my awesome vacation in Dubai

My awesome vacation in Dubai with spectacular activities

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Hello my Aviator,

it is the city of superlatives where I got to spend my vacation recently. In this blog, I take you one of a kind trip to Dubai. The official tourism office of Dubai invited me and three friends to spend an action-packed vacation, which I have not experienced before. Even though it was my third time in this spectacular city, I was impressed by all the activities you can do. Prepare for take-off to Dubai!

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Dubai Marina skyline

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How to get to Dubai

Dubai is only 6 hours flight time away from Germany. With a time shift of maximum two hours and warm temperatures throughout the year (a little bit too hot in the summer), Dubai is a travel destination also for a shorter stay. Lufthansa and Emirates offer daily direct flights from numerous airports. Unfortunately, Emirates does not fly from Berlin yet. That is why I flew with Lufthansa from Berlin Tegel via Frankfurt to Dubai.

The flight was really comfortable since I was upgraded to Business Class. Watch my vlog about my flight to Dubai on my YouTube channel.

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Where to stay

In 1993 Dubai counted 167 hotels and now you can choose from over 700 hotels with a total of 100,000 hotels rooms available. You are spoilt with an endless number of choices. At first, you have to decide which part of town you want to stay in. Downtown, at the beach or even on the palm? Dubai is quite spread out. Secondly, it depends on your budget you want to spend. There is almost no limit on the scale upwards. Dubai probably offers the most luxurious hotels in the world, like the famous Burj Al Arba hotel.

I decided to stay on the Palm, which is an artificial island shaped like a palm tree, situated in front of Dubai Marina. My hotel was called "Five Palm" which was located on the trunk of the palm, so the drive to downtown Dubai was approx. 30 minutes. This five-star hotel offered a private beach, a penthouse lounge with pool and numerous restaurants. My hotel room was situated on the upper floor giving me a fantastic view of the skyline of Dubai Marina.

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My hotel room balcony at the Five Palm

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At the Penthouse of the Five Palm hotel

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What to do

I often hear that people say that there is not much you can do in Dubai. It is just a city of skyscrapers in the heat of the desert. How wrong they are. I spent one week and I could not fit in all activities I favored. Dubai offers so much you can do from water sports to a desert safari or a zip line flight over the Marina.

Here is the list of activities I experienced. For me, they could not be exciting enough. Almost too thrilling that I even hurt my self. Find out in my YouTube vlog about Dubai what exactly happened and all the activities I did:

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The highest building in the world

The Burj Khalifa is enormous and the views it offers are breathtaking. Unfortunately, it is not possible to go up to the highest point, which is 829 m high. Instead, you can visit the observation deck at 555m (148 level) called at the top Burj Khalifa SKY. I recommend going up before sunset and spend enough time to have a view of Dubai at night as well. Afterward, you can watch the big fountain show at the bottom of Burj Khalifa or go shopping in the biggest mall in the world.

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In front of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa

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Observation platform: At the top sky

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The old town of Dubai

Make a detour and visit the old part of Dubai. It is an alternative program to the luxurious and shiny new part of town. But definitely worth a visit. You can visit all kinds of different souks, like the spice and gold market. Take a ride over the Dubai Creek with a traditional boat and visit the Dubai museum to discover the history and the fast-paced change of the city.

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on the Dubai Creek

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Relaxation at the Talise Ottoman Spa 

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Thrilling activities

Zipline flight

Are you brave enough for the Xline adventure from a launch platform which is 170 m high? You will go 60 km/h for one kilometer on a zipline over the Marina Bay. I was so excited to go on this flight. I felt like superman flying between skyscrapers. It was a lot of fun, but it did not last long enough.

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Xline Dubai Marina

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Waterpark

I went with my whole crew to the Aquaventure Waterpark on the Palm. If you like slides water and action this is the right activity for you. Watch my YouTube Vlog about Dubai to see me going down the slides. Next to the Burj Al Arab is the Wild Wadi waterpark which is a little bit smaller but also a lot of fun. In this park, you can go on a wakeboard and try to ride on an artificial wave.

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At the Atlantis Hotel

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Fun at the waterpark

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Helicopter flight

I love to go on a helicopter flight. Even though I am a pilot, taking off vertically always gives me goosebumps. My crew and I took-off with helicopter Dubai on the palm, flew along the Jumeirah beach and downtown. If you like flying this is a must-do activity and the views were just stunning. Next to the helipad is the famous Atlantis hotel. Stop by to check out some fish in their huge aquariums.

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Desert safari

This activity I enjoyed the most. The adventure with "Platinum heritage" takes place half a day and is a luxury and authentic safari which preserves the landscape and its dunes. It was a private tour in a vintage Landrover. After a fun drive along the dunes, we stop to ride camels and watched a falcon show. The evening ended in a beautiful camp where we enjoyed local food and smoked shisha on a magic carpet.

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And action: It was not easy to record everywhere in Dubai

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Let's do a Instagram Story together

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My recommendations

Dubai is different with its spectacular architecture and glamours appearance. I once again enjoyed the hospitality and the luxury lifestyle in Dubai. My tip: try to avoid the really hot summer months unless you are looking for great deals. The city is not only suited for a longer stopover between flights, but also for a longer vacation with lots of activities or just relaxation at the beach.

Which activity would you enjoy the most? For more: vistitdubai.com

Please do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter with your email below.

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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leading aerospace exhibition and airshow

The great aerospace exhibition and airshow in Berlin

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Hello my Aviator,

since my early childhood, I am fascinated with aviation. It is an industry of passion, dreams and great achievements. The dream to fly is as old as mankind itself, but aviation, as we know it today, is still quite young. Even if I have to deal with aviation every day, my fascination has not ceased. That is why I visited the ILA in Berlin, which is one of a leading aerospace exhibition and airshow worldwide. Explore all kinds of different aircraft up close with me in this blog and my vlog below. 

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Static display of the ILA 2018

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Turbulent weather on the static display

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I 've never known an industry that can get into people's blood the way aviation does.

— Robert Six, founder of Continental Airlines.

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Airbus A350 cockpit

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Cabin of the A350

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The ILA Berlin focuses on aerospace innovations in five categories: Aviation, Space, Defense & Security, Supplier and Special Features. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the show on one day and the weather was quite turbulent. It was sunny, rainy and stormy at the same time. That is why I concentrate on the static display with over 200 aircraft and the airshow.

I had the great chance to visit the new Airbus A350 from inside and I even could talk to the test pilot in the cockpit. Last time I visited the ILA many years ago, the A350 was still a project of Airbus and has not been in the air yet. I remember sitting in a cabin mock-up and I was surprised how wide the cabin was. That is why the aircraft is called A350 XWB standing for extra wide body. Now it was great to see the final product.

WATCH MY VLOG ON YOUTUBE ABOUT MY VISIT OF THE ILA

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel as well: PilotPatrick

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Additionally, I visited the A380 of Emirates. It was actually the first time for me to be on board of an Emirates aircraft. I was truly impressed about the luxurious cabin and I really liked the bar and lounge area for Business and Frist Class passengers. I hope I will soon have the chance to experience the amenities during a flight.

Next to the A380 was an A340 experimental aircraft. The outer wing sections are designed for highly smooth airflow over their surfaces. Known as natural laminar flow, such smoothed passage of air creates less drag than the airflow on traditional wings, potentially reducing fuel burn by as much as 4.6 percent on an 800-nautical mile trip. (source: Airbus)

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First time in First Class in Emirates

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Bar on the upper deck of the A380 of Emirates

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The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.

— Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft Corporation.

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Additionally, I visited the A380 of Emirates. It was actually the first time to be on board of an Emirates aircraft. I was truly impressed about the luxurious cabin and what I like the most was the bar and lounge area for Business and Frist Class passengers. I hope I will soon have the chance to experience the amenities during a flight.

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inside the A310 of the German airforce (medical aircraft)

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Experimental aircraft of Airbus

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Find your employer of tomorrow

There is the potential to get a job at an air show. It happened to me eight years ago. Back then I went to the "Aero" in Friedrichshafen, Germany, which is an exhibition of the General Aviation. Just by coincidence I met the CEO of the first company I flew for. After a short conversation I was invited to a job interview and already a couple of weeks later I went to the type rating in the UK.

The ILA even offered a CareerCenter, where you can talk to your potential employer and get to know companies better. You also had the chance to meet different flight schools during the public days.

 

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inside of the A340 experimental aircraft

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Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines of the A350

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Since I work in the aviation industry, I am around aircraft on a daily basis. Never the less my fascination has not ceased. It is impressive to see how fast paced this industry is and which great innovations engineers come up with. Not every day you have the chance to walk up close the engine and landing gear of the new A350 or visit the entire cabin of the A380 of Emirates or walk into the cargo deck of the Antonov 225, the world biggest cargo airplane. Due to the stormy weather, some flight displays had to be canceled. That's aviation. Everything depends on numerous factors.

Have you been to an airshow?

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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downside of my social media presence

The greatest downside of my social media presence

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Hello my Aviator,

last week I returned home from Dubai. I had an amazing time in this spectacular city. Through all my Aviators and the content, I am creating on my social media channels I was invited by the tourism office of Dubai to spend a luxurious vacation. I was even able to travel with friends to support me during my collaboration. Unfortunately, my social media presence does not only has positive side effects. In this blog post, I am revealing the greatest downside.

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A small selection of fake profiles

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Imposer/scammer/faker

One of the greatest downsides of my social media presences is scammers. There are people, who steal my identity and create profiles with my photos to scam other users. When I first found out about it, I thought that they just want to chat and to get some love from the other end. I was greatly mistaken. My fake profiles are used to betray people and to make money out of it. Words can not describe their criminal activities on the internet. They are pathetic and I feel really sorry for all the victims. With my photos, they have managed to ruin others lives, made people commit felonies and losing thousands of Euros.

The most common fake profile names:

  • Henry Hernandez
  • Henry Prince
  • Pilot John Patrick
  • Patrick Wilson
  • Pilot Patrick Stuart
  • Patrick Nathan
  • Oscar Ronald

A clear statement: I only have one profile on Instagram and Facebook. Both are named @pilotpatrick and are verified accounts (blue mark behind the name) I am not using any dating platforms or dating apps. My private Facebook account is with my real name. I am answering to comments, but I am not replying to direct messages, because I just don't have time for that.

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Chats I have been informed about

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Watch my latest Video on YouTube

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Different strategies

Victims have been reporting me their stories and it is shocking to see how clever and deceitful they operate. In the end, it is always about money and they use different strategies to scam others. I will not mention any details, but they are so well trained to make up stories and write the correct words to appear trustworthy.

Not only women have been betrayed, also men, who were seeking for a job in the cockpit. Their desperation was used to make money. The worst case I know about it deals with a woman from New Zealand who transferred over 2000$ to pay for my landings fees. I am pretty sure there are many other cases I do not know about.

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Deceitful chats with vicitims

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Who is behind this?

I am always saying "they". I can only assume, but I think that the fake profiles are created by a network. They have been using the same profile names and the same scam over an over again.

The European Union did not allow the scanning of faces online, because of data protection. This tool would recognize when a profile uses photos of a person who already exists. This would be a great advance against the fight of fake profiles. I am not the only one whose photos are being stolen. Scammers not only destroy the reputation of online platforms, but also the reputation of oneself.

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Identity cards to prove their "realness"

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On the media

I am not the only one whose photos are being stolen to betray others. But my case got so extreme that the media featured me in a documentary and an online newspaper article.

Instagram and Facebook are not supporting me at all. Sometimes profiles (which are obviously fake) do not get deleted or it takes days until the profile gets removed.

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How you can help me

It has been a desperate fight against the scammers because you feel so powerless. Nevertheless, I won't stop fighting. Everday I am reporting at least 10 fake profiles and I am sure there many I am not aware of. It is great to see that there a lot of Aviators, who are highly alerted, help me reporting them.

I have been to the police and I reported several incidents, but they were not able to help me so far.

When you encounter a fake profile on any social media platform, which is using my photos and pretends to be me, please report this person immediately. Please send me the URL of the profile to fake@pilotpatrick.com as well. (Not just the pictures, I need the URL!)

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Do not be naive online and always question yourself!

Subscribe to my newsletter with your e- mail below!

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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driving with bmw connected

Only flying is better - Driving with BMW Connected+

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Advertisement - Cooperation

Hello my Aviator, I recently had the great chance to drive the new BMW 5 series for some weeks. The new BMW 5 series with the Connected+ feature is the perfect travel buddy. In this blog post, I share my experiences driving the BMW and I explain to you how Connected+ can help you to run a busy day more smoothly.  

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The new BMW 5series

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Welcome on board! Your PilotPatrick

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Only flying is better - driving the new BMW 5 series

My dad used to drive all kinds of BMW 5 series models and I could not wait until turning 18 to be able to drive his BMW. In fact, I was even able to drive the car already at 17, because I made a drivers license during my high school year in the United States. It was fun to be the first one of all my friends to drive a car. But this is already 13 years ago and BMW has upgraded its model to perfection. I really like the new design because it is sportive and elegant at the same time. The bright interior with cream leather and the set up of the cockpit looks really high-class.

But now I want you to make you familiar with a brand new feature: BMW's ConnectedDrive and Connected+. This digital service is there to support you and to run your day more smoothly. So a busy day becomes a little less busy. I tested all kind of features and I was amazed by its capabilities.

 

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Cockpit with multiple screens

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But what is Connected+?

BMW Connected+ is the digital “bridge” between your smartphone and your car. With Connected+, you can create in-car personalization and smartphone integration on the Control Display. I noticed right away that the handling in the car is much more intuitive and a lot easier. My car was also equipped with gesture control. This way I could set up my car without taking off my eyes from the street. To turn up the volume you just have to rotate your finger clockwise in front of the screen.

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Send route to car feature

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Route is on board when entering the car

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Connectivity

BMW connects to mobile devices and Home-enabled devices for a seamless experience.

Send my route to car: via the Connected+ app you can set up the onboard navigation. After entering the car, the route is already in the system and can be started by a click. Once you are in the car there is no need to set up the navigation. The BMW calculates intelligent routes and recognizes fuel consumption and traffic factors to provide real-time updates. This feature does not only save time but also fuel as well.

Share live trip status: most of the time I need to update my friends and family on my arrival time for an important gathering. With the feature “Share live trip status” you can inform selected contacts about your live coordinates and your exact arrival time. This is all done automatically and you can fully concentrate to arrive safely. I wish I had this feature when flying.

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Remote services

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Efficiency

Concierge Service: Seek assistance from a built-in concierge service. I personally talked to the service while driving. They can help you find an address, which they can send to your dashboard screen right away and they can even make a restaurant reservation for you.

Remote services: turn your mobile phone into a car key via the Connected+ app. This is super handy if you cannot find your key right away or if you have problems finding the car. You just turn on the headlights and stoplights or locate it with your app.

 

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Connected+ with Concierge service

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Ease of Use

In car experience: Main dashboard navigation with multifunctional screen capabilities for entertainment and directions with a simple touch or even only with a gesture. I really enjoyed that the speedometer and all other gauges around were displayed on a screen. I could personalize the information I wanted to have to display. The head-up display is a great tool. It shows you e.g. directions, which makes it feel like it is flying in front of the car.

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personalizing the apps on the main dashboard screen

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All in all, I must admit that the cockpit of the BMW 5 series is more advanced than my Airbus cockpit. But one feature is still missing: the option to fly!

What is your favorite BMW model?

Please comment below with your answer and subscribe to my newsletter with your email below!

Happy landings and safe driving!

Your Pilot Patrick

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pilot pros and cons of a dream job

Ten years being a pilot: Pros and cons of a dream job

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Hello my Aviator,

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

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office above the clouds

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

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

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

 

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Flight school

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Airbus A300 prior departure

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Pilot Licence

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

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

Pros: You are in control of a powerful machine

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Job security

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

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

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

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Hamburg airport photo by Pando Hall

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Salary

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

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

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

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

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Mid air selfie

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Social life and free time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Layovers

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

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

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

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Layover in Sevilla photo by Rocío

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Working hours

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

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

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

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Flying from sunrise to sunset

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Crew life

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

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

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

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Upgrade

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

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

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

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!

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What would I have done differently?

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

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

Which downside would you like the least?

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

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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breitling roadshow

Breitling roadshow event in Munich

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Cooperation / Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

this week I spent one night in beautiful Munich. I was delighted to be a guest at the Breitling roadshow event. Find out more about Breitling's connection to aviation, the luxurious hotel I stayed at and meet my new luxurious accessory for my flights. In a YouTube (@pilotpatrick) video, I wrapped up the entire trip as well.

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At Sophia's bar at The Charles Hotel Munich

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Breitling roadshow

Breitling, an innovative Swiss watch manufacturer, invited me to their roadshow event in Munich to celebrate their new collection of the Navitimer 8 and the new CEO, Georges Kern. Over 150 guests of economy, culture, entertainment, sports, media and me followed the invitation. It was the German event of the international tour of Breitling which started in January in Shanghai and will continue in New York.

I enjoyed a flying buffet while meeting interesting people. I had conversations with business people and TV stars. An exhibition and a short movie revealed the history of Breitling and it was like a step back in time to see their vintage models. The display puts emphasis on the design, innovation and pioneering achievement of the brand.

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On the red carpet

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New CEO of Breitling Georges Kern on stage

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Breitling and aviation

Breitling was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling in Saint-Imier. Breitling is known for precision-made chronometers useful to aviators. The brand is used to the world leading manufacturer of precision timepieces in the cockpit. They provided the U.S. government and many major aircraft and airlines with their products.

In May 1962 a Navitimer flew into space. The NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter wore the Cosmonaute with a 24-hour display on board of the Capsule Aurora 7.

Breitling sponsors aeronautical endeavors, including the first circumnavigation of the globe by balloon (Breitling Orbiter), the fixed-wing jetpack flights and aerobatics teams including the Breitling Jet Team and Breitling Wingwalkers. I hope I will have the chance to be on board of a flight of the Breitling jet team some day.

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The new Navitimer 08

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Discovering the history of Breitling

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My new watch

It is a dream come true. Breitling provided me with a Navitimer 01. It is the iconic pilot watch. It was invented in 1952 as a functional watch. In the early stages of aviation, slide rulers were used on board to calculate fuel consumption, drift angle, ground speed and so on. During flight training, we were taught how to use this ruler. Nowadays electronic board instruments and modern computers take care of the calculations.

Breitling was able to integrate the mandatory slide ruler into a wristband. The name of the watch is a combination of navigation and time. Over the years its design has been updated several times. The watch mechanism has developed as well. Since 2011 the watch mechanism is an in-house developed chronograph caliber 01 in 2009.

The watch is a legend and that is why I was excited to wear the Navitimer at their roadshow event in Munich. Now I cannot wait to take it on my next flights.

The model I am wearing is a Navtimer 01 in the size 46 mm. The case is of steel. Strap and the clock dial are in black.

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In the city with my new Navitimer 01

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The Charles Hotel Munich

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Warm welcome at The Charles Hotel Munich

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My hotel in Munich

As a pilot, I stay in many different hotels mainly in Europe. But usually, they are not as luxurious and comfortable as the hotel I stayed in Munich. The Charles Hotel in the heart of the city was booked by Breitling for me. It is one of the best hotels in Munich and their standard rooms are already spacious and comfortable. The five-star hotel of Rocco Forte hotel kindly upgraded me to an Executive Suite. The elegant suite was located on the 7th floor offering fantastic views of Munich. For a warm welcome, I received a treat with Pilot Patrick written on it. Even though I stayed only for one night I managed to visit the modern spa with a huge indoor pool and a well-equipped gym.

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My Executive Suite

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Indoor pool at The Charles Hotel

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I had a busy schedule in Munich, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I even managed to do two photo shootings. With Max, I was shooting my evening outfit. With Alex, an Aviator I meet during a meet and greet last year, studies law and likes to take photos during his free time. Both results were fantastic and you can see their work in this blog post. The YouTube video was created in cooperation with the company Media Bottle.

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Winter wonderland Munich

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https://youtu.be/VubDZTtWW8w

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Don't miss to subscribe to my YouTube channel: PilotPatrick

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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Best business class

Best Business Class in the world

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Cooperation - Advertisement

Hello my Aviator, it is a very long flight down to Cape Town in South Africa. I had the chance to travel in the best Business Class in the world. Even though I was not the pilot, I was really excited to go on that flight. In this blog post, I share my flight experience, give you tips when booking tickets and you can win a high-quality pajama of Mey bodywear. 

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Boeing B777 in Cape Town (CPT)

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How can I afford to fly Business class?

Most commonly it is believed that all crew and airline staff can fly for free or really cheap fares. For me, it is not the case. I have to pay full price for all my flight tickets. On long-haul flights over 8 hours, I try to book Business Class tickets. Of course, it is not cheap. For this round trip, I paid 2200€. This is a lot of money and about three times the price of an Economy ticket. I was pretty much open to fly with any airline, but Qatar Airways was for my travel dates almost 50% less expansive than other airlines. I do not fly long haul very often. That is why I invest in the comfort. Especially when going on vacation.

Tip: Compare prices and adjust travel dates. This way you may be able to save significantly. Sometimes a different airport of departure can help to save as well. Join a loyalty program and collect miles. This way I was able to fly First Class for less than 500€ last year.

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Rimowa Classic flight Cabin trolley

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Cheers - Excited for my first flight with Qatar Airways

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How did I do the booking?

I book all my flight tickets direct via the website of the airline. This gives me an extra feeling that the reservation went through and is confirmed. Additionally, I can manage my booking like changing seats and ordering special meals online. Qatar Airways offers the great advantage to reserve the current fare for up to 72 hours. This costs a fee but in my case, this investment was well worth it. I still had to wait for the approval of my leave. When I finalized the booking the fare increased by over 1000€, but I still only paid the old price.

My tip: In general fares are cheaper when you book well in advance. But it is still common that prices may go down just prior to departure. Reasons for that may be low booking numbers or special deals. I suggest subscribing to the newsletter of your favorite airlines so you do not miss any special discounts.

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Business Class Cabin Boeing B777

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Layover at Doha Airport

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The Best Business Class in the world

Qatar Airways is the World’s Best Airline at the SKYTRAX 2017 World Airline Awards. Referred to as the “Oscars of the aviation industry”, which is voted by travelers across the world in an annual passenger survey. Furthermore, Qatar Airways won an award for the World’s Best Business Class.

That is why I was really excited to fly with Qatar Airways for the first time. My expectations were high. Especially when flying in their premium product.

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Breakfast in the sky

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Sky of central Africa

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The flight experience

I flew from Berlin Tegel via Doha to Cape Town. In total, I was about 16 hours in the sky for each direction. On all four legs, it was a Boeing B777-300. The aircraft are fitted with a 2 class configuration with the premium class up front. The Business Class consist of only 24 seats making the cabin really quiet. It is a 2-2-2 seating configuration.

The seat

Unfortunately, it was still the "old" Business Class seat on all flights. Qatar Airways recently introduced the Qsuite, which they call first in business. I really hoped that I will have the chance to test their new product.

Their "old" seat can keep up with any other Business Class seat. The extra-wide seats convert to a fully flat bed with enough space for your shoulders and feet. The rows are so far apart that they ensure privacy, space, and storage. Seats also have a massage setting and fully adjustable armrests, with precision controls to create the position that is right for you.

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Flying in a Mey pyjama

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City Center of Doha on departure

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Business Class catering

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Entertainment and service

The entertainment program seems endless. Food can be ordered whenever you want. The catering was all right. The excellent service made up for it. Especially the return flight was a lot of fun because the purser (head of the cabin) recognized me from my social media channels. Together with the crew, I did a boomerang for my Instagram story.

Tip: Stop in the amazing Business Class lounge in Doha. I had a layover of more than 7 hours at the airport. I went for dinner, took a shower and rested in private quite rooms. On board, I enjoyed row 2 the most. This row had no missing window, was not in the bulkhead and the full storage was available.

 

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Doha Business Class lounge

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Was it worth it?

Totally! My vacation already started on board and I arrived well rested at my destination. It is always hard to say goodbye to a great vacation. But knowing that I will be flying back comfortably, I am actually looking forward to my return flight.

Two years ago I flew to Cape Town in Lufthansa's Business Class. I paid about the same price for this flight.  The connection via Munich airport was a lot quicker, but the flight with Qatar Airways was a whole different experience.

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Thanks for the amazing flight with you

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Give Away

On both flights, I was flying through the night. MEY, a well known German fashion brand for day- and nightwear, provided me with a comfortable pyjama. I am already a big fan of their undershirts which I wear underneath my uniform. But now I love to sleep in their pyjamas as well. You can win one fancy MEY pyjama in my favorite color blue worth 120€. Additionally, I will send you an amenity kit with a personal note.

 

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Giveaway!

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The lucky winner is Jens!

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Here are the steps to join the contest:

  • subscribe to my newsletter with your email
  • leave me a comment just underneath this article with your clothing size
  • subscribe to my YouTube channel

I will randomly pick a winner on the 28th of February 2018.

Happy landings and good luck!

Your PilotPatrick

Follow me: 

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Ideas worth spreading - TEDxFrankfurt

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Advertisement - Cooperation

Hello my Aviator,

the time is now! We all have the same amount of time — 24 hours a day and yet most of us have the impression that time flies. Especially for the things we really want to we do not have enough time. But isn't it about time to challenge ourselves and make a change? Last Sunday I attended the TEDxFrankfurt event at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel to find out what the speakers do with their time and how they make a difference. In this blog post, I will share my experience of this inspirational weekend. 

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On top of Frankfurt

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TED - ideas worth spreading

Maybe you have already heard about TED before? TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started out (in 1984) as a four-day conference bringing together people from three areas: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives, like the TEDx program. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes!

 

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The time is now - Speaker!

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TEDxFrankfurt

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together. The idea behind is to share and discuss ideas that have the power and potential to make a difference in our lives and in our world. It was great to be part of the TEDxFrankfurt event where people all shared this passion. Like in the world of aviation in which we all have the same passion. Over 550 people attended the event, which took place at the premises of the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel.

During a break between the two speaker sessions, you had a good opportunity to network, have a snack at the buffet and to try out fun activities. I tested the beer pouring machine, which you had to control only with your mind. I did not too good at it, but maybe because it was beer. It probably would have worked better with coconut water for me.

I went live on Facebook during the break. You can still watch the video here, to get an idea of the event and the atmosphere.

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Speaker Dinner TEDxFrankfurt

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Skyline view of Frankfurt from my suite

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Frankfurt Marriott Hotel

The whole event was hosted by the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel. Therefore it was really convenient to have a hotel room on their property, so the event was only an elevator ride away. During my time as a private jet pilot, I have stayed at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel several times before. It is conveniently located to get to the city center of Frankfurt and to the airport at the same time. Especially when visiting the exhibitions grounds, which are located opposite the street.

Upgrade!

As you know I am Mister Upgrade. Through my Marriott Rewards Gold Status, I received an upgrade to a suite on the 33rd floor. The spacious room offered besides a seating area and a small kitchen with espresso machine, a fantastic view of Frankfurt's skyline. But one of the best features of Marriott hotel rooms is the comfortable bed. If you have slept in one of those you know what I am talking about.

 

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My suite in the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel

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Executive lounge

My status also granted me access to the executive lounge on the 43rd floor of the skyscraper. It is a great place to have a chat and to have some snacks in an exclusive atmosphere. In the morning, you can also have breakfast with a fantastic view of the skyline of Frankfurt.

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Executive lounge Frankfurt Marriott Hotel

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The speakers

So far, I have been listening to many speakers online on TED.com. It is definitely a completely different level to listen to them live and to feel the atmosphere of the audience. I had the chance to hear from ten inspiring German and international speakers coming from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design.

Speaker Amelie

For example the speaker Amelie. I met her in the elevator of the hotel and we had a short conversation. I was really excited to listen to her speech because I was affected by her topic before: Finding an apartment in Berlin. She currently works as the Head of Marketing at cabin spacey, a start-up that conquers empty roofs of Berlin with smart cabins for urban nomads. A great idea to improve the shortage of apartments in Berlin.

Speaker Dinner

The evening before the conference, I was invited to the Speaker Dinner at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel. It was a nice occasion to meet the speakers in advance and to do a little bit of networking. I found it really refreshing to talk to people, which were not involved in aviation and get to know their story. Networking nowadays might be mainly taking place on the internet but the personal contact and sharing of ideas and concepts should not be underestimated.

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Meet and Greet with my Aviators in Frankfurt

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Surprise on the way back

For my short stay, I traveled between Berlin and Frankfurt by plane. On the way back I was about to board my return flight when the ground staff at the gate called my name. At first, I was a little confused and I thought they have bad news for me. In the end, it was a new ticket for the flight. An Aviator, who is working at the airport at the gate, upgraded me to Business Class. I had a really pleasant flight and I could enjoy a nice meal on board. She really made my flight.

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Airbus A320 wing with "sharklets"

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Business Class meal on the short flight

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Cheers! Thanks for the upgrade

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The time is now

The time is now was the motto of the TEDxFrankfurt event. For me, it implies that we need to find solutions to the most pressing issues and challenges. We have to solve problems like climate change, poverty, immigration, violence, gender, and economic inequities - now!

What does the time is now mean for you?

Please comment below with your answer and subscribe to my newsletter with your email below!

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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my tips for a better sleep

My tips for a better sleep

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Hello my Aviator, time literally flies. I am already flying for one year the Airbus A300. As you may have noticed the operation requires me to have a lot of flights at night. A restful sleep is not only important for pilots to be fit to fly. Sleep is one of the most important needs in life. I am a pretty good sleeper and I want you to learn from my tips for a better sleep. I hope they will help you so a good night's sleep does not remain a dream.

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Breathtaking sunset at Milan airport /no filter!

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Some colleagues of mine have approached me and inspired me to share my tips and guidelines in this blog post. They thought since I am the fit and healthy pilot I might help others. Especially in the Aviation industry pilots have to cope with irregular working hours. Thus many are experiencing problems sleeping well. Lack of sleep can cause moodiness, lack of concentration, and sluggishness. A former colleague of mine faced these problems. The frustration turned into depression and in the end, she had to take a timeout in the hospital. The effects of a bad night's sleep are not to underestimate.

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Hotel bed in Casablanca

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My tips for a better sleep

Body's internal clock

Try to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also called circadian rhythm. This is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better, but also the most difficult one to follow as a crew member. Keeping regular sleep-wake schedule lets you feel more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. Choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired.

Good night tea

Instead of alcohol which makes you sleepy, have a cup of tea before you go to bed. Access alcohol might even have the effect that your sleep is less restful. Any herbal tea works, as long as it is without caffeine. I can recommend the organic Snore & Peace Tea of Clipper. For me, a tea has a soothing effect and calms my body and my mind down.

Earplugs

Don't let you disturb by noise. In a hotel, I always hang the "do not disturb" sign out and I sometimes even unplug the hotel phone. If you have a noisy environment I recommend wearing earplugs to eliminate the risk of waking up by noise. I use costume made earplugs of Hoerluchs. They are fitted to my ears and are really comfortable to wear.  A more affordable option is the product of Ohropax. Those earplugs are made out of wax and adjust to any shape. The downside is that you might lose them during sleep.

 

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Bedtime tea

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Earplugs by Hoerluchs

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Sleeping mask

A room which is too bright makes it harder to fall asleep or wakes you up to early. Sometimes I use a sleeping mask when the room is not dark. I have not found the ideal one yet. Even the sleeping mask out of the first class of Lufthansa might come off while sleeping. Last night I tried the sleeping mask, SleepMaster. This sleeping mask is a little bit more expansive, but it is really comfortable to wear and I did not lose it while sleeping.

Your phone

Avoid bright screens within one hour of your bed-time. In case you have to use your phone just prior going to bed make sure, you have turned down the brightness and activated the night option, which is called "night shift" on the iPhone

Reading

Reading helps me a lot to fall asleep. I am reading a magazine or a book and I avoid reading from a back-lit screen. This technique helps me to relax and to clear my head if my brain has been overstimulated a lot over the day.

 

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Earplugs and sleeping mask

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How does food affect your sleep?

What you eat and drink before bed can affect your sleep. Spicy and acidic foods can also kill sleep efforts because they cause heartburn. Lying down makes heartburn worse, and the discomfort from heartburn hinders sleep. Additionally, a heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Foods containing the amino acid tryptophan—a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin—could make you sleepy. (not proven if the amount is enough to change your sleep) Foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts contain roughly equal amounts of tryptophan. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain. Some whole wheat crackers with peanut butter are a good before bedtime snack.

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How does exercise affect your sleep?

Exercise regularly and you will sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia. Additionally, it increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep. The harder the work out is the deeper is my sleep. But also light exercise will improve your sleep.

Try to finish moderate to vigorous workouts at least three hours before bedtime. Relaxing, light exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching in the evening can help promote sleep.

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Sunrise in the sky

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Most important is that you have the willingness to try out new techniques and alter your habits to potentially notice an improvement. Routine, relaxation, and listing to your body's internal clock is the key to success. One of my next blog posts will be about how to cope with working at night. 

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I found my hotel room for tonight!

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How many hours do you sleep a day and what is your tip for a better sleep?Please leave me a comment below the article and subscribe to my newsletter with your email.

Happy landings and happy sleeping!

Your PilotPatrick

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A working day of a private jet versus an airline pilot

A working day of a private jet versus an airline pilot

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Cooperation - Advertisement

Hello my Aviator, one year ago I was offered to fly for a different company. Switching jobs not only implied to get trained on a new aircraft type but also to get to know a new operation. I started my aviation career as First Officer on a Citation XLS business jet. Now I am flying the wide-body aircraft A300. I passed my initial line check three months ago and I have flown over 200 hours on the Airbus so far. I thought this is a good time to compare a working day of a private jet pilot with an airline pilot. Find out in my conclusion if I finally prefer one type of operation. 

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Citation XLS + in Dublin

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Getting to and from work

Private Jet

As a private jet pilot, I could choose my home base within Europe. The aircraft returned rarely to its home base in Germany, so it was operational wise more convenient to send the crew by an airline, rental car or train to the current location of the aircraft.  Most of the time I proceeded out of Tegel or Schönefled airport to Nizza, Paris or London.

Airline Pilot

Usually, I fly on duty to and from my home base. Sometimes I also have to jumpseat on a flight of my company to get to work or to go home. Unfortunately, I have fewer proceedings flights with other companies. That way I am collecting fewer miles and I will soon lose my Lufthansa frequent traveler status. On the other end, the time-consuming proceeding flights are now past.

 

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Croove - New carsharing service

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Absent from home

Both jobs require being absent from home about half a month. Therefore I have decided four years ago not to own car. Before I only used it to drive to the airport and the rest of the time it was parked uselessly on the street.

In case I need a car there are many alternative means. Like the new carsharing service, called "Croove". It is a private carsharing platform so you rent all kind of car models from private persons. You can also rent your own car profitable when you do not need it. It all works via an application for your personal device (Appstore / google play) and you are fully insured like with any regular car rental service. It is really convenient for me. I can save money on the rental price and I can also use their valet service which brings and picks up the car e.g. at the airport.

 

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Croove - Handing over the vehicle

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Schedule/ Reachability

Private Jet

I usually received the flight schedule for the next day the evening before. The business aviation is a volatile branch and therefore changes can occur hourly. That I why the company provided me with a phone, so they can reach me 24 hours. A working day comprised only a small part of flying. The major part was caring about the passengers, booking transport, ordering catering and organizing a place to sleep. On duty, I liked to be flexible and I found it exciting not knowing where the next flight would take me. I remember one time sitting in cold Moskau and I said to my colleague: "A flight in the south to Mallorca or Ibiza would be nice!". Two hours later we received a call informing us that we fly to Mallorca and Ibiza. That was a funny coincidence.

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Happy crew = happy landings = happy VIP passengers

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Airline

My flight schedule is published one month ahead. This allows much better planning. I know already my destinations and flights with exact departure and arrival times well ahead of time. Aviation is influenced by many different factors that is why changes can occur at an airline as well. In case there is an update I will be reminded my an online platform or via an SMS on my phone. I can fully concentrate on my tasks of a first officer and I do not get distracted from loading passengers bags, receiving catering and taking care of special passengers requests.

 

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Checking my flight schedule online

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Flight hours / duty times

Private Jet

In my career as a private jet pilot, I probably waited longer on passengers, fuel, and catering than I actually flew the aircraft. On a typical working day in the high season, I flew up to 5 legs a day coupled with long waiting periods in between flights. The preparation and the postprocessing are extensive. At busy airports like Nice, France, we often arrived two hours before an outbound flight to be fully ready for the scheduled departure. After the last flight of the day the aircraft still had to be cleaned and maybe refueled for the next day.  Most of the time there was some catering left, so we could enjoy a meal together in the cabin. In six years as a private jet pilot, I flew about 2000 hours.

More about a day of a private jet pilot here in my series.

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First days as a Frist Officer on the Citation XLS private jet

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Airline 

Reporting time of the crew is one hour before the flight and I currently fly a maximum of three sectors a day. The departure times vary a lot. I had to get to used to fly really early in the morning and late at night. In this type of operation, I will gather about 450 hours a year. This is still not a lot when you think about low-cost airline pilots, who fly up to 900 hours a year. On a duty day, I know my exact flight schedule and I know the location I will be spending the night. The waiting time on turn around is decent. It is absolutely bearable when you compare to passengers who let you waiting for an unknown period. After the last flight of the day, we already leave the aircraft about 15 minutes later.

 

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Underneath an Airbus A380

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Layovers/hotels

Private Jet

The final destination of a working day was not always sure when we left the hotel. Sometimes it was a real surprise in which city we would sleep at night. Since the business is so volatile we were not allowed to book a hotel until we received the "go" of the company. I am the master of hotels and it was usually my job to find an appropriate place to sleep. I liked that we as a crew could choose the hotel ourselves. But on the other hand, we wasted a lot of time, searching for a place to stay.I flew to many different destinations within Europe and I got to know a wide range of airports. I flew to many different destinations within Europe and I got to know a wide range of airports.

Airline pilot

Like as a private jet pilot I mostly fly within Europe but now only to certain destinations. In my first 200 hours, I almost got to know all airports within the network. Hotels and transport are organized by the company.

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Layover in Barcelona, Spain

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Do I have a preference?

I can only speak about my impressions and experiences I gained in both operations in the last seven years of my aviation career. The picture might look totally different with other airlines.

The private jet and airline operation differ a lot. Both are enjoyable.

As a private jet pilot, I spent most of the time waiting and duty times were lengthy. Whereas an airline pilot flies more in fewer duty hours. Everything is more organized and you do not waste time organizing catering, booking hotels and ordering transport. But I am missing the VIP catering and the private terminals, which also offered comfortable lounges for the crew.

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Private jet or airline pilot?

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One fact which I liked about the business aviation was that I flew too many different destinations and I got to know challenging airports. On the other hand, the business is very volatile. That means you can expect changes on short notice. Now I have fixed schedule and I know how much rest I have in the end. I can really plan with the time in between duties to do sightseeing and go on tours.

In my opinion, the business aviation was a really good school because I had to be independent and well organized to complete more than the task of flying the airplane. I still think that the airline operation is more relaxed and I really like the fact that I can now fully concentrate on my tasks of a first officer.

 

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If you could be a pilot for a day would you rather be a private jet pilot or an airline pilot? Please leave me a comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my blog with your email.

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick 

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