lack of diversity in the cockpit

Why is there a lack of diversity in the cockpit?

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Dear Aviator,

do you still remember the good old days in aviation before the novel coronavirus hit us? It was a booming industry with a constantly increasing demand for air travel, new jets with the most modern technology that could fly to the furthest destinations, and business class which could have been first class. Airlines were bracing for a severe pilot shortage. For now, this problem is solved but for the long term, it will arise again but why? The lack of diversity in the cockpit could be the reason.

 

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Thank you, Corona

Covid-19 came around the corner and destroyed aviation in a second. In one second the demand for pilots was gone. Even worse bankruptcy, lower demand, smaller fleets, low liquidity have been causing a lot of pilots to lose their jobs already.

I think it will take about two years until we are back at the same level as before Corona. We can expect during this period to be very low, with almost no demand for pilots. Step by step the demand will rise again. Let's hope it will only be a very long low before aviation takes off again to the same level. In case no other factor will torpedo the business, the 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 804,000 new civil aviation pilots are required to maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years.

 

 

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Why do airlines have to brace for a pilot shortage?

There are many reasons for the anticipated pilot shortage. It is a mix of increasing regulation, growing demand for air travel, fleet growth, and an aging workforce. Pilots have to stop flying commercially latest with the age of 65. But there’s one cause that also offers a solution:

The industry has long struggled to recruit women, people of color, and members of other marginalized groups.

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The lack of diversity in the cockpit

In 2008 I started my training to become a pilot. At the time I already noticed the lack of diversity in aviation. Back then the flight school was called Intercockpit, which is now the European Flight Academy, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Aviation Training. My course consisted of 25 men and only one woman!

During one of my first lessons with the DA20, my flight instructor looked at me and said:

"Patrick, you have to know: women and black people have no place in the cockpit!".

At that moment I was more busy concentrating on the approach than thinking about his discriminating statement.

The lack of diversity continued with my first pilot job. It was a small charter company with business jets in Berlin. The fleet consisted of about 10 jets and only white men were working in the cockpit. Not one single woman in the cockpit only in the cabin.  My second private jet employer had a fleet that was double the size and had at least two women flying.

I found that women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community were significantly underrepresented, this did not change when I switched to a big german airline in 2016. Less then 3% of the flight crew were women and I have not seen a black colleague. After flying for 6 years, it was the first time I flew with a female captain.

Current statistics

These are really no exceptions. Statistics prove my numbers. A review of the latest Civil Airmen Statistics indicates that a little over 4% of Airline Transport Certificate holders – the required certification to fly for a major carrier – are women. No major U.S. carrier hired a female pilot until 1973.

The situation is even worse for African Americans, who were not hired to pilot a commercial airplane until the 1960s. Things changed only because of a six-year battle against Continental Airlines waged by Marlon Green, who filed a discrimination complaint against the carrier. In 1963, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in his favor, paving the way for the first black pilot, David Ellsworth Harris, whom American Airlines hired in 1964. Green would follow suit at Continental in 1965.

Often their mere presence has been used to symbolize progress in diversifying the industry. (source: the conversation)

 

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Helen Richey was the first female commercial pilot in 1934.

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Captain David Harris was the first African American Airline commercial pilot hired by a major US airline in 1964 and was the first to be promoted to Captain.

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Why is there a lack of diversity in the cockpit?

I have met great, open-minded, and modern thinking pilots. Most of them belonged to the younger generation. Unfortunately, there is still a huge percentage of pilots that are not tolerant and have a mindset like my flight instructor in Zadar.

To understand the roots of the issue: He was over 60 at that time. At the beginning of his aviation career he probably never flew with a single woman or an open LGBTQ member. When he became a captain, the WHO still considered being homosexual as a sickness. The authority gap in the cockpit was immense which was later found to deteriorate safety.

It is also a perception problem, where women are not seen as authoritative enough for positions like a captain of an aircraft.

The white male dominance

I had to experience a lot of sexist behavior against women. Pilots used their white male dominance in this job to feel superior. I had to listen to so many bad jokes about women and other minority groups. in the cockpit. I was getting sick of it and I had a hard time keeping calm because I feared when I would speak up a good atmosphere in the cockpit would infringe safety.

It is like a bowl of tomato soup. You put only a little bit too much salt in it is over-salted. The same applies to the behavior, beliefs, and attitude of some pilots. This has caused the cultures in aviation not to be very inclusive.

This domination of white men paired with known intolerance probably intimidates minor groups from pursuing a career in aviation.

Another barrier for those who lack resources and support. The cost of flight training can range from US$50,000 to upwards of $100,000.

 

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What could lead to more acceptance?

In the end, corona could aggravate the pilot shortage problem in the future even more. The demand will eventually come back to an extreme high. But then we most probably experience an even greater lack of pilots, because of uncertainty during the crisis fewer people started their training to become a pilot.

I believe a stronger focus on attracting a diverse workforce and embracing a more inclusive culture is pivotal to ensuring there are enough pilots as we return back to the skies.

It is terrifying to see that some pilots believe that they are superior just because of their profession and believe that they are "flying gods". I have been accused of disenfranchising the job because I have shown that I have feelings and that it is ok to be "colorful" on social media.

The new generation of pilots will help to lose the old stigmata and outdated bodies of thought.

Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

The latest happenings inspired me to talk about this important topic: the lack of diversity in the cockpit. Please do not forget to like the post and leave me a comment below. What will help to reach more acceptance in the cockpit?

Your PilotPatrick

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travel blogger equipment

What's inside my blogger suitcase? All my equipment, gadgets and tips

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Dear Aviator,

you know already what is inside my pilot bag! As my blogger career developed you became curious to find out what equipment I use to create my engaging travel and aviation content. “How did you take this photo? "This is epic. What gadget to use here?” These have been your questions. For the first time, I will reveal my travel blogger equipment. 

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What's inside my blogger suitcase?

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Are you ready for an upgrade of your photos and videos? Maybe you are a blogger, you strive to be one or you just want to create epic content for yourself, you need more than just a camera. So whether you have an audience you want to engage and surprise or you just want to create epic memories for your personal use then there is no way around special equipment and gadgets. Watch my new video on my YouTube channel to have the chance to win a brand new luxury carry on luggage by Carl Friedirk. When you want to get it now use Code: PP15 for a great deal on the Carl Friedrik Carry On!

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Be a Smart Packer

When I go on my private travels I always take hand luggage to have my equipment accessible during the flight and as you might know power  banks and batteries are not in checked-in luggage. Additionally the equipment is expensive and I don’t want to risk getting lost or stolen.

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Carry on luggage by Carl Fridrik

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My travel Blogger Equipment

One of my most favorite articles is "What's inside my pilot suitcase?" Now it is time to reveal the content of my blogger suitcase as well.  I am blogging now for over four years and I have been constantly working on improving my photos and videos I have been sharing with you. It is a never ending process to get better and better. On one side creativity is key but you also need the technical gear that supports you to realize your ideas.

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Panasonic Lumix G9 with external microphone

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Which camera?

The best camera is the one you are carrying with you!  

In my early beginning (2016) I just used my phone to cremate my content but I was never really happy with the quality and I am still not really convinced that a smartphone camera can keep up with a DSLM or DSLR camera despite all the improvements. 

I invested in a Sony compact camera, Sony RX100 VII, which is extremely versatile. With a flip screen, 4K videos +, fast autofocus, it is the perfect beginner blogging and vlogging camera. I still use this model as a backup camera and for occasions when I do not want to carry my main camera. I primarily use the Panasonic LUMIX G9 (DSLM) which is great for videos and photos as well. 4K resolution, fantastic video stabilisation, external microphone and a flip screen. Photo wise it convinces with exchangeable lenses, 6k resolution, fast autofocus and you can connect your smartphone with an app to shoot yourself.

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Sony compact camera

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My Current Camera Gear

Instagram posts: Panasonic LUMIX G9*

Blog photos: Panasonic LUMIX G9

Vlog: Panasonic Lumix G9 / Sony RX100 VII*

Instagram Stories / TikTok: Smartphone

 

Action camera: GoPro Hero*  

360-degrees Camera: Insta360 ONE X*

A 360-degree camera is the next generation of action cameras. This camera with two lenses allows you to record content in 360 degrees. The photos and videos you can shoot are just epic and you can make everyone jealous.

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360 degrees camera

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Light 

The correct lightning makes the photo! You might have the perfect motive but the light is not optimal. I use a lamp for interior shooting like in hotel rooms, spas, aircraft and whenever it is too dark. For stories and selfies you want frontal light on your face. In case daylight is not sufficient I can recommend an inexpensive selfie light.

My light gear

 GVM LED cameralight* is portable, runs on batteries and it is dimmable

Criacr Selfie light* with 36 Leds to clip to your smartphone

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Light set up

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Tripods are a must

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Tripods And Selfie Sticks

I could not imagine a blogger life without them anymore. Think about how many times you wanted to record yourself or where not able to put your camera that way to capture the frame. Tripods are the answer.

My Tripod Gear

Adjustable legs tripod: Joby GP3-BHEN Gorillapod* for uneven surfaces 

Mini tripod: Manfrotto mini tripod* works for all devices and it can be used as a handheld as well. Most of the time it connected to my smartphone so I can quickly record a scene on my travels. It is also perfect to record steady time lapse videos and with its extendable legs you can use heavier dives as well. 

Extendable selfie stick:AuyKoo Selfie Stick*  and telescope pole

✈ Tripod with Clamp: Smatree  Jaws Flex*

Smartphone clamp: Manfrotto clip* that connects a smartphone with a tripod

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Tripod with clamp and adjustable legs

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Manfrotto mini tripod

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Telescope selfie stick for e.g. an action camera

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All You Need Is Power

Back as a flight student my POF teacher (principle of flight) always said: “All you need is speed to make something fly!” Same applies to shooting content but here in this case you need power. Make sure you take a fully charged power bar and spare cables to have your cameras always ready to be used. 

My Power Set Up

Power outlet adapter to charge up to four USB devices: SPLAKS USB 4-Port*

Power Banks of different size: Anker PowerCores*

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Always make sure that your devices are charged

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Powerbanks

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Advanced Equipment

Underwater dome

This gadget is a must for shootings underwater. It is a simple plastic in which you can mount your GoPro (I am sure it exists for different cameras as well) You are able to capture above and below the water line in one image. The dome is not expansive and your audience will be curious how you did it. It requires a little bit practice to get everything in frame. In case you do not want to invest in a dome. Take two photos. One above the waterline and one below. The effect is the same but not as good as with the dome.

✈ My gear: Telesin Dome Port* 

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Underwarter dome

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Drone

Expansive but almost a must for any travel blogger and aviation geek. 

It definitely need a lot of practices. Besides flying the drone you need to know how to record footage correctly so a video is in one flow. 

Nowadays they have become so advanced that it is almost impossible to crash them but you need to know where  you are allowed to fly them and the regulations. Before a trip make sure which special drone laws apply and if you are even allowed to fly. Don’t do it like me: flying around the Hollywood sign and then crashing it in the bush. 

✈ Advanced level: DJI Mavic Pro 2*

✈ Beginner level: DJI Mavic Mini*

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Drone

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Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

I hope you find my article helpful and you can use my tips to upgrade your photos and videos in the future. Please do not forget to like the post and leave me a comment below which travel blogger equipment you would like to try out. 

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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* = Affiliatelinks/Werbelinks

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top 10 instagrammable spots in New York City

TOP 10 instagrammable spots in New York City

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Dear Aviator, 

it has been a while since my trip to the city that never sleeps. Instead of a straight forward travel blog post, I share with you my "TOP 10 Instagrammable spots in New York City". At a destinations I am constantly chasing for spots to create enganging content for you. This definitely looks a lot easier than it really is. Stick to my TOP 10 and you will get automatically a great overivew of the city and some nice shots for you feed. Pack your camera (not only your phone) and some good walking shoes, because I walked over 40 km in six days. 

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Times Square, a must-see in NYC at night, but very crowded

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Spectacular street canyons, but extremely busy and hard to take Insta shots

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1- The Vessel

New in town. The Vessel, an architectural artwork, which is unique and extravagant. Built to plans by the British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the elaborate honeycomb-like structure rises 16 stories (45 m) and consists of 154 flights of stairs and 2,500 steps. The Vessel is the main feature of the 5-acre (2.0 ha) Hudson Yards Public Square, which comprosmises a mall with lots of shoppping opportunities. It's worth a visit since the entrance is for free (check the website prior) and you can take some etravagent photos.

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The Vessel

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2- The Envue Hotel

Not quite in New York City, but only a 10 min ferry ride across the Hudson river. The Envue Hotel, which belongs to the Autography Collection of Marriott, offers unobstructed views of the New York City skyline. I stayed in one of their spacious and contemporary executive suites with a spectacular balcony (Instagram spot deluxe). You not necessarily have to stay at this 5-star hotel, to enjoy the view. As non hotel guest, you could have dinner at the at the NoHu restaurant or enjoy views from their rooftop terrace.

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Envue hotel lobby and bar

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Relaxing in the Envue Hotel

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Envue Hotel with ferry station in front

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3- Intrepid Air Museum

A must for every avgeek, is a visit at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The museum showcases the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the cruise missile submarine USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. (just to mention some highlights of the exhibition). I visited the museum by night for the TPG awards hosted by The Points Guy. It is an award show which honors excellence in travel, loyalty programs and credit cards. Make sure to get a shot with the Concorde or on top of the aircraft carrier.

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The Intrepid Air Museum

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At the TPG Awards 2019

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On the red carpet at thr TPG Awards

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4- Neigborhood SoHo

Strolling around the SoHo neighborhood feels like you are straight in a smovie set of one of your favorite blockbusters. You can go shopping in boutiques, have a coffe, healthy food and take lots of typical "Newyork-style" photos with escape latters on the brick fasades.

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SoHo neighborhood

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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5- The Oculus

Finally! Like the new Berlin airport (still not open) it took a bit longer and costed more money until the Oculus opened. The $4 billion Oculus station house, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, consists of white ribs that interlock high above the ground. Inside you find the transportation hub and a mall. The building has been praised for its design and its "instagramability". From the outside it los like that the construction has wings.

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The Oculus gave me wings

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The 9/11 memorial next to the Oculus

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6- Helicopter flight

Not an inexpensive experience, but worth if you want to see New York City from high above. Once in the air you can really spot the massive size of the city. I departed from the heliport in Lower Manhatten and went on a scenic flight for about 20 mins with Heli NY. In case this is not thrilling enough, you can go on a flight with the passengers open and you can lean out of the helicopter during the flight (only departing from New Jersey. That's definitely the Instagram photo of NYC.

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7- The Lexington

Stay where the stars have stayed! The Lexington Hotel was built in 1929 and is showcasing the design, architecture and style of that iconic period. Once home for many famous people like Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and PilotPatrick ;).  I stayed in the Arthur Godfried Suite, he used to be a well-known TV and radio braodcaster. He was an Aviator as well. So this suite was a perfect match. You don't necessarily have to sleep at the Lexington, you book one of their theme suites for an event as well.

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The Lexington Hotel in Midtown

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8- Central Park

The world famous park. In the winter is it not that beautiful, but nevertheless it is worth to take a stroll through the park or go ice skating. It is a nice Instagram spot, since you can take photos away from the crowds. In the middel of  the souther end of the park is an elevation formed by rocks. This location makes a nice scenery since high tall buildings rise in the background.

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Southern End of Central Park

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9- cloudM rooftop

You don't need to spend a fortune to get access to a rooftop in Manhattan. Just by coincidence, I discovered the the cloudM rooftop in Soho. It is not a skyscraper, but you still have an unobstructed of lower Manhatten and Midtown Manhatten from an outside and inside area. Alternatively, you can now visit the Observatory at the One World Center, the Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. Either way, you spend a minimum of  35 $ per entrance.

 

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cloudM rooftop bar

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View from the cloudM rooftop bar

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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10- Brooklyn and Manhatten Birdge

Probably the most Instagrammed location in entire New York City. Take a walk via the bridge starting from Lower Manhatten all the way to the other side to Brooklyn. The photo motives are endless and you definitely will see other who do it for the "Gram". My destination after the Brooklyn Bridge was the Manhatten Bridge Point of View. I have seen this location so many times on Instagram, but I was quite disappointed since it was really crowded. People were really rude and did not want to move out of your frame. So I walked to the Main Street Park granting a view of the Brooklyn bridge and the skyline in the back. Please always respect others when they are taking shots like you would expect it from others.

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn

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What would have been your favorite location in NYC? Let me know in a comment below and don’t forget to like my blog about the "TOP 10 Instagrammable spots in New York City"

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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differences between Captain and First Officer

What are the differences between Captain and First Officer?

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Dear Aviator,

you cannot imagine how bad I feel that I have neglected my blog for a while. Lately my travels kept me very busy, therefore my productivity went doen. This fact and the packing are the two things I dislike most about traveling.  

Are you ready for another aviation related blog post? You probably have  questioned yourself what is really the difference between a captain and first officer. How many times have I heard people saying: "Ah you are the captain now, so you are finally allowed to fly the airplane!" In this blog post I will share with you the four major differences between Captain and First Officer.

 

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Appearance

Age is not an indicator of whether a pilot is a Captain or First Officer. I have flown with First Officers who were almost double my age. Have a look at the number of stripes of the pilot uniform.  Three stripes stand for First Officer and four for Captain. In genral, the higher the number of stripes, the higher is the rank.

Sometimes you might spot two stripes on a pilot uniform. This is a Junior First Officer who is either still in training or has not reached a certain hours flown. You might have also seen  three stripes with a really thick one. This stands for a Senior First Officer. This pilot is very expereicend  and he/she can fly from the left seat during cruise flight when the captain is taking a break on long-range flight for exampl. Speaking about the seat position. The Captain is seated in the left side whereas the First Officer in the right. These positions must not be interchanged. However, Captains can receive a right seat check out (additional training required) which allows them to fly from the left as well.

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Duties

How many times have I heard people say: "Ah you are the Captain, so you are finally the real pilot!" What was I before an unreal or fake pilot?! Both crew members regardless of their rank can be called pilots.

This might surprise you: Captains fly their aieplane as much as First Officers. Before each flight the crew decides how is PF (pilot Flying) or PNF (Pilot not flying or pilot monitoring). The PF controls the plane, performs the take-off, controls the autopilot in cruise flight and does the landing. The PNF fills the flight log, communicates with air traffic control (ATC) and supports the PF. Usually, I leave the choice to my First Officers which role they would like to perform. The answer is always the same when the weather is bad or it is getting late: I prefer to do the next flight ;-)

There are cases where the Captain determines that he or she wants to fly due to weather or other special reasons. Addtionally, the there are some circumstances  in which the First Officer is not allowed to fly. (more in detail at a later point)

So why doesn't the Captain fly the whole time?

  • Fatigue is better distributed if both pilots fly.
  • First Officers gain experience they will need as captains.
  • Flying is not always the best use of the Captain's experience, training and time. In cases of abnormal issues such as a system malfunction, it may be better for the Captain not to be tied up flying. That way he/she  can concentrate and coordinate the appropriate actions.

The major difference is that the captain always has the responsibility. From the time the Captain boards the plane until he/she leaves the plane again (no matter who is flying!!!), the Captain is responsible for the flight and is in command of it. The First officer is the second in command.

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Operational Procedures

The commercial operation of an aeroplane requires a high level of standarization. Guidelines, regulations, limitations and procdues on how to operate an aircraft are written in the opertional manuals. This grants a high level of safety and allows a new crew composition to fly with each other since they follow the prescibed operational procedures.

It is the job of the Captain to taxi the aircraft on ground due to the fact that the tiller (steering wheel of the nose gear) is mounted only on one side of the cockpit. The Airbus A300-600 has also a tiller on the First Officer side. This feautre does not automatically grant the First Officer to taxi as well. Most airlines follow a philosophy that it should be only the Captain taxing since he/she is responsible of the aircraft. An outdated philosophy since one day the First Officer becomes a Captain without any practice taxing.

Coming back to the cases in which the First Officer is NOT allowed to fly:

  • Takeoffs below 400m runway visual range (RVR).
  • CAT 2/3. when the weather is below CAT1 which means in most cases an RVR of less than 550m with a decision height of 200m.

To sum it up: Everytime it gets more challenging it the Captains task to fly , because he/she is trained to operate in low visibilty (LOVIS) and usually has more expierence.

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Money

The topic that everyone is most curious about. Moneywise there is a big difference in the salary of a Captain and a First Officer. To have the entire responsibility for a multi-million Euro jet, the lives of the passengers and the rest of the crew, a Captain gets paid extra. A safe flight depends on the ultimate judgement and decision making of the Captain. As a general rule you can say that a Captain makes about 50% more than a First officer. So if a First Officer makes about 60,000€ a captain makes at least 90,000 €. It can be also more than double or even more than that if company affliliation is a longer or when a Captain has additional tasks and responsibilites (eg. instructor).

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Which question about aviation would you like to have answered next? Let me know in a comment below and don’t forget to like my blog about the differences between Captain and First Officer. 

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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Amazing Amsterdam city guide - My top 7 highlights

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Advertisement - Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

this year I have been in so many cities like never before. On my list of private travels are 13 different destinations. That's my personal record. Vienna, Miami, Rio, LA, Las Vegas, Zakynthos, Lisbon, Crete, Dresden, New York, Sharm El Scheikh and last but not least Amsterdam! In this blog post, I want to share with you my perasonal highlights of this trip. My Amazing Amsterdam city guide prepares you well for your next trip.

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The beautiful red light district

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Delft houses

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Amazing Amsterdam city guide

I have been to Amsterdam in the Netherlands numerous times, but it was always for work. Usually, I flew in one day and the next day already out, so I never stayed very long. Most of the time I only got to see the hotel. I wanted to change this so badly to have more time available to discover. Recently in November my flight duty ended in Amsterdam, so I decided to spend my off days there. Now enjoy reading my amazing Amsterdam city guide.

It was love at first sight. Amsterdam is now one of my TOP 5 favorite cities in Europe

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Beautiful canals around Grachtengordel

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1. Delft houses Instagram location

You want to take great content for Instagram and co., then you will enjoy Amsterdam a lot. The photo locations seem endless. The most iconic and famous one is definitely the spot on "Damrak" opposite the typical duty delft houses. You can spot the reflection of the narrow crooked houses in the water. Make sure to pause for a moment an embrace the beautiful setting. For canals photos I can recommend the streets "Herenstraat" and "Herengracht".

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Amsterdam Central station

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Amstel

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2. The Conservatorium Hotel

Hotels are my second home as a pilot. Most of the time I am happy to check out from the hotels I have to stay at. Quite the contrary at the Conservatorium Hotel, where I did not want to check out at all. This luxury hotel in Amsterdam has repeatedly been crowned the number one luxury hotel in the Netherlands. It is located in the elegant Museum Square district, close to Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum.

The architecture of the Conservatorium is unique and absolutely stunning. It combines a landmark heritage building (it used to be a post bank as well) with contemporary luxury design.

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Exterior of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Bathtub goals

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Welcome at the Conservatorium hotel

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Amazing Junior Suite

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I stayed in one of the most amazing hotel suites, which was located on two levels with a living room on the ground floor and the bed room on top. The junior suite was located at the corner of the building. With its huge windows, it offered fantastic views of the city.

After your business day, shopping day or sight seeing tour, you can relax in an 1,000 sq m Akasha Holistic Wellbeing. It comprises of a well equipped gym, a huge pool, sauna, steam bath and treatment rooms.

Breakfast was served in the Atrium in the middle of the hotel. Besides a buffet you can enjoy a la carte menu with dishes that are prepared on point for you! I am truly in love with this hotel.

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Breakfast at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Atrium of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Gym at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Spa at the Conservatorium Hotel

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3. Boat trip on the canals

In my opinion, a boat trip is a must attraction in Amsterdam with all its beautiful canals and bridges.

By the way do you know which city has the highest number of bridges? (Answer at the end of the blog)

You will discover the city from a whole new perspective. I went on a 1-hour cruise with "Flagship" for 16€. Other than big tour operators, "Flagship" uses smaller boats to give a more genuine experience. It was interactive and very informative trip. I spontaneously bought a ticket at the departure point (Anne Frank house), but you can also get them online.

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Flagship boat trip

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Flagship departing at the Anne Frank house

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4. Midtown Grill Steak Restaurant

Do you need a dinner recommendation? Why not fancy eating a steak? I can recommend the Midtown Grill, which is centrally located in the Marriott Hotel. You know that I am really picky about food, but the quality and the taste was really excellent. I had the Porterhouse which serves two persons.  It is one of their prime cuts which grants you the opportunity to choosee from a slection of knives frorm around the world. Guten Apetit!

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Midtown grill at the Marriott hotel

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Midtown grill

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Proterhouse steak

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Foodporn!

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At the Midtown Grill

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5. Highest Swing in Europe

If you want to have a nice view of Amsterdam, you should visit the A´DAM building, which is located opposite the central station. A ferry (for free) takes you across the harbour. In case you are brave enough you can go on the highest swing of Europe. It is 100m meter over the ground and the felling to swing over the edgeof the building is a lot of fun. The building offers also other attractions like a cafe and a rotating restaurant. Unfortunately, the entrance is not free neither is the swing. I recommend buying tickets online because you get a discount.

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A'dam lookout

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Highest swing in Europe

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A'dam look out

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6. Juice by Nature - healthy cafe

Healthy food lovers will not be disappointed in Amsterdam. One of my favorite paces is "Juice by Nature". It is a quick stop cafeand the food is really tasted. Especially their raw cakes are a dream. I was in food heaven several times. Use the app "Happy Cow" to find healthy places around you. That's how I find them when I am new in town.

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Juice by Nature

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Juice by Nature

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7. Blauwburg Bridge and Amstel

You should not only trust me, but also Claude Monet, who used this scenery for his art and I used it for my Instagram stories and photos :-) The area around the Blauwburg bridge, its sister bridge is loacted in Paris, is very pretty. The Amstel canal is wider than the other canals creating an amzing setting that invites to stroll around! In general, the size of the city is perfect to discover everything by foot or bike.

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Amstel

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Museums district

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The answer is Hamburg in Germany. Followed by Venice and Amsterdam. Hamburg has more than 2500 bridges, which is more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined.

I hope you enjoyed my amazing Amsterdam city guidee and you will consider my highlights for your next city trip! Do you have a favorite city in Europe! Let me know in a comment below and don't forget to like my blog post!

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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How to have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas

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Advertisement / Anzeige

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"  You probably heard of this saying. No worries - this does not apply to me. I share with you what I experienced in three days and I tell you how you can have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas.

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New York New York in Las Vegas

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Bellagio fountain

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Las Vegas strip

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Drive to Las Vegas

From Los Angeles (read my article about my last time in LA) it is about 4,5 hours by car. By plane would have been an option as well, but it wouldn’t have saved a lot of time and a road trip reveals more of the landscape. The secenry on the way changed a lot and it got hotter and more arid as I approached Las Vegas. It felt like the highway would end in the middle of nowhere. Left and right you could only spot dry land, dust, sand and rocks. All of the sudden huge golden buildings and even a pyramid appeared on the horizon. That must be it "Viva Las Vegas".

Tip: Make a stop at the art installation "Seven Magic Mountain" just prior the boundardy of Las Vegas. The coloured stones give a high contrast to the surrroundings and are a great spot to take a photo and to feel free.

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Seven magic moutain

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Stay at the Bellagio

The first thing I think of Las Vegas is the Bellagio hotel with the huge fountain. I remember the first time in Las Vegas 14 years ago. I was standing with my parents infront of the Bellagio, enjoying the fountain show of the hotel and I said to myself one day I want stay in this 5 star hotel. Here we go 14 years later I slept for three nights in a Salon Suite with the view of the fountain. The location of the Bellagio on the Las Vegas strip is ideal. All major attractions are walking distance and you can also take a tram to get to other hotels, restaurants and shows. This hotel guarantees you a an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas.

 

Tip: Stay in a room with a view! The extra costs are definitely worth it. It is super convenient to stay in hotel of the MGM group, because you can charge all costs at outlets etc. to your room and can use your room credit. Close to the Lobby of the Bellagio is a helathy cafe and a good alternative to the breakfast buffet.

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Bellagio hotel

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Bellagio lobby

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My Salon Suite in the Bellagio

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https://www.instagram.com/p/B056Rs5jUKm/

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Visit the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is not far from Las Vegas. By car you need about the full day for the experience. There is a faster, more thrilling and adventurous way to get to and back from the Grand Canyon in less than four hours. MAVERICK Helicopters makes it possible. Even for me as a pilot flying airplanes for a living, the vertical takeoff and departure over Las Vegas gave me goosebumps.

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Fuel stop in the desert

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on the way to the Grand Canyon

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overflying the Hoover Dam

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My departure time was an early bird at 7 am, but it was worth getting up so early. On a 40 minute flight on board of an Airbus ACH130 helicopter with 7 passengers seats, we observed how the sun slowly rose over a breathtaking landscape. Our Captain not only flew us safely, but was also a great tour guide on the flight. Besides a spectacular flight, we landed in the Canyon for a stop of approx. 30 minutes to have a small breakast and a glass of champagne. An unforgetable flight experience and worth every cent.

Tip: Fly early as it gets really hot in the Grand Canyon or depart late for a sunset flight.

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Landing spot in the Grand Canyon

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Maverick Helicopters

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Eucerin Oil Control for the face up in the air

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Protect yourself from the sun

As a child, my mother always took good care to protect my brother and I from the harmfull effects of the sun. I also remember that I found it rather annoying to apply sunscreen, but I am really glad that our mother was so caring, because the skin does not forget.

Unfortunately, I wasn't that rigorous when I got older so I got sunburnt, not knowing the tremendous effects it could cause to my skin. Becoming an Eucerin Sun Protection brand ambassador was a real eyeopener for me. The insights I received  during my visit at Beiersdorf and the photos of my face taken with a UV camera, made me use suncare strictly. Even in sunny LA, hot Las Vegas or in the valley of the Grand Canyon I stayed sunburn free. It became a habit to protect myself in sunny moments and I do not see it as a hassle anymore, because the Eucerin Sun Protection products are fun to use.

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View of my Salon Suite

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Day by the pool

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Which products do I use?

Eucerin offers a wide range of sunscreen products for any age, skin type and occasion.

Here are my three favorite products:

For the face:

OIL CONTROL FACE SUN GEL-CREME (specials: anti-shine effect)

For the body:

SENSITIVE PROTECT SUN SPRAY TRANSPARENT

SENSITIVE PROTECT SUN SPRAY TRANSPARENT DRY TOUCH

All three products have an ultra-light texture and dry really fast on the skin. A big plus is that they are not as sticky as other products I have used in the past.

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My three favorite products of Eucerin Sun Protection

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Pool day at the Bellagio

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Have dinner at the Aria

The number of restaurants on the strip seems endless. Depending on your preference, occasion and budget you will find the right one. The Aria hotel alone offers 16 different restaurants. Even when not going there for dinner, the contemporary archtiecture is worth a visit. I had dinner at the Bardot Brasserie and I felt like I was in a french restaurant in Paris. All the meals were on point. In general service is really important. The waiters depend on your tip (which I think is not correct-but that's a different topic) and they want you to have an exceptional experience.

Tip: Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant. This way you will avoid long waiting times and disappointment.

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Surf and turf in the Aria hotel

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Dinner time

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Bardot  Brasserie

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Gamble a bit

I don't know how to gamble and even less how to use the slot machines. Last time in Las Vegas with the age of 17 I was not allowed to gamble, so I said this time I at least want to use a slot machine just for an Instagram Story. Honstly, I did not know what I was doing, but in the end I won 220$. HAHA.

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Las Vegas strip

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I won! Unforgettable stay in Las Vegas

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Get tickets for a show

The city of shows! It is a must to visit at least one show when you are in Vegas and the fountain show or the erupting of Vulcan does not count. I went to the show "O" of Cirque du Soleil and I have to admit that I was rather dissapointed by it. From the leading artistic circus, I expected so much more. On this website you find all the shows which are playing durring your visit.

Tip: Sometimes you get discounts a hotel guests for shows which take place in a venue of the hotel. It is worth to check with the concierge.

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Fountain show

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Venice in Las Vegas

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Have you been to Las Vegas and would you like to go after reading my blog? Let me know in the comment section below. I hope you will have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas next time!

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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travel guide of rio de janeiro

My sunny highlights - travel guide of Rio de Janeiro

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Advertisement

Dear Aviator,

Is Rio safe? What are the best Instagram spots? Where to eat and sleep? What to do and see? How to protect yourself properly from the sun. Find the answers in my travel guide of Rio de Janeiro.

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Escadaria Selaron

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Sunrise in Leblon

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Not the safest city?!

On Instagram, I asked you if you have any recommendations for my vacation in Rio. I was a bit shocked when I read your story replies. Most of them were telling me to be careful and to take care of my belongings. Like many other big metropolises, Rio de Janeiro has its problems as well. The criminal rate is extremely high, but I never felt really insecure. You just have to know which places are safe (especially at night) and know how to behave. Best is not to stand out, but this was a problem with my big camera. In my opinion, people are exaggerating about criminality by spreading horrible stories and building extra high-security fences. (a local confirmed this) This is what caused me to feel uneasy, but never insecure.

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more videos!

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My place in Rio

I was lucky to stay at one of the hippest new hotels in Rio de Janeiro. The JANEIRO HOTEL, which is located at the beachfront of Leblon, recently opened its doors. The boutique style hotel not only offers stunning views of the ocean and beach, but I also felt like a VIP through their first class service. I stayed in an Ocean suite and I can totally recommend the extra charges over a standard room. The suite is facing directly the ocean and features a double rain shower, bathtub, a hanging chair and a lot of space to unwind. Unfortunately, there is no balcony, but this is no problem at all since the JANEIRO features a rooftop with a terrace and an infinity pool. Do not miss out on the free yoga classes once a week. You know I am picky about food and I must admit that the breakfast buffet did not offer the greatest selection, but everything was tasty.

TIP: Stayin the neighborhood of Leblon or Ipanema. Personally, I did not like the Copacabana. (too crowded, too many vendors and too dirty). Places I recommend below in my travel guide of Rio.

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Janeiro Boutique Hotel

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Staying fit on vacation

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Ocean Suite in the Janeiro Hotel

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My safe companion

No matter where I am traveling to, my safe companion SUNCARE is always with me. Like last year I have teamed up with Eucerin again to spread the awareness of the importance to protect yourself from the sun.

Why should YOU use suncare?

First of all not to get a painful sunburn. Secondly to lower the chances of getting skin cancer. Solely in Germany, 200.000 people became diagnosed with skin cancer for the first time in 2016. Additionally, the sun is the reason for many other skin damages. You should protect yourself during any #sunnymoment and it is never too late to start with it!

For your health and beauty

I never really thought about it, the UV- Light and HEV- Light does not only influence the healthiness of the skin, but also the aging process. The research of Eucerin revealed that the high-energy visible light (HEV) induce free radicals which also cause visible signs of skin aging and hyperpigmentation. About 90% of the visible skin aging is caused by UV- Light and HEV- Light.

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Beach of Leblon and Ipanema

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Eucerin Sun Protection in Rio

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Three tips for the proper protection

The right product

Find the right product for you and your skin type. Eucerin Sun Protection has a huge product variety thus meets your age, preference, and needs.

The right amount

Think of the size of a golf ball. That is the quantity you need to cover your whole body.

Think twice

Best is to apply sunscreen twice, so you don’t miss out on any unprotected spots on your skin.

Which products do I use?

Eucerin offers a wide range of sunscreen products for any age, skin type and occasion.

For the face: SUN OIL CONTROL FACE GEL-CREME

For the body: SENSITIVE PROTECT TRANSPARENT SUN SPRAY and TRANSPARENT DRY TOUCH (refreshing)

All three products have an ultra-light texture and dry really fast on the skin. A big plus is that they are not as sticky as you know it from other suncare products.

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It's all about the view

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My three favorite products

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Where to eat?

Food is great in Rio de Janeiro, but other then I expected it can be quite expensive.

Here is my list of favorite places:

SEEdS: healthy cafe in Leblon

Gurumê: delicious Sushi in Ipanema

Zucka: contemporary restaurant in Leblon

Gaia: Art & Café in Copacabana

Aprazível: Brazilian restaurant and bar with a view

 

 

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Restaurant Aprazível

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Sushi at Gurumê

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Restaurant Aprazível

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What to see?

I spend 9 days in Rio. 2,5 days I was unlucky with bad weather, but the rest of the time I had fantastic weather in May. The outside temperature was not too hot, which was ideal for sight-seeing and exploring. Keep in mind during the winter time the sun sets early (it's around 16:30) So my recommendation: start your day early!  I got up every day around 6 am to have as much as sunlight possible. I think 5-7 days are ideal to get to know the city and not to be stressed with enough time to enjoy the beaches.

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Cristo!

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Helicopter flight over Rio

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My must sees and dos / travel guide of Rio:

  • Sugarloaf: Go on top with the cable car for the sunset. Come with enough time to enough views.
  • Cristo: Visit the wonder of the world at least once. I was unlucky with the view. Don't expect too much. Come as early as possible to avoid the crowd.
  • Leblon and Ipanema beach: Sooo much better than the Copacabana beach.
  • Escadaria Selarón: check out the famous Rio de Janeiro steps but don't expect to be alone
  • The museum of tomorrow: I didn't visit the exhibition but the architecture of the building is worth to see live.
  • Helicopter flight: A must do if you want a thrilling view of the city. Book at least a flight for 30 minutes and search for a provider outside of the city (over 50% cheaper)
  • Mirante Dona Marta: Still a hidden secret. It's a viewpoint next to the Cristo. It's for free and the view breathtaking. Tell the uber or taxi driver to wait for you otherwise you won't get back to town
  • Botanical Garden: I am not a huge fan of plants, but the alley with palm trees is exceptional

I guess you miss the Copacabana on the list. To be honest I was so disappointed by this neighborhood and the beach. The area is too touristic, with too many vendors, too much dirt and too many people.

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Sugarloaf view from the middlestation

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Viewpoint from the Sugarloaf

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Botanical Garden Rio de Janeiro

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Top 5 instagramable locations

  • Mirante Dona Marta: Sit or stand on a rock at the edge of the mountain with the city behind you - best afternoon/evening
  • Leblon Beach with the two bothers mountain in the background - best early in the morning
  • Pedra do Arpoador: huge stones between Copacabana and Ipanema - best for sunset
  • Sugarloaf: many instagramable spots for example with the Sugarloaf in the background from the middle station of the cable car - best late afternoon and sunset
  • Janeiro: Infinity pool at the Janeiro hotel- best all day

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Mirante Dona Marte

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Instagramable Pedra do Arpoador

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Sunset from the Sugar Loaf

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Have you been to Rio or in Brasil? Let me know which other cities you can recommend and what was your experience. Comment below this article and don't forget to heart (like) my travel guide of Rio.

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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KLM Business Class review

KLM Business Class Review: Dreamliner to Rio

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Dear Aviator,

my last vacation took me to a destination which has been on my bucket list for a long time: Rio de Janeiro. Originally I had planned to go there February, but then my Captain Upgrade got in the way so I had to postpone it. This blog post will not deal with Rio, but about the flight that took me there. In my KLM Business Class review, I will share my flight experience on board of a Dreamliner. What can you expect? Additionally, you will be able to win a special souvenir of the flight.

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The Dreamliner

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How I book my flights

"You are a pilot you fly for free", "You have access to standby tickets", "ID-90 flying is great". Those are comments I have great below my postings on Instagram. I'm sorry, but all statements are not correct. All my flights are firmly booked and paid full price. I never had the opportunity to fly intercontinental for a fraction of the normal ticket price.

How do I manage to fly Business Class?

Whenever I can I book Business Class tickets on flights which last more than 6 hours. I either pay full price or I have enough miles to go on a reward flight. The price-quality ratio has to be acceptable. When tickets are overpriced in Business Class I book a travel class below (Premium Economy or Economy) and then I try to upgrade with miles or cash. Like I did on my flight to Miami in Eurowings "Biz Class".

I was lucky when I booked the flight to Rio. I knew I have a vacation for 12 days, so I opened up the world map of Google flight search. Selected the time period and my favored travel class. I was browsing through numerous destinations until Rio de Janeiro popped up with 1,800 € round trip for one person in Business Class. I immediately booked the flight. Normally you pay double this price, so it was a really good deal.

 

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Do not miss any of my videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel PilotPatrick

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Three flight highlights

First highlight: So far I only knew KLM from short range flights, so it was the first time for me to fly with them long-range. Second highlight: I was excited to fly with a Boeing 787, also called Dreamliner, for the first time. Third Highlight: I flew in the new World Business Class, which has an interesting cabin layout.

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Berlin - Rio de Janeiro

KL 1822 Boeing B737-700

09:05 Berlin (TXL)

10:35 Amsterdam (AMS)

 

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KL 0705 Boeing B787-900

12:45 Amsterdsm (AMS)

19:35 Rio de Janerio (GIG)

total travel time: 15:35 hours

 

 

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Crown Lounge at Schipol Airport

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Champagne above the clouds

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The lounge

KLM recently opened up a new lounge called "Crown lounge 52" in the international departure area of Schipol airport. The lounge is huge and not yet fully opened. I had a hard time finding it. Navigation signs at the airport were not clear and a lounge briefing of the airline was missing.

The lounge expands over two floors with different areas, it even features an outside terrace, a cinema, and several outlets. In case you find the catering not tasty enough (like I did) you can visit the a la carte restaurant within the lounge (not complimentary).

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This is aviation porn

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lie flat seat

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The seat

The seat surprised me the most on this flight! When I had a look at some photos of the seat, it seemed to be quite narrow. The entire Business Class is in the font section of the B787-9 and comprises only 30 seats in total.

Oh wow! That was my first impression after boarding the aircraft. The color selection, the arrangement, and the design were well chosen. Everything is there where you needed it and the designers took special care of every detail. For example, you have a mirror in your small cabinet.

You kind of have to slide into your seat, but once seated it feels more spacious than I thought.  The seats are angled to the flight direction and surrounded by a cube, which makes every seat private. Especially the window seats are fantastic since you don't have to move your head to look out of the window. On top, the seat transforms into a fully flat bed. I am 1,85 cm and it was really comfortable

Highlights:

  • all seats have direct aisle access
  • a lot of privacy as a seat and bed
  • comfortable sleeping position
  • all buttons and controls are easily accessible
  • the armrest can be lowered to increase the sleeping surface
  • wide footrest for the bed function
  • big personal TV which can be stowed 

 

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Watch the full Business Class review on YouTube

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The catering

KLM would not win any prizes for its catering departing Schipol airport. On the 11 hours, flight lunch was served after takeoff. In between light snacks were offered and prior to landing, you could have a small dinner. The desserts were the best part of the catering: refreshing ice cream and a chocolate muffin with liquid chocolate inside.

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Healthy starter

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I did not want to show the nasty main dish too clearly

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Specials of the Dreamliner

The B787 was not always a Dreamliner, it moreover started as a nightmare. Boeing had to fix several problems after the aircraft has started its line operation in 2011. It is one of the most advanced and modern airliners in the world. It not only generates less noise overall, but CO2 emission is reduced by 20-25% and fuel consumption by 20% as well. The aircraft leaves a smaller environmental footprint without lowering passenger comfort. Quite the contrary is the fact. Passengers windows are bigger, the cabin altitude is reduced and the cabin humidity is increased, which makes you feel better when you arrive.

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Mood lighting on board of the B787

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Fails on the flight

Nothing too tremendous, but still not acceptable when paying a lot of money for a ticket.

  • Wifi on board was broken. The airline blamed the satellite.
  • The espresso machine was broken and the coffee was nasty
  • Corners of the seats were not spotless

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Nap time!

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Give away!

At the end of the flight, every passenger in the Business Class receives a souvenir. It is a miniature Delft house, which is famous in the Netherlands. I received so many messages from my Aviators, who want one of those houses since it is impossible to buy them. So I decided to give away one house, an amenity kit and a personal note to TWO Aviators

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning “I would like to fly to (destination) inspired by www.pilotpatrick.com"
  3. REPEAT the previous step on my YouTube video!

I will randomly choose two winners on the 23rd of June 2019. Good luck!

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GIVEAWAY!

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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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process of becoming a flight a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain Upgrade Part 3

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Advertisement/Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

welcome on board of a new chapter. This is now your Captain speaking! After three months of training, the Upgrade to Commander course is completed. It was an intense time with lots of studying, challenging simulator sessions and first flights in the left seat. In the last two parts of my blog series, I already gave you insights into the process of becoming a flight Captain. In this last part, I will share with you the ultimate steps which were necessary to receive 4 stripes. In the end, you have the chance to win a pilot shirt with my 3 stripes. 

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The new Huawei P30 Pro

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What has happened so far?

Make sure to read the other two parts of this blog series to fully understand the process of becoming a captain.

Part 1: Written application and simulator assessment

Part 2: Upgrade to Commander ground course and simulator training

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Do not miss any of my videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel PilotPatrick

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Line training

After completing the simulator flight on the left seat, the next step was the line training also called supervision. This training takes place on board the real Airbus A300 during the regular line operation. Instead of flying with a First Officer, a training Captain was there to supervise me. The initial phase was to get familiar with the new position, which means the training captain guided, corrected and led me where necessary. He did all his First Officer tasks automatically and supported me in my tasks as well. But after a few flights, the leadership phase was due to strengthening my non-technical skills. All decisions were made by myself and he expected me to treat him like a "normal" First Officer. I had to lead the crew, give orders and to delegate tasks.

Main objectives during this phase:

  • Building up the confidence to fly from the left seat
  • Familiarise with the tasks of a Captain
  • Discussing the duties of the commander
  • Reviewing technical knowledge and operational procedures
  • Simulating CAT III (low visibility) approaches
  • Building up non-technical competency (leadership and decision making)

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last days wearing 3 stripes

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Paris Le Bourget airport

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Struggles on the first flight

Not everything flew smoothly at the beginning: I definitely had my struggles during my first flights. Now I smirk about it but when I was a trainee I was a little bit frustrated. The picture outside of the cockpit, especially during the approach and landing phase is different from the left seat. That's why I had difficulties finding the centerline of the runway. So I was unintentionally a little offset of the centerline. But the aim is to land exactly on the centerline, so to have enough margin left and right in case of gusts or failures pushing you to one side.  After four landings I finally found the centerline again :-)

In general, it feels different to fly from the left seat. Now all the buttons are on the other side. I had the impression I was seated now in a completely new cockpit. For takeoffs and landings, you use your left hand to steer (yoke) and your right hand to control the thrust. As First Officer, it was 8 years vice versa. The first few landings were a little bit harder and bouncy, but I was able to familiarize myself quickly and to get the right feeling again.

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First flights from the left seat

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Final check

The line training consisted of 25 flights in total. Even though it was a checking environment and I had to overcome some hurdles, I enjoyed it a lot. The training Captains passed on a lot of tips and prepared me well to fly soon with a First Officer.

The entire Upgrade to Commander Course ended with an evaluation flight, to check if I am ready for my initial line check as a Captain.

On the 25th of April 2019, the time has come for the last check to prove my knowledge, skills, and Captaincy on two flights. The specialty here: It was the first time flying with a First Officer. The check Captain was seated on the jumpseat in the cockpit to observe us. Everything flew smoothly and I was asked some theoretical questions during the flight; about fuel management and policies for example. After landing, the check captain, who is the Chief flight instructor of the airline, congratulated me for passing the check flight. He said it was a really good performance. I was the happiest person on earth.

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What will change now?

I will still fly the same routes and land at the same destinations but now I am the boss on board. One of my fellow Captain colleagues described the job quite well:

You are now like the diector of an orchestra. You are delegating and setting the tone.

Besides leading the crew, you have to manage all processes that happen with the aircraft including the communication with the ground crews. You have to keep the time insight to guarantee an on-time departure. You have to look like an eagle on top of the aircraft to observe and to assess the current situation. The so-called situational awareness. The decisions I have to make shall guarantee a safe, economical and efficient flight. It shall also be the best decision for the company as well. As you can see a lot of responsibility but I am looking forward to this new chapter on the left seat.

I am happy about one aspect particularly; it is not the increase in salary :-) Moreover, I am looking forward to passing on my knowledge and experience to new First Officers. Additionally, I will be in charge of the atmosphere in the cockpit. You know which vibes that will be!

 

 

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GIVE AWAY!

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Captain giveaway

So many of you joined my first give away to win my epaulets. That's why I decided to give away a second set of 3 stripes to one of my Aviators. Additionally this time, I will include a pilot shirt (I will buy it in your size) and a personal note.

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning "I want to be your copilot #CaptainPatrick" and let me know your shirt size
  3. REPEAT the previous step on today's post on Instagram post!!!

I will randomly choose a winner 12th of May 2019. Good luck!

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GIVE AWAY!

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Subscribe to my newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

3 easy steps to subscribe:

  • Save me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code “Takeoff”

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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should you become a pilot

Should you become a pilot and is it a good time for it?

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Dear Aviator,

first of all thanks for following my request to send me your questions. It was difficult to make an appropriate selection out of thousands of questions for my FAQ video on YouTube. One question, in particular, was asked several times: Should I become a pilot and is it a good time for it? I thought I give you a more extensive answer to help you in the process of finding the right decision for your future. Be prepared for unadorned truth. 

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The dream of flying is as old as mankind itself. But the possibility for everyone on earth to fly like an eagle through the skies is only a few decades old. Aviation, as we know it from today, is still in its initial phase when considering that the desire to fly freely has always excited. Thanks to great legends and pioneers who made aviation to what it is today. We can feel quite fortunate that live in a time, in which the job as a pilot exists.

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The aviation is a moving, but also a really volatile industry with lots of ups and downs. As quick as aviation develops and changes over the years, the pilot job as altered as well. We still fly aircraft, but nowadays with a high level of automation, under economic pressure, an increasing number of regulations and a sky which does not seem so free anymore. I would not say that the job lost its glamor over the years, but it is a different glamor and not all jobs have it.

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Would I become a pilot again?

Yes! Yes and Yes. In a recent Instagram post, I stated that you should choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. For me, it is still the best job in the world and it does not feel like work for me (most of the time). Of course, the job brings long also negative aspects. It can be indeed tough, unglamorous and hard work. But in the end, it counts that all negative aspects fade behind all the positive sides of the job. More about the pros and cons here.

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In case you are interested to get more questions about aviation, travel, and lifestyle watch my latest video "FAQ" on YouTube. Do not miss any of my future videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel PilotPatrick

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What would I have done differently?

I definitely chose the harder way to become a pilot. The entire flight training (about 70,000€) was self-funded and it did not have any guarantee after finishing my training to get a position in the cockpit. This was quite risky because you never know how the demand for pilots will look like when you complete your training. Within two years of training, it can happen a lot in the aviation industry. In my case, I was lucky to start flying as a First Officer on a private jet, but I know about other graduates who did not find a job right away. If I were you I would try to get into a cadet program of an airline, so you do not put yourself into financial risk.

Have a plan B

I would advise that you go to college to further your education and possibly gain a degree. This would enable you to seek further employment, even in the airline industry. Especially in aviation, a plan B is essential since you depend on your license.

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Why you should NOT become a pilot?

Good salary, layovers, free flights, job security. Those are probably aspects why you would like to become a pilot. But the opposite applies. As I mentioned before the pilot job has changed and the conditions in the airline industry have deteriorated tremendously. In the competition with low-cost airlines, major carriers had to reduce costs in all departments including the salary of aircrews. But the requirements and the complexity of the job has not decreased.

The days that you spend one week of a layover in the Caribbean are also over. In case you have a layover than it is the minimum time required at the destination before your next flights. Especially low coast airlines always return to the home base to save money. For me, the pilot job is linked to traveling and layovers. That is why I could not imagine sleeping every night at home. Even though I work in the aviation industry I do not have the privilege or benefit to fly discounted or even for free. As the high number of bankruptcies of airlines in the European market has shown, job security is not given

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Is it a good time to become a pilot?

How can I say it is still a dream job after listing all the negative aspects, which make this job less appealing. I did not want to discourage you, but rather tell you the truth about the current situation. Fact is that it more and more depends on the airline you are flying for! The working conditions vary tremendously. There are still fantastic cockpit positions out there, may it be with a business jet company or a big airline. The demand for pilots is extremely high at the moment. According to Boeing, there is a requirement of 790,000 pilots in the next 20 years. In case we are not facing a crisis in the world of aviation the shortage of pilots will grow. The reason for this shortage is the job has become less appealing to new candidates. But a shortage is also a good sign because then the aviation industry has to act and airlines have to improve their working conditions to attract new pilots. It is utterly important to stop the ideational and material depreciation of the pilot job because this can in return infringe flight safety.

 

Outlook

International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that the air traffic will have doubled with the next years. The long term trend of the demand for aircrews exists. We as passengers, customers, and staff of the aviation industry have the power to change and shape it for the future.

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Become a pilot if you have the passion and fascination for aviation. It is important to know about the negative as well as the positives when considering being a pilot. Downsides exist in every branch. But with one huge difference, you become part of a world full of energy and enthusiasm which is hard to find in any other jobs.

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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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