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

Pilot life vs. Private life How does this work together?
30/10/2016 pilotpatrick
pilot life vs private life

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.

pilotpatrick, pilotpatric, pilot patrick, montserrat, hiking, barcelona, catalonia

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.

pilotpatrick pilotpatric pilot patrick private jet olbia LIEO

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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anetaciechanowska

Great post Patrick 🙂 I think that if you have basic organizational skills, normal life and pilot job is easy to coordinate 🙂 But also everyone who wants to have a job like this has to take into account pros and cons. I’m wanderlust type of person, so being out of my house is easy, but I can understand that some people would like to have shifts as low cost airlines, but it won’t work well for a long time 😉 I think for me the hardes part will be long waiting time, I don’t like wasting my time, I… Read more »

alifewithtrials

Its sounds like a wonderful lifestyle, if it is something that you enjoy doing with your life then the cons don’t matter.

Alper Mehdi

why didn’t you reply my snapchat… 🙁

Arthur

It sounds like the pros outweigh the cons. I have been blessed to have traveled 4 different continents. As I got older the need for family started pulling me home. I still love to travel and always will, but I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.

Admirator

Hi Patrick, I love your page. I am a 29 y.o. guy, with some curiosity about planes. You are a very handsome captain when I saw your picture the first time I wasn’t even sure if you could be classified as a human beauty or not. You are so beautiful that I couldn’t decide if you look like an angel or a prince from the storied we usually tell to children. I would like to know something about the lifestyle. For a serious of reason, I believe that occasional “fun” is very common amongst pilots due to the changing schedule… Read more »

Hannah

Which airline do you work for?

paradiiiso

Hi Patrick,

– Does your company accept application from non-German?
– Did you self fund your TR?
– Are you planning to apply for airline ? Like RYR, Norwegian, EZY,.. ?
– Can you give me an idea of gross salary of pilot into business jet with your type of aircraft ?

Danke!!
Regards
RM

How to become a pilot – My 10 personal advices – pilotpatrick

[…] Think about the pros and cons of a pilot life could mean for you. Especially at the beginning of your career you should be quite flexible in […]

ily

Hi Patrick, a quick questions. do you have a gf? if you do, what your gf feels bout you be up in the sky more than on the groud 😀 and if you are single, do you have specific plan on when you are going to focus on having a partner or family of your own? okies…. happy flying and safe landing ^_^

Astrid Bernier

Great post Patrick, Grettings from Dominica Republic, i love it!! I’m aviation lover.

Chandra

Hi Patrick Hello my name is Chandra, I accidentally found your Instagram through searching and then read your blog (on progress to read one by one). I think your blog story really interesting to me, even iam not a pilot. i admire to how you can organize your busy working life and private life, you have habit called foodie pilot and how you manage that and many more. i can say you are spirited person and can manage 100 percent using your time very well for doing something useful. I hope I can do it too like you do. have… Read more »

chanhuang

Hi Patrick my name is Chandra, I accidentally found you through searching on Instagram and then read your blog story. your story really is interesting even Iam not a pilot. I am a office worker with schedule working days and working hours. i really admire to you, to how you can manage your pilot life and private life very well, you have foodie pilot habit and how you manage that, and etc. I can say you are a spirited person, you manage 100 percent to do anything very well… have you ever feel lazy time to do anything during your… Read more »

Hayden

Hi Patrick,

A few questions to ask and I hope this will not take too much of your time:

1. I was wondering if your company accept any American pilots? That is, being a citizen of the U.S. and having an FAA commercial pilot license? P.S. I heard that it is difficult to convert to EASA license, is this true?
2. Is it even possible to fly/work in Europe as a non-EU citizen?

Thank you so much for reading this. I hope to hear back from you.

Hayden

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