CATHY RUMSEY, United Airlines Copilot Con't from 120a: Interview while she flies a small plane.
00:00Copy video clip URL No audio. Cathy Rumsey, featured on tape 14101, checks over her Cessna airplane before take off.
00:24Copy video clip URL Audio turns on. Rumsey is going over every inch of the aircraft untying tie-down lines. She checks the gas tank, propeller, the wing and flaps. She says it’s so rare you find something wrong you tend to get complacent. You have to keep telling yourself you’re out to find something wrong, like birds nest in the engine.
01:44Copy video clip URL Rumsey notes that when she flies for United she flies 737 passenger jets. She continues checking over her plane, checking the oil, untying more tie-down lines.
02:38Copy video clip URL She says she’s been flying 12 years. She learned on a Cessna and instructed students in this aircraft. She checks fuel to make sure there’s no water in it.
03:38Copy video clip URL B-roll of a Cessna landing.
03:59Copy video clip URL In the cockpit, Rumsey starts the engine and prepares to taxi for take off. Radio chatter is heard in the background. Rumsey sits and waits for clearance.
04:54Copy video clip URL Rumsey taxis and take off. Radio chatter continues. B-roll of Rumsey piloting the plane and views of the landscape below. Rumsey points out burnt grass near a runway below from a recent air show.
07:00Copy video clip URL Rumsey says with United you have to drive smoothly. Flying a Cessna alone you can fly any way you want. She flies over her house, goes site-seeing. She explains the dials on the control panel: altimeter, air speed. She pulls and turns various dials. Continued b-roll of Rumsey at the yoke flying. B-roll of the landscape below.
09:11Copy video clip URL Rumsey sets the engine to idle to simulate engine failure and describes procedure in such a case. She says she would look around for a place to land, based on the direction of the wind, check fuel level, make a mayday call and set up to land in a field, avoiding roads and power lines if possible.
10:31Copy video clip URL She notes her engines quit a couple times while in flight due to students hitting a wrong button. She points out huge homes below.
11:32Copy video clip URL Rumsey demonstrates how slow the Cessna can go: 40 knots. She comments that on a windy day you can actually be pushed backwards while in flight.
12:57Copy video clip URL Rumsey notes that the Cessna is a good plane for instruction: it’s responsive, takes abusive landings. She demonstrates using the yoke to climb and dive. Continued b-roll Rumsey flying the plane, pointing out sites below: another plane, a river. She explains straight and level flight and how the position of various dials indicate level flight, turn, or descending flight.
17:15Copy video clip URL Continued b-roll of Rumsey in flight and shots of the landscape below.
17:55Copy video clip URL Rumsey recounts how she started flying. She saw a coupon from a newspaper for an introductory lesson. She loved it. She notes she grew up in Niles, Illinois and went to college at University of Illinois. She notes the hardest thing about flying is the route to professional pilot. It takes a lot of time and money to build the experience. There’s a lot of competition. That’s why a lot of pilots go into the military first to learn.
19:30Copy video clip URL Rumsey notes the button on the yoke is not for guns, but for communicating via radio. She notes she used to fly corporate jets.
20:25Copy video clip URL She points out a fire on the ground below and moves to investigate. It is a pile of leaves in a controlled burn. She says the strangest things she’s seen have been military fighter jets flying past inverted or rolling, strange weather, weird sunsets, the northern lights, and St. Elmo’s Fire: static discharge off metal on the windshield. She retells the story of coming into O’Hare International airport recently and as they approached, a huge inflated pig flew past. It was a promotional balloon that broke loose. She’s also seen kites close by. She says an engine can suck in kites and birds without being damaged.
23:58Copy video clip URL Rumsey prepares for landing. She turns on the radio, the cockpit fills with radio chatter. She calls in for clearance. She jokes that if she has a bad landing it’s because she’s having a bad hair day. She says that the control tower has requested she follow in another plane. She looks for it, finds it and follows it in. They approach the runway. The easiest way to stay in line with the center of the runway is to line up the white line on the runway with your legs. She starts a slow decent and puts flaps down to decrease speed.
28:28Copy video clip URL Rumsey lands the plane. Immediately tower control has her clear to make room for another plane landing. She communicates with ground control for taxi instructions.
30:32Copy video clip URL B-roll of another plane landing.
30:57Copy video clip URL Back on the ground Rumsey ties down the plane. She notes that her rank with United Airlines is that of co-pilot. The next rank up is captain.
31:52Copy video clip URL She sees someone standing at the end of a runway and suggests it might be an instructor. When it comes time for a student to solo, the instructor starts the lesson as normal, but without warning will exit the plane at the end of the runway and tell the student it’s time to solo.
32:52Copy video clip URL Rumsey notes that at United she sometimes gets mistaken by customers as a flight attendant. But she takes it in stride. She notes that the field is male dominated. She likes working with men, but would never date a pilot. Pilots are gone 18 days a month. She notes she has flown with female pilots..
35:09Copy video clip URL The most fun she’s had flying is with students doing spins or landing a United flight on a challenging, short runway.
35:38Copy video clip URL END