lack of diversity in the cockpit

Why is there a lack of diversity in the cockpit?

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Dear Aviator,

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

 

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

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Thank you, Corona

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

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

 

 

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Why do airlines have to brace for a pilot shortage?

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

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

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The lack of diversity in the cockpit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current statistics

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

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

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

 

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Helen Richey was the first female commercial pilot in 1934.

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

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Why is there a lack of diversity in the cockpit?

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

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

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

The white male dominance

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

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

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

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

 

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What could lead to more acceptance?

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

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

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

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

Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

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

Your PilotPatrick

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travel blogger equipment

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

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Dear Aviator,

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

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What's inside my blogger suitcase?

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

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

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Be a Smart Packer

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

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Carry on luggage by Carl Fridrik

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My travel Blogger Equipment

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

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Panasonic Lumix G9 with external microphone

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Which camera?

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

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

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

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Sony compact camera

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My Current Camera Gear

Instagram posts: Panasonic LUMIX G9*

Blog photos: Panasonic LUMIX G9

Vlog: Panasonic Lumix G9 / Sony RX100 VII*

Instagram Stories / TikTok: Smartphone

 

Action camera: GoPro Hero*  

360-degrees Camera: Insta360 ONE X*

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

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360 degrees camera

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Light 

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

My light gear

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

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

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Light set up

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Tripods are a must

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Tripods And Selfie Sticks

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

My Tripod Gear

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

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

Extendable selfie stick:AuyKoo Selfie Stick*  and telescope pole

✈ Tripod with Clamp: Smatree  Jaws Flex*

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

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Tripod with clamp and adjustable legs

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Manfrotto mini tripod

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Telescope selfie stick for e.g. an action camera

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All You Need Is Power

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

My Power Set Up

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

Power Banks of different size: Anker PowerCores*

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Always make sure that your devices are charged

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Powerbanks

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Advanced Equipment

Underwater dome

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

✈ My gear: Telesin Dome Port* 

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Underwarter dome

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Drone

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

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

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

✈ Advanced level: DJI Mavic Pro 2*

✈ Beginner level: DJI Mavic Mini*

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Drone

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Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

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

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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* = Affiliatelinks/Werbelinks

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Try This Out During Quarantine

Try This Out During Quarantine

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Dear Aviator,

uncertainty, fear, social distancing and empty shelves of toilet paper. We are living in a situation I would never have imagined in my worst nightmares. Instead of being worried you should extract positivity out of the negativity. Maybe there is something you always wanted to do but you have never found time. Now would be the perfect moment. I changed some daily habits and tried out new things. My article: " Try This Out During Quarantine " will give you some inspiration for your extra time you have now!

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Thing About Fasting

I have fasted and I can absolutely recommend doing it. A busy flying schedule never allowed me to do it but finally I found time for it. For six days I only drank tea, water, juice and had veggie broths. Since the world seems to be turning slower and there is less distraction, the period of quarantine and isolation could be the perfect moment to fast.

An expierence you should at least try once in your life!

You need a retreat for relaxation and a place where you can meditate. It is a great way to lose weight quickly but I did it to detox my body. I had the feeling that it improve my mental and physical health. Please make sure that you arre fit enough to fast and follow vital guidelines. I followed the instructions of Rüdiger Dalke and be prepared for lots of and downs!

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Change Your Bedtimes

Before Corona I usually went to bed quite late and got up late. I went to bed around 2:00 am and sometimes did not get up before 10 am during my off days in Berlin. My days seemed always quite short and I had a hard time to finish all my tasks I wanted to do. In the evening I became tried and I noticed that I was being unproductive. It was easy to postpone tasks due to  this excuse.

The fasting changed my bedtimes tremendously. I was so weak in the evening and I felt so cold (how women would say) that I went to bed around 9:00 pm. I usually got up at 05:30 am. Me and early bird? I never thought this would happen, but it did. Even after the fasting I keep the bed times. The biggest advantage is that I feel that I have more of the day and I can be extremely productive early in the morning when it is still quiet. Try this out during quarantine.

READ: How to relax in minutes with your breathing

 

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Need for sleep

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Rethink Your Diet

It has been one of my goals to become more muscular and defined. For years I only saw very little process. The body shaping stagnated and I become really unhappy about this. I also lost my motivation to do more sports since I did not see any results. I realized this must be due to. combination of inefficient workouts and the wrong diet.

Whilst fasting I was able to rethink my diet and adjust it accordingly. I was tracking my calorie and micronutrition intake over the day. To My surprise, I found out that I did not consume the right amount of micro-nutrition. I also discovered I was eating too many carbs and not enough to build muscles. I realized I was not eat properly to improve my measurements. Remember it is 60-70%  the diet and only 40-30% sports to reach your goals.

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

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Quality Time With Yourself

Do something for your personal well-being. It often happens that you are so stressed that you forget about your personal needs. Boredom can also be something positive and it is beneficial for your mental health.

Even in a state of quarantine there are a lot of things that are not restricted like: creativity, fun, love, cooking, sports, learning, gaming, make music and so on.

Do something you always had in your mind but for whatever reason you have not done it yet. Try out something you have not done yet. I meditated during the fasting period to soak up energy and find my inner balance.

Let's call it personal quality time to pamper yourself. Even after Corona you should once in while take time ou to improve your well-being.

 

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Work On Your Goals

DO IT! Now you have the extra time to work on your goals. Maybe you have had a business idea in your mind but you never had the time to fully concentrate on it. Why not do it now? Put down your business plan on a piece of paper. Let Corona be your friend that gives you the extra time with little distraction. As I said extract the positivity out of the negativity. There are probably new profitable business possibilities due to the virus! I am currently working on three different projects which keep me busy.

Always look ahead, because we fly forward and not backwards!

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I reached my goal in being an Aviator

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Get Rid Off Old Stuff

It can be such a freeing feeling to get rid off old stuff Use the extra time to go through your drawers, cupboards and closets at home. Look for things you do not need anymore or you have not used for a very long time. You probably will discover things you do not need anymore, but you have a hard time throwing them away. My tip: make a pile and set yourself a quatity you want to keep as a maximum.

You not only will experience a freeing feeling, you can also turn your old things into money. There are different platforms on which you can sell them: eBay, Kleinanzeigen, e.g.

You can also donate clothing and furniture to those who need it. I recently took an old suitcase with clothing to South Africa to donate it.

 

 

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Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

I hope the article: " Try This Out During Quarantine" inspired you. What's the first thing you would like to do after quarantine? Let me know in a comment below and do not forget to like the article.

Your Pilot Patrick

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top 10 instagrammable spots in New York City

TOP 10 instagrammable spots in New York City

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Anzeige / Advertisement

Dear Aviator, 

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

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

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

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1- The Vessel

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

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The Vessel

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2- The Envue Hotel

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

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Envue hotel lobby and bar

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Relaxing in the Envue Hotel

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Envue Hotel with ferry station in front

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3- Intrepid Air Museum

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

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The Intrepid Air Museum

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At the TPG Awards 2019

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On the red carpet at thr TPG Awards

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4- Neigborhood SoHo

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

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SoHo neighborhood

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

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5- The Oculus

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

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The Oculus gave me wings

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The 9/11 memorial next to the Oculus

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6- Helicopter flight

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

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7- The Lexington

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

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The Lexington Hotel in Midtown

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8- Central Park

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

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Southern End of Central Park

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9- cloudM rooftop

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

 

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cloudM rooftop bar

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View from the cloudM rooftop bar

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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10- Brooklyn and Manhatten Birdge

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

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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differences between Captain and First Officer

What are the differences between Captain and First Officer?

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Dear Aviator,

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

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

 

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Appearance

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

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

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

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Duties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Operational Procedures

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

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

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

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

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

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Money

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

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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Amazing Amsterdam city guide - My top 7 highlights

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Dear Aviator,

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

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The beautiful red light district

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Delft houses

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Amazing Amsterdam city guide

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

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

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Beautiful canals around Grachtengordel

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1. Delft houses Instagram location

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

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Amsterdam Central station

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Amstel

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2. The Conservatorium Hotel

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

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

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Exterior of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Bathtub goals

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Welcome at the Conservatorium hotel

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Amazing Junior Suite

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

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

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

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Breakfast at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Atrium of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Gym at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Spa at the Conservatorium Hotel

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3. Boat trip on the canals

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

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

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

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Flagship boat trip

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Flagship departing at the Anne Frank house

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4. Midtown Grill Steak Restaurant

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

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Midtown grill at the Marriott hotel

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Midtown grill

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Proterhouse steak

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Foodporn!

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At the Midtown Grill

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5. Highest Swing in Europe

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

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A'dam lookout

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Highest swing in Europe

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A'dam look out

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6. Juice by Nature - healthy cafe

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

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Juice by Nature

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Juice by Nature

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7. Blauwburg Bridge and Amstel

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

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Amstel

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Museums district

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

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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dresden a german gem

A german gem - you have to visit this city in Germany

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Anzeige / Adveristment

Dear Aviator,

I often get asked which city you should visit in Germany. My home country has many beautiful places to offer. All of them are so diverse and unique in their own way. That makes discovering places so exciting and  a great benefit they are all not far away from each other. One city you should visit in Germany is Dresden. In this blog post I give you a heads up why you should add Dresden a german gem to your bucket list. 

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Residenzschloss

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5  star hotel Gewandhaus Dresden

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Bathroom Gewandhaus

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Dresden a german gem is not a Instagram known city, but it defitnely has all the qualities to be one: a beautiful old town, museums, culutural events and instagrammable spots around ever courner. The city just became more popular since jewels were ropped from of the Grüne Gewölbe , the baroque treasure chamber. A big loss for our cultural hertiage.

One of my favorite cities  in Germany

The city has become one of my favorite places to visit in Germany. Why? I feel at home, proud and amazed at the same time. Dresden helps me to slow down things. It is a great escape from the hectic and crowded Berlin city life. Its reasonable size makes the city fun to discover by feet. You have all the amentites of a big city, but it feels like you are in a town. I am proud to see that the old town was rebuilt after it was completely destroyed during the Second World War and amazed about stunning baroque architecture.

 

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Frauenkirche

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Zwinger

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famous Semper Opera

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Dresden a german gem

It was my fourth time in Dresden and I did different activities each stay. A long stroll through the old town is always a must. This time I added a visit at the world famous Semper Opera. I am curious to try out things for the very first time, so I went to the see an opera for the very first time. "Le Grand Marcabre" was playing, a anti-anti-opera »Le Grand Macabre« by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti. "It premiered in 1978 and is regarded as one of the most effective works of musical theatre of the past decades. In this highly entertaining mix of medieval mystery play, absurd slapstick and black humour, Ligeti tells the story of the end of the world in a virtuoso composition filled with musical quotations and pastiche." (source: semperoper.de)

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Semper opera at night

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Old town of Dresden

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Zwinger

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My to do recommendations

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Fürstenzug

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Bathtub goals in Dresden

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City Center Neumarkt

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Home away from home

This time I stayed at the Gewandhaus hotel for the very first time. This 5 star boutique style hotel lays right in the center of the baroque metropolis.

After a huge renovation in 2015 the hotel opened again with upgraded luxurious hotel and room amenities. It belongs ever since to the Autograph Collection of Marriott which is a group of unique boutique hotels with a high level of hospitality.

The building itself looks like a mansion from a different era. I felt noble staying at this hotel. I like that the baroque character of the interior is preserved with a lot of love. The integration of modern design works really well and the highlight of the hotel, the courtyard is spectacular.

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Atrium of the Gewandhaus hotel

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Atrium of the Gewandhaus hotel

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Wellness area Dresden

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My Junior Suite

I stayed in a junior suite on the upper floor.  The suite was really spacious and cozy at the same time. The bathroom was definitely the highlight: I had my very own whirlpool with golden appliances.

After the opera or a sight seeing tour you can enjoy a wellness area with a nicely decorated pool area and sauna to relax.

Breakfast in the morning was super tasty and the staff were really attentive. They did a great job in making my special wishes possible.

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Junior Suite of the Gewandhaus hotel

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View from my Junior Suite

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Junior Suite Gewandhaus

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Bathtub goals in Dresden

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Breakfast at the Gewandhaus

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Brekkie

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Restaurant recommendations

  • Burgeria: tasty burger place in the center, has vegan and vegetarian options
  • M(eatery): at the Gewandhaus hotel, delicious cuts of meat and a menu with hand picked meals
  • brennNessel: Vegetarian restaurant in one of the oldest houses in Dresden

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Burgeria

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Burgeria

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Dinner at the (m)eatery

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Starter at the (M)eatery

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brennNessel

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I hope you enjoyed this travel blog about Dresden and you will put this city on your bucket list!

Please give the blog a heart and leave me a comment with your favorite city of Germany in your comment below!

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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

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how to relax with your breathing

How to relax in minutes with your breathing

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It was one of you my Aviator, who sugested me this special technique to relax easily. You probably know the difficulty to take a little time out during the day. I like to go for a short nap to recharge my batteries, but most of time I find it hard to get some rest and to fall asleep quickly. The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as "relaxing breath," helps me to reduce anxiety and clears my mind to fall asleep quicker. 

 

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Jumbo Stay in Stockholm

 

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What is the 4-7-8 breathing technique?

The 4-7-8 breathing technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. The scientific reasearch on this method is limited, but there is enough evidence (including me) that this type of deep, rhythmic breathing is relaxing and may help ease people into sleep. Sometimes I get to sleeep within in minutes. In this article I will show you how to relax with your breathing.

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

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What are the benefits?

Apart from reducing anxiety and falling asleep, the 4-7-8 breathing technique has other benefits. Dr. Andrew Weil teaches this breathing technique, which he belives can help with the following:

  • reducing anxiety
  • helping a person get to sleep
  • managing cravings
  • controlling or reducing anger responses

 

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How to do it

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How to relax with your breathing

  1. Get into a comfortable sitting position or laying position
  2. Place the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth
  3. Empty the lungs of air
  4. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 second
  5. Hold the breath for a count of 7 second
  6. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound, for 8 seconds
  7. repeat the cycle up to 4 times

Dr. Weil recommends using the technique at least twice a day to start seeing the benefits sooner. In the beginning you should avoid doing more than four breath cycles in a row until you have more practice. The longer and more frequently you use the technique, the more effective it becomes.

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Is there an App?

Of course. There is an App for everythinh. For example, Breathe is a free app for Apple products, which helps you to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique You can also set reminders to use it regularly during the day.

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I have been you using this breahting method regulary for a couple of months. Especially during and after stressfull days it helps me to fight anxiety and to relax. I hope you enjoyed my tip how to relax with you breathing.  Give it a try yourself and profit form the benefits.

What kind of technique do you use to relax. Let me knwo and comment below!

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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the greek Instagram island

The greek Instagram island - mini vacation on Zakynthos

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Anzeige / Advertisement

Dear Aviator,

great to welcome you back on my blog! Have you heard of Zakynthos before? I hadn't until I saw several bloggers posting like crazy from this greek Instagram Island - Zakynthos". I literally I was tempted by beautiful caves, crystal blue water and a breathtaking beach with a shipwreck. I thought I need to find out for us if this island is really that beautiful or if this is a "Instagram fake".

 

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Appraoching Zakynthos with Skyexpress

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It was super spontaneous

I finished my flight duty in Athens and decided spontaneously to stay in Greek during my off days. I checked for flight connections to the most famous islands Santorini and Mykonos, but there was no suitable return flight available. Then this island with the famous shipwreck beach came into my mind. I knew it was somewhere in Greece. I booked a flight connection with Sky Express from Athens, which lasts only 45 mins. The return flight was with Eurowings via Düsseldorf back to Berlin four days later. Watch also my the Instagram Story Highlight about the trip.

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Must see: Xigia Sulfur Beach

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Greek island facts - Zakynthos

The Greek island in the Ionian Sea is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 405.55 km2  with only about 40,000 habitants and the coastline is roughly 123 km in length. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of the legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. Zakynthos was hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in 1953, which destroyed most of the buildings on the island. That's why you will not find any typical white buildings (like on Santorini) on the island.  Zakynthos econonmy is based on tourism, olive oil and wine.

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Suites at Olea All Suite

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Suite at the Olea All Suite

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Eagle view of the Olea All Suite

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

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Minimalism, elegance and a private pool

I have stayed at many hotels in my time as pilot and frequent traveler, but the two properties on Zakynthos were one of a kind. On vacation I prefer smaller more intimate hotels, than big hotel bunkers. Boutique hotels offer a much more personalized and exclusive service.

I stayed 2 nights in the Zante Maris Suites and 2 nights in the Olea All Suite hotel, which are sister hotels and are located on the same property. As the names suggest the star hotels properties comprises of suites only.

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Private pool suite Olea All Suite

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Pool area at the Olea All Suite

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Mountain views at Olea All Suite

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Olea All Suite

The unique hotel is set on a picturesque hill, surrounded by olive trees and green, walking distance to the beach and only 10 minutes from Zakynthos town and airport. I was lucky to stay in a suite with a private pool, which not only offered stunning views of the ocean, but also granted a lot of privacy.

Next to a Spa, gym and a vast pool area, the 3 restaurants offer exquisite culinary options, including greek and mediterranean dishes.

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Breakfast at Zante Maris Suites

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Dinner at Zante Maris Suites

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Dessert at Znate Maris Suites

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Zante Maris Suites

Smaller in its size. Only 45 suites in total, but all with outdoor living space. I have never seen such a special welcome drink. Smoking Ice tea served on a plate with fruits and nuts. Food was amazing as well. As a half board guest you can choose from a huge menu from seafood, cheese to meat and extortionary desserts.

Which one did I prefer?

Both hotels are similar in its minimalistic yet luxurious design. For even more privacy, relaxation and exclusive service I would go with the Zante Maris Suites, since this is an adult only hotel. In my opinion breakfast and dinner was even more exceptional at the Zante Marris Suites. However I did not try the a la carte restaurants at the Olea All Suite.

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Welcome drink at Zante Maris Suites

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Spa ath the Olea All Suite

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View from the massage place at the Zante Maris Suites

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Activites on the island

I stayed for 4 days, which is sufficient for a short getaway. However, 4 days was not enough to fully explore the island.  The stunning hotel property made it hard to leave the hotel, but I came to Zakynthos to see the island as well. So make sure you plan with enough time. One week should be about the perfect length.

What did I do:

Navagio Beach

The Instagran spot! Also known as the shipwreck beach. You can only get to the beach by boat because the beach is surrounded by 200m  high cliffs. A breathtaking setting with ultra blue water. Make sure to see the beach also from top of the cliff. The view is amazing but be careful as well!

 

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Navagio Beach - Shipwreck Beach

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Navagio Beach - Shipwreck Beach

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Navagio Beach - photo credit SPATHUMPA

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Blue caves 

One of the most popular attractions on Zahkynthos.  Nature is really the most beautiful thing on earth and so are the blue caves. To see the blue caves in real live and to find out why they are called blue caves was an amazing experience. The best way to visit them is in a small to medium boat. I charted a small boat with  Alykes VIP Boat  captain Georges knew all the amazing spots. With in 5  hours I was at the shipwreck beach, inside the blue caves, swam in crystal blue water and jumped of a cliff. Additionally he gave me lots of background information of the island. A true VIP and insider experience.

 

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Famous Blue caves

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Olive trees

Only few urban areas makes you feel that you are in nature the whole time. I did not expect such a green island. During my exploration tour I passed many wine-growing areas and olive trees. I also got to see the oldest olive tree of the island. It is supposed to be over 2000 years old.

Kampi

One of the best locations for sunsets on Zahkynthos. It is loacted on the west coast so you will be able to see the sun set into the ocean. The view is breathtaking. I could not stay for the sunset so please do it for me.

Transport

You do not necessarily need a car to get a round. One day I booked a driver to take me within 4 hours to many interesting sights on the island, since I did not have so much time. Alternatively you can book a quad or a two seater buggy to discover the island by yourself.

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oldest Olive tree on the island

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Go to Kampi for the sunset

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Zakynthos is not only an "instagramable" island with amazing photos spots, but also a place where you can relax and feed your soul to the fullest.

 

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Have you been on a greek island before? Let me know in the comment section below.

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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