A 'Typical' Day In The Life Of A Pilot
In my opinion, one of the best parts of being an airline pilot is travelling the world (or Europe, in my case).
Experience a ‘typical’ day in the life of a pilot as we fly away on a three-day trip in these pilot videos and blog post.
It’s no secret that life as a pilot us very unique.
Indeed, this career choice leads to more of a lifestyle than just a job.
From pilot training to becoming a commercial pilot, A piloting career requires a lot of dedication, as well as a lot of money to initially begin your pilot training.
But what exactly does the life of a commercial pilot look like for a flight crew?
In a separate blog post, we discussed pilots’ schedules and just how many days off pilots can expect.
However, in this post, we will look at a ‘typical’ day in the life of an airline pilot, including the commute, pre-flight, checking flight plans and briefing, as well as post-flight and what a work trip as a short-haul pilot looks like.
A 'Typical' Day In The Life Of A Pilot
A typical day will depend heavily on whether or not the flight reports early or late.
An early flight report will be between 0500-0700, meaning that some days my alarm will go off between 3-4 am!
This early wakeup can be one of the most challenging parts of a working day. However, you do tend to get used to the early starts, and once you have been awake for a few minutes and had a coffee, it is certainly bearable.
It’s part of the job that you certainly have to adapt to.
However, this is a reality of life as a pilot, and if you want to achieve enough sleep, you sometimes need to go to bed very early!
If I’m operating a late flight, which is usually the case, I will often get up and work on my other projects (like this one) before heading to the gym.
Keeping fit and healthy is incredibly important in the job of a commercial pilot.
As you can imagine, you’ll spend a lot of time sitting down, especially during long flights, without access to particularly healthy food.
This means when you’re not at work, you need to make an effort to be active and healthy.
For me, this is further emphasised as I have an auto-immune disease (nothing which impacts my Class One Medical, luckily), which means I have to keep my lower back strong to support it from all the sitting.
The Commute As Part Of Life As A Pilot
Some pilots commute from great distances, particularly long-haul pilots. I’m lucky that I live only about an hour away, in London.
Large city bases with great international airline connections tend to see more commuting pilots than those regional airlines.
It’s much easier to commute from elsewhere in the country/world if there are 2/3 flights daily rather than 2/3 a week!
Long-haul pilots operate flights that travel a greater distance and are, therefore, longer trips.
As a long-haul pilot, you will spend less time travelling to and from work but more time overnighting in different destinations worldwide.
Indeed, these trips can be from three days to nine or more days away. Long-haul pilots, therefore, have the flexibility to live much further away from their home base.
Again, this is personal preference, but it does open up the opportunity to live, within reason, almost anywhere in the world.
It’s an exciting concept that your job can potentially have you living in different and exciting destinations.
Arriving At Work
Once we have arrived at work we make ourselves to the crew room and check-in for the flight, meet the other pilots and crew and then head to the aircraft.
On arrival to the aircraft, we will check the aircraft’s technical log to make sure all is on order and then one pilot (the pilot who is operating that flight) will perform a walkaround whilst the other pilot sets up the aircraft for the flight.
Once we get permission from air traffic control to push back and start the engines, we will taxi out and take-off and make our way to our destination!
Some flights will involve us staying overnight on arrival to our destination. In contrast, others will see us performing a turnaround (getting passengers off, cleaning the aircraft, setting up and getting passengers back on) before heading back to our departure point!
Travelling As An Airline Pilot
As you hopefully know by now, I am a short-haul pilot.
However, I do tend to operate still trips of between 2 and 3 days in length. This is a preference of mine.
If instead, I wanted to do a there and back every day and be home every night, then this is a possibility.
I love that I still see the world (Europe for now, in my case) as an airline pilot, and I have visited almost every European city – a luxury many people pay a fortune to do!
Operating trips also dramatically reduces my time spent commuting. For those that live in a busy city like London, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the importance of this.
I hope this pilot video is useful and interesting!
Day In The Life Of A Pilot - Safety First
The video will show what a typical day looks like at work. However, I am sure you will appreciate my work in a safety-critical environment.
Therefore I can only show so much, as I am always focused on the safety of the aircraft.
All videos are, of course, carried out at a time that is safe to do so, and as always, all opinions are my own and not of my employer!