Some people are passionate about their hobbies. One flight simulator hobbyist took things to the extreme — both in terms of his home setup and actual behavior. Just ask his wife.
Nope. This is not about a Takeoff Nap post. And I can’t wait to hear what aviation professionals say about it.
The Man Who Calls Himself a Pilot
There’s a Subreddit titled “r/AmItheA—hole.” People post different (purported) real-life situations and ask if they’re the, um, jerk for what happened.
Redditor Substantial_Wheel999 asked “AITA for asking my wife to respect my title a pilot?”
He manages a fast food restaurant — a job he’s held for at least the five years he’s been with his wife. He says he and Mrs. Wheel999 (if you will), “have an amazing, happy relationship. I can’t recall a single time we’ve ever argued to the point of a breakup or divorce. This issue, however, is causing me to reconsider the health of our relationship.”
Like many of us, he loves aviation. He plays a flight simulator game. (That’s something I, too, enjoyed before my daughter came along and work got busier!) Some people really have some sweet setups.
And that seems to be the case with Mr. Wheel999.
He writes, “I am an extremely passionate aviation enthusiast in my free time. I have spent thousands of dollars on flight textbooks, sim gear, and even built my own a330 setup. I have never actually flown a plane or started flight training, but I have considered it for a long time. Even though my skills are not a career, I still consider myself as adept or possibly more knowledgeable than the average pilot.”
Mmmkay. So, he thinks his skills and knowledge are better than someone who’s actually flown, say, 5,000 hours in the real sky?
Cut to: the Wheel999s go to a work party thrown by one of the wife’s “male coworkers.” Mr. Wheel999 mentions a few times how “close” she and some of her coworkers have become. (Is someone a little peanut butter and jealous?)
Mrs. Wheel999 introduces her husband to Greg, the party’s host, who asks what Mr. Wheel999 does for work.
“My wife chimes in with ‘He manages a [insert fast food chain], it certainly comes with some benefits (I’m assuming she’s referring to free food)’, in a voice that implied nothing was wrong with what she said.”
Probably because she didn’t say anything wrong. You know, she told the truth.
And that’s where things become awkward.
“I very quickly corrected her and told him that I am a pilot.”
Sorry, what’s that?
“My wife already knows how insecure I am about my job and how I’d much rather be introduced by my hobby. I’ve earned the title of pilot through my 500+ hours on and sim and thousands of dollars put into my craft. I think it is incredibly disrespectful for her not to acknowledge my skills and training. Just because I don’t have the title of pilot on an overpriced piece of paper doesn’t mean I’m not a pilot.”
Um, yes, it does mean that he’s not a pilot. To be clear: we’re not talking about someone who trained in a bonafide simulator under professional supervision at an actual flight school. (I believe those hours do count toward a pilot license.) This is a home flight simulator hobbyist/enthusiast. It’s kind of like me saying I’m a professional basketball player because I enjoy shooting hoops.
“I laughed it off with Greg, told him under my breath that my wife was often forgetful (which I’m sure he’s realized just from working with her).”
I love how he throws his wife under the bus (or A330, as it were) and tries to commiserate with her coworker that she’s “forgetful” — yet he’s the one who thinks he’s a pilot.
“At this point, I’m fuming, but I don’t go much farther than exchanging some nasty glances at my wife for the rest of the night. As we pack into the car to leave, the argument starts.”
You don’t say.
“She feels as if I don’t deserve my title as a Pilot because I’m not professional. I told her she is completely insensitive to the work i’ve done and she will never understand what it’s like to study so much.”
He also seems to enjoy belittling his wife — something that drives me crazy.
“I need the opinions of avgeeks and pilots on a matter involving my wife,” he asked at the beginning of the post. “I AM COMPLETELY SERIOUS AND I NEED HELP.”
Finally! Something he and I can agree on: I think he needs help.
And yes, he is the A-hole.
What do you think? Is he a “pilot”?
Or do you think this is the work of a troll who’s duping some of us?
H/T: Abby Vesoulis
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