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The Pilot hat, WHY?!

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The Pilot community is deeply divided in their view on the iconic pilot HAT. Where did it come from, why do we wear it and what will happen to the hat in the future? Todays episode pay homage to one of the most iconic parts of the pilot uniform. What do YOU think about the Pilot hat? Join me and the others in the Mentour aviation app and lets discuss it. Use @mentour to tag me in the chat and use the links below to download the app for FREE! 👇🏻 📲IOS: https://appstore.com/mentouraviation 📲Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamta.mentouraviation To Join my Patreon crew, and support the channel, use this link: 📲 https://www.patreon.com/mentourpilot To Follow my life on instagram, use the link below: https://www.instagram.com/mentour_pilot A Huge "Thank you!" to the featured channels and articles in todays episode. If you want to see the full, awesome versions, use the links below! https://www.wyso.org/post/history-flying-hats http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42559693/ns/travel-news/t/captains-without-cap-more-airline-pilots-ditch-hat/ https://www.traveller.com.au/why-do-qantas-pilots-wear-white-hats-h13s59 npatou (Wright brothers first flights) https://youtu.be/dtZ8MxuePno danielbjmitchell (Flying boats - Pan Am) https://youtu.be/zqOSQ5qSHXI hidden opal (Scenes from “Airplane”) https://youtu.be/f4CizzE-zZo Brendan Cavangh (Pilots playing Piano) https://youtu.be/BhF_koy11lA BBC (Planes first world war ) https://youtu.be/JbVZGLI8izk AP Archive https://youtu.be/FgCIUUn7E-w WildBillKelso194 (Crushable caps) https://youtu.be/5F_q8J9O8-0 Qantas (New Pilot uniform unveiling) https://youtu.be/4MusOWc8NzE
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Text Comments (684)
[OCB] (2 days ago)
1) Flying is really stressful for some people and anything to inspire confidence is a good thing 2) You deserve to wear a uniform if you go through that level of training
Ganz Bestimmt (5 days ago)
The hat represents order/reliability and demands respect, in my opinion. I personally don't like that uniform standards erode over time. But if the public and the pilots don't care anymore you probably can't stop that trend. Maybe in the future we will see pilots in baggy pants and hoodies. Who knows...
Di B (7 days ago)
Seriously the hats are great!
Michael Galle (8 days ago)
I fly corporate and wear my hat with a slight cock. When I've not dressed with the slight jaunt, passenger attitudes change/are different: Have noticed passengers are more friendly and more at ease when wearing my hat with a slight jaunt ... have no idea why ! My uniform is ALWAYS impeccably presentable. There is no substitute for being professional in your attire.
Erik Hedlund (10 days ago)
Maybe a bit late, but here goes: Personally I myself am a hat bearer and have come to rarely go out without one. Apart from the practicality, keeping your head in the shade in the summer and a bit warmer in the winter, it is a fashion statement, something to wear to complement the rest of your outfit, so I like the pilot hat. For airlines using a uniform, i.e. basically all passenger airlines, maybe minus some very small local, more air taxi like companies (if anyone knows of any, do let us know), and does have a hat in the regulations, the airline can use the hat design along with the resto of the uniform to show off their fashion sense. Also, the classic differentiation between a dark winter and a light summer model is a great variation that is used far too little today. But, I do disagree with the strict necessity to include the hat in the full uniform for instilling confidence as long as the rest of the uniform is up to specs. Indeed there are always people who dislikes hats and I understand them fully. Thus, my take on it is that when the airline tenders a uniform design they should definitely include a hat in the design, but the use of that specific item can very well be voluntary. It looks good and people like me would definitly have opted to and loved to use it if I were in the aviation industry. Cheers :)
puschelhörnchen (15 days ago)
The hat will go the same way as leg space. If costs could be cut, costs will be cut. Its the iron rule of capitalism. It becomes a voluntary item. Young pilots have to purchase it on their own cost and ups with lower and lower wages no one wants to soend their money on a unpractical vanity item. Thats the mechanism.
Bill Cereske (18 days ago)
A hat conveys a sense of authority and safety. I was a civilian volunteer for many years in a west coast fire department, The uniform consisted of a vest and a bump cap helmet, but people respected that.
João Guilherme Braz (23 days ago)
The first flier was brazilian, Santos Dumont
lufa303 (26 days ago)
I think that pilots also should wear a sabre in addition to a hat
Isa Wafeeq (1 month ago)
I would personally not like to wear a hat if I were to become a pilot but I would wear it if it will keep first-time flyers or nervous flyers calm.
Leandro (1 month ago)
The pilot's hat represents the power of knowledge, coolness and special skill. It is pure enchantment and magic. Keep the hat on.
James Perry (1 month ago)
I believe the hat represents your profession, respects those who have come before you and shows that you are dedicated and educated.
De Eas (1 month ago)
British Air, Qantas, Japan Air Lines: why don't those pilots sit in the right hand seat?
Mncedisi Bhiyo (1 month ago)
Where can I get a pilot hat I really need one
Mike Pilyih (1 month ago)
Definately keep the hats. Projects an air of professionalism and it along with the uniform in general commands respect.
S F (1 month ago)
That's a backward way of thinking. Most passengers don't even see the pilot. They are in doing pre flight checks long before the passengers board. A tie, a suit, a hat etc don't reflect your skill. I suggest an army medal type system. The more hours you have on an aircraft, the more medals.
Ian Endangan (1 month ago)
Even they have hats, Philippine Airline pilots are such snobs high forehead “I am a PAL pilot and you are???!!!” Attitude when I met them in the 80’s after the tagbilaran to Cebu flight in the cockpit of the Short 360 “sunriser”. Good thing now they are friendly even level at passenger attitude.
Johnathan Kain (1 month ago)
So many professions recently are looking less sharp. It's pretty important to look the part.
artistjoh (1 month ago)
So long as there are people who become extremely anxious when flying the whole uniform is essential for building confidence. I have flown with someone like that. She saw a pilot in uniform on the ground looking like he was an officer, with the obvious respect ground crew give him and I could feel her grow in strength. The pilot probably wasn’t even for our aircraft, but my friend saw him as someone she could put trust in. She already had valium, but the sight of that uniform with it’s officers hat did more than all the valium ever could. I think it also is a symbol for respect from the cabin crew. The pilot is not just a driver, the pilots are the officers on the bridge and everyone on the aircraft needs to place trust in their skills and understand the chain of command. The uniform symbolises that relationship.
Da vid (1 month ago)
I like how you said "Pilots were seen as heroes in those days", for me pilots are still heroes especially civil ones. It takes a lot of courage and self confidence to step up and take responsibility for ~200 people and their lives aswell as the lives of their relatives. You should wear the hat with pride and accept the respect you get for wearing it because you deserve it.
Gavin Spammed (1 month ago)
I was expecting to see your hat.
ralfoide (1 month ago)
As a pax, I like when I see a well dressed flying crew going past me at the waiting gate. It immediately brings confidence. The hat is an inherent part of the pilots' uniform. It's a visual confirmation that says "I'm in charge here".
GymbalLock (1 month ago)
Wear the hat, but make a way to clip it onto the shoulder or belt when not being worn. Connected in that way makes it part of the uniform when not being worn, and lessens the chance of being forgotten. The hat should also be designed to be used with a radio headset.
PVP (1 month ago)
Darryl Day (1 month ago)
I'm torn. As an aircraft mechanic/flight instructor, I ride the picket fence between two completely different worlds. I wear steel toe winter boots and a warm hat firmly affixed to my mellon while performing my wrench turning duties. The impracticality of a "fancy-pants pilot uniform" seems obvious, even laughable, especially when you consider the low pay rate for pilots. Yet, several times a week I find myself in the right seat of a 172 (making less than minimum wage) joyfully doing my very best to pass on professional values to the next generation of pilots. Hats, yes, back to hats. The hat is part of the uniform. It identifies the pilot. It lets everyone know at a glance. The hat and the uniform communicate without a word being spoken. Yesterday I decided pull out my old uniform . I put it on, looked in the mirror and thought, "damn that looks good!" Maybe it's that simple. Maybe I should take a huge cut in pay and go back to flying full time. Yes, the uniform (and the hat) is a powerful thing.
DeepSpace12 (1 month ago)
Why are pilots in the air force always officer-ranked?
Izzle BizzleNet (1 month ago)
I dont think a hat is so important as long as the crew wear a tie and polish there shoes :)
carstorm85 (1 month ago)
I don't have the bell clicked but still don't miss anything in my feed...I use an RSS feed to keep track of YouTube as it shows everything in chronological order .
R W (1 month ago)
Unrelated question. Are you Swedish, sir? (Great video)
Bill Ward (1 month ago)
It’s called a “50 mission crush “.
Gary Pugh (1 month ago)
Pilots, cowboys, gangsters, boyscouts, school band , yes wear the hats.
Stan Lem (1 month ago)
Hats are cool, I wish they made a comeback even for everyday use.
Charles Steven (1 month ago)
Hats belong to a Uniform.
Michael Dougfir (1 month ago)
In American English, this is not a hat. It is a CAP because it has a short bill, or brim. Hats have a brim all the way around. If you are wearing something that is considered to be a "uniform", a hat or cap is part of it. To omit a cap from a uniform, is like wearing mismatching shoes, belt or other accessory. So I vote for the cap.
Remington Bradley (1 month ago)
Is it true that depleted uranium is used as a counter balance in airplanes?
Mark (1 month ago)
It is used in some aircraft. I know the MD-11 and C-17 use depleted uranium. Not all aircraft use it, I have also seen tungsten used
Vogel Hund (1 month ago)
Veteran Pilots use Caps and leather jacket nothing needs more.
leo crasto (1 month ago)
Hello +Mentour Pilot , Videos on pilot etiquettes would go a long way for your students pilots followers
Andy Owens (1 month ago)
Flight crew are much less visible these days (since 9/11), so its less significant whether they wear a hat or not. I worked in an office, and used to wear a tie - the single most useless piece of apparel:ever invented; increasingly less folks in business wear ties (except those in banking and finance who are dinosaurs, and those in public facing roles who have an image to present). The image cabin crew present is far more influential.on passenger perception. By the time the travelling public sees flight crew, they are already in the cockpit, jackets and hats off. Most of the airports I travel through you rarely see any flight crew passing through (at least dressed as flight crew), except in USA, where they seem to be everywhere.
Steven Bidder (1 month ago)
36 years as an airline pilot I loved it. The look of a professional.
Anthony Holroyd (1 month ago)
My industry got rid of hats a couple of decades ago in my country sadly, shame as I'd love it if we wore hats still. Not the old BR hats, as they looked hideous, but many railways across the world still expect drivers and guards to wear hats of a nicer design (Japanese railway uniforms, for example, look impeccable).
jean karam (1 month ago)
Hats don’t fly airplanes
lewis johnson (1 month ago)
Mentour, what is the procedure for a fuel leak? Maybe this could be topic for a video? Cheers
why-not.tv (1 month ago)
If the hat (which is an extra weight) serves as a reminder of the weight of responsibility ( both to the pilot and the public) then it is 👍. If it only portays belonging to an elite club, then it is 👎.
Andrew Humphrey (1 month ago)
The airline I work for in China requires us to wear the hat or we can expect a monetary punishment and a company wide criticism.
AtlanticiaCom JR (1 month ago)
I absolutely agree, you definitely should wear the hat, as it shows authority and proffessionalism
Professional EngineerTM (1 month ago)
There is so much inherited and powerful history associated with the complete uniform; While they should continue to evolve, it's such a unique and identifying style that would be a shame to lose to whimsical trends.
Sey Ley2 (1 month ago)
Plus when the Strippers dress as Pilots, this is one item that the audiance are able to catch when thrown to the crowd.....
B Kailua (1 month ago)
As a retired Airline Pilot with 30 years flying Wide body Boeing airplanes that don't call me a retard. I say it depends on where you fly and what you fly. If you fly international to places where a coat and tie is the norm for business then a coat and hat. If you fly the tropics and the locals are running around in shorts and flops then a tropical style is fine. I also think having a loop of fabric around your neck with you ID hanging from it is tacky. Put a clip on your ID and clip it to your breast pocket. But if you must scan your ID all the time to open doors then around the neck is fine. Or having your cell phone on a holster like a gun on your waist is also silly looking. Also do not forget the size of your watch is inversely proportional to the size of your other body part. If you fly a single engine Cessna leave the airline uniform at home. Last before 9/11 the hat was a symbol of authority so when you interacted with an unruly passenger you might have better luck defusing the problem. After 9/11 the philosophy is no interaction with passengers in flight and the TSA employees that you wouldn't hire to mow your lawn telling pilots they can't be trusted to carry tweezers and how to put their bag on a x-ray machine. When you are in uniform with proper ID and have to take off shoes and uniform coat and belt and hat as someone who could crash the plane with just their bare hands "you might be carrying a bomb or a gun" or as the TSA has said to me "you might take control of the airplane" you tend to leave what you don't really need at home. Trust me even as a qualified airline pilot flying the 767 if I tried to impersonate a pilot at some other airline than mine it would be almost impossible to know the correct checklist responses or know company jargon. :)
Ghost Reportin' (1 month ago)
I like the hats
Augusto Hofmann (1 month ago)
I like the hat. Like you said it shows professionalism and there's this image of what a pilot looks like. I wouldn't think a pilot is less capable because he doesn't have a hat but I don't want them to disappear due to a aesthetic and selfish point of view.
Halcyon Outlander (1 month ago)
Lol, the runway themed runway is hilarious.
Jack2Japan (1 month ago)
Hat: Yes.
Pibbles-a-Plenty (1 month ago)
The uniform of a person in charge is his badge of authority. Passengers and crew have to respect that authority if the plane is going to be managed by effective team work. It's not a neat uniform that garners the trust of the passengers, it's the good team work due to effective management. That's why a captain has all power under law. Of course if the pilot is incompetent, poorly trained, or does not own his position and its responsibilities then he needs to be in another profession. Ice cream vendor may be too much of a responsibility for those losers, uniform or not.
No Name (1 month ago)
AKA the "Fifty- mission crush"!
Gunnar Parment (1 month ago)
Very interesting about the history of the hat. For me, I don't care that much. I would fly with you, even if you were wearing a bathing suit. 😂 But if course, the hat looks nice. Wear it if you like it. 😊
Paul Jameson (1 month ago)
I believe the pilot hat is an integral part of professionalism and a sense of security for young fliers who haven’t flown as much or are maybe a bit more nervous. It’s most likely more of a thing for children who may be visiting the cockpit or may see the pilots either before or after the flight, and it may set a good impression in their minds about the safety of flying and ensuring trust in their pilots.
Cptain Fonsi (1 month ago)
Hats are cool. The problem is you wear the hat only on the outside, at least in my airline. So u end up carrying the hat all day long in your hand or flight bag. Cool video!
Adam Kowalczyk (1 month ago)
I love pilot hat
11clarkm (1 month ago)
I have a question that you can briefly cover in your next simulator video! So, in the simulator, I presume that the “windows” are in fact LCD/LED monitors, therefore moving your head up/down or side-to-side won’t give you any better perspective of the ground or round the window pillars... if this is correct, my question is how does this change/affect how you will train in the simulator, compared to how you will train in the real aircraft? If I’m incorrect, why am I? Also perhaps you could then talk more about some of the other reasons why training in the simulator is different to the real aircraft. Keep up the good work!
Philip Noah (1 month ago)
I vote for keep the hat, it is a slippery slope and I am afraid if the hat goes away the tie will be next, then the jacket, and you will be seeing pilots in jeans and t-shirts. I, for one, do not like how casual workplace dress has become. Medical doctors in private practice wear polo shirts and casual pant, you can’t tell who is staff and who is not.
4lst4ir (1 month ago)
A brimmed hat is fantastic as a sun visor, without resorting to wearing shades, as it keeps the eyes visible to others and makes the wearer look more approachable. This is why a traditional flat cap is often better than a beanie. (On a wider point, I have noticed on my morning walk when wearing a traditional tweed flat cap that strangers smile and say hello, yet they rarely do so if I wear a baseball cap or shades).
X-Plane Emergencies (1 month ago)
my dad is a captain for Icelandair and i want to be pilot for iceair also :D maybe look in my channel?
Nateomatic1 (1 month ago)
Dig the videos. You should do a video on why some planes get cool names. I've noticed usually the A380s and 747s get cool names. Who thinks of the names? Is there an official naming procedure? Do other (smaller commercial jet) planes get names? Do some planes have names that you just don't tell people about? Can you name a plane "The Batmobile" or will lawyers come after you? Thanks if you or anyone actually sees this!
Ivory Johnson (1 month ago)
Pilots are professionals they earned the right the hat and should be proud of it. Just like a physician they earned their white jacket and there are special ceremonies when they get them. The professional pilot (as well as any pilot) has a tremendous amount of responsibility I hope it stays
latoureb (1 month ago)
I feel better with them wearing a hat and NOT a helmet.
B. Kay (1 month ago)
the hat sucks
Gazza 'rafale mozzy' (1 month ago)
sick of hats and shaving.., had to in the military and had to at airlines...sadly in my time it was still a requirement, i think a decently maintained uniform without hats is fine the priority is flying not inspiring confidence..sorry
Michael Wojcik (1 month ago)
I honestly can't think of any uniform that does not include some style of hat.
Fly Blue Sky Guy (1 month ago)
Keep hat and uniform.
Windtee (1 month ago)
Hat stays! It's a professional salute to an iconic age of aviation travel.
Thomas Toups (1 month ago)
I want to see pilots - especially those flying African routes - wearing pith helmets!
Erik Johansson (1 month ago)
Staff at McDonalds here wear hats too.
bo_bo_deluxe (1 month ago)
Hey, it's cool. The Pope wears a hat, not militaristic at all.
TheOtherNeutrino (1 month ago)
I'm all for wearing hats in general so I'm firmly in the hat camp.
Mike Hunt (1 month ago)
i thought they were used for balding men to assist with meetings ladies
Chris Leyland (1 month ago)
A pilot who has put years of training and most often loads of money to obtain that position deserves the right to a certain standard of status. Looking "sharp", is a confident appearance to passengers particularly, but also gives an air of authority to ground staff, and a certain respect is implied. That hat completes this sharpness. I think it's still relevant in most circumstances. People will say casual, ist the way to go these days, but do you want your pilot to fly casual too? (even if they don't actually) A bit like wearing a tie with a suit, go to the office without a tie and you are taken less seriously in most instances.
Quack Quark (1 month ago)
The hat should be optional. Substance over style. That in no way negates requirements for a distinctive uniform and sharp appearance. Pilots need some discretion to dress up or down.
Bobsunfire (1 month ago)
The hat is a great image and competence builder. Keep that beautiful pilot hat!
trident3b (1 month ago)
Why do pilots insist on running the front wheel over the raised cats eyes of the runway causing a very loud nasty sounding rhythmic thump that obviously varies with the speed. They do it on take off and when landing. It drives me mad. Can't they just aim the aircraft very very slightly to one side (we're talking about 10 to perhaps 30 cm) either left or right of the raised cats eyes to avoid the loud thumping?? It infuriates me each time.
Lakson Taimo (1 month ago)
Quite interesting indeed mentour... After learning so much about the hat in particular I am now curious about the the male cabin crew hats... They are pretty much the same as the pilot's hats, is there any story or somewhat of a reason behind that? I know probably you cant comment much about that but... Can't help but wonder...
Kenny R (1 month ago)
For those of you airline pilots, how you feel about the short sleeve shirt and the tie? Lot of people I know seem to complain it looks off lol.
Glynn Knox (1 month ago)
I recently retired from American Airlines (Eagle 18 months, USAir until we bought American, total of 30 years) and I wore the hat anytime I left the airplane. I did fly with some 45 yrs old captain who wore his hat while flying .. I think he was embarrassed of his premature baldness lol.
6 6 (1 month ago)
I think the hat should be optional, but fighting uniform requirements is the very definition of childish and unprofessional. The shabby looking pilot not only portrays a bad pilot but confirms it.
Herman Idzerda (1 month ago)
To me, the flight crew uniform is part of the in flight experience. The captain is personally responsible for the safety of the passengers and plane and to me, the uniform (including the HAT) conveys this message. It shows that he/she is the captain and will do everything to make the flight safe and not just someone who knows how to fly a plane. A computer can for the most part fly a plane but a computer can never be a captain. To me it is like my daily attire: as a doctor I wear a white coat all day. In my (and in a lot of other) specialities the few practical purpose of the white coat is to catch coffee drops and store your pens, phone, PDA and stethoscope. However without a white coat, in the hospital you're not a doctor. It stands for the professionality of the doctor. The white coat conveys the message that I am a professional that is there to help the patients as good as I can, without prejudice and with all confidentiality and attention they expect. So please don't loose the HAT!
Wavetrex Infinity (1 month ago)
Episode about how nice hats are. Does not wear the hat. k.
Robert Lindhé (1 month ago)
I think the hat is positive part of the uniform. I remember in my youth, when bus and underground drivers were hats in Stockholm, despite that their uniforms were much more classy. In that fashion, they looked a lot more professional. But in that period of time, that line of work were treated in a much higher regard than today.
Owen LaPrath (1 month ago)
Being a wearer of eye-glasses, I hate when they get wet and smeared in rain, which is why I like my flat cap. I can see how a hat is actually a practical addition to any uniform to keep your scalp warm (especially for us balding types) and rain out of your glasses :) It should be voluntary to wear though, as many times headgear gets in the way in many ways. Too hot in summer, awkward and easily knocked off in tight places, no room at a dinner table, etc. So make it part of the uniform issue, in case it is needed or handy to wear, but voluntary to wear. As for the professional look that inspires confidence: As a military veteran, for me, the higher the rank, the more suspicious I am of the person under the insignia ;)
johny2decks (1 month ago)
Off subject but, how can you explain earths curvature and flying straight in the plain?
Sgt Beltfed (1 month ago)
I can see another benefit to having a hat, you can hide "headset hair" after a flight. You don't have to look like you just spent the last few hours wearing a headset even though that's exactly what you've been doing. In the old, open cockpit biplanes, the leather flying caps were a piece of safety equipment. It helped keep large bugs and other things from injuring the pilot when the plane hit them at what was for time high speed. Air forces stuck with these into WWII because many aircraft could be flown with the canopy open, and even if the aircraft couldn't, bullets shattering stuff in the cockpit was still a hazard.
P (1 month ago)
I use a behind-the-head headset, so I don't need to worry about "headset hair". Wearing a hat would actually make me have "hat hair" and force me to wear a hat all the time. I've never been a hat person for as long as I can remember, either.
Andrew Miller (1 month ago)
Sgt Beltfed I solve that by being bald lol. Now the hat is to keepy head from getting sunburnt
Bill Seidel (1 month ago)
I agree, I feel more assured when I see the pilots in uniform with the hat. I suppose it's not necessary, but do expect to see it. Regardless, I always appreciate and respect the fact that you know how to fly me where I am trying to go.
Frostie-Flake (1 month ago)
Excellent comments!
Ian Johnson (1 month ago)
I think it looks smart
Hangover Chilly (1 month ago)
Why not just wear the hat while interacting and seen by the public? Don't have the wear it while in the cockpit.
Shadow Eagle (1 month ago)
It does look sharp, and I feel that is important for the aviation and aerospace community's to maintain an air of professionalism.
I don't know any usernames (1 month ago)
Why not?
Anne Margaret (1 month ago)
Wow everything on an aircraft really does have a purpose, even hats! I like the hat, I think it looks smart and shows professionalism. I would never imagine that a "hatless" pilot would be any less professional than a hatted one, but still, I just like that you can recognise the pilot straight away and it looks smart. I might feel a bit differently if I saw my pilot wearing a squashed hat though!
Mario S. (1 month ago)
Pilots wear hat to look cool and hide their bald or going bald head.
john patrick (1 month ago)
Skycaps checking bags wear the same style hats and short sleeve shirts with a tie as pilots do. Must comfort the public. Almost a decade ago hat wearing by pilots became optional at a large number of N. American airlines. So many pilots began not wearing them it became too time consuming for airlines to police the bad boys including pilots like me. I was early in the trend and back in 2005 and 2006 ratted out and lectured by management. Traditionalists and some egomaniacs still like them.
MrStarbuckk (1 month ago)
Either make the hat optional or go to a more practical cloth flight cap. The "wheel hat" is a nuisance.
Jim Bellino (1 month ago)
This is not for The Mentour Pilot... Frankly, I believe that a scragly, un-kept beard shows less professionalism than not wearing a hat.