the greek Instagram island

The greek Instagram island - mini vacation on Zakynthos

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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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travel guide of rio de janeiro

My sunny highlights - travel guide of Rio de Janeiro

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Advertisement

Dear Aviator,

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

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Escadaria Selaron

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Sunrise in Leblon

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Not the safest city?!

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

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more videos!

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My place in Rio

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

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

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Janeiro Boutique Hotel

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Staying fit on vacation

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Ocean Suite in the Janeiro Hotel

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My safe companion

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

Why should YOU use suncare?

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

For your health and beauty

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

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Beach of Leblon and Ipanema

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Eucerin Sun Protection in Rio

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Three tips for the proper protection

The right product

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

The right amount

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

Think twice

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

Which products do I use?

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

For the face: SUN OIL CONTROL FACE GEL-CREME

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

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

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It's all about the view

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My three favorite products

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Where to eat?

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

Here is my list of favorite places:

SEEdS: healthy cafe in Leblon

Gurumê: delicious Sushi in Ipanema

Zucka: contemporary restaurant in Leblon

Gaia: Art & Café in Copacabana

Aprazível: Brazilian restaurant and bar with a view

 

 

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Restaurant Aprazível

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Sushi at Gurumê

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Restaurant Aprazível

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What to see?

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

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Cristo!

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Helicopter flight over Rio

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My must sees and dos / travel guide of Rio:

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

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

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Sugarloaf view from the middlestation

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Viewpoint from the Sugarloaf

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Botanical Garden Rio de Janeiro

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Top 5 instagramable locations

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

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Mirante Dona Marte

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Instagramable Pedra do Arpoador

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Sunset from the Sugar Loaf

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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should you become a pilot

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

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Dear Aviator,

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

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

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

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Would I become a pilot again?

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

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

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What would I have done differently?

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

Have a plan B

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

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Why you should NOT become a pilot?

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

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

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Is it a good time to become a pilot?

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

 

Outlook

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

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

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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should I visit incredible India

My day at the leading travel trade show in Berlin

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Advertisement / Cooperation

Dear Aviator!

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

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Welcome to the ITB at the Messe Berlin

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Singapore Airlines double bed in Business Class

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

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

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I am a ship captain as well ;-)

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Indian Aviators :-)

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The ITB

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

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

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Indian bride show

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Photo shooting with Incredible India

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Incredible India

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

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

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

Why would I travel to India?

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

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Getting a Henna tattoo with my logo

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Free henna tattoos with Incredible India

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Good news for passengers

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

New recline system

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

 

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Qatar Airways new Economy Class

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Qatar Airways at the ITB

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The new recline systemm

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

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

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Giveaway!

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Give away

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

To join the giveaway

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

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

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Giveaway of Incredible India!

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain Upgrade Part 2

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Dear Aviator,

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

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What has happened so far

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

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

 

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

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Upgrade to Commander course

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

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

Topics which were covered in the ground course:

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

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

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Not the A300 simulator but a A320 in Berlin

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

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Simulator Training

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

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

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Studying hard

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

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

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

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

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QRH (Quick reference handbook) Engine Fire and Evacuation checklist

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Check flight and ATPL skill test

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

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

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Simulator check passed

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What's next?

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

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Special giveaway

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

To join the giveaway

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

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

Stay tuned for part three!

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Giving away my 3 stripes!

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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pilot skin care routine

My #pilotessentials skin care products

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Advertisement Cooperation

Dear Aviator,

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

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

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

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Skincare on my travels

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

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

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UreaRepair PLUS hand cream and Acute Lip balm

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Know what your skin needs

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

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

Hands: Eucerin Urea Repair Plus

Lips: Eucerin Acute Lip balm

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Eucerin Hyaluron Filler with SPF30

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Eucerin Dermo Pure Series

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My daily routine

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

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

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Eucerin Dermo Pure Series

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Eucerin Soft Shower Gel pH5

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

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

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Sunset in Austria

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Hyaluron Peeling and Serum

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Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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GIVEAWAY!!!

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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city guide vienna

My city guide for a short trip to Vienna

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Advertisement / Cooperation

Dear Aviator,

are you planning a city trip to a European metropolis? If you do so then you should consider Vienna as a destination. In this blog, I will point out some highlights and share with you my tour guide. As a private jet pilot, I used to have layovers in this beautiful city in Austria, but with the airline, it is not on my route anymore. That is why I decided to visit Vienna again. I tell you where to stay, what to see and where to eat! At the end of this article, you can win a giveaway!

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I received a very warm welcome!

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You probably have noticed that I have not blogged for a while. This is due to my training to become a captain. It is really time-consuming and takes a lot of energy. The highest priority is to complete my UTC course (upgrade to commander) successfully. Currently, I have some off days in the middle of the simulator sessions and I decided to put away the books for a day to write the blog about Vienna (finally). Read my blog about my captain upgrade if you want to find out more.

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The city hall of Vienna

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Where to stay?

You are spoilt for choice when searching for accommodation in Vienna. I stayed at the five-star Vienna Marriott hotel, as I did already two years ago. The hotel has everything you need for the perfect city trip. It is located in the center of the city and all major sightseeing spots are walking distance. In case you want to relax there are a spa and swimming pool located inside the hotel.

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Vienna Marriott hotel

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Pool and Spa at the Marriott Vienna hotel

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I stayed in a park suite which offered a nice view of the adjacent park and a lot of space. The suite featured a dining area, a living room, and a separate sleeping room. Additionally, this room category granted me access to the M club lounge on the upper floor. In an exclusive environment, the Marriott hotel offers snacks and beverages. In the morning you can also enjoy your breakfast here and in the evening you can have a pre-dinner snack.

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Executive lounge on the upper floor

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Sleeping room of the park suite

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Living room of my suite

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In the park suite of the Vienna Marriott hotel, I also recorded my latest YouTube video. Check it out if you want to find out how I get ready to go flying.

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

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Insider tip

Vienna has a big brunch culture on Sundays of which I was not aware. By coincidence, I arrived on Sunday morning and the Vienna Marriott hotel invited me right away to their brunch in the Parkring Restaurnat. I enjoyed two hours of eating all kinds of delicious food in a nice setting. From a friend in Vienna, I found out later that the Marriott brunch is one of the most popular ones. So make sure that your city trip includes a Sunday. ;-)

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Live cooking

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Sunday brunch at the Vienna Marriott hotel

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Sunday brunch

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What to see?

There is so much to see.  I am not a typical tourist when I visit a city for the first time. Of course, I check online to get an idea what the city has to offer, but when I am there I rather go with the flow. Which means I walk through the city without a fixed plan. That's how I like to explore a destination. I love Vienna because of its architecture. Here, contemporary and historic buildings coexist in a strikingly innovative way. The city center called (first Bezirk) is decent in size so you can explore it by feed.

My must-sees: Schloss Schönbrunn, Hofburg, Opera, City hall, Graben, Stephan's dom, Schloss Belvedere, Prater, ...

Visit the official website of Austria for more recommendations.

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Hofburg view from the castle garden

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Hofburg Vienna

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Grapen street great for shopping

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Where to go for a coffee?

You know I am your foodie pilot and I love to go to coffee places which offer more healthy eating options. More healthy means for me:  fresh ingredients, organic products, no sugar and alternatives to regular milk. I am a big fan of raw cakes which means it is not baked and the ingredients are raw. The App "happy cow" helps me to find healthy places which are located around me.

Two healthy places, I can recommend:

One of the most popular traditional coffee houses is the Café Central. I only went there to see the spectacular ceiling. haha.

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Simply raw café

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Raw Sacher cake at the simply raw café

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Healthy café Veggiezz

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Café Central

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Treats at the Café Central

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Where to go for dinner?

In my Instagram stories, I asked you where I should for dinner. A fancy restaurant or a traditional Austrian restaurant were the options. In the end, I had to decide on the location, since the Instagram poll was not really clear. I went to a fancy restaurant called "DAS LOFT" so no Wiener Schnitzel. It was one of the tastiest restaurants I have ever been to and the view of Vienna was exceptional as well. The price is definitely worth it. If you want to go for a drink only, there is a bar on the same level.

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View of DAS LOFT

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Restaurant DAS LOFT

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Giveaway

You can win a "Vienna starter set" which includes a book about Vienna, a sleeping masks and a snow globe. I will also send a personal note with my autograph on it.

To have the chance to win you just need to complete the following 2 steps.

  1. Comment below this blog with the city you always wanted to visit
  2. Leave me a comment with "WWW.PILOTPATRICK.COM" on today's Instagram post from Vienna. 

I will randomly pick a winner on the 3rd of March 2019. Good luck! UPDATE: The lucky winner is "K. ________" please check your original comment below and follow my instructions to receive the price!

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Giveaway

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Three days in Vienna were a little bit too short. You should stay for at least four days. It is a destination which can be visited all year around. I was there in January and I was lucky. It was sunny but also quite cold. For sightseeing, warmer temperatures are definitely beneficial, but the Christmas season has also a very special atmosphere.

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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product review beoplay e8 earphones

My new sophisticated earphones - product review

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Advertising / Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

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

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

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Check out my latest video on YouTube

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A must-have for all travelers

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

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Why I chose the Beoplay E8?

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

CASE

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

SOUND & FIT

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

CONTROL

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

TRANSPARENCY MODE

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

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PLUS POINTS

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

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NEGATIVE POINTS

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

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Click here to get the SAME EARPHONES

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Conclusion

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

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

[social size ="large"]

[/spb_text_block]


how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain upgrade Part 1

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Dear Aviator,

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

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

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How to become a captain?

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

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

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

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How long does it take to become a captain?

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

Requirements

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

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Job advertisement of the airline

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Application Form

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

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

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

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Commander assessment

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

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

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

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What will change?

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

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Next steps

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

Please cross your fingers that everything will fly smoothly.

 

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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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most followed pilot blogger

Seasonal greetings, recap of 2018 and my outlook for 2019

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Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

many seasonal greetings from your PilotPatrick. I wish you a joyful holiday season and a happy new year! I hope you can enjoy the time with your beloved ones. This year I am lucky and I can spend Christmas with my family. My seasonal greetings blog post has become a small tradition over the past years. As always I will recap 2018 and give you an outlook for 2019. 

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"The bad news times flies, the good news you are the pilot"

2018 what a year, but it flew by just too quickly. It was exciting, thrilling and intense. My occupational career and my social media kept me always busy. Maybe sometimes too busy, that I did not have enough time for friends, family and most important for myself. The year had its ups and downs, but in the end, 2018 was a very successful year.

Maybe soon as Captain

I am still flying the old lady, the A300. I applied as Captain this year, my application was accepted and I had the chance to attend an assessment in the simulator for the upgrade.  Besides my first long-range flight of six hours from Milan to Bahrain, the Captain upgrade is the biggest highlight of my aviation career this year. I am excited to take you on this exciting journey with me. Most possibly I will launch a blog series about my way to the left side.

The growing Aviator family

I am still really satisfied with my current job and it was the absolute right decision to switch airlines two years ago. One reason is that I have enough time for my second passion: my social media channels! It is still a lot of work and it does not get less, it only gets more :-) Especially now with my YouTube channel, which I launched this year. But all the effort and time I am investing pays off. All channels combined my Aviator family counts now over 550.000!!! It means the world to me that I am able to share with you my pilot life and give you insights you would normally never get. It is both for you entraining and informative. The money I make with collaborations plays only a little role for me. Yet it is still mandatory to finance my channels. I am more proud and grateful for everything I can experiencing through my blogging.

Check out my Christmas Video on my YouTube, in which I am talking more about my upgrade, my projects, the collaborations and I am explaining why everything is now labeled with Anzeige.

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Meeting you

Back in 2017 I managed to meet you in different cities around the world. Berlin, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Munich and Frankfurt. I hoped that I will be able to do more events in 2018, but unfortunately I only managed to do two Meet and Greets. One in Berlin and one in Tel Aviv. The one in Berlin was a very exciting one since we meet in a wind tunnel to go flying/skydiving. Additionally, a camera team joined me on that day to shoot a documentary about my blogger life. It is always a great pleasure getting to know you in person and to have a chat.

The next event I am planning is a 500k Instagram party. So far I only know that I would like to celebrate this. Stay tuned on my Facebook event section, so you will not miss it.

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Meet and Greet at Windobona

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My projects for 2019

My biggest goal for 2019 is to become a Captain. The upgrade training will be tough and will require a lot of studying. As I always stated clearly, my profession and flying have always the priority. With good time management, I try to keep everything at a high level, but sometimes I need to slow down my activity online. I count on your understanding!

Never the less I set out the following projects:

  • My Aviator bracelet: Currently sold out, but I am working on a new design for 2019. With my profits, I want to support one individual in the process of becoming a pilot. It would be fantastic to be able to pay for the entire flight training. More information here.
  • The PilotPatrick collection: I want to design more than just an Aviator bracelet. Any thoughts and wishes?! Let me know in a comment.
  • The PilotPatrick book. I do not want to reveal too much on this project, but I want to write a book

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Most liked Instagram post

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpe3qJgDw66/

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My personal goals

Both my passions consume a lot of time and time is one of the few things you cannot buy. In 2019 I have to take more care of myself. I want to do more sports and I want to have more time not for myself, but also for my people around me! My YouTube team is already a great help, but also the photographers I am working with. Thanks for your great support! In 2019 I need to optimize processes and may get some extra support. Maybe you want to be my assistant? ;-)

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Whats app newsletter

Recently I launched my Whatsapp newsletter.

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

3 easy steps to subscribe:

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

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Most viewed YouTube video

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Thanks my Aviator

Thanks, my Aviator, for being so engaging. I appreciate every like, comment and all your advice. It makes me really happy to hear that I am an inspiration for some of you. You are also my inspiration for my stories, photos and my content on this blog. You are like a jet engine which propels me to goals, which I would never have imagined to achieve. Like me, you are probably noticing hate and bad vibes on a daily basis offline and online. But why? Life is already tough and each of us has problems and struggles, so be more kind to each other and spread good vibes!

Merry Christmas and happy landings in 2019!

Your PilotPatrick

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