Friday, June 17, 2005

Not Up In Smoke

I was chatting with an Air Canada pilot who said that Air Canada has trouble hiring their quota of francophone pilots. I blinked.

"Why? There are thousands of pilots in Quebec. There are French-Canadian pilots all over the world!"

"Yes, but they all smoke." Not all, of course, but far more quebecois smoke than anglos do.

Me, with a puzzled look, "So?"

"Air Canada doesn't hire pilots who smoke."

Wow. It's not like you could hide your smoke-wizened lungs from the scrutiny of an airline medical. I'm not a francophone, at least not much beyond basic communication, and I'm not a smoker either. This could be useful information to keep your 13-year-old from taking up smoking.

5 comments:

ned said...

Time to sign up for a language course?

david said...

Aviatrice?

Aviatrix said...

One aviatrix, two aviatrices. But the Air Canada pilot in question is male.

And signing up for a language course to qualify for employment quotas as a francophone is a bit like going to a tanning booth to qualify as black. It's cultural, not just linguistic.

Lost Av8r said...

I met 4 or 5 guys from Quebec while working @ Skyward. Only one of them smoked.

david said...

> And signing up for a
> language course to qualify
> for employment quotas as a
> francophone is a bit like
> going to a tanning booth to
> qualify as black. It's
> cultural, not just
> linguistic.

Tant pis.

As you may or may not know, depending on where you started out, flying around Ottawa and Quebec can be interesting because both ATC and general enroute transmissions can be in English or French (a lot of the AC pilots insist on using French with Ottawa tower, even though they were using English with Toronto Centre minutes earlier).

You really want to understand what the other pilots are saying when you're landing at an uncontrolled airport like Lachute and you're the only anglophone in the circuit. It must be terrifying for U.S. pilots up here on vacation.