SJS Press October 2011

Many if not most airline pilots live in a city far away from where they start their workday. Many "choose" to use airliners as their commuter vehicle. Whether their beloved companies open and close pilot domiciles as often as a person breathes, or have a penchant for creating crew bases in the most expensive cities to live in while starting their pilots at twenty grand a year, "commuting" may be a mainstay of an airline pilot's life. When a pilot commutes, he often stands at his departure gate making out any other commuters that may be circling the area. These other pilots and sometimes flight attendants are usually easy to spot. With their Luggage Works rollaboards and leather flight kits, they stand out from the crowd of paying passengers. Once a pilot finds out if there are going to be other commuting crew members on his flight, he can assess where he stands on the priority list to get on board. This leads to finding out which pilot will sit in the coveted last resort; the cockpit jumpseat. When it comes to being a regional airline pilot, you can be assured you will have no priority for this seat. However, you can never be sure who will come at the last minute and bump even the most eligible pilot off the jumpseat. The Press sizes up the situation.

lilsteverightLate this September, The SJS Host was planning his normal three leg commute which takes him through Louisville to Newark using UPS. "I had it all planned out. Well, sort of." The Host began. "I was a little late calling the UPS jumpseat line and they said the remaining jumpseat had been reserved, but this particular pilot was notorious for no-shows and I should head out to the Worldport just in case. To my disappointment, the pilot did show. And he was something I had never seen before." The Host's eyes widened. "This pilot worked for UPS. He was only a foot tall! And he smiled like he didn't have a care in the world! Even when he took the jumpseat and I was being left behind, he kept grinning! Who was this guy?"lilsteveleft

The bewilderment of The Host launched the writers at The Press into action. After scouring the interwebs and interviewing several pilots at Big Brown, The Press concluded The Host had come across the most prolific jumpseater of all time; Lil' Steve. One Press writer at explains "I had an inkling when I first heard of this episode. It didn't take long to figure out who this guy was."

sjsupsStanding 1 foot 3 inches, wearing a freshly pressed UPS pilot uniform, is Lil' Steve. Also going by Little Stevie, Lil' Brown, and The Total Package, this felt pilot doll rules the airways. He face beams from his cockpit window. With all his time around airplanes, there could only be one reason for this permasmirk. SJS; Shiny Jet Syndrome.

lilstevefoLil' Steve is one SJS filled pilot who knows his way around an airplane. When UPS needs an immediate fill-in for a First Officer or Captain, who do they call? Lil' Steve. And when they don't need a pilot? Lil' Steve. His fellow pilots have mixed feelings about Lil' Steve. A senior UPS co-pilot says "Lil' Steve is great. He does the preflight for me and serves up a good cup of coffee. All this while making sure our fuel is balanced and our systems are running smoothly! My only complaint is that he is sort of a throttle hog. I'm as lazy as the next pilot, but sometimes I want to fly too!"

lilstevecaLil' Steve's human counterpart Captain Steve has nothing but praise for the little over achiever. "Lil' Steve keeps my First Officers in line. I always feel safe when he's around. And let's not forget that he is rather handsome. Reminds me of myself in a way."

lilstevestewCaptain Steve may be right. Lil' Steve is known to be quite the ladies man. "I didn't know pilots could pick up women any more," says a co-worker. "Yet Lil' Steve rakes them in!"

Indeed Lil' Steve is a pilot anomaly. He has such a love for shiny jets that one would think he had his pilot's uniform sewn to his body. So if you are lucky enough to have Lil' Steve take a jumpseat before you, be proud. Be sure to know where you stand in line when commuting on UPS so any surprises are welcome. And you never know who could appear next. One day there could be a Lil' You!


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lilstevechockUPS Jumpseat Priority:

1. Lil' Steve

2. Other UPS Employees

3. FAA

4. You