How to have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas

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"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

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travel guide of rio de janeiro

My sunny highlights - travel guide of Rio de Janeiro

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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

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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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  • 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.

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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should I visit incredible India

My day at the leading travel trade show in Berlin

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Advertisement / Cooperation

Dear Aviator!

How do you decide on which destinations are on your bucket list? Where do you get your inspiration from when planning your travels? I am sure you retrieve it online, from travel blogs, maybe even from my channels and most probably from friends, who report about their trips.

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Welcome to the ITB at the Messe Berlin

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Singapore Airlines double bed in Business Class

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The ITB, the world's leading travel trade show, in Berlin is the offline hotspot for all travel enthusiasts like me. I was invited by Incredible India to explore the trade show and to visit their exhibition, which was, in fact, an entire hall. They provided me with some giveaways, which you will be able to win at the end of this article.

Through my job as a pilot, I get to fly to many fantastic destinations. At the moment the flight operation requires me to overnight in cities primarily in Europe. Sometimes I even stay up to three days at one destination which allows me enough free time to explore. But it is not the same as traveling privately. It is your job and you are traveling with colleagues and not with your friends and family. That is the reason why I go on so many journeys even besides my pilot travels. I like either to discover new destinations, I haven't been to or I return to places I have enjoyed as a pilot before.

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I am a ship captain as well ;-)

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Indian Aviators :-)

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The ITB

As I mentioned before the ITB (International Tourismus Börse) is the world's leading tourism trade show. The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies. Over 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries.

I not only use the ITB to inform myself about news in the travel industry but I also use the visit to connect with people from the travel industry. Primarily I try to get in contact with tourism boards of countries I would like to visit in the future. I think personal contact is extremely beneficial in regards to potential collaboration.

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Indian bride show

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Photo shooting with Incredible India

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Incredible India

On a daily basis, I get asked on my Instagram channel, if I have been to this or that country and when I am visiting a specific country. In case I haven't been there my answer is that I will try to visit as soon as possible. I made it my life goal to travel to as many countries as possible.

This includes India for sure. At the ITB and the dinner night before, I already got a glimpse of India's culture and their travel offers. Incredible India filled an entire hall. You not only could get in touch with representatives of the tourism office, hotels and tour operators but could also experience a little bit of the Indian culture. The women were dressed in their traditional clothing, a real wedding took place and you could participate in a Bollywood workshop.

In the end, I received a Henna tattoo on my hand so that my memories will last a little bit longer.

Why would I travel to India?

One reason why I would travel to India is to taste genuine Indian food ;-) I really like Indian cuisine, but not too spicy, please. I am always open to exploring new things, places and countries. India would appeal to me as a destination is that it is so different than everything else I have experienced so far. What I have learned from the exhibition is that India has more to offer than good food and the Taj Mahal. In my opinion, the country is underestimated in terms of traveling. Check their Instagram page for travel inspirations in India.

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Getting a Henna tattoo with my logo

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Free henna tattoos with Incredible India

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Good news for passengers

Another reason why I like to visit the ITB is that I am keen to learn about new cabin products of all the major airlines. Qatar Airways always surprises with new innovations in comfort for the passenger. For Business Class passenger they implemented the Q-suite, which offers a lot of space in an enclosed suite. Every seat has direct aisle access and the middle seats convert into a fully flat double bed.

New recline system

For economy class passenger they presented a new seat at the ITB. In their mock-up cabin, I took a seat and I could experience their innovations right away. The new recline system surprised me the most. You probably know how bothersome it can be when your fellow passenger reclines his seat in front of you. Now with Qatar Airways innovation, the seat slides forward to recline without infringing the comfort. Moreover, this allows for more clearance for your knees and chin.

 

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Qatar Airways new Economy Class

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Qatar Airways at the ITB

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The new recline systemm

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The ITB Berlin takes place annually in March at the Messe Berlin. So in case you missed it this year, I will see you there next year.

I had a fun day at the ITB and there is so much to discover. It is impossible to see everything in one day, so make sure you arrive once the doors open. I was exhausted after one day, but the impressions I could take from my visit were definitely worth it.

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Giveaway!

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Give away

Incredible India gave me a present with fancy Indian accessories (see photo below) and I would like to pass them to one of you my Aviator. I will include a personal note as well.

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning your next vacation destination

I will randomly choose a winner 31st of March 2019. Good luck!

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Giveaway of Incredible India!

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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:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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[/spb_text_block]


how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain Upgrade Part 2

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Dear Aviator,

I am able to share some good, but also some bad news with you! The good news is that I passed another important step in becoming a captain, but the bad news is that I don't know when my next flight will be! How can that be? In this second part of how I become a captain, I inform you about all the steps it requires and I give you insights about my training. At the end of this article, I have a little, but special give away for you. 

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What has happened so far

  1. In September 2018 I applied as captain with my airline
  2. My application was reviewed and accepted
  3. In November 2018 I passed the assessment in the simulator

Depending on the demand and if I am expandable from the flight operation,  my training to become a captain would start. In the meantime, I continued flying as First Officer on the A300. The last flight on the right side came earlier than expected. Already on the 31st of January 2019, it was my last flight, which took me to sunny Tel Aviv. I recapped my time as First Officer which were 8 years in total and I could not believe that a new era would start soon. Check out part one if you want to find out more about the requirements and the selection process.

 

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

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Upgrade to Commander course

Beginning of February the UTC (upgrade to commander) training started. The first part was a ground course which lasted one week. From this point onwards I was not allowed to fly as First Officer anymore by regulation.

This ground course took place with six other colleagues who were also in the process of becoming a captain. I thought I would be one of the youngest among them, but two other colleagues of mine were even younger than me.

Topics which were covered in the ground course:

  • Laws and regulations
  • Responsibility
  • Performance
  • CRM
  • Low visibility procedures

As a commander, I will be responsible for the aircraft, the crew, the passengers and the cargo on board. When operating the aircraft I have to consider all laws, regulations, and procedures. CRM (Crew resource management) plays also an important role in the safe operation. CRM is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating effects such it is the fact in aviation. It is used primarily for improving air safety, CRM focuses on interpersonal communicationleadership, and decision making in the cockpit. Human error is still the greatest factor for accidents in aviation.

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Not the A300 simulator but a A320 in Berlin

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One of my biggest goals is to become a captain at the age of 30 and as it looks right now it will most probably happen

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Simulator Training

After a free weekend, the training continued in the simulator. I prepared my self as good as possible because I wanted to show my training captain and myself that I am the right candidate for the left seat.

The simulator sessions took place in Berlin which was convenient for me since I could stay at home. The training consisted of six missions and a final check. Each session focused on a different subject. One session was primarily to train the procedures for engine fires and failures. Another session was to practice the low visibility procedures and flight control malfunctions. All had in common to improve the non-technical skills from the left seat. Non-technical means: the flight management, prioritizing tasks, decision making and the communication with the crew. In the beginning, I had to get used to fly the aircraft from the left seat. This was a little awkward because buttons and levers were now on the other side. It was a little bit like driving the car from the right seat.

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Studying hard

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A lot of flight maneuvers and SOPs (standard operating procedures) were new to me on the Captain's seat. Like the rejected take off and the engine fire with evacuation on the ground.

Up to the speed of V1 (Decision speed), the captain decides with the call "STOP" to aboard the takeoff. After this speed, the takeoff has to be continued because with a higher ground speed the runway would not be long enough to brake the aircraft anymore.

In case of an engine fire on the ground, two checklists have to be read in a structured and coordinated way. In the end, it is the captain's decision to evacuate the aircraft or not.

One duty session lasts six hours in total. One hour briefing before, four hours flying and one-hour debriefing. The simulator was intense with all the emergencies and abnormals, but it was still a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

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QRH (Quick reference handbook) Engine Fire and Evacuation checklist

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Check flight and ATPL skill test

End of February I had my simulator check flight which was combined with an ATPL skill test. As a commander, you need the ATPL license (Airline Transport Pilot license). To hold this license you need a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) with ATPL theory credit and a minimum of 1500 flight hours.

During my check flight in the simulator, it was the first time that I flew with a First officer, who was new on the fleet. This was the first time I really could demonstrate my role as commander because the simulator sessions before were flown with a captain aspirant with a lot of experience.

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Simulator check passed

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What's next?

Waiting time is next. Currently, I am waiting on my new license the ATPL, which will be issued by the authority. Once I receive it I will continue flying, but then as Captain. Not yet with four stripes, since the training continues on board of the real aircraft. The first 25 sectors/flights will be under the supervision of line training captain, who is seated on the right.

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Special giveaway

Soon I do not need my three stripes anymore. That is why I will pass the epaulets on to one of my Aviators with a personal note. They accompanied me for a long time, but now it is time for them to follow someone else journey. Maybe you are becoming a pilot and need them or you just want them as a lucky charm.

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning #PPstripes and answer: What is in your opinion the most important characteristic of a captain?
  3. Watch the full YouTube video in this article
  4. Like the video and leave a comment mentioning #PPstripes

I will randomly choose a winner 24th of March 2019. Good luck!

Stay tuned for part three!

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Giving away my 3 stripes!

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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:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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pilot skin care routine

My #pilotessentials skin care products

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Advertisement Cooperation

Dear Aviator,

welcome on board of another blog post. This week I passed my check flight in the simulator to become a captain. Yet the training is not finished and will continue on board of the real aircraft. The past weeks have been quite stressful with lots of studying, ground training and long simulator sessions. The intensity is also stressful for my skin. I have noticed that my skin tends to be blemished lately. Eucerin helps me to get it to control again with their Dermo Pure series. I will share my daily skincare routine and tips. Additionally, you will have the chance to win a skincare set.

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Currently, I am waiting on my new license to be published by the authority. In the meantime, I am not allowed to operate an aircraft yet. To bridge the waiting time I decided to visit the new family vacation getaway in the Austrian Alps. It is located close to the Kitzbühl at a lake and the panoramic view of the mountains is breathtaking. A great spot to calm down, to have some time for oneself and to escape the hectic city life.

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

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Skincare on my travels

Skincare is important for every one of us, no matter which season, temperature or location. That is why I take my skincare products matching to the destinations on all my travels. This allows me to keep up my routine wherever I am and I do not need to rely on other skin care products.

My tip: Take your skincare products on all your journeys. Use small sizes to save weight and space. 

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UreaRepair PLUS hand cream and Acute Lip balm

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Know what your skin needs

Sure it is still winter in Austria and the weather is close to freezing temperatures. On one side the air outside is dry so you need to moisturize your skin. Latest when you notice your hands are rough and your lips are burning you should use a lip balm and hand lotion. On the other side, the weather can be quite sunny on top of the alps. Once exposed to the sun for a longer period of time (especially the face) you need to use sun protection despite the cold outside air temperature. The hand lotion and the lip balm are also a must-have on board of aircraft to fight the dry cabin air.

My tip: Pack skin care products according to the destination. Sun protection is not only important during the summer months.

Hands: Eucerin Urea Repair Plus

Lips: Eucerin Acute Lip balm

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Eucerin Hyaluron Filler with SPF30

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Eucerin Dermo Pure Series

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My daily routine

Clean my face: Eucerin DermoPure cleanser removes dirt, make-up, and any excess sebum. The gel eliminates skin bacteria and prevents bacterial growth. I use it in the morning and before going to bed.

Shower: The pH5 shower gel of Eucerin which is made for people who shower frequently and have sensitive skin. It protects your skin from drying out. Especially during work, I shower a lot, that’s why I carry a small travel edition with me.

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Eucerin Dermo Pure Series

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Eucerin Soft Shower Gel pH5

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Day cream: I differentiate between if I am exposed to strong sunlight or not. If yes I use Hyaluron Filler with sun protection (SPF30) It also that plumps up wrinkles. Yes, I already spotted some in my face. If I am not exposed to sunlight I use the DermoPure face fluid which has a matting effect and it also helps to control blemished skin. I can easily have a shiny and fatty-face appearance, so it is ideal for me.

Night: Before going to bed I clean my face and then I apply the Hyaluron Filler night It is an Anti-age peeling and moisturizing serum for all skin types. A dual-action overnight peeling and serum that exfoliates and refines skin texture, promotes skin cell renewal and plumps up wrinkles.

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Sunset in Austria

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Hyaluron Peeling and Serum

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Giveaway

UPDATE: Congratulations! Following Aviators won the Eucerin #pilotessentials giveaway: Felix, zvervy (@zvervy), Erik, Judith and Verena Uhlmann. Please check your comment below to find out how to redeem your price. You need to rember if you comment on pilotpatrick.com or .com/de (German site).

Every one of us has different needs when it comes to skincare. So please visit the website of Eucerin to find the right products for you. To test my favorite Eucerin products you have the chance to win one of five "#pilotessentials skin care kits" worth 60€  (DermoPure face fluid, shower gel pH5, lip balm, hand creme, DermoPure cleanser)

To have the chance to win you just need to complete the following three steps:

  1. Comment below this blog why you want to test my favorite skin care products
  2. Like the blog post (heart symbol)
  3. Comment on my last Instagram post with "www.pilotpatrick.com"

I will randomly pick five winners on the 17th of March. To find out who won the giveaway from Vienna, check out the previous blog post.

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GIVEAWAY!!!

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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product review beoplay e8 earphones

My new sophisticated earphones - product review

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Advertising / Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

on my last city trip to beautiful Vienna in Austria, I took a new travel companion with me:  my new pair of earphones. After I showed them for the first time in my Instagram story, I received a lot of comments and message requesting to share more information about them. In this blog post, I will review one of the most sophisticated earphones of Bang & Olufsen and let you know if you should get them as well. 

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Recently my in-ear headphones of BOSE broke. I had them for many years and to be honest I was happy that they stopped working because I was not satisfied with them anymore. So this was the perfect reason to get a new pair. In the end, they were not up to date anymore and their use became unpractical. Especially since Apple removed the connection and extra adapted was necessary to listen to music from the smartphone. The cord and the small battery pack became bothersome.

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Check out my latest video on YouTube

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A must-have for all travelers

Whether you are traveling by plane, train or bus headphones of high quality is a must. You are your own DJ and you decided on the content you want to listen to whenever and wherever you are. I could not imagine leaving the house with earphones anymore. Especially when I have to fly as a passenger they are an essential travel companion. I really enjoyed the noise-canceling function of my previous earphones. They could make you forget about the noisy world around you. Not only the sound experience was improved, but you could also relax much better since the ambient noise was reduced. Noise causes stress. In my blog post about the fear of flying, I stated that noise-canceling headphones can be a helpful tool to fly more relaxed.

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Why I chose the Beoplay E8?

My list of requirements for my new earphones was long. But the three most important characteristics were the size, the cord-free design, and a noise-canceling function. In the end, I decided on the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8, which is probably the most sophisticated earphones currently on the market.

CASE

The E8 comes with a genuine leather charging case. The small size lets you easily take them with you and charge them on the go. The battery lasts for 4 hours playtime and the case charges them another 8 hours. But the risk of losing them is quite high due to their size.

SOUND & FIT

The E8 delivers enables high-quality listening which includes a good bass delivery. You can choose from five ear tips to ensure a precise fit in the ear canal for an optimal listening experience. They are really comfortable to wear and do not bother at all.

CONTROL

The control of the earphones is through intuitive touch control. In the beginning, it is a little bit tricky, but you will get used to it quickly. You can you change/pause tracks, take calls and activate voice commands, all without taking your smartphone out of your pocket.

TRANSPARENCY MODE

With this feature, you can tune in your surroundings. For example, you are out in the city or you are talking to a person. For longer conversation, I recommend to take the earphones out since the transparency mode does not sound natural.

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PLUS POINTS

  • state of the art design
  • comfortable to wear
  • cord-free, truly wireless
  • impressive sound
  • intuitive touch-based control

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NEGATIVE POINTS

  • high price
  • easy to lose
  • not suitable for sports
  • only 4 hours playtime

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Conclusion

The high-quality materials, the extraordinary design, and the sophisticated functions have a high price tag. They are a little bit more expensive than the "Apple AirPods" but the Beoplay E8 are definitely the better earphones. Even though they do not come with active noise-canceling function, the reduction of ambient noise is remarkable.  In my opinion, the value for money is appropriate. I see it as an investment that improves my everyday travel life.

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

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  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain upgrade Part 1

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Dear Aviator,

happy new year to you! I wish you all the best and many happy landings in 2019. The new year started with amazing news for me. At the end of last year, I already informed you that I applied for a captain position on the A300. The application process took several months and ended successfully with an assessment in the simulator. In this blog post, I want to give you some background information and insights into the application process and how to become a captain.  

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

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How to become a captain?

To become a captain of a commercial jet does not happen from one to another day. It takes several years after finishing flight school before you will able to move to the left seat. Your flight experience plays the most important role, on the way, you also have to pass countless simulator checks, type ratings, skill tests.

Additionally you not only need to meet the legal requirements, but you also have to prove yourself within in the company. You need to have the right attitude and personality for this position.

Read my blog series how I became a pilot for more information about my career path!

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How long does it take to become a captain?

This depends on the airline and the individual. To become captain of a commercial aircraft, you must have logged at least 1,500 flight hours and hold a full Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). However, in reality, most airlines require a minimum of 3,000 hours before considering any pilots for promotion. Before I left the Business Aviation I had around 2400 flight hours and my previous employer already considered promoting me on a private jet. With the age of 27, this sounded pretty compelling, but I was looking for a different occupational challenge.

Requirements

When I joined my current employer two years ago, I have never thought that I will be promoted that quickly. At the moment of the job advertisement, I  met exactly the requirements for the upgrade, (only a few flight hours were missing, which I have by now) In my mind I always had the goal to become a captain with the age of 30. When I switched airlines I thought this will not be possible anymore, but it seems like that I am mistaken.

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Job advertisement of the airline

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Application Form

Like applying for a new job at a different company, I had to apply internally to the position of the commander. At first, I had to check if I meet all the requirements. The next step was to fill out the application form in which I had to mention why I want this position and why I would be a suitable candidate. Find my answers below. Additionally, I had to list my current flight hours.

All applications of the first officers were reviewed by the company. Training captains and the management were interviewed if I would be a suitable candidate.

I received positive feedback so the first step in becoming a captain was passed. 

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Commander assessment

The next step was an assessment in a full flight simulator. During an hour flight in the simulator, I was given a scenario with different malfunctions. Two instructor captains, one seated in the back operating the simulator and one seated in the captain position did the assessment with me. The check was primarily not to assess my flying skills, moreover to observe my flight management skills and my decision-making process. The whole flight I was pilot flying (PF) from the right seat and the captain to the left supported me but did not help me to find any solutions.

I was pretty nervous and really excited, but also really happy that I have this great opportunity. Once in the simulator, I was rather relaxed and I was looking forward to proving my skills and knowledge.

Additionally, I was asked a few questions to the operational procedure and technical aspects of the airplane. I went back home without any result and mixed feelings. The good news arrived in the new year!

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What will change?

I will still fly the airplane as before, but from the left seat with four stripes. As a commander, I will be responsible for the safe operation and the safety for all crew members, passengers and cargo on board as soon I arrive on board until I leave the aircraft at the end of the flight. So even when my colleague messes up something I will be the one who will be blamed for it. Flying means teamwork and finding solutions together, but in the end, it is the captain who orders and makes the final decision.

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Next steps

Passing the application process and the assessment in the simulator does not mean that I will start my next duty as a captain. The tough part lays now ahead of me. The upgrade course will start in a few weeks and will comprise a ground school, simulator sessions, the line training, and several checks. I will keep you updated!

Please cross your fingers that everything will fly smoothly.

 

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:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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