Man Explains Why Wife Should Call Him a Pilot Despite no Flight Training

A man from Altoona, Pennsylvania has captured viral attention online after he shared his frustration online that his wife would not respect his title as a pilot.

But when he revealed the details of their argument, the internet was in awe: Rodney Fisher revealed that he has never flown a plane.

In a post on Reddit, Fisher asked for help as he and his wife had disagreed over his insistence to be referred to as a pilot.

Flight simulator
A file photo of a hand adjusting a flight simulator control in cockpit. A Redditor has shared his frustration online that his wife would not respect his title as a pilot. Panlop/Getty Images

At a party, his wife introduced him to one of her co-workers. In the post online, Fisher explained: "My wife chimes in with, "He manages a [insert fast food chain], it certainly comes with some benefits," in a voice that implied nothing was wrong with what she said. I very quickly corrected her and told him that I am a pilot."

Fisher has been passionate about the aviation industry for many years. He told Newsweek: "When I was about 17 and slowly realizing I wouldn't be able to pay for college, I took to YouTube and gaming to find my next big interest. I figured I'd indulge in whatever fictional dream of mine to escape the pain of reality."

Finding a passion for airplanes, he met his wife, who also understood his love of aviation and encouraged him to focus more on it.

"I always hoped to fly planes but I failed to see the point sometimes. Why spend so much money when I already know the information and can simulate whatever trip I'd want to take in a flight simulator?" said Fisher.

A manager of a restaurant chain, Fisher admits he has felt uncomfortable about his career for some time. "I've worked in fast food since I was 16. I know exactly what runs through everyone's minds when I say that," he said.

"It doesn't help that I am overweight and fit the 'fast-food guy' role. My wife has a masters degree and has always had more success in her career than I have. I've dealt with the emasculation of it for many years," Fisher added.

"To be truthful, I've put more energy and time into flying than I have being a manager. I'm more confident in the sim[ulator] than I am at work every day. I put so much unrecognized effort into flying."

Having spent thousands of dollars on flight textbooks, simulation gear and even building his own setup, Fisher hasn't started flight training but has 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," he explained on Reddit.

At the party, his wife was taken aback by his argument, and the couple rowed about the situation. After this, Fisher took to the internet to ask for some advice.

"I originally posted my question to r/AITA, but was banned after almost 60 comments in the first hour tore me to shreds," he explained. "I was banned for trolling. I then posted my question in r/Flying, but was also immediately removed.

"I took to r/S*****AskFlying. I knew that I had a good chance of only getting sarcastic replies back, but if nothing else got my message out, it was my last resort."

The post quickly gained attention, not just on Reddit. It was reposted across other social media, on Twitter and Instagram. Most responses did not understand Fisher's position, and even went as far as to insult him for arguing with his wife.

Some commenters likened it to other professions and hobbies. One Reddit user wrote: "I have a 590-day Duolingo streak, so I call myself an interpreter for the UN," while another posted: "A flying license involving a certain quantity of real flight hours, not simulation. If that were the case, every GTA fan would be a driving champion."

Despite this being an unusual situation, Fisher explained that his query came from a very real place. Eventually, his wife stumbled on the post, too.

"My wife found my post. She typically browses aviation subreddits that I recommended to her—I think part of me was actually hoping she'd see it," Fisher explained. "I knew (or guessed, at least) she would, and I was comfortable with that being the way the conversation was brought up. She had slept on the couch for 2 or 3 nights in a row before she came to me about things."

When the couple sat down to talk about the incident, his wife asked for an apology—and Fisher told her that he was sincerely sorry.

"She informed me again that I embarrassed her in front of people she has to see very often, and that it'd be an awkward conversation to have if they tried to talk further about my experience as a pilot," said Fisher.

"She, as well as hundreds of Redditors, helped me realize that I wasn't in the right for speaking up about my hobby. I should take pride in my job and respect my wife's personal life."

After a clear and constructive conversation about the issue, the couple arranged to look at second jobs and a therapist to help.

"We have our first therapy appointment together next Tuesday to talk about rejection and insecurity in our relationship and careers," said Fisher.

"I've already contacted a flight school and I'm driving to a hangar on Monday to meet with a flight instructor from a school a few towns away."

Looking back at the post that has captured such widespread attention, Fisher said he was upset at first, but now appreciates the responses. "I was angry at the response initially. I felt like no one understood what I was asking or how deep my passion actually was," he said.

"But I realized that the truth hurts, and what I did could have cost me the most-giving woman in the world. I want my post to be considered a [public service announcement} to all husbands going forward."