A Day in the Life as a Pilot

A Day in the Life as a Pilot

I thought for today in the JumpSeat I take you guys through a day in the life of a pilot. What my process is like when I go to work and what does a day consist of when I am out flying. For those of you who don’t know, the type of flying I do is a little different. The company I work for we do a combination of Medevac and Charter work. This means besides transporting people around the world, we also have the capability of transporting time-sensitive organs and patients. In my opinion, I feel it creates a deeper meaning to the work we do day to day. Either way the way I pack my flight bag is the same. This bag rarely ever changes. What I have in there is the classic stuff. Two Ipads, a power bank, a headset, a spare set of sunglasses, my AviWallet to hold all my pilot documents, and a few pens. Over time flying as an on-demand pilot I have realized to bring a few extra things along. Like a toothbrush and an extra set of clothes to change into. Because out flying you never know where you may get stuck. You were supposed to make it home but instead find yourself stranded somewhere due to weather, airplane breaking, or even passengers. Either way, as I mentioned my flight rarely changes. In the morning when I wake up for a trip I try to have some breakfast. The reason I always try to eat is that I am not sure when is the next time I will eat. When we get busy, we lose track of time and by the time we notice we have not eaten. It’s up at attitude and we can get food anywhere…For some strange reason, your food options are very limited at FL450. So, I try to eat before I leave my place. During that time when I am having breakfast, I start reviewing all my documents for the flight. Passengers, airplane, airport, NOTAMS, flight plan, weight & balance. I check all these documents now before I arrive at the airport. That way if I have a discrepancy, I can address it when I arrive at work. When I arrive at the airport, I check in with our dispatch to ensure nothing has changed or if there is anything they need to tell me before we leave. Like maybe catering was ordered, passenger count changed, or departure time. If you have been aviation industry, you know that everything is subject to change. Then I go out to the airplane. As I am walking out to the airplane, I am already inspecting it. Taking a view of the larger picture. When I get inside, if the GPU isn’t plugged in and ready, I fire up the APU. That way I can start cooling off the plane in the Texas heat. Once the airplane is cooling off and I wait for the SIC to arrive. I start running my performance numbers for the flight at hand. I typically always try to have them done already but I update the system with the latest parameters. Wind, runway conditions, passenger count, weights, and luggage weights. Once the airplane is ready for our departure, we wait for the passengers to arrive. Once they arrive, we load up the bags, and they board the plane. Then we are on our way. Some of my favorite trips are the ones that also become a vacation. Although at the same time, nothing beats being home every night. That’s what the job I have now is like. Overnights are rare. Most of the time we have day trips that we make back the same day we left. A great example is this past week I went to Costa Rica and Canada on two separate trips of course. But the same day I made it home.

Once the trip is over, we begin to put away the airplane. Since our aircraft don’t have a flight attendant. That falls on us to clean out the interior, pick up the trash, restock and ensure the airplane is ready for the next crew. Once that is all complete, I work on finishing the paperwork for the aircraft. We log all flight time for the engines along with our flight time. When all the paperwork and airplane are put away, we go home. That’s our day. The company I work for does both charter and medevac flights. Most of the medical flights we do are organ transplants. The only difference on the medical flights is when we land, we go grab food. We go out to eat as well as pick up food for our medical team. And that’s my day in the life of a pilot. I absolutely love my job. What I am doing now is exactly what I dreamt I would be doing a child. Couldn’t be any happier. So do those of you guys thinking about doing the switch in your career or even as a young teenager getting started. Don’t wait. If you guys have any questions at all about anything you read today, send me an email at thepilotlifepodcast@gmail.com.  

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