leading aerospace exhibition and airshow

The great aerospace exhibition and airshow in Berlin

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Hello my Aviator,

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

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Static display of the ILA 2018

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Turbulent weather on the static display

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

— Robert Six, founder of Continental Airlines.

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Airbus A350 cockpit

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Cabin of the A350

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

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

WATCH MY VLOG ON YOUTUBE ABOUT MY VISIT OF THE ILA

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel as well: PilotPatrick

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

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

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First time in First Class in Emirates

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Bar on the upper deck of the A380 of Emirates

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

— Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft Corporation.

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

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inside the A310 of the German airforce (medical aircraft)

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Experimental aircraft of Airbus

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Find your employer of tomorrow

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

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

 

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inside of the A340 experimental aircraft

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Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines of the A350

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

Have you been to an airshow?

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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dream to become a pilot charity

Charity: my bracelet could make you become a pilot

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Cooperation - Advertisement

Hello my Aviator, 

I am really excited to reveal an idea which has been in the planning for a long time. It deals with financial support, the dream to fly and my very first Pilot Patrick accessory. In this blog post, I want to share my potential project with you and I am asking you about your opinion on it. It really is my matter of the heart!

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UPDATE: The #aviatorbracelet is now on sale here!

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Revealing my project

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Charity

A growing audience on social media means automatically more responsibility. People look up to you and you become some kind of role model for them. That means you have the power to share your opinion, advice, and ideals with a huge number of people. For me, it also means that you are responsible to engage in social affairs and be part of a charity project. I have thought for a long time which kind of project I could support, but in the end, I came up with a totally different idea.

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Support

The idea of this project arose from your ongoing support. I soon realized that you are interested in more than just cool photos on Instagram, so I started my blog. For two years now I am giving you insights of my pilot life and my travels around the world. I am also sharing my advice for your aviation career and how you can become a pilot.

It made me really sad to hear that many of you would like to become a pilot, but do not have the means to pay for the flight training. Times did not get easier! More and more airlines do not offer a sponsored cadet program anymore, so it became a popular to self-fund once training. The costs are immense. You minimum have to spend 70,000€ for a commercial pilot license. I was in the lucky position that my parents paid for my entire training 10 years ago.

Now I would like to support you in your dream to become a pilot.

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Take off thrust set

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Would you buy the Pilot Patrick bracelet for 30€?

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Project

I want to support one person to becoming a pilot. I not only want to be the mentor for this future aviator and help him to pass the flight school successfully. Additionally, I want to support this person financially maybe even pay for the full training.

But how will I be able to pay for that? 

I designed my very first Pilot Patrick bracelet. So far I only produced one single version. The unisex bracelet would be available in navy blue and pink. The strap is out of parachute material and the small aircraft with my logo is out of carbon.

I don't want to make money with it, but I want to use my reach to spread my project and to sell it to all my Aviators. The entire profit will go into the flight training. The person could be anybody and I would implement a selection process.

Watch my latest YouTube video to see me wearing the bracelet.

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UPDATE: The #aviatorbracelet is now on sale here!

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It is my matter of the heart. That way we can realize ones dream to become a pilot together. It now depends on you. This project is only possible with you and your feedback. What do you think about it and would you buy the Pilot Patrick bracelet for 30€? It would be available worldwide.

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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driving with bmw connected

Only flying is better - Driving with BMW Connected+

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Advertisement - Cooperation

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

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The new BMW 5series

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Welcome on board! Your PilotPatrick

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Only flying is better - driving the new BMW 5 series

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

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

 

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Cockpit with multiple screens

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But what is Connected+?

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

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Send route to car feature

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Route is on board when entering the car

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Connectivity

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

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

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

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Remote services

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Efficiency

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

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

 

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Connected+ with Concierge service

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Ease of Use

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

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personalizing the apps on the main dashboard screen

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

What is your favorite BMW model?

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

Happy landings and safe driving!

Your Pilot Patrick

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breitling roadshow

Breitling roadshow event in Munich

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Cooperation / Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

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

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At Sophia's bar at The Charles Hotel Munich

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Breitling roadshow

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

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

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On the red carpet

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New CEO of Breitling Georges Kern on stage

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Breitling and aviation

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

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

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

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The new Navitimer 08

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Discovering the history of Breitling

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My new watch

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

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

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

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

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In the city with my new Navitimer 01

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The Charles Hotel Munich

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Warm welcome at The Charles Hotel Munich

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My hotel in Munich

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

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My Executive Suite

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Indoor pool at The Charles Hotel

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

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Winter wonderland Munich

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https://youtu.be/VubDZTtWW8w

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

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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Best business class

Best Business Class in the world

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Cooperation - Advertisement

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

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Boeing B777 in Cape Town (CPT)

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How can I afford to fly Business class?

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

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

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Rimowa Classic flight Cabin trolley

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Cheers - Excited for my first flight with Qatar Airways

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How did I do the booking?

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

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

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Business Class Cabin Boeing B777

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Layover at Doha Airport

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The Best Business Class in the world

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

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

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Breakfast in the sky

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Sky of central Africa

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The flight experience

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

The seat

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

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

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Flying in a Mey pyjama

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City Center of Doha on departure

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Business Class catering

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Entertainment and service

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

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

 

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Doha Business Class lounge

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Was it worth it?

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

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

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Thanks for the amazing flight with you

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Give Away

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

 

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Giveaway!

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The lucky winner is Jens!

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Here are the steps to join the contest:

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

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

Happy landings and good luck!

Your PilotPatrick

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vacation in cape town

Vacation in South Africa - My stay in Cape Town

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Hello my Aviator, I spent the first two weeks of the new year in South Africa. A country I have fallen in love with after my first stay two years ago. It was fantastic to escape winter in Germany and to enjoy summertime in South Africa. In this blog post, I take you on my journey and I will recap my vacation in Cape Town with you. In case you are planning to visit this amazing place I have some great tips for you. 

 

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Vacation in Cape Town - why again?

I have been to Cape Town already two years ago and I could have visited a new place on my bucket list, but I just could not resist. I enjoyed my first time down there so much that I wanted to come back as quick as possible. Additionally, lots of friends of mine were in Cape Town as well.

I am not a big fan of the cold season. That is why I like to escape winter. Sout Africa is the ideal destination since it lays in the southern hemisphere which means it is summer at that time. Flying in from Europe has the big advantage of omitting a jet lag.

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Magical sunsets in Camps Bay

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Not only the landscape itself is beautiful but also their people. They are super friendly and I really like the relaxed atmosphere they embody.  As you know I am a foodie pilot and I am really picky when it comes to food. South Africa offers amazing cuisines for everyone's taste for reasonable prices.

From this stay, I have learned to avoid the peak season End of December/ beginning of January. It is difficult to get reservations in restaurant and hotel availability is low in combination with high rates. March, which is still summer, is supposed to be a good month to visit.

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Beachwear by Mey

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Clifton Beaches Cape Town

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Where did I sleep?

On vacation, I usually stay at hotels, because it is convenient and more comfortable. But this time I searched for an alternative since hotel room availability was already low and the rates high. That is why I booked an apartment on Airbnb.

The first week I stayed at a beautiful apartment in Greenpoint. I really enjoyed the modern place with two bedrooms and a huge balcony. The location was great because all hotspots were in close proximity.

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Lovely apartment in Greenpoint

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After my little road trip (blog post soon), I stayed the last four days in Cape Town at another place in Waterkant. It was a townhouse with four stories, an atrium with a tree inside and a rooftop with a plunge pool. The bedrooms and the living room offered amazing sea views. A truly exceptional unique place to live in.

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Townhouse from the outside

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Rooftop terrace with pool

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Luxury Airbnb in Waterkant

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Where did I eat?

Food is tasty in Cape Town. It is hard to find a place, which does not offer delicious meals. I tried several healthy eating options from the App "Happy Cow". Here is a list of all the places I went to:

Oranjezicht city farm:  A market every Saturday located close the V&A Waterfront, all kinds of vendors selling groceries, also a good place for breakfast and lunch

V&A Waterfront Food market: all kinds of little shops and cafés, a lot of healthy options

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Oranjezicht market Cape Town

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Nu healthy food cafe: several outlets in different parts of town, smoothies, bowls, wraps, great for breakfast and lunch

Raw and Roxy: new place in town which only serves raw food, try the sushi and the ice tea

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Breakfast at Nu healthy food cafe

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Gold restaurant: touristic place, but worth visit, an extensive African menu is served which is accompanied by a show of drummers and dancers

Hussar Grill Camps Bay: for all meat lovers

Asoka: trendy place with live DJ, good for cocktails and dinner, small menu, but food on the point

Kloof street house: trendy and busy place, good for cocktails and dinner

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Gold restaurant with show

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What did I do on NYE?

I flew into Cape Town on the 31st of December without a fixed plan for the evening. Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy and sometimes even rainy. So I did not go to the beach party which was recommended to me. Instead, I was invited by German friends to celebrate NYE in a penthouse. The fireworks were really cute when I compare it to the craziness in Berlin. So it was a rather relaxed evening, but still with a lot of Champagne and good company.

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My first radio interview - Thanks Eloise for the invitation

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What fun activities did I do?

Cape Town is a fantastic place to spend a vacation. Besides a beautiful scenery, friendly people, good food and nice beaches, there are many fun activities you should not miss out.

A helicopter flight

I love going on helicopter flights. Even though I am used to flying, taking off vertically always gives me goosebumps. HelicoptersCapetown offers all kinds of different tours. I did the oceans flight which takes you around table mountain. The views are just spectacular.

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Helicopterscapetown.com

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Paragliding

For the first time ever I went tandem paragliding. It is was an unforgettable flight taking off from Signal Hill and landing in at the promenade in Sea Point. Carlos my pilot from Icarusparagliding called the flight a ride on a magic carpet. Flying without an engine and just the noise of the wind is a feeling I haven't experienced before. Over the water, we flew some awesome maneuvers which felt like a rollercoaster ride. Watch the 360° degrees video of the flight.

https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/1677430235655899/

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Lions Head

I am not a big fan of hiking, but the way up and down on Lions Head is a lot of fun. It takes about an hour to get up and you need to climb up ladders and chains. In the end, you will be rewarded with spectacular views.

 

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On top of Lions head

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On top of  Table Mountain

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Table mountain

A must is Table Mountain. This time I hiked up table mountain from the back side. The Skeleton Gorge starts in the beautiful Kirstenbosch potential garden. The way up is quite challenging. On top of table mountain, the hike continued along dams and beautiful vegetation. Two years ago I went up table mountain using the Platteklip Gorge. This route starts past the cable car station in Cape Town and is quite steep, but offers amazing views

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Skeleton Gorge up to the top

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Dam on top of table mountain

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Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

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Constantia Valley

Nestled beneath the National Table Mountain park lays the valley of Constantia. Only a 25 minutes drive from Cape Town city center you indulge idyllic lifestyle in a picture-perfect landscape. The Constantia Wine Route is the oldest one in the southern hemisphere, and Beau Constantia is one of the 9 farms to call the Valley home. Besides exceptional wines, its restaurant, called Chefs Warehouse, is the 4th best restaurant in the country.

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Lunch at the Chefs Warehouse

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Wine estate Beau Constantia

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Beau Constantia oldest winery southern hemisphere

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Do you need a guide?

I am so happy that Jared reached out to me when I asked for recommendations in South Africa. He is a writer, influencer and tour guide, who calls beautiful Cape Town his home. He not only gave me helpful tips before I started my journey, but he also took me to hidden gems during my stay in Cape Town. Follow him on Instagram (@jaredincpt) and visit his blog: www.jaredincpt.com.

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Bokaap colorful houses

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I hope you enjoyed the time with me in Cape Town! Unfortunately, the Western Cape is suffering from a water crisis. As it appears right now they will run out of water soon. So please save as much as you can when you are in Cape Town.

On my bucket list:

  1. Brazil
  2. Iceland
  3. Bali

Please comment below with your top 3 destinations on your bucket list and subscribe to my newsletter with your email.

Happy landings and safe travels!

Your PilotPatrick

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my tips for a better sleep

My tips for a better sleep

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

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Breathtaking sunset at Milan airport /no filter!

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

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Hotel bed in Casablanca

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My tips for a better sleep

Body's internal clock

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

Good night tea

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

Earplugs

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

 

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Bedtime tea

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Earplugs by Hoerluchs

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Sleeping mask

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

Your phone

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

Reading

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

 

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Earplugs and sleeping mask

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How does food affect your sleep?

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

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

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How does exercise affect your sleep?

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

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

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Sunrise in the sky

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

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I found my hotel room for tonight!

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

Happy landings and happy sleeping!

Your PilotPatrick

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36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

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Advertisement - Cooperation

Hello my Aviator, the past year I spend over six layovers in Sevilla and I take this as an opportunity to share my highlights of this beautiful city with you. My layover is usually 36 hours and this is why my following city guide is based on this period of time. Additionally, I will give general tips for your next city trip.  

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Bar at the Alfonso XIII Hotel / Photo by Emilie (@esunshi)

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Facts about Sevilla

Sevilla is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain. Seville is approximately 2,200 years old. The passage of the various civilizations has left the city with a distinct personality, and a large and well-preserved historical center.

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Expo venue of 1992 / lost place in Sevilla

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Travel tip: bank

Over the years I have spent a lot of money on fees when paying with my checking account abroad. But those days are finally over. I recently opened a new account. This premium bank offers an account which incorporates many benefits to their customers. Which is especially useful for me as a frequent traveler who spends a lot of time in foreign countries. Besides giving me the services of traditional a checking account, it includes a MasterCard Gold free of charge.

In Sevilla, you can pay with your card in many shops and restaurants, but I have been to other cities in which they require cash for purchases. Especially taxi drivers, who rarely accept credit cards. With the gold credit card I can withdraw money for free and I even have an exclusive insurance package as well. For example, my health and my luggage are all ensured when I am staying abroad, even when I am not paying with the card.

Watch my V-log about Sevilla. Subscribe my YouTube channel for more videos:

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36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

10:00 - 14:00

Buenos dias 

Like my flight, you arrive in Sevilla in the morning. Since it is too early for the check-in,  I suggest to drop your luggage at the concierge and start discovering the city right away. The old town consists of many narrow streets with historical buildings. I usually approach a new city without a strict guide, so let your feet decide where to go. You will be surprised about the places to discover, which you did not expect.

Healthy snacking 

Maybe you have not had a good breakfast yet or you are ready for a small lunch. Close to the cathedral you can find a healthy food place, called "Milk Away". Their smoothies and salads are fantastic. I always have the Acai bowl with granola and fresh fruits (it is up to you to decide which ones you like on top). For more healthy cafés, restaurants and shops around your personal location, I recommend the App called "Happy Cow".

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Acai bowl at the healthy food place "Milk Away"

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famous cathedral in old town of Sevilla

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Travel tip: accommodation

Since you are staying only for one night I suggest sleeping in the Alfonso XIII hotel, named after King Alfonso of Spain. This elegant hotel with an Arabic style is located in the center of Sevilla. I personally always choose a hotel which is located in walking distance to major attractions when planning a short city trip. This saves time and I can return to the hotel for a quick break between sight-seeing. Apart from all the online booking platforms, I recommend, to always check the website of the hotel as well. Sometimes the rates are even better or you receive extras complimentary.

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Hotel Alfonso XII hotel

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pool of the Alfonso XIII hotel

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14:00 - 18:00

Check-in

Time to check-in to your hotel and to refresh and relax a little bit. The Alfonso XIII has an inviting outside area with a pool. Enjoy a couple of hours of sunbathing, swimming and doing sports.

18:00 - 22:00

Sunset

There are many beautiful locations from where you can watch the sunset, but for me the most spectacular place is the Metropol Parasol. This tree-shaped wooden sculpture grants you the best views of Sevilla. Plan enough time to get up, because there might be a queue to get up. (entrance fee: 3€)

Now it is time to have a tasty dinner. Sevilla offers a huge variety of dining options. Most restaurants do not open before 20:00. For popular places, you need to make a dinner reservation. Last time in Sevilla I had dinner at El Paladar a simple looking Tapas bar. They offer three menu boards including one with meat, one vegetarian, and one vegan. It was tasty, inexpensive and local.

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vies of the Metropol Parasol

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sunset from the roof of the Metropol Parasol

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22:00 - 24:00

Drinks and show

In Sevilla, the life takes place on the streets. Even late at night people are outside enjoying themselves. I can recommend the rooftop of the EME hotel for some drinks. The bar grants a nice view of the illuminated cathedral. Andalucia is also known for its Flamenco dance shows. I have not been to one yet, but it is on my list for my next layovers in Sevilla.

 

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Rooftop of the EME hotel

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Travel tip: season

Sevilla is a city you can visit the whole year around. But keep in my mind that Sevilla is the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Western Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C. Therefore I recommend coming here in spring or in late summer. While writing this article I am actually sitting in the sun in Sevilla  it is around 25°C at ist already the end of October. At this time of the year, the climate is much better for sightseeing.

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Royal Palace of Sevilla

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Next day

09:00 - 11:00

Breakfast

Start the day with a good breakfast followed by an espresso in the sun on the terrace. In my opinion, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This gives you the energy for the day. Nevertheless, you should eat consciously. Even in hotels, I try to avoid white wheat bread, dairy products, and sugar. Here you can find my recipe for my super healthy breakfast bowl.

11:00 - 13:00

Real Alcázar 

The old town contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of them is the Alcázar palace complex, the royal palace. This is one of my highlights in Sevilla and it is also renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Spain. Plan enough time (minimum 2 hours)  to discover all rooms and to take a stroll through the extensive gardens. (entrance fee: 9,50€)

 

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Garden of the Royal Palace

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Real Alcázar courtyard

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Garden of the Real Alcázar

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14:00 - 16:00

Plaza de España

Not far from the royal palace, you can find the Plaza de España. The first time visiting this square, I was overwhelmed by its size, architecture and look. I was surprised when I found out that the square is relatively young. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. You can even rent a small paddle boat to discover the square from the water. If you are lucky you can watch Flamenco dancer with live music underneath the roof in the middle of the building.

18:00 - 20:00

Shopping

The old town consists of many shops and small boutique. As a souvenir I often buy clothing, so I get reminded of my stay when wearing them.

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Beautiful square: Plaza de España

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Plaza de España at sunset

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Have you been to Spain and what is your favorite in Spain so far? Please comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email below. 

Happy and safe traveling!

Your Pilot Patrick

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first time flying aerobatics

My First Time Flying Aerobatics

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Cooperation - Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

as you now Sunday is a fun day. Last weekend I attended my first Red Bull Air Race in Lausitz, Germany. On top, I was also invited to go on my very first aerobatic flight with an Air Race pilot. I spent two exciting and action-packed days. In this blog post, I will share the fun with you. You also have the chance to win a bag back with a lot of useful goodies. 

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Cozy room at the Vienna QF Hotel in Dresden

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Arrival

I arrived late in Dresden because I had an evening flight from Bergamo back to Germany. After I landed in Leipzig I took a rental car on 1,5 hours drive to Dresden. At 1 am in the morning I checked in the Vienna QF Hotel, which is located right in the city center. The next morning I already had to get up at 7 am. The cozy hotel room helped me to have a good, but short rest. After a tasty omelet and smoked salmon for a breakfast, a shuttle picked me up to take me to the venue of the Red Bull Air Race.

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Hangar tour

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VIP passes with access to the hangars

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Racing in the air

Hamilton watches (The Swatch Group Germany GmbH) invited me to the 7th RedBull Air Race World Championship in Lausitz. It is the only air race in Germany and Hamilton watches is the official timekeeper of this championship. It is a great match because Hamilton is linked to the time keeping in aviation since 1918. Back in the days, pilots had to rely on the precision of their watches for navigation. First of all, we were equipped with VIP passes which granted us access to the Sky Lounge. The Hamilton crew consisted of Percy (luxify), Jens (atomlabor), Sebastian (Männer Style) and Basti (Basti_go_pro).

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Lausitz Speedway in Germany

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Hangar tour

Our schedule for the day was filled with a lot of activities. The first item on the agenda was the hangar tour. I had the chance to see the racing aircraft up close and I met the pilot Nicolas Ivanoff, who is the brand ambassador of Hamilton watches. We took a photo in front of his aircraft, Zivko Edge 540 and I wished him happy landings for the upcoming race!

Technical specification of the Edge 540

  • Roll rate: 450°/s
  • Max Takeoff weight: 750 kg
  • Vne: 220 kts (never exceed speed)
  • Wingspan: 7,43 m
  • Lenght 6,30
  • Max G-forces: +/- 12 g

 

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Meeting air race pilot Nicolas Ivanoff  / photo: René Gaens

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Racing aircraft Edge 540

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Sky Lounge

The weather was perfect. The sun was up and the winds were calm. Ideal conditions for the pilots and the spectators. We enjoyed refreshing drinks in the sky lounge, which granted us the best view of the race track. The runway was situated right in front of the terrace, so the aircraft were taking off and landing up close. The area was exclusively for VIP guests. I almost forgot to enjoy the catering because of the action on the race track and the fun in the lounge.

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Sky Lounge at the Red Bull Air Race

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Official timekeeper Hamilton watches

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Smoke on!

The first flight battle was between Nicolas Ivanoff and Martin Sonka. It was the first time for me to watch an air race live. Even as a pilot I was impressed by the speed and the maneuvers the air race pilot flew. It is a combination of skills, precision, and speed to succeed in this competition. One round consist of two laps through the course of pylons. Nicolas controlled his aircraft flawlessly through the tight race track. But unfortunately, his competitor Sonka was a little bit faster.

Up to 10 g and 370 km/h

The pilots pull unbelievingly up to 10 g and fly speeds up to 370 km/h in the race track. In a thrilling roller coaster, you might experience around 4 g. 10 g means 10 times your body weight. Amazing what the structure of the aircraft and their pilots have to withstand. I was wondering what the feeling was like to be on board of such a flight. Luckily I was going to find out the next day.

 

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Happy racing and happy landings

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Hello my Aviators: Going live on Instagram

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My first time flying aerobatics

The next day Nicolas Ivanoff and Hamilton invited me on an aerobatic flight in an Extra 330 LX at the aircraft Schwarzweide-Schipkau. Ivanoff is the leading French aerobatic pilot and an expert in creativity when it comes to his flying skills and techniques. During my flight training, I flew step turns of 60° bank angle. This was the most aerobatic maneuver I have flown. Many of my Aviators asked me before the flight if I am nervous or scared to go on this flight. Anything but that. I was super excited to discover a new way of flying.

It is like drawing in the sky

The flight

I told Ivanoff that he can fly the full program with me and that I am not scared a single bit. He really did and it was amazing. I could not stop smiling. It was really a thrilling flight. All roller coasters are boring compared to this flight. Ivanoff flew countless barrel rolls, loopings, spins, vertical flight maneuvers. He pulled 8 g followed by the maximum roll rate of 400° a second. Once I blacked out for a very short time. In the end, I took over the controls and I flew to barrel rolls myself. It was an exceptional feeling. Watch the video. It says more than 1000 words.

 

https://youtu.be/stTulSaczm4

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Just in case with a parachute

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Ready for the departure for my first aerobatic flight

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Technical Specifications Extra 33 LX

  • Roll rate: 400°/s
  • Max Takeoff weight: 950 kg
  • Vne: 220 kts
  • Wingspan: 8,0 m
  • Lenth: 7,2 m
  • Max G-forces: +/- 10 g (1 person) +/- 8 g (2 persons)

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Happy pilots after a thrilling flight

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Insider tip and giveaway

When you think about cities in Germany you won't necessarily think about Dresden. But it is definitely a highlight you should not miss out. Especially the city center, which was completely destroyed after the second world war, was beautifully restored.

Giveaway

I am giving a Hamilton bag back with a lot of useful goodies, like sunglasses, mini speaker, a hat, keychain and an umbrella. Additionally, you will get a personal note. To have the chance to win, follow these steps:

  • subscribe to my newsletter with your email below
  • Would you dare to go on an aerobatic flight? Answer in a comment below

Winner of the A380 model giveaway of the blog post about aviation myths is Maurice.

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Giveaway

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Good luck and happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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my electronic travel buddies

My electronic travel buddies

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(Sponsored by product placement)

Hello my Aviator, I have been asked many times about my devices I am using for my daily updates on my social media. This weekend I visited the museum of engineering in Berlin to discover their aerospace exhibition and to present you my technical travel buddies. Besides sharing my experiences with the devices, I am giving away gift vouchers worth 20€ and 100€ for electronic devices! Find out below how to win.

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Elitebook

My newest travel companion is the HP EliteBook Folio G1 X2F49EA. I have been using this EliteBook now for two weeks and I am really convinced of the mobility and the performance. With a weight of only 1,07 kg and the size of 29,2 x 20,9 x 1,24 cm it is perfect for traveling. The touch screen makes this laptop even more innovative. Before the purchase, I checked review sites to retrieve more information about the HP Elitebook. This notebook is currently the best of its kind at the moment. The Elitebook was provided by the courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de. At the end of this article, you have the chance to win gift vouchers worth 100€ and 20€ of notebooksbooksbillger.de

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my newest travel buddy HP EliteBook

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Camera

In the beginning, I used my smart phone to take videos and photos. But I noticed quickly that the quality of my photos on my blog needs to be better. The smart phone is handy for quick snaps and to record content for my Instagram story, but the capability of a smart phone camera is limited.

That is why I bought a digital camera which is easy to handle because I am not a photographer.  After reading lots of reviews I chose the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Camera. Of course, this camera has a lot of settings as well but is easier to handle than a reflex camera. The automatic function works great for me and the size is ideal for my travels. I can also flip the screen to take a selfie for you.

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Sony Cyper-shot digital camera with "Smatree" tripod

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Action camera

An action camera is must for everyone who wants to record action scenes. I primarily use this camera to take videos and photos in the cockpit. The big advantages over a regular camera are the numerous mountings and the wide angle. Compare the photo below! The left one is taken with the iPhone and the right one with a GoPro. Both from the same position. I switched to the Hero5 lately. One of the biggest benefits of the new model is that you do not need an extra water proof case and you can view your recordings on a build in touch screen on the back.

The silver aircraft is a Junkers Ju 52 also called "Tante Ju". My great grand father used to work for the company which built this aircraft. As an "avgeek" it is a dream to fly on board of one of the last models.

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Junker Ju 52 "Tante Ju"

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iPhone 7 versus GoPro 5

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Tripods

Tripods can be really handy especially if there is nobody around to take a photo of you. I am trying to travel light that is why I am only taking two small tripods which fit easily in my carry on luggage. The tripod "Magnesit Copter" of Cullmann is versatile in its usage. Besides using it as a tripod you can use it as a handheld to attach your device. The head is movable and the standardized bolt allows me to attach my digital camera or my action camera. I also use it for my Instagram live videos. This way it is easier to hold the camera and to guarantee a smoother stream while moving.

Additionally, I am taking a flexible tripod of "Smatree" on my journies. This one has an adjustable arm and a clam. This is really handy if there is no flat surface to put a regular tripod. I use it most of the times to install my GoPro 5 in the cockpit.

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Cullmann Magnesit copter tripod and handheld

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The secret behind jerk free videos

This secret is expensive. I bought an "Osmo Mobile" of DJI a while ago. This is a handheld device which turns your smartphone into a smart motion camera. This makes your video look professional and smooth. Watch the video below to discover the cinematic effect. Most of the time I use it for my live streams on my Facebook page. Even during the Xletix run, it produced a smooth video: That makes it more attractive for my Aviators to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmWJ5sMwRM&feature=youtu.be

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Other technical must haves

You can have the best cameras, but with a low battery, they are worthless. That is why I always carry a power bar with me. I can recommend the power bar of Anker PowerCore + 13400 mAh. The size and weight fit easily even in a pocket of a jacket. It comes with two USB ports and charges an iPhone about three times.

Since all my devices are charged via a USB port I have an adapter for an outlet which can charge up to four devices simultaneously. This way you do not have to carry numerous adapter for each device.

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My technical travel buddies

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My editing tips

I am not a big fan of filters because, in my opinion, this changes the "reality" of a photo. This is why I do not use any of them. I want to keep it clean and do not express something which is not the real world. To edit my photos I am using "Snapseed". This mobile app is really easy to use and helps you to fine tune your photo. I use it to crop photos and adjust the brightness, saturation, contrast and so on. It really just takes minutes to edit one photo. My tip less is more!

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Anywhere now with my HP EliteBook from notebooksbilliger.de

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As I promised to you I am giving away some more gift vouchers of notebooksbilliger.de! You have the chance to win gift vouchers worth 2x 100€ and 5x 20€.

The first winners of the give away on Instagram are:

100€: @lifemightbealright @b2theritta

20€: @michaela_barber @p_wongsakon  @ameer_swead @lukus_poz @_dennis87_

All you need to do is:

  • like my Instagram/ Facebook post with my new EliteBook
  • subscribe with your email to the newsletter of my blog below
  • leave a comment below with the device you would use the gift voucher for

Good luck and happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

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