Concorde pilot explains what it was like to fly the iconic jet

What it was like in the cockpit of this legendary aircraft.
  • Getting to fly Concorde was one of the best jobs a pilot could land
  • The gig of piloting the iconic supersonic plane came with multiple perks
  • John Tye recently shared what a day in the life of a Concorde pilot was like

Published on Dec 28, 2023 at 3:41PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 4, 2024 at 5:38PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray
Concorde pilot explains what it was like to fly the iconic jet
John Tye

For a pilot, flying Concorde was the best gig in the business.

From rubbing shoulders with celebrities in your cockpit to staying in New York hotels, the job came with some serious perks.

Here’s what John Tye, a retired Concorde pilot, experienced during his stint with the iconic plane.

READ MORE: Video shows Concorde achieving sonic boom and producing noise like no other plane

Tye’s day started by leaving the house for Heathrow at 7:30 am, in the opposite direction to the rest of the city heading in for their office jobs.

“I’d drive to Heathrow knowing that I was going to be flying Concorde across the Atlantic Ocean,” he said.

“It was such a different feeling.”

Once at the airport, he’d gather with his crew: another pilot, a flight engineer and six cabin crew.

By 10:30 am they were ready to leave from Terminal 4 to head to New York.

This was Concorde’s most popular route, famously arriving in New York earlier than the time it had left London.

NASA is currently working on the ‘new Concorde‘ which will make this super fast journey available again.

After landing at 9:30 am, the passengers would head to the Big Apple for shopping trips and business meetings.

Tye and his crew were then free to spend the day as they pleased, usually heading for the shopping district or to have a lavish lunch.

They’d spend the night in a top hotel, then head back to London the next day, arriving home in time for dinner.

Tye says that while pilots would train in a simulator, nothing could prepare them for the feeling of flying Concorde.

According to Tye, every bump in the runway was amplified, which the simulator failed to emulate.

While the plane was the epitome of business travel, the journey itself could be claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

But the thrill of riding in such an incredible plane made it worth it.

There were often celebrities on board, as well as passengers who used the plane as a commute to work.

Like the salesman who flew Concorde twice a week, once fitting three flights in on one day.

Passengers were free to wander around the plane, to network or to enter the cockpit to chat with the pilots.

Tye has written a book about his life, where he went from being raised in an orphanage to flying the legendary Concorde.

“It was the best job in the world,” Tye said.

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