Why are BA pilots called "Nigel"?

Old Jul 19, 20, 4:54 pm
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Why are BA pilots called "Nigel"?

Discussion on a completely unrelated forum website threw up the notion that BA pilots are/were often referred to as Nigels.

What's the reason for this? Is it much like Army Officers being called Ruperts? And where did it come from?
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Old Jul 19, 20, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Keiran Newberry View Post
Discussion on a completely unrelated forum website threw up the notion that BA pilots are/were often referred to as Nigels.

What's the reason for this? Is it much like Army Officers being called Ruperts? And where did it come from?
No, it's because all of them are literally called Nigel
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Old Jul 19, 20, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Farringdon View Post
No, it's because all of them are literally called Nigel
In fact, all Englishmen are called Nigel.

Extended reading:
Qantas pilots are all called Bruce.
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Old Jul 19, 20, 9:49 pm
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IAG are making plans for Nigel

They only want what's best for them
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Old Jul 19, 20, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Farringdon View Post
No, it's because all of them are literally called Nigel
You'll be telling me next all BA FA's are called PUCCI GALORE?
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Old Jul 19, 20, 10:26 pm
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There used to be a somewhat cheesy 'drama' called Mile High about 20yrs ago on a British satellite channel about a low cost airline called Fresh. In the series many of the regular characters were crew working for the airline. One character was Captain Nigel Croker who was your typical suarve, debonair captain in charge of all the lives of those on board..... And with an eye for the ladies.... but he was also your typical sensationalist TV soap character who was having lots of fun around the Fresh route network bedding crew, bedding passengers, inviting undercover female journalists to the flight deck and generally being a two timing love rat. Now obviously I've never watched an episode of this programme in my life but I think this would be a pretty good description of a Nigel type Captain. Whether the character was based on the Nigel phrase or if the phrase was coined from the character, I'm not sure.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Croker
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Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Jul 19, 20 at 10:35 pm
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Old Jul 20, 20, 1:23 am
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Originally Posted by Keiran Newberry View Post
Discussion on a completely unrelated forum website threw up the notion that BA pilots are/were often referred to as Nigels.

What's the reason for this? Is it much like Army Officers being called Ruperts? And where did it come from?
How dare you. In this age of equality some are called Caroline
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Old Jul 20, 20, 1:30 am
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A previous boss of mine once mentioned his theory that all BA captains have at least 4 syllables in their names. I still can't stop myself counting when the flight deck introductions are made...
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Old Jul 20, 20, 1:59 am
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An old friend of mine is a BA Captain and also happens to be called Nigel.

Always brought a smile to my face when we’d exchange pleasantries on the r/t...
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Old Jul 20, 20, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
You'll be telling me next all BA FA's are called PUCCI GALORE?
The WW ones are Barbara and the MF ones Chardonnay
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Old Jul 20, 20, 4:49 am
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Back in 2000 when it was permitted, I was on the flight deck of a BA 747 from LHR-JNB and everyone was called Pete - this was organised by my friend's father also a BA 747 pilot, also called Pete. No Nigel's to be found.

Pete is also the French for fart and Pete (who was famous for his poor French) had a favorite funny story as to how he'd once tried to speak to air traffic control in France explaining that his name was Pete and he had a tail wind - je m'appelle pete et j'ai vent a la derrière (or similar) - but which instead translated as my name is fart and I have wind from my bottom to much amusement (and a good reason the language of air traffic control is English). Not entirely sure how true it is, but amusing never the less. Sadly, Nigel wouldn't be able to say the same.
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Old Jul 20, 20, 5:05 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
You'll be telling me next all BA FA's are called PUCCI GALORE?
There is, and can only ever be, one PUCCI GALORE !!
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Old Jul 20, 20, 5:24 am
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Nigel is mainly a British name, although it was briefly popular in USA.
It was very, very common in the 1950s, when a lot of the older/now retired BA pilots were born.

Using "Nigel" as a generic name for BA pilots is, as Keiran suggests, the same as using Rupert for British Army officers.
In Aus., it is a male social misfit or a friendless person
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Old Jul 20, 20, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
There used to be a somewhat cheesy 'drama' called Mile High about 20yrs ago on a British satellite channel about a low cost airline called Fresh. In the series many of the regular characters were crew working for the airline. One character was Captain Nigel Croker who was your typical suarve, debonair captain in charge of all the lives of those on board..... And with an eye for the ladies.... but he was also your typical sensationalist TV soap character who was having lots of fun around the Fresh route network bedding crew, bedding passengers, inviting undercover female journalists to the flight deck and generally being a two timing love rat. Now obviously I've never watched an episode of this programme in my life but I think this would be a pretty good description of a Nigel type Captain. Whether the character was based on the Nigel phrase or if the phrase was coined from the character, I'm not sure.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Croker
They have been called Nigels much longer than that. The team that wrote that show, chose the name Nigel for the pilot because they knew this was the case.

It is a semi derogatory term dating back decades when many of the pilots were ex RAF and quite a few were actually called Nigel.
Over the years it has just become a term used to refer to pilots and is not really derogatory nowadays.
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Last edited by Littlegirl; Jul 20, 20 at 5:39 am
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Old Jul 20, 20, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by gliderpilot View Post
There is, and can only ever be, one PUCCI GALORE !!
You just became a Mucci - for comparing me with Cleopatra. Like her I have clasped too many asps to my chest. HIDDY would complete the quotation "My salad days, When I was green in judgment" except that I doubt that he learned Shakespeare in the school to the Judge sent him.

No, it is true that I was not christened Pucci - but it is my nom de plume - and no I am not Barbara either.

Goodness this thread is really quite like the BA Forum that I knew and loved. Can I help you will be along soon - his real name is "Oi-You" and he comes when I click my fingers - which I just have.
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