As a frequent flyer, you’ve often wondered about the day-to-day life of an airline pilot.
How many flights do they have a day? What do they do on their break? What are their primary responsibilities when they aren’t flying a plane?
These are just some of the questions you may have regarding airline pilots. In this post, we thought it would be beneficial to shed some light on what a commercial pilot actually does during a typical shift.
Let’s take a look:
Beginning of the shift
Not many pilots have a set schedule like others in the workforce. That said, don’t expect much flexibility when you first come on with an airline. You should be okay with working the occasional weekend and holiday until you start building seniority.
One more thing of note here: If you’ve grown accustomed to a 9-5 gig over the years, you may have some trouble adjusting to a commercial pilot’s schedule. It’s possible that one shift will begin early in the morning while another shift later in the week doesn’t start until early in the evening. Our advice with handling the constant changing of your schedule is to remain flexible until you’ve established a level of credibility.
Arrive at the briefing room
Pilots are required to meet with their crew at least one hour prior to takeoff in the briefing room. As you might have guessed, the meeting is all about discussing pre-flight plans and getting on the same page. This is also the time for pilots and crew members to get acquainted with one another before passengers start the boarding process.
Perform a safety check
As an airline pilot, you always want to be prepared for the unexpected. Once you receive the paperwork from the fight service station and air traffic control, you’re ready to review the maintenance status of your plane. In addition to double-checking that all essential components are working properly, you should also thumb through the aircraft maintenance history.
Monitor the latest weather reports
You’ve spent hours upon hours navigating an aircraft under the pressure of bad weather. It’s a whole different level of pressure, though, when your plane is carrying hundreds of anxious passengers. So do your due diligence as you monitor and track the weather from the airport you take off from to the one you land at.
Go through the pre-flight routine
By this point, you’ve given the green light as far as safety is concerned. Now it’s time for you and your crew to begin the pre-flight routine. While the team finishes up safety and emergency system checks, you’ll be working on programming the flight management system, which helps automate various in-flight tasks.
The aircraft is ready for takeoff once your crew finishes up with their pre-flight routine. It never hurts to run through the list one more time yourself before proceeding to the next steps.
Takeoff and mid-flight duties
You’re clear for takeoff! But once you’re in the air, don’t think you can just kick back and relax. For an airline pilot, mid-flight duties include monitoring fuel levels, seeing that engines are running smoothly, and continuously checking that the cabin pressure and temperature are at comfortable levels. Of course, it’s also your responsibility to provide updates to passengers over the loudspeaker.
Landing and post-flight procedures
Whether a flight is one hour or five hours, you need to be on your game when the time comes to land. Once you reach taxiing speed, welcome your passengers to their destination and remind them to be seated until the plane has come to a complete stop and you have turned off the seatbelt sign. Post-flight, you will need to shut the engines down, flip the master switch, and sit in on the flight and maintenance review.
The No. 1 Choice For Commercial Pilot Training
As you can tell, a day in the life of an airline pilot is anything but ordinary. Of course, before setting your sights on aviation as a career, it’s imperative to complete the necessary flight training programs. But with so many airline pilot training options out there, how do you really know which is best for your situation?
At Alliance Aviation, we are just as passionate about aviation as you are. That’s why we offer Airbus pilot training, Boeing 737 Type Rating courses, ATP CTP training programs, ATR Type Rating training, and more.
No longer are you limited to just dreaming about becoming a pilot. Enroll now at Alliance Aviation.