“No!” Passengers hate to hear it. It means “no,” you won’t be leaving on time. It means “no,” you won’t make your on-going flight connections. It means “no,” you won’t make it to your event on time.
Pilots hate to say it. We hate to disappoint our customers.
But often, it’s the safest word and the very best word you’ll hear. The main thing is that at least you’ll still be around to complain about it.
One of the hardest times pilots have to choose to say “No!” is when facing poor weather conditions. Finding the right place to draw the line in the air between “Go,” and “No Go,” can be very ambiguous. It can shift with the technology that’s available on the aircraft we’re flying. It can shift daily, even moment-by-moment, with changing conditions and our own experience, and even how we feel at the moment.
Sadly, faced with what feels like over-whelming pressure from our passengers and even (worst of all) our employers, pilots sometimes choose to acquiesce and fly into weather beyond safe limits. This usually ends badly.
Learn to love the “No!” word. Know it’s in your best interests.
The journey continues… make it a safe one.