Some days are more stressful than others, and last week I had one of those days. 7 sectors and a maxed-out flight duty with only 15 minutes margin between the scheduled duration of the flights and the maximum time we were allowed to fly due to duty time restrictions. So what to do? There is actually only one thing to do and that is taking one sector (flight) at a time and do the best you can to make it work.
Flying an airplane is not that complicated, and if you are well-organized and interested in what you are doing, it can be both fun and interesting. Though there is more to flying than just taking your seat in the cockpit and pushing some buttons, and every day, there are new decisions to be made.
What are your plans for May? Depending on which airline you work for, you typically get your monthly roster 2-4 weeks in advance, and the roster pretty much controls your life. It tells you when you have to go to bed early, in order to be fully rested for a 5 am check-in, and when it is better to stay awake, so you are prepared for that night flight tomorrow.
One of the reasons why I wanted to become a pilot was that I wanted to see the world. I love flying long-haul because on long-haul flights, you usually get to spend a night or two at the destination, so you can rent a car and go sightseeing. On short-haul, you often do not get to see anything else than the airport, since you are flying turnaround flights most of the time.
The process of becoming a pilot is made up of building blocks, with each block representing a milestone that brings you closer to the goal. You start flying very small aircrafts and the first big experience is when the instructor gets out of the plane and you are up there on your own for the first time. It typically takes around 10 hours of flight training before this happens; your first solo flight.
ACMI operations are very different from working for one operator. Flexibility and readiness to embrace change is something that you have to be prepared for. The two of us @TheRegionalPilot both fly for an ACMI operator.
On a long flight, food is often the highlight of the day. If you’ve run out of other things to talk about, you can always discuss the crew meal. Here is a sample of this month’s culinary delights:
To many people, working as a pilot seems like the perfect job. You get paid to see the world, and it’s front row seats! Though the road to that cloud-surfing job can be both long and winding, not to mention expensive. The job comes with a lot of sacrifices such as being away from your family and working while everybody else is off. However, we still believe that we have the world’s best job, and here are our thoughts on why we became pilots.
When I got my first airline job and was undergoing line-training, I remember flying with an old and very experienced training captain. For the life of me I can’t remember where I went or what training topics were discussed on the flight, but what really stood out to me on that day was after the flight had concluded and the de-briefing was done, the captain said to me: “Poul, the best advice I can give anyone brand new in aviation, is to always be polite and respectful towards everyone you encounter, all the way from the baggage-handler to the airline CEO, because everybody remembers an a**hole, and in this industry you always meet people at least twice”.
Hello from Washington! This morning I did something wild and crazy! I ran my usual track in the opposite direction! Amazingly, I found out on my GPS tracker that it was 100 meters shorter in that direction, so I only got 11880 meters of exercise today. Wonder why?