysia! So do pray hard for me to get into AirAsia’s cadet programme! =)

  • Sin

    Let us be the first Pilot to wear different Uniform, special, different and yet Practical and Smart. Sound hard? Hmmm….Let make the world Pilot jealous and envy of us, following us. This is what we need to do in AirAsia. Hahahaz….

    To Low,
    For me, traditional rules or even technologies serve as a guide for us. Without them, we won’t be so civilized.
    Burning papers for ancestor is some how not good, how bout those pollution from factories? If we trace it, Taoism and Confucianism, actually request us to show respect to our loved-one even they passed away.It’s not a belief, but it’s a teaching that guide us ^^

  • Dominic

    Ha ha ha ha… aiyo, Nothing psychological lar. I really have no power. If you are good, you are good. If I am around, I might seat in for the interview, otherwise I wouldn’t even be there! Don’t worry, I am usually very quiet during those sessions – I don’t ask questions – I leave that task to my colleagues… heehee…

    Good to see all the positive responses, positive criticism and all. We all take it with pride. The last count, there are 6 billion people in the world, and so it is not impossible to get 6 billion opinions.

    In Air Asia, we innovate and the rest imitate, so yes, we want to be the first to break away from that tradition, but we also need the understanding and support from the public. All we all we need the travelling public to know that safety has always been our number one priority. I know, not because I am in Air Asia, but that is the reason why I came to Air Asia. A lot is spent on safety. If one is to see our facilities, you will see how serious we are.

    Hmm… anyone organised a visiting trip to the academy and AA facilities? A school trip or something… hmmm….

  • Low

    Benjamin :
    Haha, reverse psychology or not doesn’t matter, we are all still here =p You’re supposed to be on my side when we wear it together Wan Siong.

    Wearing uniforms does not mean you’re 100% god-like or an angel, it’s how you present yourself. If someone does not even care bout ironing it, it will look sloppy compared to t-shirt, making everyone worry bout safety. Anything goes, as long as it look smart, presentable, and the fella that’s wearing it knows how to make it look good. I still feel the normal AirAsia cap looks nice, with plain white shirts (but I still want the peak cap though)

    Sin : btw, I’m a Taoist, I still burn them sometimes, but not gonna continue when it comes to my children. I’ll find my own way to respect =)

  • Kong Sun

    We get to organize trips to AirAsia Academy?

  • Low

    I still want my Full Cap…maybe wit a Air Jordan logo + AA =D

  • Dominic

    I don’t see why not. You never try, you never know…

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    Dear Capt. Dominic,

    I am Satwin and I have always dream and have a passion to be a Pilot like you. Sir, I am Punjabi boy wearing a turban on me and I have become a pilot. Can a Punjabi turban person like me can be allow to wear red colour turban or is it a must to wear only black turban for a Punjabi pilot? This is because the colour red is also being proud to be apart of Air Asia. I always realise that all the Pilot’s “Cap” are in black colour.
    Hope to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Satwin Hans

  • Dominic

    Hello Satwin,

    For uniformity, black is the ‘normal’ colour used.

    :)
    Dom

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    Hello Captain,

    I have 3 questions that I need to ask you. I hope Sir would humbly answer my questions which is :

    1. Sir,is it a must for a pilot to have blazer apart of his or her uniform as a Pilot? Does AirAsia practice this?

    2. Is it true that applicant who wear spectacles and wants to apply for pilot will not be selected,how is the selection process been done in AirAsia?

    3. Is AirAsia female pilots really goes long haul flights or is there such thing as giving them short haul flights only?

    Sir, I have read this type ‘speculations’ regarding question 2 and 3 in some forum post and hope Sir would provide me with Sir’s explanation.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Satwin Hans

  • Dominic

    Satwin,

    1. AirAsia uses blazer for winter operations.

    2. Please refer to cadet pilot entry requirement.

    3. We currently have 3 female pilots on our A330/A340s.

    Rgds.
    Dom.

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    Oh! That is nice to hear to have female pilots on A330 and A340 in Air Asia. Well Done and hope to join Air Asia soon.
    Thank you Capt. Dom

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    That nice to hear to hear that Air Asia female pilots really do fly A330 & A340. Thank you for informing Capt. Dom

    Regards,
    Satwin Hans