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Meet the man who's flying the plane

For kids: what it takes to become a commercial airline pilot.

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You see them crisscross the sky dozens of times a day, but did you ever wonder what it's like to fly those big jumbo jets?

Meet pilot Randy Jolley. He is a first officer at Continental Airlines. The first officer is second in command on the plane – kind of like the vice principal at your school. The first officer assists the captain during takeoff, landing, and throughout the flight. He can also take over if the captain isn't feeling well or if he wants someone to relieve him.

Mr. Jolley is qualified to fly both the Boeing 757 and the Boeing 767 planes. He lives in Virginia, but he flies out of Newark, N.J., which means he has to commute to another state just to start his workday! He flies planes from New Jersey to Europe.

Mr. Jolley knew he wanted to be a pilot when he was about 10 years old. His dad was a maintenance officer in the Air Force, which meant he repaired military airplanes.

As a kid, Mr. Jolley went to a lot of air shows, which have demonstrations of airplanes and often feature aerobatic flying performances. "I just grew up around planes, and I loved that experience," he explains.


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