healthy diet while traveling

Wie ich es schaffe eine gesunde Ernährung während meiner Reisen aufrechtzuerhalten

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Unbezahlte Kooperation- Werbung

Hallo mein Aviator,

meine Freunde und Kollegen nennen mich manchmal kompliziert wenn es ums Essen geht. Manche denken auch ich währe verrückt, weil ich neben meinem Pilotenkoffer und Reisekoffer immer eine extra Tasche für mein Essen mit mir dabei habe. Meiner Meinung nach ist dies jedoch sehr klever. Unser Körper ist unser kostbarster Besitz und deswegen achte ich gut auf ihn. Meine Tasche voll mit Essen, garantiert mir eine gesunde Ernährung auf meinen Reisen.

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Smoothie cookies by Ultrafrisch

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The difficulty of this job

My career has a pilot just turn eight and already at an early stage of my aviation career, I noticed that it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet as a pilot. All my cockpit jobs required me to spend layovers at different destinations. In a month I am gone from home somewhere between 10-16 days. When traveling non-stop, you have to rely on the food of hotels, restaurants, airline catering and outlets at the airport.

Here another example. Currently, I am in Madrid and the hotel is located close to the airport. It is more than 30 minutes from the city center. There are restaurants close by, but they do not meet my eating habits. Additionally, I waste a lot of time when going to a restaurant.

To stay healthy I fuel my body with the best possible food. I take particular care about the ingredients and the organic quality. My food bag makes me a little bit more independent. So I can enjoy a healthy rice dish out of my food bag tonight.

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Four simple guidelines

I follow four simple guidelines when choosing my food:

  • NO raffinated sugars
  • NO dairy products
  • NO white flour
  • NO saturated fats

Are you vegan?

No. I eat fish and eggs almost on a daily basis. I eat meat, but only once a week. I try to avoid meat during my pilot travels because I can not be sure about the quality. Lately, I tried to be vegan for one week of flying. In my YouTube video, you can see how I managed and find out why veganism is not an option for me.

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What's in my food bag?

I used to carry my food in my suitcase up to the day when a almond milk spilled and ruined my clothes. For years now I am traveling with this cool bag with insulation inside. This way I can bridge the time between refrigerators for perishable food.

Almond milk: only of almonds and water, dairy free, sugar-free version

Cereal: sugar-free and vegan with dried fruits, my favorite Chia Cacao Crunch

Porridge: gluten-free vegan porridge of quinoa flaxseeds, for the super porridge you only need hot water to prepare it

Rice cups: rice dish with vegetables, the product of Davert is ideal for traveling, you only need hot water to prepare it, unfortunately it contains sugar but only about 1g in 100g.

Smoothie cookies: liquid is heavy and smoothies need cooling, smoothie cookies of Ultrafrisch are crunchy and contain only fruits and vegetables

More food: peanut mush (only of nuts), whole wheat crispbread, raw bars of nuts and dried fruits, dates, tea bags, fruit (mostly organic bananas), nuts (unsalted and not roasted), raw chocolate

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Selection of my food I am traveling with

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My daily dose of superfoods

Lemon tea: Rich in natural Vitamin C. The juice is antibacterial, antiphlogistic and digestive. Curcuma water

Curcuma (curcuma longa): contains curcumin and is one of the most significant medical plant. Especially in China and India, it is well known for its antiphlogistic effects.

Spirulina: is an alga which was already consumed by Aztecs. The concentration of vitamins and minerals is the highest which has been found yet.

Check out my superfoods article if you want to find out more about their positive side effects

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More about my superfoods here in my article

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Do you know raw chocolate?

As much as possible I try to avoid food that contains raffinated sugar. Sugar is toxic for your body and fuels cancer cells. A great and natural alternative is XUCKER and coconut sugar. Of course, all sources of natural sugar like from fruits are acceptable. I am not the guy who loves sweet stuff, but once in a while, I have a craving for chocolate. I have discovered raw chocolate for me. Raw chocolate itself is really bitter, but in addition to dried fruits and nuts, it tastes sweet.

 

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Sweet treat: raw chocolate

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Raw bars: 100% natural and only of nuts and dried fruits

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... and besides my food bag?

It sounds like that I am only eating out of my food bag. That is not the case. In the morning I go to breakfast in the hotel. WIth my food bag, I can pimp my breakfast. I am honestly shocked by the bad selection of good and healthy food. Especially during my vegan week, I missed a declaration of the ingredients on the buffet.

To find healthy restaurants, coffee places or supermarkets, I can recommend using the App „Happy Cow“ This app has already led me to many nice places in numerous cities around the whole world.

 

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Pimp my crew meal in London

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On board: sugar free vegan cereal

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I never have the impression that I miss out on any food because there is always a healthy option available which tastes equally good or even better.

Is the whole effort worth it?

Yes, I am convinced that it is worth it. I carry a lot of extra weight, but this way I can eat well even when being busy traveling.  No idea if my body stays healthy for a long time, but If does not I cannot blame myself that I fueled it incorrect.

What's your favorite healthy snack?

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your foodie PilotPatrick

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pilot pros and cons of a dream job

Zehn Jahre Pilot: Pros und cons eines Traumberufes

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Hello my Aviator,

I am now working ten years in the aviation industry. Exactly one decade ago, I signed the contract with the flight school to become a commercial pilot. I take this anniversary as an occasion to recap my time as a first officer. Being a pilot is still a dream job for me. On my social media everything might look perfect, but this job also downsides, which I will reveal in this blog post.

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office above the clouds

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But let's start with the aspect which annoys me the most of being a pilot. Security checks. As a private jet pilot, I had the privilege to skip security controls at many destinations. But now I have to pass security every time without any exception.

At the airport the Paris security they treat pilots like a potential terrorist.

This is so ridiculous when you take in to account that all crew members have a valid background check. Recently they wanted to see my turmeric powder in my food bag. They checked it for liquids?! In front of the security staff, I had to taste the spice to proof this it is not an explosive. You can take it only with humor!

 

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Flight school

After I graduated high school I started right away preparing for the assessment to become a flight student for Lufthansa. I failed the first step of the selection process. One reason for that was my nervosity at that time.

Back then I was really sad about this but now I see it from a whole new perspective and I am actually happy that I failed the test.

I took the more difficult way to become a pilot. The flight training was self-funded, which made me put even more effort into it. I had to find a job after graduating. It was also tough to start my aviation career as a first officer on a Private Jet. The "Lufthansa way" would have been the easy way but would definitely not made the person and pilot I am today.

Pros: You have the time of your life with lots of studying and flying.

Cons: No job guarantee with a self-funded training. It is high risk to take of not getting a job.

 

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Airbus A300 prior departure

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Pilot Licence

It is not an easy and inexpensive path to obtain the license to fly commercial airplanes. But in the end, it is "only" a license and not an occupational education nor a degree. Health restrictions could cause that you are not able to fly, thus you can not pursue your profession. As a back up I got a loss of license. This insurance costs me 150€ a month and pays in case I am not able to fly anymore.

Cons: If you lose your medical you lose your license and you cannot fly anymore. In case you did not study you are left without any education.

Pros: You are in control of a powerful machine

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Job security

Aviation is a volatile business with great ups and downs. As an employee, you are dependent on the profitability of your airline. If an airline cannot cope with a crisis or suffers from bad management (airberlin) pilots are not needed anymore.

Cons: You are only needed as long there are flights and aircraft. This profession is highly specialized you can only fly aircraft and you are type rated on one special aircraft.

Pros: No office day is the same. You can enjoy the good reputation of being a pilot and you get paid to fly.

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Hamburg airport photo by Pando Hall

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Salary

The days of making a fortune as a pilot are over. A good availability of pilots on the market causes that working conditions and salary to drop. Especially as copilot, the current time is not easy. My net salary was around 2800€ when I started in 2010. Luckily, I did not have to pay for my flight training, because my parents took care of it. Imagine if have to pay back the costs of the license (70.000€) plus the type rating costs (20.000€) it would take ages and would not leave any money left to save.

Salary is not the same and highly depends on the company you work for. In the meantime, I earn as much as a captain does at my last employer. I paid back my costs for my type rating and I don't have any debts.

Pros: The captain salary enables you to have a good life. Some of the perks your salary are tax-free, which increases your net salary significantly.

Cons: Pilot salaries differ greatly. Even "Pay to fly models" exist where pilots have to pay the airline to fly. You have to invest a lot and work hard to boost your income.

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Mid air selfie

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Social life and free time

Do you have a social life? I have been getting asked this question many times. Of course, I do like everyone else.

But it requires good organization and planning to see friends and family.

I often have free time during the week when the majority has to work and has no time. But one part what I like most about my job, I do not take work home with me.

Pros: I have more than ten off days in a month. (German law requires a minimum of eight) Sometimes it is even half of the month that I am not flying. Between duty days I can at least enjoy four off days in a row without taking leave. In which kind of job do you have this?

Cons: You are not home. About half of the month I am not at home, so I can not attend all family and friends events. It is not possible to attend weekly courses (like a language course)

Watch my YouTube video about my off days at home in Berlin. Please subscribe.

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Layovers

The past 10 years I have been to hundreds of different locations in Europe, North Africa and Russia. As a private jet and as an airline pilot I am having layovers outside of my home base. The time I get to spend at one destination ranges from minimum rest (10 hours) up to two days. As a private jet pilot, the destinations were varying all the time and I really liked that I got to choose the crew hotel myself. You can imagine that I did not stay in the worst place. ;)

Pros: I have a fixed flight schedule and I know how much time I have at one destination. I can really use my rest time to do activities.

Cons: The network is limited so I get to stay in the same destination more often. A good example for this is Sevilla. It is almost my second home. After a while, this can become less exciting.

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Layover in Sevilla photo by Rocío

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Working hours

The pilot profession has probably the most irregular working hours. Aviation does not know weekends or public holidays. Some days you only have one flight the other day maybe three flights and instead of four hours duty 11 hours. Fortunately, I do not have to cope with jet lag, since I am flying within Europe. As a private jet pilot, I mostly flew during the day since VIPs do not like to get up early. But now I am flying also at night, which is a lot of stress for your body and you have to fight against fatigue.

Pros: I like the irregular working hours. I do not have to get up at the same time every day. Some flying days are long some are short. The work remains on board and when I have off I have off.

Cons: Due to the irregular working hours I have to take good care of my body. That is why I have a healthy diet and do regular body exercises to stay fit.

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Flying from sunrise to sunset

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Crew life

Becoming a pilot means you become part of a big family. Crews all share the same passion and a safe flight requires the crew to work in a team in a small environment. I think that is why you won't find this energy and enthusiasm in other jobs. Crews take care of each other and support each other. The well being of each crew member ensures the safety of each flight.

Pros: Colleagues can become friends. To share the flight experience and to spend the layover together is double the fun.

Cons: During work, I am not staying at a nice location with my beloved once. It still remains work. Every crew member has their own daily routine so it happens that you only spend time together in the cockpit and the rest of the time everyone does their own thing.

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Upgrade

I recently completed a total of 3000 flight hours. One aspect I really love about my job is that you are constantly learning and improving your skills. Aviation requires you to be up to date about new procedures and regulations. Even after flying an aircraft for thousands of hours you will find out something new about it.

With the first day of your first officer career, you start your training to become a captain one day.

Before I left the business aviation one and a half years ago, my former employer told me that I will become a captain in one year. Switching companies implied that I have to build up my seniority again. I fulfilled the requirement of 1500 flight hours to become a captain, but I still require flight hours within the new company. It also depends on their demand. Earliest time for me to become a captain is in about 1,5 years.

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!

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What would I have done differently?

I would have done everything exactly the same, except one point. Before starting with the flight training I would have studied to get a degree or at least study in parallel to the flight school. I am trying to study business administration alongside with the job and my social media, but currently, there is no time left for that.

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As a pilot, I am experiencing so many of awe-inspiring moments that I am left with no choice but to fly! This dream jobs also has downsides. But which job doesn't? The pros are vastly superior otherwise I would not continue to fly.

Which downside would you like the least?

Please subscribe to my newsletter with your email below and become an Aviator on my YouTube channel as well.

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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reason why I became a pilot

Warum ich Pilot geworden bin - immer noch ein Traumjob

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Hallo mein Aviator, einer meiner ersten Artikel auf meinem Blog handelte über mein Traum zu fliegen und warum ich fliege. Ich finde es ist Zeit, dass ich Euch ein ausführlicheres Update gebe. Natürlich konnte ich mir als Flugschüler nur vage Vorstellen, wie der Beruf als Pilot sein würde. Am Anfang war es lediglich meine Faszination und Leidenschaft, die mich dazu angespornt hatte Pilot zu werden. Daher möchte ich Dir heute auflisten warum Du Pilot werden solltest!

Leider ist die schlechte wirtschafliche Situation im Moment ein Grund kein Pilot zu werden. Aber wie in jeder Branche gibt es gute und schlechte Zeiten. Sicher ist jedoch, dass die Luftverkehrsbranche auch in Zukunft expandieren wird. Nach einer Studie des Flugzeugherstellers Boeing, wird der Bedarf an Piloten in den nächsten 20 Jahren auf 617.000 ansteigen. Die Gloreichen Tage des Fliegens sind also noch lange nicht vorbei! Es hat sich über die Jahrzehnte nur einiges geändert. Meiner Meinung nach ist es noch immer einer der besten Berufe der Welt und es gibt eine Menge guter Gründe warum Du ein Pilot werden solltest. 

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Avporn und cloudporn in London ;)

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Die Aussicht

Wenn man das Hotel verlässt und es draußen grau und regnerisch ist muss man nicht traurig sein. Eine Stunde später ist man in der Luft und trägt seine Sonnenbrille, weil einen das Sonnenlicht sonst blendet. Einer der wenigen Berufe, bei denen man an 365 Tagen im Jahr eine Sonnenbrille tragen kann.

 

"Ein Büro mit Ausblick schlägt eine Schreibtischtätigkeit um längen!"

Noch immer ist es spektakulär die Welt von oben zu sehen, selbst wenn man so wie ich bereits seit sieben Jahren fliegt. Der wunderschöne Ausblick vom Cockpit während des Sonnenuntergangs bzw. Sonnenaufgangs ist unbezahlbar. Manchmal habe ich während des Fluges das Gefühl allein auf der Welt zu sein, vor allem weil man so weit von dem Geschehen am Boden entfernt ist. Vor allem während den Nachtflügen, wenn draußen mit Ausnahme des hellen Leuchtens des Mondes  und der Sterne, alles dunkel ist. Das Gefühl den Kontakt mit dem Rest der Welt für kurze Zeit unterbrochen zu haben finde ich manchmal sehr erfrischend.

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Aussicht von meinem Büro - Die Welt aus 12.000 km Höhe

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Faszination

Luftfahrt ist faszinierend. Schon als kleiner Junge war ich schon von Flugzeugen angetan und ich fand das es höchstwahrscheinlich sehr viel Spaß macht selbst zu fliegen. Heute kann ich sagen, dass es tatsächlich so ist! Hinter dem "Steuer" eines großen Flugzeugs mit mehreren Tonnen Gewicht zu sitzen ist ein großartiges Gefühl. Vor allem wenn man den Schubhebel nach vorn schiebt und der Moment in dem das Flugzeug abhebt sind wahnsinnig erhebend. Es ist immer wieder ein erfüllendes Gefühl wenn man sicher landet und weiß, dass man hinter dem Steuerhorn einer kraftvollen Maschine sitzt.

 

"Es ist Ansteckend!"

Hast Du jemals bei einer Konversation zwischen Piloten gelauscht? Sie haben immer eine Geschichte bezüglich ihrer Flüge, Reiseziele oder Geschehnisse zu erzählen. Es ist wirklich ansteckend. Wenn ich mich mit meinen Freunden von der Flugschule treffe geht es in den ersten paar Stunden immer nur um das Thema Fliegen.

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Von einem Privatjet zu diesem großen Vogel - Airbus A300

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Flugtraining

Nach dem Abschluss meiner Hochschulreife im Alter von 19 Jahren hatte ich keine Lust auf ein Jahrelanges Studium. Ich wollte lieber so schnell wie möglich einen Beruf ergreifen um mein eigenes Geld zu verdienen und unabhängig zu sein. Mit der finanziellen Hilfe meiner Eltern folgte ich meiner Passion zu fliegen. Nach meinem Wehrersatzdienst starte ich mit meinem Flugtraining.

Die nächsten zwei Jahre waren ein großes Abenteuer für mich. Auch wenn die Ausbildung nicht leicht war und ich viele zum Teil schwere Prüfungen absolvieren musste, stellte sich heraus das es bisher die beste Zeit meiner gesamten Pilotenkarriere war! Die Tatsache in einer Gruppe gewesen zu sein, die die selben Ziele verfolgt, hatte mich sehr motiviert. Wir unterstützten uns immer gegenseitig auf jede erdenkliche Art. Während des Trainings weiß man, dass der ganze Aufwand mit einem Platz im Cockpit entlohnt wird. Anders als bei einem Studium, bei dem man am Ende nicht unbedingt weiß in welche Position bzw. Anstellung man kommt. Wenn Du an meinem ausführlichen Werdegang interessiert bist ließ den ersten Teil meiner Serie: "Wie ich Pilot geworden bin"

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Rückkehr von meinem ersten Flug allein 2008

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Kenntnisse

Fliegen macht Dich klüger. Das Wissen, das man sich als Pilot aneignet, kann man auch auf das tägliche Leben anwenden. Man wird ein Experte in Sachen Planung, Organisation und gut darin Entscheidungen treffen.

Luftfahrt setzt voraus, dass man immer auf dem neusten Stand der Prozeduren und Regularien ist. Selbst nach dem man ein gewissen Flugzeugtyp tausende von Stunden geflogen ist, kann man immer wieder etwas neues dazu lernen. Der Adrenalin Schub am Anfang der Karriere lässt nach einer gewissen Zeit nach und so verringert sich auch die Nervosität. Aktionen werden zwar nach einer Zeit zur Routine, aber das Anfliegen neuer Ziele, neue Anflüge oder auch das Schulen eines neuen Flugzeugtypes machen diesen Beruf so abwechslungsreich.

Ich musste mich Anfang diesen Jahres einer neuen Herausforderung stellen, als ich auf ein neues Flugzeugtyp geschult wurde. Mehrere Monate war ich damit beschäftigt im Simulator zu trainieren. Dies war eine großartige Gelegenheit meine Fähigkeit und Kenntnisse zu verbessern.

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Ausblick von meinem Arbeitsplatz. Aufnahme mit der GoPro Hero 4

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Großartige Besatzung

Pilot zu werden bedeutet Teil einer großen Familie zu werden. Als ein Anfänger wird man von erfahreneren Kollegen unterstützt und sorgen dafür, dass man nicht aufgibt. Jeder Pilot ist auf seine eigene Art einzigartig, aber alle teilen die selbe Passion. Die letzten sieben Jahre bin ich mit vielen verschiedenen Kapitänen geflogen und ich habe von jedem einzelnen etwas lernen können.

"Es ist schwer diese Energie und Enthusiasmus in anderen Berufen zu finden!"

Selten wird man von einem Kollegen, selbst wenn es Dein Vorgesetzter ist, mit der formellen Anrede angesprochen. Meiner Meinung nach würde dies ein gutes "Resourcen Management"  behindern und die Kommunikation und Sicherheit negativ beeinflussen. Aufgrund der Tatsache, dass die Luftfahrtbranche recht klein ist, ist jeder mit jedem auf eine gewisse Art und Weise vernetzt.  Vor allem in Deutschland hatte ich in der Business Aviation immer den Eindruck, dass jeder jeden kennt.

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Am schönen Flughafen in Oslo

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Du wirst Dich sicherlich wundern warum ich nicht den Aspekt des Reisens angesprochen habe. Dies sollte nicht unbedingt der primäre Grund für Deine Berufswahl zum Piloten sein. Bei einigen Firmen arbeitet man nur von seiner Heimatbasis aus und hat keine Aufenthalte an anderen Orten.

Als ein Privatjet Pilot hatte ich das Glück täglich an neuen bzw. anderen Orten zu übernachten. Dies bedeutet aber nicht, dass ich immer automatisch Zeit für Erkundungstouren und somit einen mini Urlaub hatte. Es war in den meisten Fällen eher das Gegenteil der Fall. Sehr oft interessiert man sich gar nicht für die Örtlichkeit und möchte einfach nur schlafen. Glücklicherweise war dies aber nicht immer der Fall. Ich habe so viele schöne Flugeinsätze (Rotationen), bei denen ich genug Zeit habe neue Städte zu erkunden, am Strand zu entspannen und Freunde zu treffen. Das ist ein sehr schöner Nebeneffekt bei diesem Beruf. Es gibt natürlich auch Aspekte warum man kein Pilot werden sollte. Ich werde diese bald in einem weiteren Artikel aufführen.

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Als ein Pilot wirst Du sensationelle Erlebnisse durchleben, dass Dir gar nichts anderes übrig bleibt als zu fliegen!

Was macht die Luftfahrt für Dich so Faszinierend? Bitte kommentiere weiter unten! 

Wie immer wünsche ich eine sichere Reise und gute Landungen!

Dein PilotPatrick

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pilot life vs private life

Pilot life vs. Private life How does this work together?

In my last aviation related blog post "How I became a pilot part II" I told you about my first flight training phase in beautiful Croatia. Now I want to show you how a pilot life and private life work together. 

Pilot life vs. private life

In the past many of you wondered how I can have a social/private life as pilot when traveling so much and being absent from home a lot. Especially those of you who strive to become a pilot in the future asked me this question and told me their concerns-

Here are examples of two snapchat users.

This solely depends on you dude. But do not worry if you want, you can have both options. ;-) 

It is true that I am absent from home for about half of the month. Usually I am on duty for a  maximum of eight days in a row. The operation in the Business Aviation requires to overnight at those locations wherever the last flight of the day takes you to. Whereas the flights of many low cost airlines end at their home base, which equals basically to a 9 to 5 job. At this moment I would not be a fan of this kind of operation since one reason for me of becoming a pilot is to travel and get to know new places. But I could imagine that an operation, which allows you to sleep at home every night, can be a big advantage once you want to build a family.

As you can see it really depends on the type of operation and airline how many days in a month you actually spend at home. A minimum of 8 days are granted by the aviation authority.

I have arranged myself with the absence from home quite well. I have a social life with friends and private activities like everyone else. Unfortunately I can not attend all events (like birthdays, concerts, parties and family events) but due to good organization skills I get the best of my free time and I never have a big feeling that I miss out on something.

Enjoying my off days! Here on top of Montserrat mountain in Catalonia, Spain

Pros and Cons of my pilot life:

PROS

  • Getting payed well to travel, to see new places and to fly airplanes
  • I leave work behind in the airplane and so I can use my off time at the fullest 
  • More than 3 days off in a row without taking leave (sometimes even 6 days)
  • Per diem are paid for every hour I am being away from home
  • I do my paper work during my work so I can enjoy my off days without distraction
  • Hotel gyms are free of use and I do not have a contract for a gym at home
  • I have more off days than a full time job (about 12 days)
  • Some passengers pay a tip to the crew for the flight and inflight service

CONS

  • Great flexibility expected and the schedule might change at last minute 
  • I only have either Christmas or New years off at home
  • For important events and appointments I have to take leave 
  • I can not attend classes or courses which take place on a regular basis
  • Irregular working hours and sometimes only little sleep during busy months
  • It is hard to keep a special diet while traveling 
  • Especially in the Business Aviation there is a lot of waiting time

Those are my subjective impressions about my life as a First officer and other pilots would definitely mention different aspects.

Ready for boarding the VIP passenger at the pole position in Olbia

As much as I enjoy being at home, after a couple of days at home my wanderlust kicks in and I want to go on a journey again. Striving for a position of a crew member you have to make sure that you have this desire as well. If not you might not be happy in the long term.

Which aspect would you do not like being a pilot? Comment below.

Please have a look on my aviation related Links, which may you find helpful!

Your Pilot Patrick

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