A Week In The Life

When people ask, “What is it like to be a pilot?”, I usually respond, “It has it’s ups and downs…” and wait for a chuckle. The best I usually get it a sympathetic “heh”. But all jokes aside, I like it. We often get a lot of down time and opportunities to explore and relax. Every once-in-awhile, the schedule is downright punishing. We recently had a trip that had us going to 4 cities, across 3 countries in Europe over the course 4 days. Keep in mind that’s about 22 hours in the air. The opportunities for “travel” were limited. The strategy was to get the airplane taken care of upon landing, head to the hotel, eat, sleep, eat, and head back to the airport. Wash, rinse, repeat. The time zone changes and limited time on the ground made sleeping soundly difficult. The International language of aviation is English, so there isn’t much of a language barrier when talking on the radio in various countries, but the difference in procedures and the varying accents make it mentally taxing. You get out of a normal routine, your diet is poor-at-best. All these factors lead to a growing level of fatigue that can become a risk if not managed properly. I try to get as much sleep as possible, avoid alcohol (it messes with a deep sleep), eat lots of veggies (not fun when all you want is carbs and protein), try and get some exercise (hitting the sauna is a bonus) and do the work to make sure tomorrow’s flight will be smooth and safe as possible. On this recent trip, we went to London, Barcelona, Stuttgart and Berlin. All we saw was the inside of the hotels and a few restaurants that were within walking distance. So, to actually answer the question: “What’s it like to be a pilot?”. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes it feels like work

One thought on “A Week In The Life

  1. Dan, I now you love beng a pilot. I can see that it is all not glamour. But what a bonus to see (even a little bit) all these differnet countries


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