In addition to being a PDA, Pilot was the name of a very weird little language that was used in the 1980's by teachers to code multiple choice, computer-based tests. I had to program in it at one time (I think I was 10) and it was kind of like cleaning your ear with a q-tip: it was kind of fun, you just couldn't figure out why.

The pilot of a railroad locomotive is the very front of the locomotive, beneath the coupler and fastened to the pilot beam, the end sill of the locomotive frame, to which the coupler's draft gear is mounted. Historically, this part was nicknamed the cowcatcher, but this term is archaic and when applied to any locomotive post-1900 the term makes railroad men wince. That term in any case referred only to the pointed and wedged kind applied to early locomotives, when a collision with free-ranging cattle was an ever-present danger.

On a twentieth century steam locomotive, one of two types of pilot might have been fitted, depending on intended service.

On a road locomotive, a road pilot was used. The purpose of this was to deflect anything the locomotive might hit at speed and prevent it from knocking the locomotive to the side or worse, getting under the wheels. Pushing the obstacle to the side was always preferable, both for the obstacle hit and for the train itself; the ideal was for the locomotive to remain on the rails and avoid a potentially castastrophic derailment at speed. Road pilots were normally, as in the archaic cowcatcher, vee-shaped as seen from above and wedge-shaped in side view, to throw an obstacle up and sideways. They were of much restrained proportion compared to the original cowcatchers, though, and did not protrude ahead of the coupler in such a way as to make it difficult to couple to locomotives or cars.

Road pilots were generally bar pilots made out of steel bars or tubing; frequently, used boiler tubes were re-used for this purpose, cut and welded together. Later on, especially in the post-WW2 era, the sheet steel pilot gained in popularity, partly for its more modern streamlined look, and partly because an obstacle would slide more easily over sheet steel. At the same time, the drop coupler came into vogue for the front of locomotives; this dropped down on a hinge to fit inside a recess in the pilot. The aesthetics were good, but the drop coupler had a more serious purpose; the exposed coupler had been found to catch on obstacles struck by the train, not allowing them to be pushed aside but rather driving them underneath the locomotive. The smooth face provided by the drop coupler increased safety. Alternatively, some locomotives used front couplers that lifted up and swung back, or couplers that would swing aside and into the pilot, hiding between steel covers.

Yard locomotives, switchers and the like, were from 1915 until 1977 required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and its regulatory predecessors to have footboard pilots instead of road pilots. These had a step mounted across the front of the locomotive deep enough for a man to comfortably stand, with handholds mounted above, so that conductors and other railroad workers could safely ride on the locomotive without placing themselves in danger. In addition, some, but not all, freight locomotives were equipped with a footboard pilot, possibly so that they could be used as switchers if necessary.

Diesel locomotives have pilots too. Older, carbodied "cab units" had road type pilots, more pointed on passenger units and blunter on freight units. Switchers and hood units generally were fitted with footboard pilots until the 1977 outlawing of such, though on many railroads small snowplows were installed obscuring them. After the outlawing of footboards and pilot steps, flat pilots became the order of the day. Another more modern innovation is the installation of an anticlimber above the coupler. In steam days, the crew had the whole locomotive ahead of them to protect them in case of a collision; on a modern locomotive, the nose or short hood is all that's there. The anticlimber helps prevent an object collided with from sliding up, mounting the locomotive frame and colliding with the cab.

Some fact checking done with the Model Railroader Cyclopedia Volume I: Steam Locomotives.
Pilot- Someone who flies an airplane.

While this is alluded to in the entry made by Webster 1913, many of the mentioned "piloting" jobs listed within now have more technical titles, such as Captain, Helmsmen, etc. Pilot has become a more specific term for the person who operates and flys an airplane, rather then any other vessel.

Pilot- The test episode for a television program.

This episode is sent in to the studios to show an idea of how the show would look and feel before the studio invests any money in the idea.

While pilot episodes are rarely the first actual televised episode of a show, there has been a recent spree of shows putting their pilot episodes onto DVD collections.

Regarding pilot episodes, Star Trek is one of the only shows on record with 2 pilots!

From the Sci Fi Channel's Farscape series. Pilot, the man and the species, are quite possibly the coolest thing about the show.


Pilot is the large, insect like, four-armed creature that is bonded to a Leviathan and regulates the ship's functions. For reasons never clarified by the show, both the individual members of the species and the species collectively is known simply as "Pilot" to everyone in the galaxy. They are highly intelligent and possess superior multi-tasking skills which enable them to process the massive amount of information from their Leviathan host. Initially they are independent creatures, but once bonded they become dependent on the ship to survive. Pilot and ship will live out the rest of their natural lives bonded as one.

Not a great deal is revealed about the history of the species, such as how they developed their symbiotic relationship with Leviathans. We do know they have a council of elders which somewhat governs their society. Their language is the most complex in the galaxy, with one sentence carrying over 100 different meanings.

Our Man Pilot

On Farscape "Pilot" is Moya's Pilot. He is dedicated to Moya first and foremost, but collectively Moya and Pilot are dedicated to the service of others, sometimes to a fault. Pilot has offered his life to save the crew on several occasions, though has never had to make the ultimate sacrifice. The crew did, however, cut off one of his arms in order to obtain maps back to their home worlds, an act which he quickly forgave. John Crichton often finds Pilot perplexing because of his attitude towards others. Pilot thinks the crew can be annoying because of their constant bickering and pettiness, but he is overall a patient, sensitive and highly ethical creature.

History of Pilot and Moya

According to the Elders, Pilot was too young and inexperienced to be bonded to a Leviathan and would be forced to wait many cycles to be bonded through normal channels. Being young and impatient, desperately wanting to see the stars, he instead made a deal with a Peacekeeper Tech to replace Moya's original Pilot. This resulted in the death of the original Pilot and a painful forced bonding with Moya. It is a decision he deeply regretted for many cycles until an incident forced him to deal with his past.

Pilot is the only person on the ship who can communicate directly with Moya, and because of their symbiotic relationship, they are most often in agreement. In certain situations Moya and Pilot have had differences of opinion, especially when facing certain death or where her child Talyn is concerned. Moya will assert her will over the crew and Pilot when she chooses, but eventually Pilot convinces her to see reason.

Pi"lot (?), n. [F. pilote, prob. from D. peillood plummet, sounding lead; peilen, pegelen, to sound, measure (fr. D. & G. peil, pegel, a sort of measure, water mark) + lood lead, akin to E. lead. The pilot, then, is the lead man, i. e., he who throws the lead. See Pail, and Lead a metal.]

1. (Naut.)

One employed to steer a vessel; a helmsman; a steersman. Dryden.


Specifically, a person duly qualified, and licensed by authority, to conduct vessels into and out of a port, or in certain waters, for a fixed rate of fees.


Figuratively: A guide; a director of another through a difficult or unknown course.


An instrument for detecting the compass error.


The cowcatcher of a locomotive. [U.S.]

Pilot balloon, a small balloon sent up in advance of a large one, to show the direction and force of the wind. --
Pilot bird. (Zoöl.)

(a) A bird found near the Caribbee Islands; -- so called because its presence indicates to mariners their approach to these islands. Crabb.

(b) The black- bellied plover. [Local, U.S.] --
Pilot boat, a strong, fast-sailing boat used to carry and receive pilots as they board and leave vessels. --
Pilot bread, ship biscuit. --
Pilot cloth, a coarse, stout kind of cloth for overcoats. --
Pilot engine, a locomotive going in advance of a train to make sure that the way is clear. --
Pilot fish. (Zoöl)

(a) A pelagic carangoid fish (Naucrates ductor); -- so named because it is often seen in company with a shark, swimming near a ship, on account of which sailors imagine that it acts as a pilot to the shark.
(b) The rudder fish (Seriola zonata). --
Pilot jack, a flag or signal hoisted by a vessel for a pilot. --
Pilot jacket, a pea jacket. --
Pilot nut (Bridge Building), a conical nut applied temporarily to the threaded end of a pin, to protect the thread and guide the pin when it is driven into a hole. Waddell. --
Pilot snake (Zoöl.)
(a) A large North American snake (Coluber obsoleus). It is lustrous black, with white edges to some of the scales. Called also mountain black snake.
(b) The pine snake. --
Pilot whale. (Zoöl.) Same as Blackfish, 1.


© Webster 1913

Pi"lot, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Piloted; p. pr. & vb. n. Piloting.] [Cf. F. piloter.]


To direct the course of, as of a ship, where navigation is dangerous.


Figuratively: To guide, as through dangers or difficulties. "The art of piloting a state." Berkeley.


© Webster 1913

Pi"lot, n.

1. (Aëronautics)

One who flies, or is qualified to fly, a balloon, an airship, or a flying machine.

2. (Mach.)

A short plug at the end of a counterbore to guide the tool. Pilots are sometimes made interchangeable.

3. (Mining)

The heading or excavation of relatively small dimensions, first made in the driving of a larger tunnel.


© Webster 1913

Pi"lot, v. t. (Aëronautics)

To fly, or act as pilot of (an aircraft).


© Webster 1913

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.